Timeshare gets a lot of bad press, but there are many ways to make sure that your timeshare experience is a positive one. Here are some tips about how to protect yourself and take full advantage of a product that is supposed to save you money and bring happiness.
1 – Know what you want
It might seem obvious, but be clear with yourself and the seller about your vacation needs now and in the future. What are your patterns now and how do you hope to be in the future? You might find that the timeshare agent has just the right plan for you, or you might save yourself the trouble of maintaining a property that you never use.
2 – Choose a destination that suits you and your family
Most timeshare properties run by established operators are in prime locations, having researched the area to ensure a low risk investment. However, you need to assess the convenience of the destination for you and your family: Are there direct flights? Can you access easily the areas that you want to visit? If you are looking for a quiet area, how exclusive is the location? If you are buying a fixed week package, you will want to consider how the destination will develop in the future as it will be a place you will return to frequently.
3 – Do a background check on the operator
In general, the majority of the timeshare companies operating in major destinations are licensed and bona fide. However, to protect yourself and your investment, take a few minutes to research the validity of the timeshare company you are thinking of investing with. Most of the complaints about timeshare nightmares are related to working with bogus companies or scammers.
4 – Buy from Established Companies
There are many benefits that come with purchasing from an established company, the main ones being security and expertise. Operators who have a good track record generally offer the best deals, well research locations and architectural designs, and provide more options for future upgrades or swaps.
5 – Fixed Weeks or Points System?
Know the difference between fixed week systems and points systems and make sure you choose a scheme that suits you and your family. A fixed week plan is when you will visit your property for the same week(s) every year, although you can opt to swap dates. A points systems enables you to have more freedomaboutf when you travel, using your points to secure particular dates or types of accommodations in a flexible manner.
6- Maintenance Fees
Ask the operator about maintenance fees before you purchase. All timeshare properties requirethat you pay maintenance fees, which are essential for securing the quality and upkeep of your property. However, you need to make sure that you take them into account when deciding if you can afford the property.
7 – Know Your Numbers
Be clear with yourself and the seller how much you are realistically able to spend. There is no point dreaming about a property that is completely out of your reach, but if you are honest with the agent, they will most probably find you an offer that you can afford, knowing that when your finances change in the future you are able to upgrade.
8 – Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you have doubts. Not only does this help you to clarify what you are getting for your money, but it also helps the seller to identify what is right for you and your family.
9 – Unfinished Properties in Foreign Country
If you are attracted to invest in a property that is unfinished in a foreign country, be sure to buy with an established company to avoid any disappointment.
10 – Avoid Resale Scams
If you ever decide to sell your property, avoid going with any agent that asks for a fee upfront for listing your property. Always look for a reputable real estate agent, or see if you are able to upgrade with the original operator.