19 Sep The Benefits & Pitfalls of Timeshares
I’ve never been a big fan of buying timeshares. Even though you spend far less than you would on a vacation home, you still spend a significant chunk of change on something you only kind of own. You can’t exactly get your equity out of it like you can with a home. You’re obligated to vacation at the same time every year in the same place. Yes, there are options to bank your time or switch to a different resort, but there are some loopholes and extra rules that apply. And even if you’re able to get vacation time off every year, you still have the travel expenses that come along with the vacation.
When timeshares don’t work out
Often, buyers purchase timeshares and later find themselves in a position where they can’t use them. Whether they can’t afford the travel expenses, can’t get time off from work, or end up with a financial hardship, they have a need to sell the timeshare. Hey, it happens.
So what do you do if you find yourself in that situation? The first option that comes to mind is renting it out, if you can. If you’re in the same boat year after year, selling your timeshare may be your best bet.
The problem is, timeshares aren’t exactly easy to sell. There are lots of them out there, and they’re not as popular as they once were for various reasons. You could try to sell your timeshare yourself, but what tools do you have to really market it and find the right buyer? Craigslist maybe, but there are plenty of pitfalls with that route, too.
How to sell your timeshare
The older I get, the less I like trying to do things myself. If I can save time by paying a professional to do the job well, I’m much better off. I’ll gladly pay a competent professional a fair fee because I know they can do it better, faster, and with less headaches than I can.
Timeshares are no different. If I did own a timeshare, I don’t think I would want to mess around with selling it. I would gladly pay someone to sell my timeshare for me. Or at least rent it out for me so I didn’t have to mess with all the logistics involved. Fortunately, there are companies out there that help you do exactly that. Choosing someone who specializes in selling timeshares helps ensure you’re getting someone who knows what they’re doing.
Here’s how it works: Generally speaking, you can choose to pay an upfront fee for them to market your timeshare for you, or you can pay a commission after the timeshare is sold. If you like your timeshare and want to continue using it, you can choose to have them rent it out for you during vacant weeks. In some cases, you can rent it out often enough to pay for owning the timeshare.
It’s these situations that provide opportunities for bargain seekers. If you want to go on vacation but don’t like staying in a hotel, renting someone else’s timeshare for a week can be a good value. You get the space and convenience of an apartment/condo for not much more than you would pay for a hotel room.
That’s important to me. I’ve been on many budget vacations where my wife and I share a bed with each of our kids so they don’t kick each other in bed all night. They do kick us all night though. That’s just how they sleep. Sideways, upside down, tossing or turning. The end result is my wife and I don’t get any sleep. That’s why I love the idea of renting a timeshare with separate bedrooms and beds.
More room at a low overall cost for your vacation. I like that idea. You get a good deal and you help someone else get something out of their situation. It’s a win-win, which I think most of us are looking for. So take advantage of the many timeshares on the market to find your next vacation bargain. I think you’ll like it.
Readers, have you ever rented a timeshare for vacation? Have you owned a timeshare and had to sell it? Tell us about your experience. Leave a comment below.