Are Timeshares a Good Investment for Your Future?

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Are Timeshares a Good Investment for Your Future?

Posted By ema hossain     February 1, 2022    


Timeshare salespeople are good at what they do. They manage to talk you into suspending your vacation for a few hours so they can make a high-pressure sales pitch to you for one of their “vacation home” products. They will probably explain how their timeshares would be yours to own and how, over the years, they would cost less than a series of hotel stays.


In other words, the main pitch of the sales presentation is that you can have unlimited vacations in your favorite destination forever. You plunk down a sizable amount of cash upfront, and paradise is yours! The pitch is designed to make you believe that a timeshare purchase is a good investment in your future and the future of your family.


But as we all know, a presentation is one thing, and reality is another. Once you get out of the sales office, Are timeshares a good investment?


Unfortunately, as anyone who has been through the experience can tell you, buying a timeshare can be a disastrous personal finance decision. Buying a timeshare isn’t like making a down payment on all your future vacations, after which you take trips to your beach house for free.


Timeshare ownership is instead a continuing obligation. You won’t just pay for the timeshare and enjoy your purchase. Rather, you’ll have an ever-increasing amount of fees to pay every year, just for the privilege of using what you’ve bought. This article will look at that problem as well as two others: actually vacationing with a timeshare and trying to sell your unit.


Timeshare Fees: You’re Always Paying for Something
Are timeshares a good investment: elderly couple checking bank statements
The whole idea of vacation ownership is that you aren’t paying someone else to rent a hotel room at their property. You have your own. So it should make sense that, whether you buy a fixed week or points in a vacation club (like Marriott or Disney), you as the owner are done paying a resort for the privilege of staying there.


That’s not the case. You’ll pay a hefty chunk of money to your timeshare resort every year in the form of annual maintenance fees. According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the average amount of annual fees for a timeshare is $1,000. And that amount increases every year. 


So, over 20 years of owning a timeshare, you could pay $25,000 or more beyond the initial purchase price just for the privilege of “vacation ownership.” And that number doesn’t account for repairs, maintenance, or other costs that the resort might charge you.


Using Your Timeshare: You Don’t Always Get What You Paid For
Poor hostel room
After putting all of that money down for the privilege of owning a timeshare, you’d think that you would be getting a lot. Sadly, that’s not how this business works. Once you’ve bought in, timeshare resorts are no longer interested in charming you with fancy properties and amenities. 


Now the goal is for them to meet their minimum contractual requirements. Anything above and beyond that goal is wasted money for them.


The first problem you might find along these lines is that the unit you actually purchased doesn’t look like the unit you saw when you toured the resort. Perhaps the units you were shown as part of the sales presentation were better furnished or decorated in order to entice you into buying. Once you did, though, there was no reason to keep up the charade.


The second problem is that, in many cases, you might even have a problem using your timeshare at all. BBB reviews for Capital Resorts, for example, repeatedly show timeshare owners who can’t make reservations to use units. Sometimes they manage to make a reservation and end up with a unit much lower in quality than what they bargained for.


Even high-end exchange programs can be a money pit. These programs are supposedly a way for timeshare owners to “trade” time at their units for stays at other resorts. Often, though, owners find that their units don’t exchange for as much value as they would like. And of course, there’s always a fee associated with these programs.


From the standpoint of value for your money, timeshares are terrible investments.