Timeshares: Is Owning One for You?
For some owners, a Timeshare works and pays for itself, while for others, it seems to be a losing proposition.
A Timeshare is a piece of real estate that one one buys into at a "home" location, whether it is in Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe. Once purchased, you acquire or have an alotted number of points, which usually works out to two weeks a year of vacation depending on the point costs. Just because you bought a timeshare at a specific geographic location does not mean its the only place you can go to. To the contrary, it opens up the world. One can spend a week in Hawaii and then another week in France, depending on availability, time of season, and point costs. If you have the points, one can book it online and when you arrive, your accommodations are 4-5 star level and FREE. Let me repeat, FREE. Of course, you still pay to get there etc.
The cost to own a Timeshare ranges from $20-30,000, depending on locations you buy into. Wyndham Fairshare Plus or VIP, RCI are the most common companies dealing with a timeshare. Usually, they are purchased as a house it, through a bank and there are legal papers, a title etc. In fact, it is the same as owning real estate and the title you receive is transferrable to heirs etc. The title will show the property at the site where you bought at, even though you may live elsewhere. The are sold as a piece of real estate also. If you want to refiance the terms of your loan, you can just as if it was a house. If you fail to use your points in a year, you can have them rolled over instead of lossing them.
The Art of Owning One
Timeshares are really best for those who can plan far ahead and are able to have a secured future. The upside of owning one is that you can have accommodations throughout the world and all will be superb in their location, furnishings and amenities. That is there selling point. You can take your whole family to a 5 star accommodation for a week or more. The downsides of owning one can be many. If you cannot plan ahead at least 8 months as to where you want to vacation at because of jobs, or other reasons, owning a timeshare will probably become a burden. So many own a timeshare in the US that one must book a vacation that much time in advance. Because this same reason, a timeshare owner may not, despite the choices, be able to book a vacation where they want to go. Hawaii, Mexican Resorts, Bahamas are extremely popular when they want to go. This is a BIG issue, which forces one to book a reservation a year in advance! The costs during peak season, usually the summer, per week are much higher than in off peak times. So you will expend more of your allotted annual points making less available for other times. Point costs also are more when you want more rooms. Costs are also lower for standard rooms versus the deluxe or presidential suites. Most accommodations have a full kitchen, just like at home, washer and dryer etc. The size varies from 500 sf to 2500 sf (square feet).
When you book, you usually have to expend so many points per night. For instance, lets say you live in Liverpool, UK. Your timeshare home site that you bought into was in Florida. Now you want to go to Las Vegas, Nevada. Your total annual points available is 200,000. Since staying in the city is considered "prime" all year, you decide to stay a week, costing you 154,000 pts for a standard room. You book it and it leaves you around 56,000 points left for the rest of the year. With the remaining points, you have only enough left for one night in the Waikiki (why-kee-kee)Beachcomber hotel in Hawaii.
While everything seems free, it is not. Every month you pay your property mortgage of maybe $5-600.00 and property dues of $100. So, if you do not take a vacation or cannot go where you want, it is a waste of money. But think again, paying $500 a month for the mortgage is a hefty sum. If you shop around on the Internet, for instance, www.corvairtravel.com, you will find good deals on hotels at $100 a night at the place you want to go to. Do your math and it begins to seem a timeshare is not such a great thing or value for your peso, dollar, pound, lira. Granted, timeshares are very nice accommodations are premiere locations, but you do pay for it--all year even while you are not vacationing.
Most families take a one or two week yearly vaction in the US. For most of the year, they pay the fees that amount to $6-7,000. They spend a week in Lake Tahoe. Well, for that kind of money, one can find FAR CHEAPER accomodations for a week at around $1000. Granted, they may not be five star but they are certainly 3-4 star.