Timeshares can be a very controversial topic. A lot of people are convinced they are a scam and they avoid them at all costs. But there are plenty of other people that enjoy them very much and insist they’re worth it. Who are we to believe? Well, in this article I’ll lay out the pros and cons and let you decide for yourself! Sound good? Ok, here we go.
First, the pros:
THEY FEEL LIKE A HOME
Unlike, a hotel or any other place you might stay at during a vacation, timeshares are much more likely to have that homey, lived-in vibe. Specifically, just the benefits of having your own kitchen and, usually, laundry in the unit are huge pros. So if you want to feel more at home while you’re on vacation, timeshares might actually be for you.
Despite the common belief that they are scams, timeshares can actually be fairly cheap. Especially if you have a family and you’re looking to hang on to one for a long period of time. Because with each vacation spent at your timeshare, you’re getting part of your money back from your original investment. If you go enough times, the cost could end up being next to nothing each trip.
YOU CAN MAKE MONEY OFF OF IT
If you plan properly and know you won’t be able to use your week at the unit, you can rent it out to family and friends! You may incur a small fee from the company that manages the timeshare, but it’s still a great way to make a little extra money and make back some of your investment.
Now, let’s talk about the cons:
NEW AND UNPREDICTABLE COSTS
Maintenance. It’s something we always forget about. And when it comes to “owning” property, they can come out of nowhere and hit you like a truck. If you’re looking to invest in a timeshare, make sure you ask if the maintenance fees are capped and will never change. Also, check to see if major upgrades like replacing carpets are included in your investment or if you’ll have to pay for that should it come up.
USE IT OR LOSE IT
In many timeshare situations, you have to pick your week in advance and that’s the only week you can use it each year. So if you aren’t able to make your week or rent it to someone else it will just sit there, not being enjoyed. And you’re still paying for it. That lack of flexibility and risk of potentially not even being able to use it turns many people away from timeshares.
THEY’RE DIFFICULT TO SELL
If you buy into a timeshare and then sometime later decide you want to sell, it can be very difficult. There are many people out there trying to sell off timeshares so you will have a lot of competition. Also, many management companies will include in your contract that they receive a commission if you sell. Often people trying to sell are so hamstringed that they end up getting much less back than they originally paid for their share.
THEY’RE A BIG AND LONG-TERM COMMITMENT
If you’re considering investing in a timeshare you better be ready to commit long-term, because it’s the only way they’re financially worth it. Not to mention most timeshare contracts require you to pay taxes and maintenance fees indefinitely. If you miss or refuse payments it could drastically affect any other debt you may have and your credit score overall. So be very, very careful. It’s a huge commitment.
And there you have it. Those are the major pros and cons of timeshares. My personal opinion? The cons outweigh the pros. But plenty of people still make it work! So if you’re still thinking of going for it I say good luck. You just might need it!