|A timeshare is where you buy the right to stay in a furnished unit at a
resort or development for a certain amount of time each year. Some timeshare agreements
are for a specific time each year (e.g., the first week in August) or have floating
timeslots where you can pick the time you want to be there. You purchase a time share
usually in perpetuity and pay a maintenance fee. Timeshare owners typically swap
their timeshares with other timeshare owners to experience different places in the world
and different seasons of the year.
Timeshares have been a popular alternative to staying in a hotel, resort or apartment because it can be a better accommodation at a cheaper or comparable price. But this is not always the case. Unfortunately, many people have bought timeshares as a real estate investment thinking that they would make money on the deal. This doesn't really happen. Just consider it a vacation option. And remember, just like any real estate, there are existing timeshares up for sale, as well as, new timeshares.
Some hotels have entered the timeshare business. Even Disney has entered this market so you know you are dealing with reputable companies.
|For anyone new to timeshares, we urge you to read the Wikipedia article on timeshares to get a good understanding of what they are all about and to learn the terminology.|
The other big caution about timeshares is that there are unscrupulous companies out there selling timeshares. It is also a popular telemarketing scam. One thing you can do is see if the company offering timeshares belongs to the American Resort Development Association. This organization also has a lot of good consumer information about timeshares such as their Understanding Vacation Ownership article. Their website is at www.arda.org and their address is 1201 15th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20005-2842 or call 202-371-6700.
Also check out the Timeshare User's Group (TUG). TUG was the first user group devoted to timeshare owners and is still one of the largest and best.
MSN Money has a great article on how to get the best deal on a timeshare.
The Timeshare Guide offers extensive advice to those who want to buy a timeshare.
Timeshare Tips describes the top ten timeshare resort areas in the world.