Why Are Timeshares Bad? 5 Reasons to Stay Away

Why are timeshares bad: luxury condominium facade

Who among us doesn’t love a good vacation? In particular, who doesn’t love vacations in warm, exotic places and in high-end resorts? Maybe you’d be located on the beach. Maybe you’d have a pool or amazing restaurants you could eat at every night. What if you actually owned a vacation home at the resort and you could keep coming back?

That’s the dream that timeshare resorts will try to sell you with their sales presentations. It’s a tempting dream with a lot of seductive power. But unfortunately, that’s all it is. The reality is that timeshares are expensive and inconvenient. This is so universally true that the vast majority of people who own one (nearly 85%) say that they regret the purchase.

Stories like these are enough to give anyone pause. When you are in the middle of a high-pressure timeshare presentation, though, they might not seem as real or immediate as they should. You might even think or they may tell you a timeshare is a good investment. Therefore, it’s important to educate yourself ahead of time about the realities of timeshares and vacation ownership.

This article will look at five common answers you’ll hear from timeshare owners to that question: “So, why are timeshares bad?”. From the torturous sale process through the exorbitant expense of owning a timeshare, we’ll show you five excellent reasons not to own one. And if you do, we’ll give you tips on how to get out of your bad situation.

1. Just Buying a Timeshare Is Stressful

Why are timeshares bad: three people in a discussion

If you’re reading this article, you are at least a bit suspicious that the timeshare industry is not all it’s cracked up to be. But, you may ask, if that were really the case, why would intelligent, hard-working people keep buying them? Wouldn’t any timeshare company have a lot of trouble moving its products?

The answer to this question is simply, “Yes.” That’s why timeshare resorts stage elaborate, high-pressure sales presentations for potential buyers. These presentations are actually exercises in coercion and high-level psychological abuse that convince smart people to make bad decisions.

For example, let’s say that you and your spouse are enjoying a vacation in Las Vegas. One day, while shopping on the Strip, you are approached by someone offering you free show tickets. All you have to do, you are told, is sit through a two-hour presentation and the tickets are yours. You are taken away to another location, and they begin their pitch.

The two-hour sales pitch, though, goes much longer. As it stretches over a whole afternoon, you are visited by multiple timeshare salespeople who try to convince you that you need a unit. They may even try to pit you and your spouse against each other. They make it nearly impossible to leave and are trained not to take “no” for an answer.

Dogged persistence is one thing, but dishonesty is another. Some unscrupulous salespeople have been known to tell potential buyers things that are completely false. For example, they might play up a “deed back” program that the company never honors in practice. Or they might leave out facts that they think would scare you off — like the amount of annual fee hikes.

At the end of your hours-long ordeal, you walk away with the show tickets — and a timeshare unit costing you $20,000 upfront, with a lifetime of annual maintenance fees. And as you walk away, you ask yourself, “If this thing was such a good deal, why did they have to spend hours pressuring me to buy it?”

2. You’re Not Getting Much for Your Money

Why are timeshares bad: woman stressed with her bills

You may be wondering what you are actually buying when you purchase a timeshare. It’s a reasonable question, and the answer is often depressing. It’s not just that timeshares are a bad investment. They aren’t financial investments at all, and they can wreck your personal finances. 

But, you ask, what if I get a timeshare from a big, established company like Disney, Hilton,  Marriott, or Wyndham? Unfortunately, the company selling you the products doesn’t matter. The products are basically the same. 

You may be purchasing a “week” or a condominium at a particular resort, or you could be buying into a “points system” for a network of vacation properties. Either way, you are buying a tiny deeded real estate interest that is going to negatively affect your bottom line forever.

Also take note: If you buy a timeshare in another country, like Mexico, you may not even get a permanent real property interest with your timeshare. In that case, you will be paying a lot of money for a tiny real property interest that you and your family will not even get to keep.

3. You Have Fewer Options Than You Think

The idea of vacation ownership is appealing to a lot of people, but a common issue is that some people wanted more vacation options than a simple timeshare could give them. Some companies, like Marriott, then came up with vacation clubs. These are essentially fancy point systems that you use to “buy” time at a network of resorts around the world.

While this might seem like an amazing deal at first blush, it’s really not. In most cases, the use of vacation club points is restricted to certain times of the year and/or locations. If you don’t follow the rules, you don’t get the vacation you want. And you still have to pay your maintenance fees and other costs. A hotel room would be less expensive and more flexible.

4. Timeshares Are Expensive

Family Budget document

Despite what the salespeople might say, timeshares are not less expensive than a traditional vacation. First, you have to buy the timeshare. Many people have to borrow money just to cover the purchase price. That’s right: Purchasing a timeshare could give you a separate mortgage to pay every month at a high interest rate, often well into the 20%’s.

Perhaps the bigger reason that timeshares are so expensive is the annual maintenance fees. This is the ever-increasing amount of money that you have to pay to the resort for its employees, upkeep, and other expenses. And you’ll be paying those fees to the resort until you die, long after the mortgage is paid. After that, your family may be paying that money.

And heaven forbid that there is an emergency at the resort that requires more money from owners. In that case, you will receive a special assessment and have to shell out even more money, often thousands of dollars.

5. They Are Hard to Get Rid of Without Help

So, let’s assume that you have a timeshare and you have learned the truth: It was a mistake to buy this thing. You want to get rid of it. But now, you’ll discover another ugly truth of timeshares: It is very difficult to get rid of them. Very few people want to buy timeshares, and even in the very rare cases where you can arrange a resale, you’re going to lose a lot of money.

The resale market is so bad that some owners turn to websites like eBay or Craigslist to sell their units. It’s also important to remember that there are a lot of bad people out there who know how desperate this situation is and have concocted elaborate timeshare resale scams to part you from even more of your money.

Because of the myriad problems with timeshare ownership and transfer, Centerstone Group offers a variety of services to help owners who are trying to get rid of their timeshares. Using our proprietary strategies, we help owners to legally and ethically exit their timeshare contracts with as little financial stress as possible.

For example, we regularly engage in pressure campaigns with timeshare developers, including constant contact on behalf of our clients. In appropriate cases, we will also pursue administrative complaints or legal actions with our attorney partners. For people who qualify, we can also utilize receivers to transfer timeshare obligations from our clients as soon as possible.

So, Why Are Timeshares Bad?

If you are considering a timeshare purchase, hopefully this discussion has answered your questions about the negative experience. If you already own a timeshare and you are looking for a cancellation or other way out, Centerstone Group is a BBB-accredited business that is ready to answer your questions and help any way we can.

If you and your family are suffering from the financial strain of a timeshare, there is a way out. Contact Centerstone Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.


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