If you’re looking to get into the timeshare market, you’re likely concerned about what kind of deal you’re getting. While the initial cost of purchasing a timeshare is relatively low, there are other factors at play warranting closer inspection. During presentation, timeshare maintenance fees aren’t always, however, they’re a huge piece of the puzzle in timeshare purchases.
Pay attention during Timeshare presentations
Often seen as a low-cost purchase, many timeshares cost roughly between $15,000 and $30,000. Not too shabby for a slice of your favorite vacation spot. Timeshares are often in luxury resorts, with wonderful amenities, as well as, incredible views. It’s no wonder why timeshares are so appealing.
Timeshare presentations frequently attract vacationers tempted by free gifts, along with giveaways. It’s not uncommon to receive event tickets, park passes, or rental car discounts for attending a timeshare presentation. Unfortunately, the presentations don’t discuss, at length, the additional fees factored into timeshare ownership.
Timeshare maintenance fees
The true cost of a timeshare property lies in its annual fees. Annual fees, also known as maintenance fees, are yearly payments owners must make to cover:
- any repairs
- maintenance issues
- operational requirements
- upkeep, or staffing, of the resort or property
Timeshares are appealing, no doubt. Property owners don’t handle the upkeep themselves, however, maintenance fees can quickly get out of hand.
These fees vary based on the location, building, and amenities offered. They can range from several hundred dollars, to several thousand dollars. However, the worst part: maintenance fees have no cap. Annual fees are ever-increasing, meaning the cost at the time of purchase will not stay the same.
Furthermore, timeshare owners are responsible for paying annual fees regardless of whether they use the property that year. This rule applies even if your contract allows you to rent out the property during your yearly time slot.
Timeshare sticker shock
Many buyers are unaware of the rules behind annual fees. Most buyers end up shocked when they can no longer afford maintenance fees associated with their property. Owners can face legal retribution if their contractually obligated maintenance fees aren’t paid.
Should you decide to sell your timeshare property, owners face difficulties:
- finding a suitable buyer in a short time frame to avoid the continuous maintenance fees
- in many situations, owners can’t even give their property away should they no longer want it
The true cost of a timeshare property is in the maintenance fees, and it’s imperative for buyers to fully read, as well as, understand their contract before committing. A timeshare purchase is not an investment you benefit from down the line. Rather, it’s a lifestyle choice. With increasing maintenance fees, as well as, contract limitations, more than likely, owners won’t save money on yearly vacations by purchasing a timeshare property.
Author bio: Joe Kennedy, with over 20 years experience in multiple capacities, is an expert in the timeshare industry. After seeing first hand the financial toll timeshares took on his customers he, along with other industry experts, came together to create a solution. He now helps provide timeshare owners legal counsel on their timeshares.