How much do timeshares cost? Often, there can be a huge difference between the real and perceived cost.
You stand in awe at the amazing view. You bask in the sun’s warm glow from the balcony of a condo that could be yours.
Your vacation’s almost over.
You’ve enjoyed the nightlife, the beaches, the golf and the shops. You wish you could live here on the Florida coast. But you live somewhere up north, where the winters get cold and the beaches aren’t quite so inviting.
You’re considering buying a timeshare from the company who gave you and your family this amazing experience for free.
But first you need to answer: How much do timeshares cost?
The timeshare business is a nearly $10 billion industry and the number of timeshare owners is growing year over year.
You want to make an informed decision, so let’s explore real vs perceived timeshare cost.
The Initial Purchase
This will be the most straightforward number to consider when you’re looking into how much do timeshares cost.
This “starter price” can vary based on several factors like:
Resort amenities that you’ll share when using the timeshare
Age of the timeshare
Condition of the timeshare and property
If you’re buying the timeshare new in one of those free vacation offers where you sit through a seminar, you can expect a price of about $10 thousand for a run of the mill timeshare.
A luxurious timeshare at a sought after resort could be closer to $40 thousand.
If you buy used like a unit sold on a website where people try to sell their timeshares, a more typical cost would be $1500.
Wow! That’s is a nice round price that even someone on a modest income could afford. Can you really go on a luxury vacation every year for such a low price? That would pay for itself in just 1-2 years!
This is perceived cost for many people.
But as they say, if it seems to too good to be true,…
In addition to the cost of the unit, you’ll be responsible for paying for the normal things that you would pay for your own home:
Utilities, even when you’re not there, if the unit spends time vacant
When looking into how much do timeshares cost , don’t forget this important expense. You’ll owe this even if you choose not to use the unit in a certain year due to life events or desire to go somewhere else.
The average is around $300-400.
If you use the unit during peak seasons, want flexibility in scheduling or own a larger share of the timeshare, then your annual cost could be $1000 or more.
You may be thinking, well, that’s straightforward enough. I can handle that. But you should know that the timeshare company can increase your annual fee from year to year.
Regardless, of your life circumstances or income, you’re obligated to pay whatever they ask.
Real Estate Fees
When you buy the unit, you’ll be responsible for real estate fees similar to the closing costs on a house. These can vary greatly. They may include:
When you initially look at your contract, it may clearly state “plus fees”. But it’s often unclear how much these fees will be until after you sign the contract.
At this point you may still think that the real price matches up with what you thought timeshares cost. And that might not be so bad.
But there’s more.
In addition, the resort that holds your timeshare may have storm damage, need to repave the parking lot or need a new roof. Rather than set a little of your annual fee aside to pay for these expenses, you’ll get a bill for your share of the expense.
This could be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand.
You’ll then have a limited time to pay this unexpected cost. If you don’t pay, you’ll owe additional late fees.
And these kinds of upgrades and replacements are more frequent than you might think. If you happen into a resort that’s poorly managed or struggling, these costs could skyrocket.
Some people choose to try to find a renter to take over their timeshare when they can’t use it. In theory this sounds great.
They might even pay you more than your annual fee.
But in reality, this almost always costs more than it’s worth in both time and money, through things like:
Clean up after a tenant who is respectful of your property
Clean up after a tenant who is not
Cost of Getting Out of A Timeshare
The cost of getting out will depend on your contract. You could owe 10’s of thousands of dollars or more in some cases. In some contracts, cancelling isn’t an option after a certain date.
Some timeshare companies will put additional restrictions on how you sell your timeshare and assess fees if you break the rules.
So read your contract to reduce your exit costs.
It’s important to understand that timeshares rarely, if ever, appreciate in value. When you sell your timeshare, it’s highly unlikely that someone will pay anywhere close to what you paid for it. You can consider it a total loss in most instances.
It may even cost you more than you make in the sale in the form of:
Real estate transfer fees
And so on
Selling a timeshare isn’t like selling a home. Basically you’re asking — or begging — someone to take over your obligations to pay the annual fees because you can’t afford it anymore. Timeshares can sell on eBay for as little as $1.
A property in a failing resort may be nearly impossible to sell. In these cases so many people are defaulting that they can’t afford to keep the place up.
The Life Costs
Very briefly, we’d like to share some life costs that should be considered when you ask, how much do timeshares cost really?
For many, timeshares turn from a dream come true to a nightmare very fast. This can take a toll on your mental, physical and financial heath.
Each of these has a cost that may be harder to measure — but they’re very real.
How Much Do Timeshares Cost Really?
Now it’s time to really answer this question. More often than not, it’s more than it’s worth. Or it’s more than you should have to pay.
Know your rights. You do have options. We can help you exit a timeshare contract in the most orderly and cost-effective way. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation .