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Basics of Buying a Timeshare

Basics of Buying a Timeshare

So, you’d like to have a vacation home, but your budget won’t cover the cost of a full-blown purchase? Never fear—a timeshare may be just the ticket to your affordable, dream home-away-from-home. A timeshare may seem like a concept that is outside of your means or a difficult procedure, but knowing a few basics will go a long way in making the process a simple one. So, how do you start looking for a timeshare?

Do your research. This may sound easy, but understanding the finances of owning a timeshare can be more complicated than they seem. Costs of owning a timeshare can vary depending on the location and size of the property being purchased. Also, costs will change according to how much time you buy. Typical timeshare purchases are 1/52, or one week per year.  In addition to the initial purchase price of the timeshare, however, it is important to take into account annual maintenance fees and tax expenses. Travel expenses are also an important factor to take into consideration. If you can’t afford to get to your timeshare, it’s probably not wise to buy one. This is why it may be a good idea to consider a few different locations, and then weighing the different costs and benefits.

Ask questions. There is no such thing as a silly question when your money is involved. You should feel free to ask how your money will be spent, particularly in the case of maintenance fees. Also, if your family has a pet that you would like to bring along, ask about the timeshare policy. Timeshare salespeople tend to have a bad reputation, so ask him or her any questions you may have about their background to ensure you are totally comfortable with the sale. You should always feel clear about all the arrangements.

Make the right call. You shouldn’t have to settle while shopping for a timeshare. This sounds like common sense, but you should purchase a timeshare because you like the location and amenities. If you have a good idea of where you would like to go and when you would like to go there, feel free to explore your options and find the best timeshare for your money.

Know when to walk away. Although many timeshare systems and plans are legitimate, the industry is well known for the number of scams it has produced. Accompanied by hard-sell strategies employed by salespeople, you may feel pressured into buying. Pay attention to any discount that sounds too good to be true or other sly sales tactics. Avoid making a decision on the spot. Take some literature home and read about the offer, or have a lawyer review a contract for you. Do further research on the reputations and reviews of the different timeshare companies that you are dealing with.  Remember that salespeople are often trained to get you to make a decision when you meet or talk with them. They might put some pressure on you to do so, but you should absolutely never feel any sense of obligation to make a decision that is not within your comfort timeframe.  Approaching a timeshare purchase carefully can save you time, legal headaches, and money.

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