What do you Think of Time Shares? I'd Like Your Honest Opinion!

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Real Estate Agent with Dove Realty Inc.

A client of mine called me up the other day to ask me about Time Shares. It could just be because it's almost June and we're still wearing our coats.

That being said, I'm trying to pull together some info on the subject.  I have to admit that I have no expertise in, or even opinions on, this area. So I'm asking you all to share any of your experiences: the good, the bad and the ugly. Thanks!

  • What are the typical cost?
  • Are they ever a good investment?
  • Do they take dogs and cats?

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
125,779
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

James: Thanks so much for you feedback and I may take you up on your offer to field more questions.

Joe: It sounds like you have one of the good ones!

Jun 01, 2008 03:50 PM #8
Rainmaker
125,779
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Kelly: That's good to know. Thanks.

Terrylynn: As usual you are a wealth of information. Thanks.

Jun 01, 2008 05:23 PM #9
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Just about everyone i have ever talked to has said they want to sell their time share, and can't, unless they are willing to take a big hit. The ones that keep them seem like they are always trying to trade for something else, or sell their spot for the year so they can go somewhere else. I don't think they are a good investment.

Jun 01, 2008 10:12 PM #10
Rainmaker
125,779
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

James: So Disney just might be the exception to the rule.

Kevin: Thanks. That seems to be the prevailiing opinion.

Jun 02, 2008 01:29 PM #11
Rainmaker
2,191,370
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I'd never buy a timeshare because I rarely vacation in the same spot twice. But for people who do and use them, they are typically cheaper than paying for a hotel room. Time shares seem to have limited resale value.

Personally, I intensely dislike the strong sales pitches for them. When my husband and I went to Cabo last year, we were bombarded by time share pushers from the time we got off the plane until the time we got to our hotel. It was a remote hotel, secluded from others, Pueblo Bonito Pacifica on the Pacific side. Nothing to the north of it, but to the south, there was plenty of new construction. Mostly time shares.

The hotel offered to give us $300 in cash to attend a time-share tour, and I told them no. My husband looked at me like I was nuts, but my vacation was not for sale. Not for $300, not for a free brunch and not for free air fare. I'm not for sale. Period.

For about three months after we got back home, my phone had continued to ring with timeshare opportunities. I never signed up for anything nor gave anyone permission to call me. I threatened to turn them all over to the Do Not Call List.

I see people laughing and boasting about how they got a free vacation to tour a time share, and I just shake my head.

Now, ask me what I really think about time shares.

elizabeth weintraub real estate agent Sacramento

 

Jun 03, 2008 05:57 AM #12
Rainmaker
125,779
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Elizabeth: That's exactly what I was looking for! Thanks.

Jun 08, 2008 06:06 PM #13
Rainer
82,781
Patty Carroll
Vancouver, WA

Hi Susan,

We own four weeks of timeshare. We own two weeks in Cancun and two in Mazatlan. Timeshare is never an investment as it is really just pre-paying for your vacations so that you beat the inflation of future hotel rates.

They are hard to sell as you are usually in competition with the developer and their programs. Big companies are in timeshare, Marriott, Disney, Hyatt, Westin, Four Seasons, Hilton and more. These companies would not hurt their hotel business with something that did not work. Timeshare has actually has increased their business since an owner of timeshare with them will stay in their hotels as well.

We stay in very nice places that have 1-3 bedrooms, living room, dining room, hot tubs, kitchen and more. Owning timeshare forces us to take a vacation and we can trade anywhere in the world. We recently traded our timeshare to Orlando and Las Vegas. As far as pets we know that some do allow them but generally most do not. Hope this helps.

Jun 08, 2008 06:26 PM #14
Rainmaker
441,222
Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

I regret to say that I was once something of a snob about timeshare projects.  I share the opinions voiced by others about high pressure sales and lack of resale value.  However I had a friend that reminded me that some folks cannot afford to buy a condominium for vacation purposes, and for the right situation, a timeshare may be a very good fit. 

The rise of the exchange markets is a plus - but I will not address those plans here.

Are you retired or in a job where you can control and schedule the time of year that you take your vacation?

Do you have a place you enjoy or have friends in the area where you would want to return to the same place each year ?  (I have friends who lived in Clearwater, Florida, who owned a timeshare at Clearwater Beach - not far from home, but they enjoyed the week at the beach each year just to get a change of scenery)

Most units are refurbished annually.  Know the maintenance schedule and buy your week in the first half of the year after refurbishing.  The furnishings can get pretty seedy by the end of the cycle. 

So if you or your client or friends have the particular situation that fits the timeshare lifestyle - buy it and enjoy it.

But I still don't sell them.    (o:

 

 

 

Jun 09, 2008 03:50 PM #15
Rainmaker
360,325
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging
Susan, there's not much that I can add to the previous comments except some specific stats. We've seen many presentations and they are truly a painful experience and now that we have our second home in Hawaii...NO MORE timeshare high pressure sales meetings. Five years ago we did the free week at one in Kona, Hawaii during their opening/initial sales phase. The prices were outrageous, starting at $28,000 for one week and we were not even a little bit interested. Today the complex is owned by the Wyndham and I think it has been sold about 4 times. The same complex is now being offered for $7500 per week and I'd bet that you can get them for even less. There is also something called "worldmark" which is basically buying points to visit their timeshare resorts. Different but still very much the same. However you don't "own" at any one location, from my understanding. My hubby's ex owns their shares and she loves it because it forces her to go someplace every year. There's a lot to learn. Good luck!
Jun 09, 2008 04:03 PM #16
Rainmaker
125,779
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Patty and Scott: Thanks for your very good points.

Ted: If my client takes the advice you all have so genreously given, she should be able to pick up a bargain and enjoy it for years to come.

Jun 09, 2008 04:07 PM #17
Anonymous
Not Yet Licensed
Hi Susan, Our accountant hates time shares, as an investment. But my wife and I recently bought one anyway! :) We took over a year to make our decision. After looking at three other companies, we bought Disney. One thing I like about Disney is that it's point based. We're not locked into taking a full week somewhere. We can take one or two nights, if we want to. Plus we have the option to bank our points and save up for a big vacation next year. They also allow you to borrow points from the following year. So in 2009 we could take three weeks. That would use up our 2008 points, our 2009 points and our 2010 points. We like Disney quality. We just want a hassle-free vacation. You can usually count on Disney to do things right. We bought in Orlando. We have no intention of selling it. We plan to will it to our kids. I forget the technical term they used, but our ownership is valid for something like 48 years. Then it's all over. They apparently are going to tear down the complex when it's 50 years old and build something new. I did hear that some time shares in Park City, UT ended up being a very good investment but that area could have been a one-time exception to the rule because of the 2002 winter Olympics. I heard that information years ago so the investment situation there could be completely different today.
Jun 09, 2008 04:42 PM #18
Rainer
73,722
Pam Pugmire
Silvercreek Realty Group - Meridian, ID
Meridian Idaho Real Estate

Timeshares are a great vacation place but they are NOT an investment.  If someone wants to get one to enjoy, that's one thing, but to get it thinking it will increase your net worth is crazy.

Jun 09, 2008 06:45 PM #19
Rainmaker
125,779
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Not Yet Licensed: Disney seems to be a big hit. Thanks!

Pam: Good advice!

Jun 14, 2008 06:23 PM #20
Anonymous
Jeff Stinson

My wife and I went to a timeshare sales meeting last week.  It was by Wyndham.  They were pretty good.  Not too high pressure.  We didn't buy at the time but I was intrigued by their product.  They seem to have options to be able to visit all over the world by trading points or something.  Seems much better than the traditional timeshare where you have to go to the same place all the time.

I agree though that it does not sound like much of an investment but it can be a great way to have an upscaled vacation that you may not pay for otherwise.

When I'm ready I'll have to look into buying one that someone is trying to unload, sounds a lot cheeper.

Jul 01, 2008 07:15 PM #21
Rainmaker
211,185
Kara Casamassina
International Property Management Group, LLC - Aiken, SC
Boomers and beyond

We had purchased the remaining 'weeks' on a friends timeshare.  We loved it.  We had two weeks a year.  One in winter - and the last week of July (perfect for the beach)...and we were happy to always go to the resort on Hilton Head Island. (only a two hour drive!!)  For us it was perfect :)   

Jul 02, 2008 01:45 AM #22
Ambassador
1,495,444
Jim Crawford
Maximum One Executive REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

I personally feel they are a waste.  Everyone that I know that got involved with them...no matter how high they sung their praises..got rid of them.  To me that says a lot.  The major beneficiaires are the developer, and the management company.

Jul 02, 2008 01:48 AM #23
Rainer
78,168
David Slavin
Keller Williams Premier - Katy, TX
CDPE, ABR, SRES Keller Williams Premier

The only good thing to do with a time share is to RUN!  Don't do it!  The fine print on those bad investments will lock the owner into the time share for the life of the buyer... even if they are lucky enough to sell it later... they are still locked in for life.    RUN! RUN! and RUN! away from these so-called investments.

Jul 02, 2008 04:42 AM #24
Rainer
218,575
Lisa Friedman
Alliance Realtors - Bedminster, NJ
Central New Jersey Real Estate

I have a time share which I really enjoy both using and trading. I think that most of them do not allow pets, but you could do a google search under 'pet friendly time shares' and see what you can come up with.  I don't think they retain much value.  There are always tons of them for sale.  Beware of any extra maintenance fees you might not realize upfront.

Jul 10, 2008 02:17 AM #25
Rainer
321,367
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

I've had a time share for 17 years. I love it. I've gone places, and stayed places, that I would never had stayed at without the time share, usually due to the expense of staying there. I'm pretty much a Motel 8/Holiday Inn guy.

I stayed at Robert Redford's Sundance Resort in Utah courtesy of time share, a French Quarter hotel during the peak of Mardi Gras, a beautiful property in the Poconos for my fifth anniversary, an oceanside resort in Santa Barbara, and probably the bestest-bestest-bestest of all, the beautiful Ventana in Big Sur in Central California. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

In fact, I've never been to my time share in Palm Springs. I just trade it to go other places. I've even traded it for some interesting weekends right here in San Diego.

An investment? Not by any stretch of the imagination. No, no, no.

Oct 05, 2008 04:35 AM #26
Rainmaker
211,185
Kara Casamassina
International Property Management Group, LLC - Aiken, SC
Boomers and beyond

We had a time share for several years (we bought the remaining years on a friends plan).    It was great!  We loved the resort---and did not care to 'transfer' to different locations.   It definitely was a great investment for us.  We had a two week vacation every year at the beach - with a very modest annual regime fee.  Overall - if we didn't have the time share - it would have cost us more than four times what we spent to enjoy the same amount of time there. 

Oct 05, 2008 08:42 AM #27
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Susan Peters

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