What We're Reading - "Are Timeshares Ever Worth the Investment?"

What We're Reading - "Are Timeshares Ever Worth the Investment?"

Timeshares are often a puzzle for consumers and their advocates, which makes giving and receiving advice about them tricky. While timeshares are sometimes marketed like real estate investments or luxury vacation rentals, they don’t truly fit comfortably into either category, and the timeshare market itself is a totally unique animal with its own set of challenges, including a limited (and scam-saturated) resale market.

With this in mind, one consumer advice website recently posed an intriguing, fundamental question: “Are Timeshares Ever Worth the Investment?”

That query was recently the subject of an article by WiseBread contributor Amanda Gokee, and it’s worth dissecting her perspective.

First and foremost, Gokee does an excellent job of pinpointing why timeshares may seem appealing on the surface: She notes their relative flexibility, the comfort of many timeshare units compared to hotels or home rentals, the predictability of having a set vacation time and destination, and even the fact that consumers can sometimes “get a good deal by purchasing a used timeshare from a current owner,” all points that we’ve addressed before on this site.

But, as WiseBread notes, there are certainly many “drawbacks” to sinking your money into a timeshare interest. This article highlights a few major ones, including the industry’s “high pressure sales tactics,” and the prevalence of timeshare resale scams, in which “scammers have been known to target timeshare owners, promising them they've got a buyer but demanding you pay filing fees and closing costs first.”

To this list you could also easily add timeshare maintenance fees, which tend to rise year to year, regardless of the rate of inflation, leaving owners on the hook for higher and higher payments that, often, simply climb out of the reasonable reach of many consumers.

And, finally, Gokee – who claims to have experience with both enjoying her aunt’s timeshare and sitting through an arduous sale – makes a point that’s always worth remembering: “Make sure you view [a timeshare] as a vacation purchase and not an investment.” We’ve seen too many people left frustrated or adrift after realizing that their points-based or weeks-based timeshare was little more than an expensive vacation opportunity, and not a real estate investment with significant resale or inheritance value, as they may have been led to believe.

For the full article – including the writer’s thoughts on her personal timeshare experience – we encourage you to read on here.

Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 45 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don't hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns. 

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