Timeshares Are Forever

  • By _dm_templates
  • 22 Feb, 2017

On Sept. 28, U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, for the District of Montana, permanently enjoined Montana-based Attorney James Tarpey, two of his companies: Project Philanthropy, Inc., dba Donate for a Cause, and Timeshare Closings, Inc., dba Resort Closings, Inc., Suzanne Crowson, Ron Broyles and Curt Thor from promoting what the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) referred to as an abusive timeshare donation scheme.

The timeshare donation scheme was aggressively marketed via the Internet and through national and local media outlets, including Fox News in Phoenix and the TODAY Show.

In November 2015, the DOJ filed a complaint which laid out the defendants’ “elaborate – and bogus – tax scheme” organized, operated and promoted to encourage timeshare owners to donate their unwanted timeshares to Donate for a Cause, a tax-exempt entity set up and run by Tarpey.

Timeshare owners paid significant processing fees to Tarpey’s for-profit closing company, Resort Closings, Inc., for the transfer of the timeshares.

Read more on sonorannews.com . Ready to get rid of your timeshare? Contact us for a free consultation.

By Primo Management Group 27 Nov, 2017

Think you know everything about timeshares?

If your information comes from a developer's website or sales pitch, you're missing vital details.

Buying a timeshare unit only makes sense in certain situations.

It's a good way to co-own vacation property if your family always goes skiing in January, or has a reunion is in the same place at the same time every year.

But for most people timeshares aren't a dream investment. Many buyers find themselves in a regrettable situation after signing the contract.

This article explains seven things the timeshare industry doesn't want you to know.

Keep reading to learn if a timeshare makes financial sense for you.

What is the Timeshare Industry?

If you buy a vacation home on the beach it belongs to you. You can use it whenever you want. You can remodel or change it to suit your tastes.

The timeshare industry is different than regular real estate. Instead of full ownership, you buy a share of a property.

Your share gives you permission to use the property for a certain period of time each year. The rest of the year belongs to the other people who buy shares of the property.

This unique form of property ownership works best for a vacation property. That's why most timeshares are in vacation locations.

Most timeshare purchases are deeded, meaning the buyer owns an actual share of ownership in the resort.

Non-deeded timeshares are like club memberships. They provide a right-to-use the property without owning any real property.

The average share is 1/52, or one week per year. Larger and smaller shares are available, such as a week every other year, or a month-long share.

A Timeshare Isn't an Investment

An investment appreciates in value or provides income.

A timeshare isn't an investment at all. It doesn't appreciate in value, and there's no financial return on your purchase. In fact, the maintenance fees increase, and the value declines.

Since you don't own the property (you co-own it with lots of other people) you can't improve it to make it more valuable.

You can't rent it out all year like you can with a vacation home. And worst of all, when you sell it you won't be able to claim it on your taxes as a capital loss.

The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers not to think of a timeshare as an investment. The website states, "You should know that the value of timeshares is in their use as vacation destinations, not as investments."

You Have Purchase Options

You don't have to buy from the developer.

You'll get a better deal if you buy a timeshare on the secondary market.

Since a timeshare is hard to sell, it's a buyer's market. The timeshare industry has millions of shares for sale.

Anyone trying to sell a unit has to offer it at discount price to move it.

According to RedWeek , timeshare resale's sell 30-50% below original developer or resort price.

It's important to verify the seller or broker. There are timeshare scams .

The Real Cost of Ownership

The initial cost of a timeshare depends on the resort's popularity, share size, location, time of year, and condition of the property.

Don't fall for cheap timeshare deals . The sale price isn't your only expense.

All timeshare resorts charge an annual fee for maintenance, taxes, and utilities.

Fees vary depending on the share. A peak season or larger share may have higher fees. Resorts can increase the fee each year, and many do.

Check if the maintenance fee includes property taxes. If it doesn't that is another yearly expense.

Review the terms of your contract to see if an unexpected future assessment fee is possible. When a resort makes major improvements or repairs it may assess a large fee to the shareowners to cover the costs.

You must pay these fees whether you use the property or not.

You Can Rent A Timeshare

Sometimes people can't use their timeshares. Rather than leave the unit empty and lose all their money, they rent it.

Google "timeshare rentals" and you'll find plenty of choices around the world. You can rent from owners and resorts. You can rent a timeshare for less than it would cost to own. When you rent you don't have any maintenance or assessment fees.

Timeshare rentals are the best way to gain access to certain resorts and their amenities for a reasonable price.

When you rent from an owner you avoid the timeshare industry ritual of a prolonged tour and intense sales pitch.

Timeshare Trades

The idea of a timeshare swap is simple.

If you want to vacation in a different location, you find someone with a share there who will trade places with you.

Finding the person who is willing to swap can be hard. You may incur extra fees for the trade.

Try an exchange service to arrange your trade. Put your share into the exchange pool and state what you want in return. If you're lucky, you find someone willing to swap timeshares with you.

Companies that own many resorts may offer an internal trade system. You can schedule flexible weeks, or use any resort in their system.

Use It or Lose Value

Timeshare sales representatives claim you'll save money on vacations when you own a timeshare.

Those statistics are based on using the timeshare every year for a very long time.

Let's say, for example, timeshare costs $1,600 a year. A stay at an equivalent hotel in the same location costs $200 more. You save $200 by owning the timeshare.

If the one year you can't use your timeshare, you lose $1,600. You may get some money by renting your unit, but you won't recoup the full amount.

But, if you always vacation at a hotel or rental accommodation you don't lose any money if you skip a year.

The timeshare is only cost effective if you never miss a year. If you miss one time, you lose money.

Pay in Full or It's a Bad Deal

If you finance your timeshare purchase, you're getting a bad deal.

A timeshare loses value in the same way a new car does when you drive it off the lot. The timeshare isn't an investment. It doesn't appreciate in value.

Banks know timeshares lose value, so financing one usually means a loan with a high-interest rate.

When you add the cost of financing to the sale, it only makes sense to buy a timeshare if you can pay in cash.

Get Expert Help to End Your Timeshare Contract

Timeshare contracts are easy to sign, but hard to exit.

Primo Management Group can help you legally end the ongoing burden of timeshare fees and payments.

Our experts know and understand timeshare contract practices and consumer protection laws.

Contact Primo Management Group if you're trapped in a contract and need exit assistance.

By Primo Management Group 19 Nov, 2017

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.

By Primo Management Group 24 Oct, 2017

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.

In Closing

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!

By Primo Management Group 02 Oct, 2017
Vacation isn't cheap.
Everybody knows that a decent vacation requires a little extra dough. In south Florida, for example, average daily travel costs can peak at over 150 dollars per person .
Timeshares seem like the perfect cure to this dilemma. You pay for an allotment of time--usually one week--on a vacation property, while other buyers pay for the rest of the year.
Does it seem too good to be true? Well, it might be. Depending on your situation, a true timeshare cost can be higher than it first seems.
Here's what you need to know.
The Timeshare Pitch
In certain situations for certain people, a timeshare can be a decent investment.
There are several ways it could work. You could buy a slab of land in a nice place with a big group, co-owning with the group. Or, you could come to an agreement to rent a certain amount of land, while an owner still maintains rights to the plot.
No matter the situation, you'll generally end up spending one week a year on the property. Hypothetically, the flat rate you pay for several years of vacation time will be cheaper than renting hotel rooms year-in, year-out.
The American Timeshare Craze
Timeshares are big in the US--so big, in fact, that over nine million households also owned a timeshare in 2014. The timeshare momentum has only grown in recent years. You might have heard from your friends, or friends of friends, that a timeshare is a great deal for you.
The timeshare hype has started to dominate the conversation about vacation rentals. If you feel swept up in it, take a step back.
When you look at the whole picture, you'll see that a true timeshare cost is more than initially meets the eye.    
So...What's the Price?
The initial costs of a timeshare follow a simple formula: payment to rent the property plus a yearly maintenance fee.
Depending on the state, that can mean anywhere from a total of 600 dollars a year to several thousand. On paper, it's a sensible, affordable way to finance a vacation home.
But reality doesn't always follow the script. On the one hand, there are scammers out and about . In the great rush of timeshare prospectors, consumers are often pressed to find the best deal they can.
Scammers will promise everything in vague answers to your questions while hiding the ugly truth about their property. You'll end up stuck in a bad location with limited options.  
But even if everything is legally above board, you still could end up with more costs than you bargained for.
The True Cost of Staying Clean
Let's return to those maintenance fees. You'll likely start with a flat maintenance fee that holds steady for a few years. But, it's well within the owner's right to increase the cleaning fee.
One year, they could raise the cleaning fee by twenty percent. Then they might do it again the next year. And even the next year.
Soon enough, you'll end up paying double the cleaning fee you signed up for. That hidden cost destroys the "cheap" narrative surrounding timeshares.
And that's only hidden financial costs.
The Intangible Timeshare Cost
When you initially make a list of timeshare pros and cons , you'll likely mostly focus on the financial aspects of the deal.
The amount of money you spend on vacation is an important part of the equation. But, it's not everything you need to think about.
But you should think about the downsides of having a timeshare. First focus on the location of your property.
You might really want to go to a beach house in Florida now. You might even want to go to the same place for a few years. But, after a few trips, any location will lose its appeal.
The Risk of Boredom
You'll be locked into the same week every year, never seeing the setting in another season. The size of your group will need to stay the same, too.
Will going to the same property in the same location at the same time of year really always appeal to you? Repetition is the antidote to excitement. You'll start feeling a need to spend your time there, not a desire to.  
All of a sudden, your timeshare investment will feel more like a burden than a blessing.
How Does Leaving a Timeshare Work?
If you've been considering buying a timeshare, it might be best to just say no . If you're in the unfortunate position of trying to leave your timeshare, you could feel a squeeze.
The first hurdle to overcome, at least psychologically, is the price you can sell for. Let's say your initial timeshare cost was five thousand dollars.
In a perfect world, the property value would only increase over time, right? Unfortunately, that's not how it works with timeshares. The market is over flooded with timeshare sellers, which means the value of current timeshares only drops, usually.  
Without the advice of knowledgeable timeshare experts, you'll end up selling that five thousand dollar property for four thousand, if not less.
Don't Lawyer up
That's not to mention the sticky legal work that might need doing if you try to sell your timeshare. You're involved with a big group, not just you--you need to consider the interests of the other timeshare members before selling your share. Plus, the IRS is very stingy in its treatment of timeshare sellers, regardless of the price.
If that sticky mess seems overwhelming, don't worry. With the right guidance of experts, you'll be able to navigate your questions with relative ease.  
Consider a Change
If you don't have a timeshare but are considering purchasing one, think it over. While the shiny benefits seem obvious at first, there's more to the whole story.
You might already know this if you're an owner. The hidden timeshare costs can creep up on owners after just a few years, if not months.
Interested in this opportunity to take a load off your shoulders? If you are, we have you covered.
Reach out to us and we can give you the help you need. You're already closer to better vacations and less stress.
Why not go for it?
By Primo Management Group 18 Sep, 2017
Have you ever been approached by someone with timeshares for sale? Or, have you read an ad looking for someone to buy one?
Oftentimes, timeshare salespeople play hard ball -- they woo you in initial meetings, give you "free" incentives such as gift cards or food, and then offer you a deal.
You might be attracted to the thought of having a resort-style membership available to you any time of the year. You and your family might be looking forward to long weeks at the beach in a timeshare or a place to escape to for long weekends.
Or, you may even feel pressured by the woo-tactics used by the salespeople, making you lean toward a decision you haven't fully thought through.
Should you buy into a timeshare that's for sale? The answer might surprise you.
Timeshares for Sale -- Why You Should Say No
Some people don't know how to say no to these ads or pitches. Many people aren't even aware that timeshares for sale usually aren't good deals.
There are multiple reasons why timeshares aren't a good investment; not only will you not actually own this property, but you'll also be susceptible to scams and hidden fees.
Here are five reasons why you should say no to timeshares for sale:
1. You Lose Money on Them
Wouldn't you love to have your money work smarter, not harder? That's the idea that many people are thinking when they make investments -- spend the money now and make more in return.
Many people think that timeshares are an investment. However, they aren't. Investments are buy-ins where you can expect a return in the future; timeshares don't promise this at all. In fact, they do the opposite!
Timeshares lose money. Once someone buys one, the value of it instantly plummets -- meaning it'll be nearly impossible to recover the initial costs, let alone profit off of it.
Buying into a timeshare means you are buying a property that you'll be dumping money into for no reason. In the short run, it may seem like a good idea to buy into timeshares for sale -- but in the long run, you'll see how you did nothing but waste your money on a property you didn't even fully own.
2. Hidden Fees in the Small Print
The property of your dreams can possible, especially with financial assistance for a down payment or to help make monthly payments.
When people can't pay for their timeshare up front, they oftentimes take out a mortgage to cover the costs. However, this isn't the only payments they'll be making.
Timeshares are notorious for having fees in the small print that are often not talked about during sales pitches. These fees can vary from property taxes, maintenance fees, insurance payments and even utilities. The average annual maintenance fee for a timeshare is $660 -- and that's to maintain a property that you probably only spend one to two weeks per year on the inside.
When adding up all of these fees, you will certainly end up paying more than you initially thought you were.
3. Hard to Schedule Time
If you and your family regularly vacation throughout the year, having consistent housing could be a dream. What's better than knowing exactly where you'll be staying each summer?
Contrary to what a salesperson may tell you, it's actually surprisingly difficult to schedule time for you and your family at a timeshare.
There are often many blackout dates included in your timeshare agreement . Aside from that, you may get locked into having your time at the location for the same one or two weeks every year.
This lack of flexibility can be quite frustrating -- if you can't go at the times available, then you paid for an entire year when you didn't even use the property. Talk about a loss!
4. Difficult to Rent Them Out
If you can't schedule your timeshare one year, considering renting it out could seem like the perfect solution.
However, it's oftentimes difficult to find someone willing to rent these properties out.
People are often wary of renting out timeshares -- they know they aren't good investments and worry about the extra fees that may be tacked on to their rent. If you were counting on someone temporarily taking it over for a year, you might want to reconsider.
Additionally, some timeshare agreements prohibit renting the spaces out to people who aren't on the agreement for it. You may think of risking it by renting it out to friends you know "under the table," but if you were caught, you could face hefty fines as a result.
5. Resell Difficulty and Scams
If you've fallen behind on your timeshare payments you may already be thinking of selling it for relief.
However, once you purchase a timeshare, it's incredibly difficult to get rid of it. Timeshares lose value after purchase, making buyers wary and reluctant in taking them off your hands.
Because of this, scammers have developed ways to take advantage of sellers looking to get out of the market. These scammers will promise to sell your timeshare in no time -- but will require you to pay hefty fees up front. They end up taking your money without selling it -- and you are left thousands of dollars in the hole and still stuck with your timeshare.
Considering the difficulty of reselling these properties, it's wise to not purchase one in the first place. Should anything happen and you fall behind on your mortgage payments, you can fall into foreclosure. This will affect your credit score and ability to get loans in the future -- which will make future housing purchases incredibly difficult.
Conclusion
Overall, timeshares for sale are becoming a thing of the past. Unless you and your family want to vacation on the same week every year, it may be better to walk away from the lengthy sales pitch or to ignore the ad.
Instead, consider planning vacations in advance -- it offers more flexibility, spontaneity and could save you money in the long run.
If you're still on the fence about whether or not a timeshare purchase is right for you, be sure to check out our blog here . We are always writing about why consumers should think twice about buying timeshares because we want them to know exactly what they're getting into.
Overall, just say no to timeshares -- you'll thank yourself later.
By Primo Management Group 14 Sep, 2017
Has your dream vacation property become a nightmare? Unfortunately, many nowadays find themselves with a timeshare property they can't afford.
Perhaps you bought it during better economic times. Maybe you no longer have the circumstances or desire to vacation in the same place every year. Or maybe you received the property through inheritance and never wanted it to begin with.
Whichever situation you find yourself in, you're now wondering how to offload the timeshare without losing any more money.
Read on to learn more about timeshare donation and resale options.
What Are My Options?
Many of the 7.9% of Americans who own a timeshare property are happy with their investment. Others, for various reasons, need to let theirs go.
If you fall into that category, what can you do? Here are the three most common solutions:
Timeshare resale. If your timeshare is in a highly desirable location, you may be able to resell it. However, since new timeshares are so readily available, there aren't too many people in the market for a used timeshare.
Timeshare donation. If you're unable to sell your timeshare, you may be able to donate it to charity. Alternately, you could gift it to a friend or family member who agrees to take over the maintenance fees.
Timeshare cancellation. If you can't sell it and don't want to donate it, a legitimate timeshare cancellation company may be able to legally free you of your timeshare.
Unfortunately, letting go of a timeshare almost always results in financial loss.
Contrary to what they told you at the timeshare presentation, most of these properties do not hold their value or gain equity. Some are worth only a fraction of what the buyer paid for them - perhaps less than the annual maintenance bills!
For this reason, the IRS classifies all timeshares as "worthless investments."
This doesn't mean your situation is hopeless. You just need to be realistic about what your timeshare is worth. It's also important to understand that you will probably not recoup some (or even most) of your investment.
Beware of Scams
Whether you're considering timeshare donation, resale, or cancellation, you need to be very careful of scams.
Sadly, many companies out there know how desperate you are to sell your timeshare. They know that the property is a financial drain. They know you're eager to get rid of it.
These scam companies often make big promises, offering to take your property off your hands for an upfront fee. In most cases, once they have your money you'll never hear from them again.
Then you're not only out the fee you paid, but you're still stuck with the timeshare.
Some companies take financial fraud one step further. They buy up timeshare properties and put them into a "shell" company created with the sole intention of filing bankruptcy.
How do you know if the company you're considering working with is legitimate? Here are a few red flags to watch out for:
Asking for large upfront fees
Unsolicited contact
Promises of profit
Promises of "eager buyers" waiting
No matter which route you choose to take with your timeshare, research the company carefully to ensure it's legitimate!
Pros and Cons of Timeshare Donation
If you do manage to find a legitimate timeshare donation company, there are a few things you should know before you proceed.
Some timeshare donation companies try to tell you that your entire donation is tax-deductible. The idea of a big tax break is appealing, which is why many dive in without second thought.
Let's get something clear, though. On the off-chance that yours is one of the very few properties that held or increased its value, you could end up with a decent tax write-off.
However, for the vast majority of timeshare holders, your property likely decreased in value. And no matter how much you paid for it, the IRS will only allow you to write off the current fair market value of the property.
Let's say you paid $25,000 for your beach bungalow in Mexico. Over the past few years, the market value plummeted and your timeshare is now worth only $2,500.
If you give this property away through timeshare donation, the price you originally paid for it is irrelevant. In this instance, your total allowable tax deduction would be the current market value of $2,500.
These numbers, sad to say, are still on the generous side. One company reports that many donated timeshare properties sell for as little as $50 .
The same company also noted that the average timeshare donation only generates about $400 to charities. If you truly care about philanthropy, you're better off sending a check to the charity of your choice.
Here are a few other facts worth noting:
Companies may employ their own property assessors to inflate the value of your property for tax purposes. This could haunt you down the road in the form of an IRS audit and hefty fines.
If your timeshare is worth very little, you may actually have to pay the company to take it from you.
Some companies won't consider timeshares that still have a mortgage or are behind on maintenance fees. They'll only take properties that are free and clear.
As you can see, there are many important factors to weigh when considering timeshare donation.
Final Thoughts
So, what are the pros and cons of timeshare donation? It's true that a legitimate company may be able to take your timeshare off your hands.
However, it will likely cost you a few thousand dollars in transfer fees. And regardless of what the company claims, you shouldn't count on a huge tax write-off for your donation.
If you're looking for an option with less risk, you may want to consider timeshare cancellation. At PMG, we're an attorney-backed agency that uses the power of the law to get you out of your timeshare contract.
Would you like to know more about how to legally get rid of your timeshare? We invite you to contact us for more information or to schedule a free consultation
By Primo Management Group 07 Sep, 2017
The timeshare industry is huge and still growing. In fact, between 2015 and 2016 the sales volume of the industry increased from $8.6 billion to $9.2 billion.
Timeshares can be attractive investments at first, but eventually, they may become a burden. In many cases, timeshare owners find themselves in financial trouble and the timeshare contract they are under needs to be relinquished. There are a number of ways to terminate a timeshare contract, but depending on your particular situation, it can be very tricky.
Some exit timeshare companies claim they can get individuals out of their contracts. They end up costing thousands of dollars and creating more headaches for the owner.
In some instances, an attorney may need to be involved in the process to ensure an individual is not taken advantage of and is fully released from their timeshare. Primo Management Group in Orlando, FL is your best option.
Consider the Rescission Period:
However, there are ways to exit timeshare contracts without the stress associated with exit timeshare companies or dealing directly with the resort. Below are some possibilities a timeshare owner can entertain if they need to get out of their contract.
Consider the Rescission Period
If you've recently purchased a timeshare and are now regretting your decision, you need to consider the rescission period.
Many people have buyer's remorse after purchasing a timeshare and can use this clause to cancel the contract early on. The rescission period refers to a short period of time after you have purchased the timeshare during which you can cancel your contract. Each contract is different and state laws can dictate rescission periods, so you'll need to check your contract in order to find out if this is available to you.
Unfortunately, using the rescission period to cancel the contract will only work for recently purchased timeshares. This is a technique that new buyers can utilize, but if you've owned a timeshare for a while, you'll need to try a different approach.
Donate Your Timeshare:
An option for those who are past the rescission period is to donate the timeshare to a charity or other organization. Charities typically need venues to hold annual events and your timeshare could provide the perfect location and atmosphere.
In some cases, charity organizations end up taking over responsibility of the payments from the owner to hold their annual events. This is a great way for the owner of a timeshare to relinquish the costs and stress of being under an unwanted contract.
This approach also carries the advantage of a tax deduction at the end of each year. This will help with contract and maintenance costs you have previously incurred.
Selling or Renting Your Timeshare:
Timeshares are notorious for having bad resale values, but often an owner just wants out. Even if you aren't getting a good price relative to what you paid, the peace of mind of getting out from under the contract may be worth it.
You'll need to consider a few things when trying to sell a timeshare. Location is a big factor. Many older resorts or condos are much harder to sell, as conditions have depreciated over the years and the need for maintenance is higher.
Additionally, if a resort is failing, they may not have enough profit coming in to properly maintain the units, making them unattractive to potential buyers. As the owner of a timeshare, you may be stuck with increasing maintenance fees on top of the annual price of the space.
Considering these factors is essential before deciding to sell a timeshare. Fortunately there are resources that you can utilize in order stay informed about your property. Websites like Sharket provide resale information and news regarding timeshares in different areas of the country.
If you're still having trouble selling a timeshare, renting is always an option. While this doesn't get you out of your contract completely, renting will cut some of the costs down and buy you time while waiting to sell.
Watch Out For Scams:
If you've decided to work with an exit timeshare company to sell your property, you need to watch out for scams, which are common in the timeshare industry. There are also a number of different scam tactics currently in use.
Always be weary of solicitations from agents or exit timeshare companies offering to help sell your timeshare. Quality organizations don't need to solicit their services. In order to get your business, many of these companies will insist they already have a possible buyer when in reality they're just trying to get your business.
Some scams involve individuals posing as a timeshare company. They claim to have received an offer on your timeshare, but in reality they are after your money. They may ask for money in order to get the ball rolling, but this is a scam.
Know the Law:
Timeshare companies want you to believe that once you have purchased a timeshare and are under a contract, there is no getting out. This is simply not the case!
As a result of litigation that has been filed against timeshare companies, specifically for fraudulent sales tactics, these companies have become more and more agreeable when it comes to releasing an owner from a contract. They don't want the stress and expense of litigation.
If you were promised by a salesperson that a timeshare would increase in value over time or that it could be openly sold or transferred, you may be legally able to get out of your contract. Some exit timeshare companies can help you with information regarding your legal rights, but a qualified attorney at Primo Management Group is your best bet.
Let a Timeshare Exit Professional Help You:
If you're under a timeshare contract and need out, you need to work with an organization that is knowledgeable of both the legal process and the real estate industry. At Primo Management Group in Orlando, FL, we excel in both of these areas.
Let us evaluate your case and provide the best possible solution for your situation. Contact us today.
By Primo Management Group 06 Sep, 2017
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:
Size
Location
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,...
Annual Fees
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:
Maintenance
Utilities, even when you're not there, if the unit spends time vacant
Landscaping
Amenities
Building staffing
Taxes
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:
Appraisal fees
Transfer fees
Recording fees
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.
Unexpected Fees
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.
Other Expenses
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:
Finder's fees
Brokerage fees
Credit check
Background check
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:
Auction fees
Listing Fees
Real estate transfer fees
Credit check
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.
By Primo Management Group 05 Sep, 2017
So many of us have been there. Someone catches us in a really great mood and we make a promise to do something.
Later, as we're coming down off that life high, we look back and go, "what the heck have I done?"
For many, this is what it feels like to own a timeshare. It seemed like a fantastic idea at the time — and maybe it was great for a few years. But as you continue to pay those maintenance and assessment bills year after year, that Florida dream vacation spot begins to feel like a nightmare.
But there are some very good reasons people like you should get rid of timeshares.
Let's explore why.
Vacations Have Become a Chore
Vacations are intended to rejuvenate you. You work hard at your job. Your kids work hard in school. All of you deserve time to unwind.
Studies show that people who vacation have reduced risk of heart disease, headaches, and insomnia. They also see improved productivity, creativity and sense of wellbeing once they get back.
But there are several reasons that vacations become a chore with a timeshare:
You can't anticipate the vacation. It's the same old spot. Nothing new. Nothing exciting. Nothing to look forward to.
You may have to take your vacation at inopportune times. You have to book well in advance or you have the same week year after year. There's very little flexibility. So you feel forced to take a vacation when it's not a good time for you.
The timeshare's starting to feel like an abusive relationship. You begin to resent your decision and don't want to see her/him anymore. But you feel like you have to visit anyway to get your money's worth.
You can't be spontaneous. You really want to take your spouse hiking at Machu Picchu this year. But you can't do both. You feel obligated to go to the timeshare. That's not a vacation.
You Can't Afford it Anymore
Maybe you've recently been laid off, aren't making as much as you used to or just don't have the disposable income you once had. Perhaps you really want to put more toward retirement. Or you're going through a divorce and own a timeshare.
Your timeshare may be breaking you — little by little.
Yes, it's nice to have. But you really need to have more flexibility in how you spend your money.
You Feel Deceived
If you feel misled into buying a timeshare, not only does it make vacation time miserable. It drags the rest of your life down with it.
Your inner voice is telling you that you made a bad decision. Those close to you may echo that voice.
You may have been promised flexibility that just isn't there. Maybe you were told that this was a money maker. All you have to do is find renters for the week and charge them more to make a profit.
Maybe the company isn't keeping up their side of the deal and the condo is going into decline.
People should get rid of timeshares that aren't what they were promised.
More Stress Than It's Worth
Your timeshare needs a new roof. It flooded during the hurricane. Vandals broke in and smashed the place up.
Or maybe you're playing the renter's game, trying to attract, screen and manage renters from another state.
Stress isn't just a feeling. It does serious damage to your health in the form of:
Stomach upset
Coronary disease
Overeating
Smoking/Bad habits/Addictions to find relief
Reduced lifespan
Depression
Anger
In addition, your relationships pay the toll. A Berkeley study found that stress had a significant impact on relationships. They found that external stresses like financial and work stress made people less satisfied in their relationships.
It's just not worth it. And when getting rid of timeshares is an option, it should be taken rather than enduring this any longer.
Cutting Losses Is Better Than Continuing to Pay
What are you putting into your timeshare? What else could you be doing with that money?
You could:
Take vacations that you actually enjoy
Invest that money in a mutual fund and actually make a return on your investment
Buy a new car that you've been holding off on to make sure you can cover timeshare payments
Send your parents on a vacation to a place they've always dreamed of visiting -- not the timeshare because it's convenient.
There are lots of opportunities to make smarter choices with your money when it's not tied up in a timeshare.
When you cancel your timeshare, you'll likely need to sell it. And this may mean selling it for what you paid for it without regard to all you've put in since. Or selling a less than you paid for it. You may also have cancelation fees.
But when you do the math, even if you take a loss, it's better than continuing to pay into something that doesn't "love you back".
But can people really get rid of timeshares?
It's Possible to Break Free from Your Timeshare
Canceling a timeshare isn't easy. Depending on how long you've had the timeshare, reasons you want to cancel and what's actually in your contract, the timeshare company could:
Put strict restrictions on you that make it hard or impossible to sell
Charge you exorbitant cancelation fees
Make it difficult to rent it out if you choose that option
In addition to this, scammers could perceive you as an easy target who's desperate to get out.
Getting rid of timeshares can be a drawn out and costly process. But it doesn't have to be. It's possible to be free without losing an arm and a leg. We can show you how.
Get Rid of Timeshares the Right Way
To get rid of timeshares after the cancellation period has passed, you need to have a plan and knowledge about the timeshare cancellation process.
This may seem like something that you can just learn on the Internet. But it takes in depth research, negotiating skills and experience in timeshare cancellations.
Having an advocate on your side will save you time, money and stress that you would endure otherwise.
We know what we're talking about because we've helped thousands get rid of timeshares. If you're feeling stuck in your timeshare and are ready to be free, contact us today for a free consultation.
By Primo Management Group 14 Aug, 2017
Timeshares can be an attractive option for folks who love taking vacations.
Timeshare owners can lock in future trips at today's prices. They also might give travelers access to a variety of onsite amenities. These are some of the reasons that the timeshare industry grew by 7% last year.
But in some cases, people end up with a timeshare they no longer want. Perhaps they purchased it on impulse and didn't consider the cost of the maintenance fees. Or they might have inherited a timeshare that they don't want to keep.
While timeshare cancellation can be complicated, it doesn't have to bankrupt you.
If you have a Florida timeshare you're looking to exit, keep reading to find out what steps you'll need to take.
Right to Timeshare Cancellation Laws in Florida
Many consumers purchase timeshares during a high-pressure sales pitch. The company offers a deal that they claim is only available for one day. Then, if you reject the pitch, they offer additional incentives to make the package seem more desirable.
In many cases, the buyer doesn't realize what all of the fine print entails until after they sign the contract. Once they've had time to reflect, they start experiencing buyer's remorse and wonder if it's too late to get out of the deal.
Laws regarding timeshare cancellation vary from state to state. Some states only allow for cancellation under certain circumstances. Other states only give consumers 3 business days after signing to cancel their timeshare.
Luckily, Florida has some of the most consumer-friendly timeshare cancellation laws in the country.
In Florida, consumers have 10 calendar days to cancel their timeshare. The timeline is calculated from either the day the contract is signed or the day the buyer received all required documents, whichever occurred later.
Canceling Your Timeshare
Cancellations that fall within the 10-day cancellation period are the easiest to process. If you decide to cancel your timeshare, you will need to notify the seller.
Requests for timeshare cancellation must be submitted to the seller in writing. Make sure your letter includes your legal name as it appears on the contract, as well as your phone number, address, and email. You should also include the name of the timeshare company, the date you purchased the timeshare, and a statement that you are canceling the contract.
Check your contract for instructions on sending the timeshare cancellation letter. For example, some contracts require that the letter is sent by certified mail. If you don't follow the instructions listed in the contract, the seller may be able to argue that your cancellation is invalid.
The seller is then required to refund all payments either 20 days after they receive or written notice or 5 days after the funds from your check have cleared. Whichever event occurs later will be used as the standard.
In some cases, buyers receive incentives as part of the timeshare package they purchase. If you cancel your timeshare, the value of these incentives will be subtracted from your refund.
Canceling Afer the Cancellation Period
Once the cancellation period has passed, canceling the timeshare becomes more complicated. When you purchase a timeshare, you are signing a contract that you are legally required to uphold. That said, it is still possible to get out of the contract.
Obligations of the Timeshare Seller
Under Florida law, timeshare sellers must meet certain disclosure obligations. If these obligations are not fulfilled, it may be easier to get out of your contract.
Together, these disclosures are called the "Public Offering Statement." This statement is a detailed history of the timeshare property or program that you're buying into.
At a minimum, the public offering statement should include a description of the timeshare and the duration of the timeshare. It should also indicate whether the purchaser will have any interest in an actual property, and should detail what accommodations the timeshare holder is entitled to.
Finally, the disclosure must outline how the seller apportions shared expenses among timeshare holders. Failing to include any of this information could make the contract invalid.
When to Consult an Attorney
In most cases, canceling a timeshare after the cancellation period will require legal action, and maybe even a lawsuit. Consulting with an attorney is your best bet in this situation. Make sure to choose a lawyer who has experience working with contracts in general and timeshares specifically.
An experienced attorney will be able to navigate consumer protection laws on your behalf. Also, an attorney might be able to identify a loophole in your contract that renders the agreement void. This is the most effective way to be relieved of your contractual obligations.
In rare cases, you may even be able to recover some of the money you have already invested. Keep in mind, however, that it is very difficult to recover funds from a timeshare company after the cancellation period has passed.
What if You're in Foreclosure?
Since timeshares typically cost upwards of $20,000, most people do not pay for them in cash. Instead, they take out a mortgage that they make monthly payments on. These payments are in addition to a yearly maintenance fee.
But just like with a mortgage on a home, there are consequences if you don't make your monthly payments on your timeshare. If you fall behind on payments, your timeshare will go into foreclosure.
There are two types of foreclosure: judicial and nonjudicial. Judicial foreclosures are settled through a court, whereas nonjudicial foreclosures are settled out of court.
Luckily, in the state of Florida, timeshare foreclosures are handled through a nonjudicial process. So, if you go into foreclosure on your timeshare, you can settle the issue with the seller out of court. Typically, when you enter foreclosure, the seller will send you a notice that they intend to resell your timeshare, and then they will place it up for auction.
While this might seem like an easy way to get out of your timeshare, it's not necessarily that simple. Foreclosing on a timeshare will tank your credit score. For this reason, it's much better to consult with an attorney before it gets to this point.
Get help
If you need help with timeshare cancellation, contact us . Our timeshare exit experts will work with you to make sure your rights as a consumer are protected.
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