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Advantages and Disadvantages of Timeshare

Aug 19, 2008
Everything in life has advantages and disadvantages. The same applies to timeshare.It depends on how you evaluate the benefits of buying a timeshare with your lifestyle and financial condition.

For some it might be a miniscule portion of their wealth but for others it can be hard earned savings of their life. In either case, a smart person will always look into the advantages and disadvantages before investing his/her money.

Let us discuss the advantages first. To begin with, timeshare properties are more economical compared to buying a piece of real estate property for life and only using it once a year.

Compare this you buying a property for lifetime for $200,000 with timeshare which may be only $10,000 plus annual maintenance cost of $500 for the life. If we assume the lifetime period of 30 years the calculation will be as follows:

$10,000+30 years x 500 = $25,000 for the lifetime

Compare it with buying a real estate property for lifetime you will save $175,000. Isn't that a lot of money? Is it wise to invest that much extra money for once a year use?

Let us compare this with the cost of Hotel. Suppose if you spend $1,200 every year on a hotel, let us consider the cost for 30 years:

$1,200 x 30 years = $36,000 which is still more than $25,000 you pay for timeshare for the lifetime.

Apart from saving money you get the comfort of your home. In a hotel you might get only a suite. But a typical timeshare condo has two or three bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining room and even a laundry room. Also timeshare units are usually fully furnished.

Most of the timeshare properties have an indoor or outdoor pool also these days. In addition to that you also get resort facilities. What more somebody might want when they get all these facilities and comfort of home?

If you have a timeshare you don't have to worry about the upkeep and maintenance of the condo. It is taken care of by the developer. Now compare this with buying a real estate property for the life, you have to do all the maintenance.

Not to forget, if you or your spouse is a person who takes vacation lightly, this is for you. If you have a timeshare, you definitely make it a point to go for a vacation at least once a year. You are also saved from the hassles of planning a vacation every year.

Most of the timeshare companies are associated with other timeshare companies. This allows the exchange of timeshare. This is one of the many reasons why people prefer timeshare.

Now talking about the disadvantages of timeshare, timeshares has become an avenue for many scammers and frauds. The timeshare industry has been plagued with variety of scam and fraud related problems. People are invited to attend a ninety minute presentation completely free and then they are subjected to the techniques of pressurized buying which is unethical in any sense.

Do not fall prey to these tricks. Always read the documents carefully specially the fine prints before signing any agreements. Research the timeshare company well and know their reputation.

By paying a huge upfront fee your money is tied up for a long time which means you are losing money's worth in addition to paying interest if you have taken a loan for the rest of the amount. Also you have to pay regular maintenance cost.

One of the major disadvantages is the depreciation. The timeshares don't appreciate much.They may be stagnant or even depreciate with time. They are also difficult to resale compared to a real estate property.

And last but not the least; timeshares may not be flexible enough for you to use it every year at a specific time. Although some companies offer flexible timeshares but it is only on first come first serve basis, many other timeshare owners might also be planning to do that.
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