As a seasoned sales manager for a vacation ownership company, my words might be of interest to those researching the timeshare options. You should ask yourself many questions before considering vacation ownership as an alternative to your present method of travel. There are three basic types of timeshare: Fractional, Weeks, or Points. When you have properly found the ownership that fits, you and your family the best, then you must decide when to buy your timeshare.
All three options have one thing in common. Maintenance fees are the annual or monthly amount that you pay to make sure your resort is kept to standards. This amount can and will go up with inflation, taxes, and upgrades.
Fractional timeshare is where you are sold on a block of time at a specific location. Generally these our sold for a twelve week span or season. Weeks timeshare is where you own a specific week each year at a single resort. You may have the option of trading your week at another resort. Points ownership is where you may use your time at any locations, for any number of nights, and any time of the year.
Fractional timeshare is designed for those that are commonly referred to as snow birds. The couple that travels south for the winter months. Weeks are for those designed to travel each year for the length of one week and always staying in the same size accommodations. Points are for the more flexible travelers.
When you have decided which fits you and yours the best, you then need to decide the best time to buy. Again, please remember, I work in the industry. I can tell you with experience that the best time to buy a timeshare is never.
How can I with clear conscience sell something that I know is not a wise decision? The same way a bartender serves an alcoholic, a college takes tuition from the parents of a party going teenager, and a casino takes money from a gambler. I am not a sales representative. My job is not to show you the benefits of ownership, the value of a deed, or how it will give you a legacy to pass down to your heirs. My job is to simply tell you the price and to ask for the sale.
Even if you are given a timeshare or vacation ownership property for free, it would still not be a wise investment. Maintenance fees far out weigh the benefits. Resale is minimum if at all. People recouping ten cents on the dollar are considered fortunate. Tax deduction is not an option. Availability is limited. It is a no win situation.
Please do not be lured by the many numbers, benefits, or stories told by sales representatives. It is an emotional based sale, designed to pull at your heart strings. Do not be tempted by the offer of a free vacation, cash, meals, or tickets. If you find yourself deciding on when to buy a timeshare, ask yourself, one simple question. Do I hate my kids enough to saddle them with a yearly bill after my death?