What You Need to Know About Buying a Timeshare

by Susan Paige
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A lot of people dream of owning a vacation property, but it is often an expense that most can’t successfully shoulder. That makes timeshares particularly enticing, as they allow you to have access to a great property without having to actually buy a home or condo.

However, the timeshare market is actually more complex than it may seem on the surface, so understanding what options are available is critical before you move forward. Here’s what you need to know.

Types of Timeshares

Some are surprised to discover that there are actually four different kinds of timeshares, each with their benefits and drawbacks.

One of the options involves a “fixed week” arrangement. If you buy a timeshare that operates in this fashion, you’ll be assigned a particular unit during a prespecified time. This means you can always count on the timeshare being available during that period, as that is a tenant of the agreement.

Alternatively, floating timeshares offer more flexibility. You can reserve the location for different times during the year, allowing you to adjust your appointment to best match your schedule. However, this can create challenges for highly desirable properties, as competition for preferred weeks may be fierce.

A slight variation on the floating variant is a points club. Buyers use points to secure properties, and they usually aren’t restricted to a specific location. This can be the most flexible arrangement, especially if the company provides access to a wide selection of locales.

Right-to-use timeshares involve properties that are fully owned by the developer, with contract holders only having guaranteed access based on their agreement.

How to Manage the Cost

Timeshare contracts are binding, usually being valid for a specified number of years. This means you are entering into a long-term financial commitment, so you need to plan accordingly to avoid overextending yourself.

However, if you can’t maintain your timeshare, there are options for selling, though this can be a challenge depending on how desirable the location is, the nature of the contract, and the type of timeshare involved. If all else fails, you can always look in to a timeshare exit option.

In some cases, you can make the financial commitment more manageable by looking for options on the resale market, such DVC resales for Disney fans. These can often be acquired at a lower cost, making the commitment less daunting or more accessible to the budget-conscious.

Regardless of your approach to purchasing, you need to make sure that your current financial situation supports buying a timeshare. That way, you can make sure that you look forward to using your timeshare and don’t feel burdened by the arrangement, both of which can make any vacation more worthwhile. Otherwise, you could be inviting unnecessary hardship, elevating your stress levels, and making it harder to relax and have fun when you do get a chance to escape from your day-to-day.

Ultimately, a timeshare can be a great arrangement for those who want to take a yearly vacation without having to worry about managing hotel bookings at their favorite destination, as long as you thoroughly review the details and understand what is involved.

 

 

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