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Are Timeshares For You?

Some people seem to be born with silver spoons in their mouths. This fortunate few own beautiful cottages or have tidy sums stashed away for exotic adventures. The rest of us have another option for getting the vacations we deserve: timeshares.

Buying a timeshare can offer the convenience of having a vacation property, without the ownership and maintenance hassles. Are you up to the challenge of spotting and purchasing a great timeshare property? Along with all of the wonderful opportunities on the market, there are some lemons and sleazy salespeople to watch out for. Smart and savvy buyers will know what to look for in a good timeshare property, and how to be vigilant in dealing with shady sellers.

Luckily, times have changed for those interested in buying timeshare properties. The government is now taking action to address complaints filed by people conned into buying phony timeshare units. As additional security, known companies with good reputations have joined together to provide services to potential timeshare buyers. Companies like Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Disney are a few of the better-known corporations that offer timeshare-buying services.

Before you decide to purchase a timeshare property, you need to arm yourself with detailed information about what your transaction entails.

1. First and foremost, understand that buying a timeshare property isn't always a wise investment. Unlike real estate, the value of the unit does not increase over time, even though you hold title to the property. When you buy timeshare the value does not increase and may actually become stagnant.

2. Timeshares purchased directly from a company can cost up to sixty percent more than you would pay in a resale market. Your payment will be higher to cover marketing costs, and to minimize expenses incurred by salespeople.

3. If you decide to buy a timeshare property from the resale market, be sure that you check out the property first. You can get a great property at a good price, but you need to be wary of scams.

4. Buying directly from the current owner is a great way to acquire a timeshare property. By dealing closely with the owner, you can get direct answers to your questions and you will have better assurance that a guarantee can be made to protect your purchase.

5. Take a test drive before you buy. In other words, rent the timeshare property for a week before you agree to the final purchase. You will know if the property has the options and amenities that you, and your family, want and need in a vacation home. The seller will most likely agree to provide a timeshare rental.

6. There are three major factors to consider when purchasing a timeshare: price, period and location. Review each element carefully when you're looking for your new property. If you're dealing with an agent or broker, ask about these three points for each property they show you.

7. If you already own a timeshare unit but are considering exchanging it for another, compare the value of your property to the value of the timeshare you're willing to swap for. Make sure that the transaction doesn't leave you with the poor half of the bargain.

8. Finally, keep in mind the expenses you will incur when buying a timeshare property. Annual fees, maintenance costs and real estate taxes will all need to be paid to keep your unit.

There are four common types of timeshare property ownerships: Fixed, Floating, Right To Use and Club programs. Research each type of ownership plan carefully to decide which is best suited for your needs.

* Fixed Unit
Also called Fixed Week or Deeded timeshare. In this plan, you receive a deed stating that you own a specified unit, for a specific time period each year.

* Floating Time Agreement
This option lets you buy a timeshare property based solely on the dates available for use.

* Right To Use
In a Right To Use timeshare, your "purchase" is actually a lease. When your lease agreement comes to an end, you no longer hold rights to the timeshare property.

* Vacation Clubs or Points-Based Programs
Many vacation destinations offer timeshare properties. Each time you stay at the timeshare you use points, based on the timeshare unit and the period purchased.

So many ownership options and purchasing considerations can seem overwhelming to a potential timeshare buyer. If you are diligent and thorough in your research, and careful in your purchase, you can avoid a scam and find a fantastic timeshare property. Learn and play by the rules. The more you know about buying a timeshare property, the greater your chance of finding a vacation home to enjoy every time you visit.

Submitted by:

William Davis

William Davis is a writer for several online magazines, on home and business and real estate topics.




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