Timeshares are often bought on impulse, usually off the back of a high-pressure sales presentation, and it’s not until after the matter that many realise that they’ve made a poor decision.
While the idea of having your own slice of paradise somewhere in the sun that you return to year after year will no doubt appeal to many, timeshare agreements are notoriously difficult to get out of and you may want to think twice before signing up to one.
Here are three reasons why you might not want to invest in a timeshare.
The hard sell
Timeshares salespeople and presentations have become notorious for their high-pressure sales tactics.
Many people often go to these presentations with no intention of purchasing a timeshare but are lulled in with the offer of a free gift or offer.
While you might think it’s fairly stupid to be turned around into making a purchase so easily, it does happen.
Salespeople often put potential buyers under intense pressure and offer them apparent ‘one day only’ deals.
This can mean that people often rush into buying a timeshare before properly weighing up the pros and cons of doing so.
If this does happen to you, you might be entitled to cancel the contract under a ‘cooling-off period’, in which case you should get in touch with a specialist group such as the Timeshare Consumer Association to see what your options are.
This post from Money Crashers explains the ins and outs of timeshare presentations in more depth.
One of the upsides of a timeshare property is that you won’t have to worry about the upkeep and maintenance, but at what cost?
But here’s the catch: maintenance fees often increase annually and you have to pay them even if you don’t use the property.
And these aren’t the only fees you’ll be liable to pay as you might have to pay a special assessment fee, which covers renovation work or repairs caused by weather damage (common in areas which often get hit with storms/hurricanes).
You may also have to pay taxes and utilities depending on your property.
It’s easy for these payments to spiral out of control and failing to keep up with them could lead to foreclosure on your property.
Difficult to sell
While timeshares might be marketed to you as a solid investment, they’re exactly the opposite (from a financial perspective at least).
There are far more people selling timeshares than there are buying, and as such you’ll pretty much always have to sell your property at a loss.
Of course, this doesn’t matter if you don’t plan to sell your timeshare, but the fact is that many people do tire of going to the same place every year, especially as they get older and want to travel less.
The timeshare resale market is also awash with scammers who will promise to find you a buyer, or may already claim to have one lined up, but will, unfortunately, take an upfront payment from you and disappear with the cash.
While timeshares can work out to be a great purchase for some people, you certainly should bear the above in mind if you’re considering buying one.