If going on holiday each year with your family is important to you, you may be considering investing in a timeshare. The idea behind a timeshare is simple; you buy a week long share in a holiday home in your chosen destination and can return at the same time every year.
In reality, everything is not as simple as it seems, and you may be getting scammed or misled. While it may at first seem like a great investment on the surface, we would urge you to avoid timeshares or anything that sounds similar, so let’s quickly run through the reasons why.
The Basic Problem with Timeshares
A timeshare is often sold as an ‘investment’, promising that you will be able to have a guaranteed holiday each year at the same time, to the same destination. Rather than owning the property itself, you simply buy a certain week out of the year when you are allowed to visit (you can also buy blocks that are longer than a week). You will usually pay a lump sum, and then annual maintenance fees.
Due to the timeshare market being extremely over saturated with people desperate to sell, you can often bag yourself what appears to be a bargain when it comes to the initial cost, with some people selling their timeshares for as little as £1 or even giving them away.
The maintenance fees, however, are a whole different story, which are usually thousands of pounds or dollars per year, and increase regularly.
Why a Timeshare Is a Poor Investment
While it may seem like a good investment and a secure holiday option for you and your family, in reality, it is usually nothing more than an increasing financial burden. Maintenance fees go up, the value of your investment decreases, and you can’t get out of the agreement!
You can’t even rent out the property to recoup some of the mounting costs like you could if you owned your own holiday home, and even worse, your family would often end up inheriting responsibility for the fees if you were to pass away.
While timeshares in themselves are a pretty rough deal for investors, you also often become the target of numerous scams. Lists of timeshare owners are often used to extort even more money by fraudsters.
Some of these involve the promise to get you out of your timeshare agreement, or sell it for you, but for a fee. You pay the fee but then the invoice for maintenance fees arrives as usual and you realize you’ve been duped.
There are a whole host of other scams out there, and we recommend giving this huge roundup from independent experts the Timeshare Consumer Association a read as they have heard every trick in the book by now.
We hope that this has given you a little bit more insight into why a timeshare is not the best of investments and saved you from making an expensive mistake. There are plenty of great options if you want a home, from great value package holidays to amazing accommodation to rent from sites such as Airbnb, all without any of the burden or hassle.