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Timeshare - Checklist Before You Buy

Aug 19, 2008
Many prospective buyers are stuck when it comes to deciding what important factors that one should consider when buying a timeshare. The buyers today are much more informed than the buyers of few years back. They are more knowledgeable about what they are buying and have done their homework before taking a major step.

But still many buyers get confused when asked if they have a checklist of things to consider before buying a timeshare. The following paragraphs provide you with a checklist to make sure that you are not missing the important criterions that should be weighed against the timeshare you are buying.

If you are buying timeshare through a broker make sure that he is licensed. Also find out his reputation in handling timeshares and the success rate. And do not hesitate to ask any questions related to your timeshare. Some of the good questions to ask are:

* What is the maintenance fee of the resort and do they keep raising it every year, if yes how much?
* What are the chances of getting a best timeshare like in a desired week?
* By what date you should make the reservation at the earliest?
* Are there any extra benefits accompanying your timeshare?
* Do the timeshare company has bonus week program?
* Can you exchange or trade your timeshare without joining an exchange company?

Also try to enquire from the broker about the point system. Some reputable firms sell the timeshares for more if they have points system. Ask him if this is reasonable or you are better of buying a resale.

Also the factors that determine the cost of timeshare units are demand for a particular week may be high so the price may be high, also demand for a particular location may be high. The size of the unit also affects the price, the bigger units are easy to trade in and exchange hence they are in more demand. Also the reputation of the firm owning the timeshare resort is an important factor.

See the unit before you buy, in many cases the descriptions provided by the timeshare company or the re-seller turns out to be misleading like the location, size of the unit etc. If you cannot see it, if your family members or friends lives near the location tell them to go and see the unit. Also try to get references. When you go and see the unit ask the neighbors what they think of the amenities and the management. You can also enquire from them:

* What they think of the resort?
* Time since they have been vacationing in this resort?
* Are dates easy get without much problems?
* Is the management company good and are they satisfied?
* How about the maintenance fees and other fees? Do they have a good record or they raise it too frequently?
* Is it easy to make reservations and exchanges?
* Are developers planning on improving the property in near future?

Do your homework to find out the prices in the area you are buying. Internet can come handy for checking the prices for example auction sites such as eBay and bidshare.

Keep in mid that if you are buying a resale timeshare unit it should be as cheap as half the price of the new timeshare unit that developers sell. If you are buying a new timeshare through a timeshare company read everything carefully in fine print before signing any contracts.

While buying a resale timeshare ask the seller why they are selling it because there can be an underlying problem in their reason to sell like problems with management company or inconvenience. You can get a feel of the potential problems that you may also have to face and can decide whether you may be able to handle it or not.

Also make sure that there are no past dues on maintenance fees and property taxes, it will add up to your cost. If you take care of all these important factors you should be able to make a smarter decision in buying a timeshare.
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