Over the years, people have sold timeshare with a number of different “hooks” — some of which are not just false, but actually illegal to say. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always illegal, and if timeshare has a “bad name” today, it is in a large part because of the way it was once sold. On this page I hope to address a couple of the most common falsehoods.
Timeshare is not an investment. It’s a luxury. It’s a vacation “home” that can be affordable to many people who aren’t able to afford a full-time vacation home. Although deeded timeshare is technically real estate, in that ownership changes have to be recorded with the County where the property is located, it almost NEVER appreciates in value. The best analogy I can give is this: If you buy a boat, you spend a LOT of money on it. You continue to spend money “keeping it up” (whether or not you actually use it), not to mention the cost of the trailer and the extra gas it takes to pull it around to various & sundry bodies of water. You might even have to pay docking fees, or storage fees to keep it in dry dock. And if you’re like most people, you use it a couple, maybe even a few weeks out of the year. When you get tired of it (or decide to “trade up”), you find it’s not worth nearly what you paid for it, let alone what you’ve put into it. There are always bigger, better, faster, fancier, niftier models out there, and the little dinghy that cost you thousands upon thousands of dollars “x” number of years ago might be hard to even GIVE away today. Think of timeshare in kind of the same way. Yes, Canada House is a nice place to come and stay. Yes, we do all we can to keep it up so you’ll get good trading power out of it. But there will always be some Developer out there building something fancier, bigger, nicer, better, with more amenities, more bonuses, more MORE… and Canada House won’t (read: can’t) compete. Not to mention… If you bought from/through a timeshare sales company, you’re not going to get what you paid for it, even if you turn right around and sell it the next day! The people you bought from have advertising, perks, bonuses, free vacations, highly trained sales people, incentives, and financing for purchases. What can you offer? Or, think of it another way… If you sell a used car in the newspaper, what will you get for it compared to what a used car dealer will get for the same car? I’m not saying timeshare isn’t a good thing. If it’s used right, it IS a good thing. Just don’t go into it with the idea that it’s an investment, and you’re going to make money on it, because chances are, you’re not – any more than you’re going to make money on your television set when you’re done using it. Think of it as entertainment, plan on using and enjoying it, and get past the idea that you’re going to get rich off of it.
If you can’t use your timeshare, and for some reason you don’t want to bank it, and you don’t know anyone else that can use your time… then by all means, put it up for rent so at least there’s a chance it won’t sit empty. But please, please do not get into timeshare with the idea that you’re going to be able to rent it out every year and make money off of it. There’s no way to guarantee that! There is no possible way the Association, the Management company, the timeshare sales people, or anyone else can ever GUARANTEE, without a doubt, that your unit/week will rent every year. And I’ve said it before – if you put it up for rent and it doesn’t rent, you just lost your week. So if you bought your timeshare with the idea that you’re going to rent it and make money, I really would like to suggest that to avoid disappointment, you start thinking in another direction.
Timeshare has the potential to be wonderful for many people. But it’s not for everyone. Saying otherwise would be no different than saying that boating is for everyone, or RV’ing is for everyone, or owning a ski lodge in Vail is for everyone. If you can’t go on vacation every year (or every other year, if you own at an even/odd resort), then you’re going to be throwing away your maintenance fees every year you don’t use your unit/week. It used to be that you had to be able to go on vacation every year to the same place at the same time to use a timeshare. Thanks to exchange companies, that’s no longer true. You really can travel the world using your timeshare. BUT, you do have to be able to plan in advance. If you’re one of those people that can’t commit to taking a vacation a year from now, or you never know when you might have to cancel at the last minute, timeshare might not be for you. The introduction of POINTS has brought some flexibility to those who can’t necessarily travel for a whole week at a time, but even that requires advance planning. So no, despite what the salesman may tell you as he’s pressuring you to sign on the bottom line, timeshare is NOT for everyone.
There may be other things that should be added to this list. If you can think of any, please contact us. We’ll either add it to the page, or let you know why we think it shouldn’t be.