You may have recently received an offer from a large hotel chain with the following information — stay at such-and-such resort for this low price during the summer. All they want in return is 90 minutes of your time to talk about their vacation timeshare program. Sounds great, right? You hang out in Florida, California, Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas or other resort town for a low price, listen to their sales pitch, and respectfully decline to make a purchase in order to go back to your vacation.
But it’s not that simple. They entice you with extra benefits, special first-time offers, low financing, and upgrades. Soon, what you thought you’d never do seems more of a reality. Then you think about your growing young family and how they would benefit from spending a week or so each summer in a great place where they could enjoy numerous benefits. In no time at all, you’re excitedly signing a timeshare deal that seems too good to be true.
Huge mistake. Search the Internet and you’ll see more negative remarks than positive from timeshare owners. And those are on top of owners who are having the hardest time getting out of their agreements. Purchasing a timeshare is just as bad as leasing a car or renting furniture and kitchen appliances. Here are the reasons why you need to avoid these properties like the plague.
You Don’t Own Them
The word ‘share’ in the term gives you an idea about this. You only own a certain block of time to use the property. In other words, the hefty down payment, monthly rent and annual owner association fees are for a one week stay sometime during the year. Oh, you could eventually pay it all off and get a permanent week, but is it worth tens of thousands of dollars to do so?
You Don’t Get the Week You Want
You aren’t going to be able to get a week at the resort or home during the prime vacation time at the beginning. Sorry that’s reserved for people who have ‘Gold’ or ‘Silver’ or other upper statuses. You’re most likely going to start out getting a week in September or October. And if those aren’t available, you’re open time may be in February. This may be great for a place in Arizona or Las Vegas but not Myrtle Beach. Yes, they get temperatures in the 60s during the winter, but they also get snow and ice. In addition, some places that were open during the summer may be seasonal, which means they won’t be open in the winter or fall.
It’s Almost Impossible to Back Out
Young families tend to get second thoughts on timeshares after their bank accounts are depleted and they don’t end up getting a spot at their resort or others offered by the timeshare company. The only way to get out is stop paying, and that can result in foreclosure proceedings. Some timeshare companies do offer investors an opportunity to file a deed in lieu of foreclosure in order for them to get out of the program, and this can help avoid any more payments. The downside to this is a mark gets placed on your credit report and you end up recording it on your federal taxes, which may cause you to pay out at the end.