The advantages and disadvantages of owning a timeshare.

The advantages and disadvantages of owning a timeshare.

Firstly, what is a timeshare?

“Timeshare” is essentially a contract that enables the buyer to purchase a week every year in a particular holiday property for a discounted rate. Often, buyers are told that, in exchange for an upfront fee, they will be able to secure their future holidays at a cheaper rate than other holiday-makers who book holidays independently each year. Timeshare is often advertised as a good deal because while other holidays on the open market increase in price every year, a timeshare, even with the added maintenance fees, will stay cheap.

Many purchases of timeshare agreements can be impulse decisions made on holiday while you are enjoying your stay at that particular resort. We get lots of calls from people very new into their contracts who have returned home and are worrying about the implications of the contract they have signed up to without perhaps fully understanding the terms and conditions. Unfortunately, we also get many calls from people who are feeling incredibly stressed because of the financial burden their timeshare has become and people who are desperate to exit their timeshare agreements.

So, before you purchase a timeshare, it is vital that you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of owning a timeshare.

What are the advantages of signing up to a timeshare agreement?

  1. If you are happy to have the same holiday each year, then you are guaranteed a holiday in the destination you’ve chosen.
  2. Timeshares can be appealing to some people for the reason that unlike owning a holiday property abroad, they are not empty for the majority of the year. If you were someone who may have purchased a property this could be a cheaper alternative due to the fact you only pay for the week that you use each year and don’t need to be concerned about the upkeep of an empty holiday home.
  3. You may be able to trade times and places with other timeshare owners allowing you to travel to more destinations, or you may enjoy the ability to occasionally give the week away to family and friends.
  4. If you can’t use your week, you can sometimes rent out this block of time. However, many resorts don’t allow this or charge you a fee to find someone to use your week.

What are the disadvantages of timeshare?

  1. Timeshares are very difficult to sell on once they’ve been purchased. You are signing up to a contract that can be very difficult to leave and will not be easy to sell on once you no longer want it. Many timeshares are sold for heavily discounted rates due to their being so many on the market. One option is to purchase a timeshare on the secondary market but be sure to get advice to avoid being scammed.
  2. You will need to pay annual fees for the upkeep of the resort, and you often have no control over these rising costs. You are liable for this yearly fee whether you use your week or not. If you refuse or fall behind on these payments, the developer can foreclose on (take possession of) your contract.
  3. You have very little flexibility with your holidays and vacations. Ask yourself the question – do you really like to travel to the same place at the same time every single year? Would it begin to become frustrating not to have the option or the funds to explore a new location while tied up in your timeshare contract?
  4. Consumer protection laws can differ from country to country. You may be faced with a unique set of circumstances based on the country you purchase your timeshare in, and you need to be wary that some protection laws can lack enforcement and you may be left without help if things go wrong.

Here at Timeshare Advice Bureau, we have a team of dedicated and experienced advisers who are on hand to give you free, professional advice concerning your timeshare ownership. We can advise you on how to exit your timeshare agreement, how to best make use of the timeshare you own and answer any other general questions you have in regards to your contract.

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