The Ins and Outs of Purchasing a Timeshare

Times are tough, especially with the current economy and the uninviting prospects of purchasing real estate. Even so, many people are finding timeshares to be an investment well worth their time. The overall money saved on vacation—by avoiding expensive hotel rooms and restaurant dining, among other things—has brought value to the prospect of a timeshare for many people.

When entering the purchasing process of a timeshare, careful attention to detail and knowledge of the contract is extremely important to assuring your happiness with your new piece of property. The timeshare industry is rife with fraud and scam accusations so you must protect yourself and your investment.

Here are several things to look out for:

  1. Yearly maintenance fees. You will have to pay these fees to have your timeshare maintained while you are not around. These fees can cover timeshare maintenance, furnishings and carpet, property taxes, insurance, cable television, phone, utilities, etc. MAKE SURE YOU READ THE FINE PRINT. Get all of the details about your maintenance fees, including what they cover and how much they will be. Paying the mortgage on your timeshare, maintenance fees, and other fees can be costly and you must make sure that you are able to afford your new purchase. That brings me to my next point…
  2. Other fees. Again, READ THE FINE PRINT. You could wind up with homeowners’ fees, rental fees, property taxes (depending on location), fees for exchanging your timeshare and plenty of other hidden fees that you may not be aware of. Have a lawyer or someone familiar with real-estate read over your contract before you sign anything to make sure that you are accurately aware of the total cost.
  3. Can you pay for your timeshare upfront? Many banks and mortgage brokers are unwilling to mortgage your timeshare. You will have to be able to pay up front or consider other options such as a home equity loan.

These tips should help you stay on top of your deal to ensure that you get the most out of your timeshare. The important think to remember is to DO YOUR RESEARCH and BECOME KNOWLEDGEABLE. If you know what you’re doing then you can ensure that you’re making the great investment that a timeshare is meant to be.