We received an email from Daniel Bortz, who is a reporter for US News & World Report. He was doing some research for an article on timesharing and wanted to set up an interview. He had discovered our website, and thought it had excellent information and wanted to talk to us about how we use our timeshare. We agreed to be interviewed, and the article was published “Should You Invest in a Timeshare?”
We had no control over what he published, only how we responded to his questions. We would like to take a look at the article and give some additional insight into the pros and cons of timesharing.
This is the link to the article from their web site: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/07/19/should-you-invest-in-a-timeshare
We are happy to be highlighted in the first sentence of the article, which talks about how we bought our first timeshare back in 1997. What we are not happy about is the fact that all 16 of our timeshares were purchased on the resale market, not from the developer. This is a major point that we repeat often on this site, and it is clear to us that is the only way you should invest in a timeshare. We think he made a major mistake in not pointing out the differences in the costs of buying a timeshare from the developer vs resale. Our answer to the basic question would be that a timeshare is not a good investment if you buy from the developer, but is a good investment if you buy resale.
He could have highlighted some of our information from this site about how to buy a timeshare on the resale market. He stated that the average sale price for one week is $19,000.00. This is a developer price, not a resale price. We find our average cost to purchase resale is around $3,000.00 for one week.
He talks about some of the pros and cons of buying and using a timeshare. We agree with his first pro that it will save on travel expenses. We have numerous articles that go into great depth about saving money using your timeshare, and the many advantages over other forms of vacation travel.
Mr. Bortz’s first con is that they can be difficult to unload. This is true, but it becomes more of a con if you bought from the developer. We think that in most cases, because we bought resale, we could get close to what we paid for our timeshares if we decide to sell. We have written a couple of articles that you might find helpful relating to how to go about selling your timeshare, if that is your goal. He points out that there is a lot of fraud in the timeshare resale industry– we agree, and you do need to be careful when buying or selling on the resale market. We have said over and over: NEVER PAY UPFRONT TO SELL YOUR TIMESHARE!
His next point was stated as both a pro and a con, saying that you can trade your timeshare to travel all over the country and the world. We think this is a pro, and have successfully traded many timeshare weeks for outstanding vacations all over the country. We have written a couple of articles on how to maximize the trading process. We do agree that it has become more expensive to trade your timeshare, and you need to be aware of what it costs to trade. Keep in mind that, although the trading costs seem high, it becomes a bargain compared to what you would have to spend to stay in hotels (which don’t have the amenities that timeshares do), or rent condos. So, overall, we feel the idea of trading your timeshare becomes a pro.
Mr. Bortz states as a con that buying a timeshare is a long-term financial commitment. We recommend buying resale and not taking a loan to buy a timeshare. We paid cash for all of our 16 weeks, which erases any long term financial commitment for the purchase of the timeshares. We realize that you do have to pay yearly maintenance fees, but you get outstanding vacations for that money. Paying for the same kind of accommodations (or even ones not as nice) out of pocket would cost you a lot more. Again, we suggest you look carefully at those fees before you buy and select a timeshare that is well-managed with a reasonable maintenance fee. Our average maintenance fee is around $500.00 per week.
The last point was listed as both a pro and con: the idea that owning a timeshare guarantees a vacation each year. We think it is important to take a vacation every year, for many reasons, and using your timeshare kind of forces you into doing just that. In our opinion, that makes it a pro. If you grow tired of going to the same location every year, you can always trade your week to other timeshares all over the world.
We were happy to have the opportunity to contribute to this article, and we hope you continue to read this website in order to turn all your timeshare investments into pros.