Should I get a timeshare? The answer is an emphatic no; unless, you like wasting a lot of money, not being able to use them, and hardball collection tactics.
I have been suckered into those, to listen to intense sale tactics of a four-hour presentation just to get a free gift. For my wife and I on our honeymoon, we went to one, to get a free balloon ride and romantic picnic. Which was canceled due to high winds.
Basically, they are almost never worth the investment. They have no equity or value. They always cost more than just finding a good deal on hotels on a website like hotels.com.
It is also very hard to get the resorts on the dates that you and your family can use them. Most of the time when families have these timeshares, they end up at regular hotels booked from a website because there are no time-share availabilities.
Why? Because of the methods they use to book them. There is the “Points-based system,” where you purchase points to trade for reservations. Then there is the “Fixed” and “floating week” system, where you get to use the timeshare for the same specific week or an option of fixed weeks each year. However, you pay dearly for this extra and then you compete with hundreds of others competing for the same places and dates.
According to the “American Resort Development Association,” the average price for a one-week timeshare is around $21,000.
But wait there is more, you also have an average annual maintenance fee of around $1,000 too. By the way, you can get a very nice hotel on Waikiki Beach that ranges from $150-300 per night. And, the top-of-the-line 5-star Four Seasons Resort Oahu is $1,000 per night on average. A fraction of the costs, without the headaches and far higher quality too.
Now I have had clients who love them. This is rare. And, they are very large families who make it work. However, the math does not work in their favor.
Then, the time-share companies that operate them are overly aggressive to come after you if you do not pay your maintenance fees on time. It is basically Mob-style tactics and shady business practices. Totally illegal; yet, they get away with it, usually, because the cooperation is based overseas.
Remember, the only time they may be of value is if you have a large family and use it a lot. Most people use or try to use them once a year if that.
If you are stick in one, which has happened to several of my clients and family members you have several options. Sell it. This is usually not possible when you can buy one for $1 on eBay. Give it back; however, they usually will not take it. You can hire a lawyer; expensive and takes a lot of time. Or, the best solution is to find a good timeshare exit organization. Here are two that were recommended to me that worked for my clients:
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