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Are Timeshares Worth It?

“Would you like free massages/tickets to a show/a television set/a night at our hotel? All you have to do is listen to this 90-minute presentation and take a quick tour of our fabulous resort!”

We’ve all heard it before: the timeshare pitch. But timeshares can’t be all bad, right? After all, people must be buying them or the salespeople wouldn’t keep doing these pitches.

Weigh the pros and cons

If you’re considering a timeshare purchase, take the time to weigh the pros and cons. Never purchase a timeshare during a high-pressure sales situation.

You can often get much better deals by buying a timeshare from an owner who wants to offload one than you will from purchasing retail. When you find a timeshare you’re considering, go ahead and sit through that sales pitch—you’ll get a great tour of the building and the amenities, and possibly some free gifts—but go online to find a current owner looking to sell. It’s the best of both worlds!

Timeshares may be worth it if you’ve absolutely fallen in love with a location, or if you have family or friends who live in that area. Many timeshares are tied to a specific property, so it could be a good option if you and your family travel to the same destination on a regular basis.

Some timeshares are more flexible than others, allowing you to trade timeslots or stay at other properties. You’ll want to know if this is an option before you buy.

If you love to explore, look for a flex system or points system, where you can spend your points on timeshares in different locations.

It should save you money

Ideally, having a timeshare means you’re saving money each vacation. But it’s a use it or lose it situation. If you never make it to your timeshare destination, you’ve essentially wasted your money.

It’s also worth first checking out the costs to rent an equivalent property for the length of time you’d be going on vacation. If it costs less to rent than it does to pay for a timeshare, you’re better off renting. Don’t forget about upkeep and major repairs; timeshare owners generally have to split these costs.

Before you make any purchase, conduct a title search on the property and look into the developer and management company that will be handling the timeshare. Warning flags include complaints that the management company doesn’t properly handle payments, or more dramatically, that buildings have gone into foreclosure.

Work with a local mortgage specialist

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