When you're at a timeshare meeting, the host will make it sound like you're entering into a dream contract . Visions will fill your head of days spent at the beach.
Or being able to ski right onto the mountain without having to travel. It's enticing.
What they won't tell you at that sales meeting are the downsides to owning a timeshare. Like the hidden fees.
Before you enter into a contract that's often difficult to get out of, here's what you need to know about those hidden fees.
The Initial Investment Isn't Set in Stone
The average timeshare usually sells for $16,000 . While it's true that over a 20-year period a family of four could easily spend over $25,000 for hotels, that doesn't mean the price is set in stone.
It doesn't account for maintenance fees. It also doesn't take into account the fact that you may not want to visit the same place every year.
If you have a bad year financially, you may not even be able to take your vacation. And if you try to rent it out, you might not be successful at finding a renter.
Also, timeshare sellers spend a lot of money on marketing these spaces to prospective buyers. Between the high marketing costs and the fierce competition, they can spend as much as 55% on a sales meeting.
So they add their costs to the sales price. Since they're so desperate to make a sale, you have the advantage. So don't be afraid to negotiate a lower price if you do decide a timeshare is for you.
It's Not the Investment They Tell You It Is
Timeshares are similar to cars. Once you buy the car and drive it off the lot, it begins to lose its value.
The same is true for a timeshare. Especially if you took out a loan from the timeshare company to purchase it. They will charge you a high-interest rate.
Also, unlike buying a home, if you miss a payment, the timeshare company can foreclose on you.
Even if you rent out your timeshare, you probably won't make a ton of money on it. In most cases, you'll be lucky to break even with your yearly maintenance costs.
It will also take time to recoup your money from the initial investment you may.
Don't forget that even though you are paying money for your timeshare, and you might even have ownership of the deed, you don't actually own it outright.
It Could End Up Costing Your Kids a Lot of Money
Don't forget to read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. There are hidden fees that can cost your kids a lot of money.
That's because they include the words, "Contract in Perpetuity." It's a little like selling your soul to the devil. Once you sign on the dotted line, these timeshare companies can grab a hold of you forever.
A Contract in Perpetuity means you're stuck with your timeshare for even longer than you're expected to live. Which means your kids will take over your ownership after you pass.
Whether they want to or not. And they'll be expected to pay any and all fees associated with the timeshare.
Not a great legacy to leave to your kids unless they too love your timeshare.
There's Also Maintenance Fees to Pay For
Yearly maintenance fees are expected. Of course, you'll want to invest in a place that is well maintained.
But there are hidden fees within those maintenance costs. They don't tell you that maintenance fees can, and usually will, increase.
Some of that depends on where in the world your timeshare is at. Fees can range anywhere from $300 to over $1,000 .
If you choose to stop paying them, the timeshare company can come after you. They can take you to court or foreclose on your timeshare.
Doing this can even affect your credit score.
There Can Be Unexpected Hidden Fees if a Disaster Strikes
Say you purchased your timeshare at Snowbird, Utah. It's a great place to go skiing. Every year you look forward to traveling there for vacation.
Until the year that the resort gets hit by an avalanche. Suddenly, half the hotel is ruined. That means costly repairs.
Costly repairs that you, as a timeshare holder will be expected to incur.
But hidden fees don't always have to come in the form of a natural disaster. If the roof needs to be replaced, that too will be charged to the timeshare holders.
Or if the pool needs fixing. Even minor things like a new paint job will be the financial responsibility of the shareholders.
It's Often Difficult and Expensive to Try to Sell Your Timeshare
If you decide to sell your timeshare, it can end up costing you. The hidden fees here are based on supply and demand.
There are also rules about how you can legally sell your timeshare . It's not as easy as you think.
It can be especially difficult if your timeshare is located somewhere like Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, Puerto Rico just got destroyed by a deadly hurricane.
So right now, there isn't much demand for people wanting to spend time there. Not unless they plan on helping the country rebuild.
Trying to sell your timeshare in an area where the demand is greater than the supply will also affect your ability to sell without taking a huge hit.
Before you buy, make sure that the area in question has had a long history of being a popular vacation site. Then make sure the property is built well.
Even if you do manage to sell it, you won't even be able to claim it as a capital loss on your taxes.
We Can Help You Cancel Your Timeshare
If your timeshare has turned out to be a nightmare rather than a goldmine, there are steps you can take. You don't have to be stuck with it forever.
Plenty of people have gotten out of their timeshares without having there saving their life savings drained.
But don't take our word for it, read our customer's testimonials and see for yourself.
We're both advocates and real estate experts. We can help you get out of your timeshare.
Don't wait, contact us today.
Have you ever had someone try to sell you something solely on the basis of how cheap it was? A lot of folks have.
Maybe you've walked down the street in your city and noticed sellers hawking $5.00 watches. Would you buy a knockoff item simply because it was inexpensive?
Probably not, right?
You should treat the idea of cheap timeshares the same way. Frankly, inexpensive timeshares don't exist.
If you believe you've happened to stumble onto one, beware. It's quite likely the quality of the property and service (or both) will be like the knockoff watch you walked right by.
Read on, and we'll investigate exactly why you shouldn't fall for the prospect of cheap timeshares.
What is a Timeshare?
For the unacquainted, a timeshare is a way of owning a vacation or piece of property. It's a form of fractional ownership in which, much like it sounds, you own a fraction of the piece of property or vacation time.
There are two primary types of timeshare options for purchase. These are right-to-use and deeded timeshares.
In a right-to-use (RTU) timeshare, you are purchasing (quite literally) the right to use the timeshare for a specified period of time each year during the length of your contract. Whether you purchase enough time for one or two weeks a year, you're always guaranteed the same amount of time per year in your timeshare.
Deeded timeshares, however, are a different beast entirely. When you purchase a deeded timeshare, it's essentially the same thing as purchasing any other piece of legally bound real estate property .
For a quick example, it's like purchasing a house. The contracts for deeded timeshares are almost always lifelong. Unless you are okay with owning to your timeshare for life, opting for an RTU is the lesser of two evils.
How Do Timeshares Work?
As mentioned above, you can buy a single week per year, or many weeks, depending upon what the timeshare company allows. With your purchase, you're entitled to stay in your timeshare for the amount of time you're allocated every year.
If the idea of staying at the same place for vacation each year sounds like it might get old in no time, we understand. There are other options. For instance, if you are not using your timeshare one year, you could rent it out, or exchange it for a vacation in a different destination.
Yet, as nice as a guaranteed vacation might sound, there are many drawbacks of purchasing a timeshare. Continue reading, and we'll go into a bit more detail on some of them.
A Long List of Cons
While timeshares do have some benefits, we're quite certain that in this instance, the cons outweigh the pros.
Sure, you'll get a guaranteed vacation to the destination you chose. (No one coerced you into purchasing a timeshare, after all.) Your timeshare is probably nicer and features more amenities than the average hotel room.
What's also important to bear in mind, though, is how difficult it can be to get out of a lifelong timeshare contract. Many people consider this to be the primary con of timeshare ownership. If you own a deeded timeshare, even death will not relieve you of the financial burden or contract.
Instead, the deed will transfer to someone else in your family, leaving them with the burden, and no one wants that.
Another huge con of owning a timeshare is the fact that you have no control over who uses it when you're not there. You won't get any say in who else owns the timeshare. You usually don't even have the option of choosing exactly what week or weeks you'll get to stay in it.
Don't Fall for Cheap Timeshares
Sure, if you look around online, you can find timeshares which are selling for as little as $1. Seriously, only $1! But, even at this supposed "cheap" price, your timeshare is still going to cost you. As such, finding truly cheap timeshares is highly improbable.
You see, there are many different types of fees associated specifically with timeshares.
The first of these are maintenance fees. The maintenance fees on your timeshare are mandatory. You'll need to pay them regardless of whether you are staying in your timeshare on any given year or not. Take a look at this post on our blog for more information on the many fees associated with owning a timeshare.
Other fees you'll owe if you buy a timeshare are mortgage fees and any applicable brokerage fees. These, in addition to costly (and most likely, continuously rising) maintenance fees, are sure to throw any vision of cheap timeshares you may have right out the window.
If you come across a supposedly inexpensive timeshare option, whether new or used, don't fall for it. Be aware that there are often hidden fees, and that you'll need to be accountable for them no matter what. This means whether you actually use the timeshare, or not.
No one wants to pay for something they're not even using. Understand this, and you'll be much more likely to avoid falling into what could be a lifelong trap which could be very hard to move on from.
If You Must, Consider a Timeshare Rental
If you're still drawn to the idea of a timeshare, we would recommend looking into renting a timeshare as opposed to purchasing either a new or used one.
If you rent, you'll only need to pay the maintenance fees you would pay every year if you owned the timeshare. You're also not locked into a lifelong contract, so there is a lesser amount of risk involved, and you'll still get to enjoy what few benefits of a timeshare there are.
As we've learned, there are many different options when it comes to purchasing, renting, or exchanging timeshares.
If for whatever reason, you have found yourself tied to a deeded timeshare with a contract you're unable to extricate yourself from, we're here for you. Please don't hesitate to contact us to schedule a free timeshare exit consultation. We're here to help you get out of it -- alive!
Timeshare ownership doesn't always work out for everyone. While owning a prime vacation property is a great deal, contract issues call for a timeshare lawyer.
Most people value the convenience of sharing property in a beautiful location. Thus, when making the ownership decision, the benefits seem to outweigh the negatives. The pros and cons of timeshares include:
What these owners don't count on is the difficulty of canceling their contracts. Timeshare companies are not in the mood to accommodate them.
As such, the best option is to find a top timeshare lawyer. You'll also need a set of questions to help you weed out the frauds. Read on to learn more.
Reasons to Hire a Timeshare Lawyer
Before getting the set of questions, let's first look at the reasons to hire a lawyer.
Life circumstances may force your decision to forego your timeshare ownership. For example, you could be experiencing financial difficulties. Yet, the main cause of ownership problems is the timeshare companies.
The following companies' actions are the reason you need a timeshare lawyer :
Offering Complex Deals
Several salespeople from timeshare companies chase you around pitching different deals. In the end, it feels like you've been bullied into making a decision. Often, the decision is not in your best interest.
Customers realize their mistakes after signing the contracts. A timeshare lawyer can spot all the hidden clauses taking advantage of customers. The lawyer also understands the state laws governing the contract.
Using Deceptive Practices
As if it wasn't bad enough to bully potential timeshare owners, companies use deceptive practices to get contracts. They hide the real cost of ownership, insert perpetuity clauses, and lie about tax benefits and resale opportunities.
Without an experienced timeshare lawyer, these companies would get away with their deception. Moreover, it will cost you a lot of time and money. Someone who understands all the loopholes can get you out of your contract.
Now that you know why you need a lawyer, dive in to find out how to get the right one.
Questions to Ask a Timeshare Lawyer
There are bad people in the world who want to profit from your problems. As such, you need to be careful when choosing a timeshare lawyer. The following set of questions will help you find a lawyer who can get your contract canceled:
1. What is Your Experience in Timeshare Contract Cancellations?
A lawyer's experience is one of the most important aspects of any legal case. Becoming an expert in law takes many years of practice. A beginner may not be able to win your case.
Check the potential lawyer's educational background, track record, and familiarity with your case. They must also have special training in dealing with timeshare issues. They must be able to come up with alternative solutions to your legal problem.
Last, their knowledge of the opposing counsels and judges is important. It tells them how your case is going. They'll also be able to get better deals if need be.
2. Do I Have a Legitimate Legal Claim to Cancel the Contract?
It's your lawyer's job to analyze your claim and see if it has merit. They must show proof that the timeshare company operated in bad faith. You can make claims about:
If you can prove your claims, it will be possible to cancel the contract. Your lawyer will also decide if you can sue the company for compensation.
3. What is the Process, Strategy, and Likely Outcome of the Case?
This question is about understanding how your timeshare lawyer operates. Do they know the process of canceling your contract? Do they have a successful strategy?
You'll learn how long it takes to get out of a timeshare contract. Ask whether you can continue using the timeshare during the cancellation process. They will also tell you whether to continue paying maintenance fees.
The lawyer must say they intend to get your name removed from the timeshare. They must also explain how they will fight the perpetuity clause in the contract. Ask them how you'll get status updates on the case.
4. What are Your Fees, Expenses, and Refund Offers?
Service costs vary for every client. Make sure you understand how much it will cost to get your contract cancelled. Some lawyers use fixed fees or hourly rates.
Ask if there are any hidden fees or expenses.
It is possible your lawyer will give you a refund offer. They can promise to return your money if they fail to resolve your case.
5. Do you Offer Guarantees on Contract Cancellations?
This is a red flag question to help you spot the frauds. Contract cancellations are complicated. Thus, no one can give you a guarantee of resolution.
However, they can offer service guarantees and money back guarantees. Anything else is a scam.
6. Can you Handle Multiple Timeshare Contract Cancellations?
A good timeshare lawyer should be able to handle multiple contract cancellations. Some clients want to be rid of all their timeshares. Thus, whether it is one, two, or ten timeshares, the lawyer will help you get out.
7. Do you Have Any References or Endorsements?
This is another question to help you determine if you have a top lawyer. They should be comfortable enough to provide references for previous timeshare cases.
Other firms receive endorsements for their ability to get timeshare contracts canceled. Ask them whether they pay their endorsers or if they have another deal in place. Remember, fraudulent people say anything to get your money.
Get a Free Consultation
Handling timeshare contract cancellation is a complex process.
You need to look for legal experts who are familiar with these contracts. Moreover, they must have your best interest at heart.
There is a lot to learn about timeshares, deals, and contracts. Contact us and get a free consultation.