Time to share the ‘truth’ about ‘timeshares’

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The truth: Sooner or later you’ll get tired of going to the same destination year after year for vacation. Trading spaces can be a real headache. There are membership fees averaging about $100 per year for the privilege to swap resorts. There’s another $150 trading fee per trade. Trying to line up a free week at a resort to match your vacation schedule is often difficult because the more desirable resorts are generally booked.

The pitch: As opposed to being a hotel room renter, enjoy the status and fine treatment as a condo owner. Condos are spacious, have kitchens and private bedrooms. You can sleep up to 10, which provides a perfect family setting.

The truth: You don’t have to own a timeshare to have access to a condo or a well-equipped hotel room while on vacation. There are an abundance of property owners seeking to rent out their properties—particularly in areas where people frequently travel. There are also several plush hotels that you can reserve with space and amenities similar to condos. Expensive? Maybe, but you avoid the high purchase price, high interest rates and other fees and expenses associated with timeshares. If you’re traveling with a party of 10, the adults can split the tab.

The pitch: Owners can sell their timeshare whenever they want. Hotels obviously give NONE of your rent money back.

The truth: You may be able to list the timeshare for sale whenever you want but actually selling the timeshare whenever you want is a different story. Timeshares are overpriced to begin with due to the sales prices being inflated to account for marketing costs. They decrease in value similar to that of a car. Lastly, it’s difficult for pro­s­pec­tive buyers to secure financing. It’s extremely difficult to sell timeshares. When and if you do resell a timeshare, you’ll be lucky to get 30 to 50 percent of what you paid for it.  

The pitch: Deeded timeshare owners can will their timeshare to their loved ones.

The truth: Your loved ones would rather have the small fortune you paid for the timeshare.

(Mortgage and Money Coach Damon Carr is owner of ACE Financial. Sign up for Damon’s FREE “Ask Damon” e-Newsletter at http://www.allcreditexperts.com. Damon can be reached at 412-856-1183.)

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