We are entering the time of year when families take a week or two off to travel to some tropical oasis instead of fighting the ice and snow that surround most of us. In the back of your mind, you might be wondering whether buying or renting a timeshare would be a solid investment. You’ve been vacationing at the same resort for years … what if you’ve lost the investment of your life by not considering this trend? Just relax and let’s take a look at these memberships that allow you to buy, rent or exchange a timeshare.
Traditionally, the timeshare buyer pays a sum of money (the average is about $ 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 weird fees could add up to another $ 200.
Renting a timeshare can be significantly cheaper (averaging around $ 1500 per week), but you are still responsible for the membership and maintenance fee, and the odd fees that apply there. Exchanges can be a bummer, 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 may sound, you are still responsible for the annual fees.
Some of the benefits of buying timeshares are that they are generally 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 appreciating; which makes buying one a very bad investment, and it can be very difficult to sell when the time comes. There are scammers who are always happy to sell you their timeshare as long as you pay an upfront fee. After calculating the economic value of a particular timeshare, an economist determined that buying 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.