You’ve heard of time-shares and always thought they were a great alternative to paying a lot of money for a hotel room, but you’ve also heard the stories of the ‘hard sell’ when you go to visit, and the pressure the salesman uses to get you to sign up. Fortunately, these are really isolated cases and you’ll find that buying a time-share is just the same as buying any piece of real estate or a new car – it pays to shop around and find a deal that is best for you.
No one can force you to buy something you don’t want – and that’s the rule to remember.
“Never let the salesperson SELL you anything,” says industry insider and author Lisa Ann Schreier, “instead, you should BUY a timeshare only after you do your research.” Here, she shares her most important strategies.
Do some homework. Know that in 2004 the average price of a two-bedroom timeshare worldwide was around $14,000.
Understand how timeshares are exchanged or traded. “In order to get a desirable trade, you have to own in a desirable area.” And something else to keep in mind: if you plan to work around school calendars to plan your vacation with your grandkids, having a valuable and desirable share to trade is extremely important. In other words owning the first week in February in Wisconsin, however nice the resort is, is probably not going to get you a summer week in Myrtle Beach or just about any time of year in Hawaii. “The major exchange companies (RCI and II) have the exchanging criteria clearly written in the directories.
You shouldn’t buy a time share as an income investment – there are no guarantees that the timeshare property you purchased will increase in value.
You should buy the timeshare because it’s located at a place you like and enjoy and to take advantage of being able to vacation at exotic spots around the world.
Whatever you do, check it all out to see if a timeshare is right for you.
Lisa Ann Schreier founded Timeshare Insights (www.timeshareinsights.com) and is the author of bestsellers “Surviving A Timeshare Presentation…Confessions From The Sales Table” and “Timeshare actions For Dummies.”
Tips on timeshares
Every time you use your timeshare, there’s a fee involved, even if you’ve paid off your mortgage. How do you know if you can afford a timeshare? If you answer yes to the following four questions, time-sharing may be right for you:
- On average, do you pay more than $70 a night for your vacation hotel accommodations?
- In a typical year, do you vacation for more than 5-10 nights per year?
- Do you value quality more than cost?
- Is paying for the timeshare going to allow you to still maintain your daily living?
Originally published on GRAND in July-August 2006 Issue