We are entering the time of year when families take a week or two to travel to some tropical oasis instead of fighting the ice and snow that surrounds most of us. In the back of your mind, you might be wondering if buying or renting a timeshare would be a sound investment. You’ve been vacationing at the same resort for years…what if you’ve missed out on the investment of a lifetime by not paying attention to this trend? Just sit back and let’s take a look at these memberships that allow you to buy, rent or trade a timeshare.
Traditionally, the buyer of a timeshare pays a sum of money (an average of $19,000) for the use of an apartment, condo, house, etc., during the same week every year. These timeshare members are also responsible for an annual fee that is for property maintenance, an annual membership fee, and possibly other fees that are randomly added to the bill. The maintenance fee averages around $660, the membership fee is around $200, and other odd fees could add up to another $200.
Renting a timeshare can be significantly cheaper (an average of $1500 per week), but you’re still responsible for the maintenance and membership fee, and the odd fees that apply there. Exchanges can be a huge hassle, but lately some programs give you points so you can stay at their facilities in different parts of the world and at different times. As good as it sounds, you are still responsible for the annual fees.
Some of the benefits of buying timeshares are that they are usually sold with a kitchen and laundry, which prevents the member from eating out all the time, and the units come furnished, which saves the cost of buying furniture.
On the other side of the coin, timeshares are not appreciated; making buying one a very poor investment, and it can be very difficult to sell when the time comes. There are scammers who are always happy to sell your timeshare for you, as long as you pay a fee up front. After calculating the economic value of a particular timeshare, an economist determined that purchasing a timeshare would cost 4.5 percent more per year. No one should make an investment that is going to cost them money every year. That’s just bad business practice.