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Timeshare Ownership Pros and Cons
When Bear and I were in our midlife period, we traveled to conventions almost yearly. One of those conventions took us to the fun-filled city of Las Vegas and all of the wonders of neon lights and desert heat. To this eastern girl, this was paradise. I hate cold weather and the 117 degree heat in the shade didn't bother me a bit.
As we were enjoying our semi-vacation, we were approached to visit the Hilton Grand Vacation Club timeshare presentation with the promise of a reward for just looking. The reward was tickets to the Rockette's Show at the Flamingo so we agreed to the tour and presentation having no intentions of being lured into purchasing.
As we looked at the accommodations and the presentation, my interest was peaked beyond that of idle curiosity. I wanted this but was afraid to hope that Bear agreed. I guess we were always in agreement on most things in general and the timeshare turned out to be our retreat for the next several years because we purchased. That started our yearly travel to Las Vegas and fun, fun, fun.
When my husband passed on, I traveled with my children to Orlando, where I attended another presentation and traded my Las Vegas timeshare for one in Orlando. It is the one that is pictured here. We have all traveled to this resort over the past 10 years as outlined below in the Alternative Section.
In the years that ensued Bear and I went to Las Vegas several times and enjoyed the ability to travel without paying for hotel accommodations.
We also enjoyed the luxury of resort living which in our case gave us a one bedroom vacation for a week or a couple of weekend trips in studio accommodations.
We could stay at a variety of resorts owned by Hilton all over the United States, Europe and the Orient by trading vacation points.
We were not constricted to traveling to just he Hilton resorts but were able to trade our points to travel to any of the RCI resorts.
Once our initial loan was paid off, we owned the timeshare outright and had the right of transfer of ownership either by giving away the points or by willing the property to family when we passed on.
By purchasing the package, we were given 100,000 Hilton Honor Points that could be retrieved at any of the Hilton Hotels or used for airline travel. (As a side note, we used some these points to stay at a hotel in Chicago for another one of our convention trips.)
As you get older and expenses go up, the cost of the yearly maintenance fee may become a bit too expensive for your budget, especially when one or the other of the owners passes on.
If you decide to sell, you have the right to do so, but as it was recently explained to me, Hilton has the first right to purchase the property back. An attorney friend of mine, warned me early on that Timeshare Property may not be the easiest property to sell. The chain will put your property up for sale and you can be sure that you will not get the full return on your investment.
Last year I sold my timeshare and my return was about 50% less than what I expected. The reason being that the logic behind their sales is you get the value from your vacations and not the value of the property. It is not a place to put your investments if you expect a return on your money when you sell.
Alternatives to the Cons
In my case, I put the whole property into the hands of the members of the family that wanted to be a part of a joint ownership. I retained 51% of the property and each of them pay an equal portion of the maintenance fees each year. In return, each of the part owners gets to use the timeshare every other year and is given an equal portion of the points to do so. I on the other hand have the right to travel every year or give my travel time to whomever I choose.
The other alternative is to put the property up for rental and let others use your time at the resort. This way you can pay your timeshare fees and still retain ownership.
Would I do it again? My answer to that is definitely. I have inherited the wanderlust from my father who loved to travel. I would go on a vacation as often as possible if it were affordable for me to do so.
Do I feel that I have gotten my monies worth out of this ownership? Again, definitely. I have traveled to Las Vegas with and without my family more than enough times to make the ownership worthwhile by itself. The side trips to Orlando, Myrtle Beach (one of the newest timeshares) and Reno have given me weeks and months of pleasure. I feel that I have never been disappointed in my travels done through the timeshare.
All in all, my days of timeshare travel are some of the best of my travel history.
© 2013 Laura L Scotty