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What things should you watch out for with a Time Share?

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

What things should you watch out for with a Time Share?

 Whether you are considering a purchasing a time share or already own one, there are a number of things to watch out for. It’s best to consider carefully in advance whether a timeshare will fit your customary pattern of taking vacations or perhaps point you in a new direction that you will find enjoyable and rewarding.

Timeshare contract
The first thing to realize is that a timeshare contract is for the right to use the property for a one-week vacation stay on an annual or biennial basis in perpetuity, until you sell it or donate it to another. The contract consists of a mortgage portion and a yearly assessment or maintenance fee.Reputation
You will have to do some research beforehand to discover whether the timeshare company you are considering is reputable and has been in business for some time — check with the local Better Business Bureau for a start.Timeshare Owners Association
Is there a timeshare owners association for owners to join and share experiences? Is there a yearly meeting similar to a yearly homeowners association meeting? These are excellent indications that the timeshare property and management are reliable and well-established.Sales Presentation
When you attend the sales meeting, how are the complimentary lodgings and meal, the sales presentation, the tour of the property? Is the sales staff courteous, thoughtful, honest? Are they considerate, and respectful of your time? Does the presentation end after a timely interval? Are the complimentary lodgings clean?

Scenic locations
Timeshares are often found in resort areas in scenic locations that appeal to vacationers and tourists. Is the timeshare in a location that you would enjoy visiting not just one-time but on an annual or bi-annual basis?

How easy is travel to that location — is it distant enough that you need to fly or is it near enough that you can drive the distance? Remember that the total cost of a timeshare vacation also includes the cost of travel to that destination.

Luxury Resort Timeshares
Your timeshare is likely to be a luxury resort, and you should expect the premises to be beautifully designed and kept spotlessly clean. You might find an attached restaurant and cafe, lounge, fitness room, pool and jacuzzi, golf course or tennis courts. If not, perhaps they will offer complimentary day passes to a fitness center or spa.

Variety of Attractions
Frequently, there are dining and entertainment venues located nearby. Is there a sufficient variety of attractions that will satisfy the whole family? Is there a variety of dining options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and a diversity of cuisine choices?

Management and Staff
Once you are at the timeshare, how are the management and the service? The staff is trained to please resort guests, so expect your interactions to be pleasant and honest, the service timely, and the service staff to be considerate, thoughtful and respectful, all qualities that contribute to making your stay enjoyable. As a good guest and owner, you should also reflect those qualities to other guests so that everyone will enjoy their stay, and your resort continue to flourish.

Recurring Maintenance Fees
Once you have paid up the mortgage for your timeshare, you will still continue to pay an annual fee. Maintenance fees are part of the costs that are recurring. Fees for special one-time reasons are sometimes charged to your annual assessment in addition to those recurring. Fees will always be explained in the billing statement.

Your Week
Your week is either the same week every year or floats according to what is available. Normally a week starts on a Saturday and ends on the following Saturday. The benefit of a timeshare is the reduced cost of a week’s lodging with resort amenities and possibly dining.

Renting Out the Unit
If you do not take your owner’s week, you should be able to release the time to the timeshare management for renting out, and receive some rental profit. If you do not take your owner’s week or release it for rental, you cannot recoup the cost of the annual dues, and you will have lost that money that you paid for the year.

Timeshare Exchanges
Another alternative is to join an established timeshare trading company such as RCI (Resort Condominiums International) or II (Interval International) that enables you to swap your week at your own resort for a week at another timeshare located around the world. For a yearly membership fee, there are thousands of destinations around the country and around the world to consider. Your timeshare property should be a recognized partner of RCI or II or other reputable vacation exchange company.

Timeshare ownership can be a rewarding vacation experience at a prime destination. For some owners, it can be an opportunity to enjoy a premium vacation experience not normally part of their lifestyle. Whether you want to be in the thick of tourist crowds or to get away and enjoy the natural beauty of your surroundings, your timeshare should contribute enjoyment and appreciation appropriate for your desires and purpose of using the timeshare. It can take some adjusting of your expectations, schedules, and finances, but it can also be a welcome reminder every year to take necessary recreational care of you and your family.

Q: If I want to swap my timeshare week for another timeshare destination, how many choices would I have?

A: The two main timeshare exchange networks have thousands of locations. RCI the largest has 5255 destinations in over 100 countries of the world, II offers nearly 2800 in 80 countries. Q: Are there facilities for children care? 
A: Some very large ones might have such facilities, but most will not. You should generally count on activities for the entire family. Q: How can I find out about local festivals around my timeshare week? 
A: Your timeshare management should be able to give you an information brochure about local year-round attractions and special times of the year. Or, you can simply check online for readily available information.