What is a Timeshare? A time share is a name given to a piece of property shared among number of owners. This involves use and cost of maintaining the property. Although the majority of the timeshare properties are condominiums resorts but it will not be a surprise if you find a hotel timeshare or a motor home timeshare or a cruise timeshare or a campground. The choices are increasing by the day. The idea of a timeshare property originated in Europe in 1960s when the property rates were skyrocketing and it was impossible for people to afford a full time vacation house. But by sharing the ownership the burden of maintenance and other costs on single person were greatly reduced. These also boosted the fortune of real estate developers as they were able to successfully market and sell the properties to a greater number of people. But a key point to remember in timeshare properties is that a timeshare is owned by a number of people who have no relation to one another like a standard home ownership. A technical definition of timeshare property is that an owner has specific time to share you own in a property. But as more and more properties are being converted into timeshare, flexible timeshare options cannot be ruled out. The flexible timeshare offers owners the option of choosing more than one timeshare destination and also more than one specific time of a year. Timeshare properties are usually found in warm destinations like Florida where people like to vacation a lot. They can also be found in cold weather areas near ski resorts. The timeshare properties are typically furnished in full and usually have one to three bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. It may not come as a surprise if you find timeshare properties with indoor or outdoor pools. They have become a common feature of most timeshare properties nowadays. The typical duration of a timeshare ownership unit is one week. Depending on what time of the year you own the timeshare the price may vary. For example, a timeshare property in the month of April in Florida will be much higher than in August. So the rates may vary with varying season and demand. Some resorts give color coding to different seasons depending on the demand. For example some resorts term high demand season as red season meaning the prices of the timeshare will be highest in that season. Timeshares can usually be inherited to your children like any other real estate property. Timeshare offers not only a great vacation but also great investment. Most people rent their timeshare to others when they do not use their timeshare. This has a double advantage. You earn rent also along with appreciation of the property with passage of time. Timeshare properties are exchangeable and tradable with other properties in most of the cases. While it may be easy for the owners of the red season timeshares to exchange their unit with other owners in any season it might be impossible for owners of low season timeshare owners to get a high season timeshare unit in exchange. Timeshares can be purchased through financing also but mostly the resale properties purchased from individuals are paid in cash. The cost of maintenance, management and cost to maintain common areas like pools and tennis courts are paid by timeshare owners. Fees may vary and always make sure to find it out before buying a timeshare. There are many types of timeshare properties. A fixed unit, fixed week, deeded timeshare allows you to own a specific timeshare at a specific time each year. A floating time agreement allows you to be flexible about the dates that you can use your timeshare. But reservations may be only first come first serve as many owners would like to go for that option. Right to use timeshare is a leased timeshare. You no longer have rights to the property after the lease expires. Timeshare: Is it right for you? Many people buy timeshares after a lot of research and analysis. But same is not true with some people who simply buy timeshares hearing the buzz surrounding it with poor perception and ignorance about timeshares. Buying a timeshare is a huge investment and thus should be dealt with utmost importance. Before buying a timeshare you have to first question yourself whether is it really for you? How often do you go for vacation? Is that place right for you to go year after year? Do you want to buy a timeshare just for vacation purpose or you are buying it as an investment? Even if you decide to buy a timeshare property you should start your research at least nine months before you buy a timeshare. But let us weigh in various factors to know whether timeshare is really for you or not. A vacation home might be a minor financial investment for few rich and wealthy but to many middle class people it is possible only in dreams. Middle class people badly needed an alternative to this costly investment. The search for an alternative resulted in the discovery of timeshare in Europe in 1970's. This was a welcome relief to many people who could not afford to buy an expensive vacation home. This concept gained huge popularity with every passing year and today over two million Americans own timeshare properties which is a big number. A timeshare is nothing but a real estate property split into many ownerships. The cost is shared among the owners. Timeshares are basically classified into two types of plans, deeded and non-deeded. In a deeded plan the owner buys the timeshare unit and the unit for 30-40 years. It can again be classified into fixed use and flexible use. A fixed use allows only a specific time and specific number of years where as a flexible use timeshare allows you to choose vacation at any time of the year but only on first come first serve basis as many people would like to go for that option. The other types of plan called non-deeded plan is also called right to use plan which is like a lease, you have the same facilities but only for specific period and you lose all the rights after the lease expires. Having understood what a timeshare is and different types it is also important to dig into the facts of timeshare. Timeshares are usually common in a tourist place. The cost depends on the location and season of the year. Apart from cost of timeshare you have to pay the maintenance and various other fees also. This also may vary depending on the location. But one good thing about timeshare is that you don't have to worry about the upkeep and maintenance of your timeshare unit. But you have to think is it really worth to pay hundreds of dollars every year in addition to the thousands you have already paid to buy the timeshare and that too to spend only one or two weeks in a year. This may be reasonable only if the maintenance fee is low which is generally not. But if you see the other side of the coin, in long term a timeshare will be cheaper than a hotel or vacation home. If you add up the cost of hotel for thirty years and compare it with timeshare it will be way higher. But then again, if you decide to go to a different vacation spot every year hotel may be ideal for you. Although timeshare offer exchange of properties with other owners across the states and countries it may not be that easy to do it. Also one should compare the other alternatives to a timeshare available in that place. In some seasons timeshares could really be expensive due to their close proximity to beach fronts etc. So a quick market survey to find cheap alternative should never be ruled out. Risks involved in buying Timeshares Buying Timeshares can be rewarding for many people. It might a money wheel for some. Last but not the least; it can be a profitable investment for many. But the story doesn't end here itself. While many people may reap the rich benefits of timeshares there are several others for whom the timeshare investment was nothing more than a mere fraud and dream resorts turned into nightmares. Thus investing in a timeshare should always be done with high alertness and caution. Before signing a contract or a check always weigh in both the benefits and the risks involved. If proper precautions are not taken these money spinners can turn into money losers. Always read the finely written statements before signing a contract. The timeshares are basically classified into deeded and non-deeded plans. In a deeded plan, an individual buys an ownership in a piece of real estate property. The owner usually gets the title of the property and the property is also inheritable to the heirs of the owner. Where as, in a non-deeded plan or right to use plan, an individual buys a lease, a club membership or a license that lets you use the property for a specific amount of time each year and for stated number of years. But in both the cases the cost of the unit is directly proportional to the season of the year and length of time an individual wants to buy. The rights of the timeshare owner ceases after the lease expires in right to use timeshare. Every individual takes adequate care while making a major investment. And this applies in the case of buying a timeshare also. You must read all the documents carefully and understand fully what you are getting for your investment before signing any agreements or paying any fees. A professional advice might also be critical involving big timeshare investments. So take expert advice from people who have bought timeshare before or your attorney. Here is a checklist of what all people should consider before buying a timeshare property. * If you are buying a timeshare from a timeshare resale company verify that they are licensed brokers. Easy way to verify this is by asking the license number of the broker. Then you can verify that with the State Department which deals with these kinds of transactions and know about the history of the broker. Be vigilant when you are buying a timeshare from a non-licensed firm, your money would be at stake as the non-licensed firms wouldn't have much to lose, so greater chances of fraud exist. * Keep in mind that timeshares are for personal recreational use and do not expect profit or loss. A resale of timeshare may or may not reap good return. * If you are buying a right to use timeshare watch out, if the sponsor declares bankruptcy, you may lose your rights. * If you are buying a timeshare in a property where the facilities have not been fully installed take a written commitment from the seller that they will be finished in a specific amount of time. * Any claims made by the seller about the returns on the investment in timeshare should be questioned because the future value of a timeshare depends on many factors. * Do not get impulsive when buying a timeshare. Read each and every paper thoroughly. Take adequate time in researching, analyzing and making a decision to buy a timeshare. * Never believe in the word of mouth, neither on phone or face to face. Request everything in writing especially the promises that were made orally. * Try to find out whether the exchange program will be guaranteed or not. Sometimes it isn't. So make sure to find it out before buying. Buying a timeshare without an exchange program is not worth the money because you will get bored going to the same property every year and also you will not have the flexibility of schedule if you don't have exchange facility. Timeshare Tips for Buyers Every individual waits for that time of the year, a much deserved time off from the hectic activities of day to day life. And when the time comes you keep wondering where to go? Where to stay? Etc. And each time you think I should have planned it out before itself. Smart people plan their vacations long before they actually go out for one. And even smarter people buy timeshare property for vacations to have a peace of mind and a place where they love to enjoy and cherish most beautiful memories in the comfort of your home like atmosphere. Everyone wishes to have a timeshare property at their favorite vacation place. While it may be easy to buy for some, but for some it may be their lifetime savings or hard earned money. So, nobody would like to invest their money in a losing proposition. Here we discuss some of the important things that you have to remember while buying a timeshare. The first thing to do before buying any timeshare is to understand the types of timeshare. There are basically two types of timeshare plans. A deeded plan, in which you actually buy a piece of real estate property and own it along with other owners but, you can use it only according to the timeshare agreement. A fixed unit, fixed week, deeded timeshare allows you to own a specific timeshare at a specific time each year. A floating time agreement allows you to be flexible about the dates that you can use your timeshare. But reservations may be only first come first serve as many owners would like to go for that option. Right to use timeshare or a non-deeded timeshare is a leased timeshare. Again it is classified into fixed unit and floating time just as in the case of deeded timeshare. You no longer have rights to the property after the lease expires. Before investing in a timeshare do your homework about the location first. Do a good research about the location, whether you can go there on a yearly basis. Also it wouldn't hurt if you research the prices of other alternative accommodations in that place. If you are paying for the timeshare then why buy timeshare if an alternative costs you less. But at the same time you should weigh in your comfort factor also. The alternative accommodation might not provide you with the same comfort as the timeshare accommodation. So, it all depends on what criterion is important to you, cost or comfort. Always find out your timeshare rights before buying. Your rights may be violated in some cases. In most of the cases the timeshare properties are governed by legal documents known as Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions. It establishes rights for real estate property owners and governs how the timeshare should be managed. Also important thing to consider before buying a timeshare is to decide whether you want to buy it for vacation purpose only or as an investment. If you want to buy it as an investment you should rethink. Timeshares are not one of the most lucrative properties for reselling. Generally timeshare properties don't have good resale value and the resale is also difficult due to competition from the original seller himself. While you may think that the cost of buying a timeshare is simply the cost of buying only the real property. You may be wrong. Because you should always calculate the total cost of time share which includes mortgage payments, maintenance fees, taxes, travel cost, closing cost, broker commissions, financing charges etc. That will definitely raise your hair. Compare the cost of alternative accommodation with the total cost of owning a timeshare now. Go with whichever is cheaper. Also do not forget to read each and every document carefully before signing any agreement. Never ever believe on promises made by word of mouth. Request everything in written. Also find out about the reputation of the seller and whether he is a licensed timeshare seller. Also never accept properties with unfinished facilities, if you do so take a written commitment from the seller that they would be finished within a specific time frame. Is it worth buying timeshares? Buying a beach front property or a vacation villa may be easy for rich and wealthy but not for common middle class people. The introduction of timeshare concept gave hope to those people who could not afford to buy a brand new vacation home. That is one of the reasons why the timeshare industry has grown by leaps and bounds ever since its inception in the United States. One of the aspects of a timeshare property that attracts most people is that they can have a wonderful vacation home without having to worry about its upkeep and maintenance. But at the same time people have many misconceptions about timeshares. One of the biggest misconceptions is that they compare timeshares to regular real estate property and consider it as an investment option. But in fact it should be thought as an investment in your dreams i.e. vacationing at a place where you want to go every year. Investing in real estate could reap profitable returns but if you invest in a timeshare it may not be guarantee in fact you may end up losing money. But what if you still want to buy it and you expect no profit from it but neither loss also at the same time. There is always one question in the minds of those people who are planning to buy timeshares. Is it really worth buying a timeshare? To answer this question you have to go through an analysis of various factors. An analysis should consider factors like comparable rent of alternative accommodation, appreciation of the timeshare property and your finance rate. How do you do it? Here is a simple calculation. Consider the worth of your investment as profitability. The profitability should be a measure of the comparable rental rate, rate of appreciation and your finance rate. If the sum of all these is a negative number then, assume that you are losing money in your investment. The rental rate is the ratio of the rent of that vacation property to the buying price of that timeshare. Suppose if corresponding rent of that vacation timeshare is $1,000 and the buying price is $10,000 then the rental rate is 10%. Now if we include the annual maintenance cost, membership and all other miscellaneous expenses, if it comes around $500. So the actual saving in rent will be $500 now and the rental rate will be the ratio of $500 to $10,000 which gives us 5%. Now if we assume the annual appreciation of that property is 10% and the rate of our finances is 16%. If we add rental rate and appreciation and subtract the finance rate you will end up with a negative percentage which means you are losing 1% every year compared to rent. But this formula is only a rough calculation of the profitable of your investment and may not be accurate. This is just to give you a start up. The depreciation rate may vary and so as the finance rates. The maintenance fees and other fees may also vary with different locations. Some resorts have charge reasonable maintenance fee and other fees but some exorbitantly high fees. So, this is also should be a factor in deciding which resort to choose, it is not a smart idea to pay unusually high fees when you don't know whether you can utilize the property year after year and you may think of renting out the unit which is not a profitable proposition too. Another good idea is to add up the cost of your timeshare for the entire year i.e. all fifty two weeks and see. For the above investment it may be around 520,000. But, does the timeshare property cost that much if somebody wants to buy it as a real estate property. The extra money goes into the pockets of real estate developers who are selling the timeshare. So carefully weigh in all the factors discussed above before buying a timeshare property. Pros and Cons of Timeshares Everything in life has pros and cons. While pros may be important to some and to some cons. It depends on how you evaluate the benefits of buying a timeshare with your lifestyle and financial condition. For some it might be a miniscule portion of their wealth but for some it can be hard earned savings of their life. In either case, a smart person will always look into pros and cons before investing his/her money. Let us discuss the pros first. To begin with, timeshare properties are more economical compared to buying a piece of real estate property for life and only using it once a year. Compare this you buying a property for lifetime for $200,000 with timeshare which may be only $10,000 plus annual maintenance cost of $500 for the life. If we assume the lifetime period of 30 years the calculation will be as follows: $10,000+30 years x 500 = $25,000 for the lifetime Compare it with buying a real estate property for lifetime you will save $175,000. Isn't that a lot of money? Is it wise to invest that much extra money for once a year use? Let us compare this with the cost of Hotel. Suppose if you spend $1,200 every year on a hotel, let us consider the cost for 30 years: $1,200 x 30 years = $36,000 which is still more than $25,000 you pay for timeshare for the lifetime. Apart from saving money you get the comfort of your home. In a hotel you might get only a suite. But a typical timeshare condo has two or three bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining room and even a laundry room. Also timeshare units are usually fully furnished. Most of the timeshare properties have an indoor or outdoor pool also these days. In addition to that you also get resort facilities. What more somebody might want when they get all these facilities and comfort of home? If you have a timeshare you don't have to worry about the upkeep and maintenance of the condo. It is taken care of by the developer. Now compare this with buying a real estate property for the life, you have to do all the maintenance. Not to forget, if you or your spouse is a person who takes vacation lightly, this is for you. If you have a timeshare, you definitely make it a point to go for a vacation at least once a year. You are also saved from the hassles of planning a vacation every year. Most of the timeshare companies are associated with other timeshare companies. This allows the exchange of timeshare. This is one of the many reasons why people prefer timeshare. Now talking about the Cons of timeshare, timeshares has become an avenue for many scammers and frauds. The timeshare industry has been plagued with variety of scam and fraud related problems. People are invited to attend a ninety minute presentation completely free and then they are subjected to the techniques of pressurized buying which is unethical in any sense. Do not fall prey to these tricks. Always read the documents carefully specially the fine prints before signing any agreements. Research the timeshare company well and know their reputation. By paying a huge upfront fee your money is tied up for a long time which means you are losing money's worth in addition to paying interest if you have taken a loan for the rest of the amount. Also you have to pay regular maintenance cost. One of the major cons is the appreciation. The timeshares don't appreciate much. They may be stagnant or even depreciate with time. They are also difficult to resale compared to a real estate property. And last but not the least; timeshares may not be flexible enough for you to use it every year at a specific time. Although some companies offer flexible timeshares but it is only on first come first serve basis many other timeshare owners might also be planning to do that. Timeshare FAQs Although the concept of timeshares is not new to the public still people have many questions about timeshares. Few of the most important frequently asked questions that people enquire about are discussed as follows: Is renting a timeshare better than buying it? Buying a timeshare gives you much bigger choices. As an owner of the timeshare you get the amenities are better and cost much less. Owners can get discounts on lodging, entertainment, food, travel and many other resort facilities. The average rental fee is way higher than the average maintenance fee and is also increasing every year. In addition to all the above benefits a timeshare owner has equity in the property which can come to the advantage of the owner when he wants to sell it. Is buying a timeshare good investment? Many people get this question in their minds whether to buy timeshares as an investment. The answer can be disappointing to you because it has been seen that the value of the timeshare depreciates with time and they can go do as much as 30%-50% depending on the location and season. A timeshare should be thought as an investment in life, for guaranteed vacations and better facilities. Also if you compare the cost of owning a timeshare with a hotel in long term period, a timeshare would save you a lot of money. Can you rent your timeshare to somebody else? Sure you can as long as you are the legal owner of that timeshare meaning you cannot rent out a timeshare that is received in exchange. What is the procedure of making an exchange? Most timeshare companies have business network with timeshare companies and you are automatically enrolled into exchange program and also the fee for the first year is paid by the timeshare developer in most cases. You can also go to the timeshare exchange company and put your timeshare for exchange. But keep in mind few things like you will get similar kind of unit meaning you can't expect to get a two bedroom timeshare in exchange of a one bedroom. Also plan in advance if you plan to exchange timeshare as it may take a while depending on the availability. Also remember there is a fee for exchanging timeshares. What are fixed week and floating week? In a fixed week plan you are entitled to use your timeshare only at a specific week each year and specific unit. But in a floating week you have the option of choosing a range of week but only on first come first serve basis as many owners would like to do the same thing. The advantage of a fixed week is that your timeshare week is assured and also the unit you want. While floating week is advantageous to people who have schedule conflicts with fixed unit timeshare. Are there any other additional fees when you buy a timeshare? The answer is yes. Typically there is a maintenance fee and other fee like transfer fee if you are transferring a timeshare. There may be property tax also. Should I have to pay any upfront fee while buying/selling a timeshare through a broker? The answer is strict no. Experts say never every pay an upfront fee to buy or sell or rent timeshare. Like any other industry timeshare industry is also prone to many scammers and frauds. There have been instances where people paid huge upfront fee and they got nothing in return. Checklist for buying Timeshares Many prospective buyers are stuck when it comes to deciding what important factors that one should consider when buying a timeshare. The buyers today are much more informed than the buyers of few years back. They are more knowledgeable about what they are buying and have done their homework before taking a major step. But still many buyers get confused when asked if they have a checklist of things to consider before buying a timeshare. The following paragraphs provide you with a checklist to make sure that you are not missing the important criterions that should be weighed against the timeshare you are buying. If you are buying timeshare through a broker make sure that he is licensed. Also find out his reputation in handling timeshares and the success rate. And do not hesitate to ask any questions related to your timeshare. Some of the good questions to ask are: * What is the maintenance fee of the resort and do they keep raising it every year, if yes how much? * What are the chances of getting a best timeshare like in a desired week? * By what date you should make the reservation at the earliest? * Are there any extra benefits accompanying your timeshare? * Do the timeshare company has bonus week program? * Can you exchange or trade your timeshare without joining an exchange company? Also try to enquire from the broker about the point system. Some reputable firms sell the timeshares for more if they have points system. Ask him if this is reasonable or you are better of buying a resale. Also the factors that determine the cost of timeshare units are demand for a particular week may be high so the price may be high, also demand for a particular location may be high. The size of the unit also affects the price, the bigger units are easy to trade in and exchange hence they are in more demand. Also the reputation of the firm owning the timeshare resort is an important factor. See the unit before you buy, in many cases the descriptions provided by the timeshare company or the re-seller turns out to be misleading like the location, size of the unit etc. If you cannot see it, if your family members or friends lives near the location tell them to go and see the unit. Also try to get references. When you go and see the unit ask the neighbors what they think of the amenities and the management. You can also enquire from them: * What they think of the resort? * Time since they have been vacationing in this resort? * Are dates easy get without much problems? * Is the management company good and are they satisfied? * How about the maintenance fees and other fees? * Do they have a good record or they raise it too frequently? * Is it easy to make reservations and exchanges? * Are developers planning on improving the property in near future? Do your homework to find out the prices in the area you are buying. Internet can come handy for checking the prices for example auction sites such as eBay and bidshare.com. Keep in mid that if you are buying a resale timeshare unit it should be as cheap as half the price of the new timeshare unit that developers sell. If you are buying a new timeshare through a timeshare company read everything carefully in fine print before signing any contracts. While buying a resale timeshare ask the seller why they are selling it because there can be an underlying problem in their reason to sell like problems with management company or inconvenience. You can get a feel of the potential problems that you may also have to face and can decide whether you may be able to handle it or not. Also make sure that there are no past dues on maintenance fees and property taxes, it will add up to your cost. If you take care of all these important factors you should be able to make a smarter decision in buying a timeshare. How to choose a right Timeshare Broker Finding a real estate broker is easy. They are there at every nuke and corner, online, offline and everywhere. Same is not the case with timeshare brokers. Not all real estate brokers deal with timeshare resale. They may be little more prominent in coastal states like Florida, North and South Carolina but not everywhere else. As many of us know or at least the people who tried selling their timeshare. It is not easiest of the tasks. In fact I would say it is one of the most challenging tasks. Timeshare should never be bought as an investment. It should be for your individual use and for spending the most beautiful moments of your life. But many circumstances can force timeshare owners to sell their timeshare. Timeshares doesn't even sell at their original price. They usually sell 30-50% below their original price. And leave the price alone, even selling is also difficult, it takes a lot of time to close a timeshare sale. Having learnt the above facts it is almost imperative to conclude that selecting a right broker is critical to the sale of your timeshare property. Do your homework by researching about some good brokers near your timeshare property. Searching for timeshare brokers in the state where you live doesn't make sense because most of the brokers who deal in timeshares could found only around high vacationing places like Florida. Look for those brokers who have a good track record in handling timeshare resale. It is advised to go with big and reputable brokers as they are more likely to handle your resale professionally and responsibly. They are also less likely to play games or cheat you because of their name. Do not hesitate to ask questions related to their success in selling timeshares, their experience in selling timeshares of the timeshare resort you hold timeshares with. Also find out the average time that a timeshare property sits in the market before being sold and last but not the least the average selling price of the properties they sold. Now compare these aspects of some brokers and go with the best one. It is not a bad idea to find out people in your development who have recently sold their timeshare units and ask them which broker they hired to resale their units. Also take inputs on broker's performance in handling the resale of your timeshare unit and did they get the best possible return on their sale. Cost is also a factor while selecting a timeshare broker. Beware of the brokers who charge upfront fee and excessive commission. Some brokers charge as high as $500 upfront fee. While it may be a norm but you should still ask in writing to list all the services they are providing for that fee. It is generally recommended to go with the broker who doesn't charge an upfront fee. One of the reasons why brokers charge an upfront fee is many owners price their units ridiculously high and they end up sitting for a long time and eventually they never get sold. So, be careful while pricing your timeshare unit. But the brokers also can advise the owners that the unit may not sell at such an exorbitant price. Try to find about the background of the broker through better business bureau. Also ask the broker some important questions like what strategy they will be employing to sell their unit, estimated time it will take to sell the unit. The broker should be able to answer all your questions. If the broker is unwilling or unable to answer your questions they you may better look out for some other broker. Thus, a good broker who charges reasonable commission is critical for the resale of your timeshare because it is in the hands of the broker to make or break a deal and fetch a good value to your timeshare unit. Know your Timeshare Rights One of the biggest reasons why many people fall into the trap of scammers and frauds is that they do know their legal rights when buying a timeshare. It is always a good practice to know your rights when you are signing any contract or agreement. As with any other industry timeshare industry is also prone to unscrupulous tactics by some people. Everyday you hear a story of somebody being duped into buying a timeshare and the property doesn't even exist or in some cases, is not up to the standard and what they were promised. We here these horror stores and we should learn from these. Here are few things that you should remember while buying a timeshare. To understand our rights let us understand different types of timeshare plans first. They are basically of two types. A deeded and title timeshare and the second one are right to use also as called license to use timeshares. A deeded and title and ownership means the buyer owns the timeshare and acquires a specific facility for a specified length of time each year, for a specified number of years (generally 40 years) and a deed. A right to use timeshare means the buyer has the right to acquire all the above mentioned things except the deed i.e. title. A deeded timeshare is inheritable whereas a right to use timeshare is like a lease which expires after certain number of years. Timeshare industry has also acquired the reputation of used car industry in terms of selling tactics they use. It starts off with an invitation to a presentation offering you an expensive gift. When you actually go there it turns out to be a pressure selling session of a used car dealer who doesn't want you to go out unless you sign a paper. And the expensive gift also turns out to be a mere gimmick. And the people have to go through the trauma of sitting through the presentation which goes on for two hours also sometimes, full of pressure selling tactics. But as per the law the people are supposed to be informed about the length of the time they have to sit before receiving a free gift. Also they must be informed about the physical condition of the facility. The timeshare companies are also legally not permitted to misrepresent the market value of the timeshare property. They are also not supposed to misinform you about the resale or exchange potential of the timeshare property. The law also prohibits the timeshare companies from not including the oral promises that were made before the purchase of the property in the written contract and also including any kind of fees that were never ever mentioned orally. The rules may vary from state to state. Some states also have a cool-off period usually of two weeks to allow you to cancel your contract should you change your mind. Apart from these rights one should also consider things such as do you really want to buy the timeshare? Did u check out the facility? Did you contact the better business bureau? Did you talk to existing owners in the timeshare property? Do you plan to rent it? Do you plan on reselling it? Do you plan on exchanging vacation sites frequently? The answers of all these questions should be found out before making a final decision about buying a timeshare. Top Timeshare Travel Destinations Everyone would think that top timeshare travel destinations would only be in coastal states like Florida, North Carolina, Cancun (Mexico) and South Carolina. But you would be amazed to find that even places like Nevada, California and Minnesota are vying to occupy the top timeshare destination spot. Also the rocky mountain states of Arizona and Utah are also not far behind. Each of these destinations has some special traits which attract visitors from all over the world. Not to forget the kind of amenities these destinations offer which makes them a crowd puller. Talking of Florida, one destination that immediately strikes everyone's mind is Orlando. It is considered to be the most favorite family destination in the world. Home to some of the world's largest and most popular entertainment companies it has number of wonderful theme parks to surpass the expectations of families across the globe. The unlimited and impressive list includes Disney World Resort, Universal Studio's Universal Orlando Resort, Sea World Orlando and Islands of Adventure. Millions of tourists around the world are overwhelmed by the joy and excitement offered by these resorts. Daytona Beach is also one of the world's most famous beaches with nearly twenty three miles of beach front. It offers visitors a chance to experience sailing, surfing and jet skiing. Many competitions take place round the year here. When thinking of vacationing who can forget Cancun, Mexico which is know for its white sandy beaches, great weather, bright blue sky and outstanding hospitality. One can get attractive timeshare packages and vacation discounts here. Next on the list is Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This destination is popular for its mild climate round the year. It offers excellent golf courses and cruises with the experience of watching dolphins. One of the main attractions of Cancun is the swim with dolphins feature and interactive aquariums. It is also home to many world class resorts. It also offers best of night life with many bars serving free drinks also. Nearly four million visitors pay visit to Cancun every year. One can never ignore California when it comes to tourism industry. While Anaheim is home to Disneyland providing greatest excitement and pleasure and offering great discount on timeshare accommodations one cannot return without visiting San Francisco and experiencing its magic. The list of attractions include Fisherman's Wharf ,Ghirardelli Square, Coit Tower, the mansions of Pacific Heights, world's biggest Chinatown outside Asia, Union Square, world renowned landmarks like crooked Lombard Street. Night life is one of the greatest. One can go hiking also in Muir Woods and taste world's greatest wines. Cable rides, Pedi-cabs, Pier 39 etc. there is fun unlimited in San Francisco offering you the complete experience of your lifetime. Las Vegas, Nevada is not far behind any other timeshare destination as it offers visitors the 360 degree of entertainment. It is second to none in providing the ultimate in fun and excitement. It is the casino capital of the world and wouldn't be wrong to call it the night capital of the world. Whatever one can think of, Las Vegas has it and that too the greatest of them all, big hotels, big casinos, big convention halls, big malls and what not. You only some good cash in your wallet if you visit this place and rest assured you will get the fun of your lifetime. Tips on selling your Timeshare Many people would agree that reselling a timeshare is not as easy as buying one. You get loads of invitations in mails; get courtesy calls and emails to attend a timeshare presentation. They offer you bounties and favors in return for attending a presentation. Why all this? To convince you buy a timeshare. Buying is as easy as making a simple enquiry and many companies come knocking to your house to sell a timeshare. But, have you ever wondered is selling a timeshare as easy as buying one? The harsh truth is "no". Reselling a timeshare can be a real pain in the neck. That is why many experts advice not buy timeshare as an investment. It is never going to rewards you with the returns of a real estate property. It is an investment in your life, dreams but not for financial returns. True that many people buy timeshare with the intention of vacationing only but certain unforeseen circumstances may force some timeshare owners to resale their timeshare unit. So this article is exclusively for those people and may also benefit others also who are contemplating selling their timeshares due to reasons such as change of taste, family has grown and you no longer want to go to the same location etc. 1. Check with the timeshare developer who sold you the timeshare. Sometimes the developers offer the original buyer an option to resell their timeshare back to the developer. If not find out if your timeshare is associated with a licensed broker handling timeshare resale. 2. You have to be realistic in your expectations. Do not expect wonders. It is a bitter truth that timeshare properties do sell at less than their original price. Not only that, it may be difficult to resale as well especially if it is in a not so popular destination, is a small unit for example a studio and if the time of use is in an off season. It might be a challenging task to sell a timeshare like the one discussed above. But in case of a property which is located in popular vacation destinations, is reasonably big and offers usage during peak season might sell easily. But again even if the property sells it might sell at 30-50% less than its original price. So be prepared mentally about that, think that it is like your car which depreciates with each passing year. 3. Make sure you do your home work first. Research the market well to know about the prices. Also know what you are selling by thoroughly studying all the documents. Try to ascertain whether your property is a deeded property or right to use one. Some right to use property values decrease considerably when they approach their expiry. Knowing all these facts makes you knowledgeable about your timeshare and helps you in reselling the property with confidence. 4. List your timeshare with a real estate agency. There is no dearth of online and traditional brokers. But do enquire whether there is any upfront fee for listing the advertisement or commission on sale of property. You may not want to go with a broker who charges very large upfront fee or commission. You can also list your timeshare in classified ads offered by many timeshare developers. The latest trend that is catching up is to list your timeshare for auction on sites such as e-bay which lest you develop your own ad campaign with your own ideas. 5. Do not fall prey to scammers who might dupe you by offering quick resale of your timeshare. Never believe their promise to resale it quickly as we have discussed in detail earlier how touch it is to resale a timeshare. There is no guarantee whatsoever that your timeshare might resell in a specified time period. 6. Also do not commit to any offer on phone. Do make decisions in haste. Take your time to make a decision and to come to a conclusion whether to accept the offer or not. Also request the offer in writing and also obtain written contract.
Tips for Renting Your Timeshare Many timeshare owners know how difficult it is to sell a timeshare. But not many timeshare owners know how difficult it is to let your timeshare for rent. The truth is many owners do not take a right approach to rent their timeshares to interested people. A wrong approach can not only increase your net loss on renting but also in some cases your unit may remain unoccupied without being rented. But if you adopt a right strategy and approach you can minimize this liability to a great extent. Basically there are two approaches which are discussed in the following paragraphs. One approach is to go to your timeshare resort and tell them to let your unit for rent. Although it looks like an easy option which saves us from the hassle of advertising. But timeshare resorts typically charge a fee for renting out the unit. The resort pools the rental income with other timeshare owners. The resort then splits the income if the unit was not rented for a whole week. This is the reality and timeshare resorts tell its owners before hand not to expect the unit to go for whole week of rental. It can be either 2or 3 days or 3or 4 days or rarely may be a week. And worst thing about renting through the resort is its whopping 30-40% commission which is a great loss for the timeshare owner. Let us do a quick calculation of numbers. If you rent out the unit for $150 per night and assume that someone is renting it for 3 days. So three day total rent should be $450. If the resort charges a commission of $150 then you are only left with $300, which is your net rent. Now if you pay $400 in annual maintenance your net loss will be $100. Now you got to question yourself is this really worth it? Obviously the answer will be no. Let us forget for a moment that you want to make a profit on your rental but at least you don't want a loss also or to be practical, a minimum loss. Now let us look at other option of going through a broker to rent your timeshare unit. When I say broker beware, like any other industry timeshare industry is also susceptible to scammers and frauds. Make sure that the broker is a licensed broker and specializes in timeshare rentals and sales. A reputed name will be a safe bet in this regard. Ok now, you went to a licensed broker and he charges twenty five percent commission which is little better than your resort company. There was a huge rush of people to rent their units. You wait for a week, for two weeks and now months have gone by and still there is one to rent your timeshare. Now you have to pay your annual maintenance fee, you feel that you have not done enough to manage your rental property properly. You now consider other options. The other option is to market your timeshare property by yourself which is the best and most reliable option. What are the available options? You can either put an advertisement for rent in classifieds of newspapers or through the classifieds run by Timeshare Resort which targets the right people i.e. those who are willing to rent a timeshare. The other option is to put your unit on auction sites such as eBay and bidshare.com. And keep in mind that your timeshare will be listed in travel section but not real estate. You have to be preapproved by square trade which can take up to five days. The square trade will also need a proof of the ownership of the timeshare unit preferable deed or the maintenance bill. After this the unit is placed on auction on the website. Remember to be cooperative to the bidders and answer all their queries and give them the complete information about the unit. Your timeshare unit could go as close as your maintenance fee and thus less loss. The bottom line of renting your timeshare is to never to expect a profit on the rent but only less loss. Buying Timeshare Resale Vs Buying from Timeshare Resort It can be confusing for a starter to decide from where to buy his first timeshare from resale market or directly from timeshare resort or developer. It can be a hard decision to make with both having its own advantages and disadvantages. Buying timeshares in the resale market like auction websites or advertising through classifieds is a recent concept compared to buying from developers which has been there since its inception. Internet has brought everything to the doorsteps of the people and thus benefiting the timeshare market also. Websites such as eBay.com, bidshare.com and redweek.com provide prospective buyers with more information on the property and also wide variety of buying options. The scenario was totally different a decade ago when the buyers used to buy timeshares through timeshare presentations hosted by timeshare developers. The decisions taken to buy timeshares were mostly based on one's impulse rather than research and analysis. But with the advent of internet auction sites a user has more powerful tools to research the prices in advance even if he is going to a presentation. The buyer can make a more informed choice today than earlier. Buyers can also avoid the trauma of sitting through a timeshare presentation by buying through resale market. The presentations sometimes take ninety minutes and can go even longer. At the end of the presentation the buyers who were brought in on the pretext of a free gift are subjected to high pressure selling techniques, and this yield to sign a paper and buy a timeshare. Now talking about the cost comparison, a developer's timeshare offer includes the cost of advertisement, presentation, free gifts etc. which is whopping 40% of the cost of the timeshare and sometimes this exceeds the cost of the timeshare resale. On the other hand if one buys a timeshare through a resale market one can buy the timeshare 30% to 50% cheaper. Also buying through a resale market offers you more choice and freedom to select your desired unit. You know that you are getting the best price. It is definitely worth saving thousands of dollars by buying a resale. But there are good reasons to buy from a developer. There are many reputed companies that have ventured into timeshare business like Marriot, Disney, and Hilton etc. When you are buying through a resale market there is a margin of doubt whether your investment is secured or not and the trust factor is low. Where as the timeshare developers spend fortunes in the development of timeshares and have great reputation and thus can be easily trusted. They give you the best and the latest amenities which you can never get from a resale unless it's a relatively new unit. Another high point of buying through a developer is that they offer many incentives and benefits to their customers in the form of bonus weeks, discounts on attraction tickets, car rentals and much more. On the other hand these benefits may not be available to you if you bought your timeshare through resale market as many developers does not allow timeshare resale units with same amenities compared to those who bought directly from them. Also the developers usually offer many financing options that you may not get if you buy from a resale market. Buying Timeshares on Auction Websites While many people still go through traditional method of buying timeshares i.e. through timeshare brokers or real estate companies the trend of buying timeshares through internet auctions is catching up. We hear many horror stories about people being scammed into buying timeshares which do not exist or sometimes are not up to the quality that they were promised or in wrong location. And these stories cannot be ignored because the number of people that have been cheated is unusually high and increasing by the day. And imagine yourself sitting in a presentation given by timeshare companies to prospective buyers. It is a traumatic experience as you will be subjected to sit for many hours and pressure selling techniques of the timeshare companies. They wouldn't let you go unless and until you give some of commitment or sign some papers. All these happenings lead to the emergence of internet auction sites for timeshares. Now the buyers have the freedom from those unscrupulous sellers who adopt illegal techniques to sell their timeshares. Popular auction sites like eBay.com and bidshares.com allows users to buy and sell timeshares through their website. Although there are many other websites for timeshare auctions eBay.com and bidshares.com are the most reliable and safe websites to conduct timeshare auctions. These sites charge absolutely no upfront fee either to put your timeshare on sale or to bid on timeshare sales. They only charge after the bid is successful. When bidding on a timeshare few points have to be kept in mind. Try to establish communication with the seller as soon as possible and know whether the seller is responding well to your queries or not, if yes how soon and whether he is giving you the complete information or not. Internet auctions are also not fool proof against scammers and frauds, so beware of them. The above practice would eliminate few of the possibilities of you being trapped in some kind of scam. But it doesn't mean at the same time that if the seller is not responding he may not be a genuine seller. Some people are not good at written communication; in that case making a phone call to enquire about the timeshare unit is not a bad idea. One more important point to remember while bidding on a timeshare is to do your homework in advance by finding out complete information about the property. The details would include name and location of the property, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, Exchange Company's name that seller's resort deal with, the date by which the property is ready to use, annual maintenance fee of the resort, and sizes of bedrooms and is there any assessment this year. Also do research about the selling price of similar units sold recently in that location. Do not hurry whether you lose or hurry, there may be a better property in waiting for you. Also it is not a bad idea if you determine the mode of payment before hand by contacting the owner. Although there are many methods of payment available a seller may have a specific preference. Also be watchful if the owner is not responding to this question. Also the auction websites provides seller ratings, feedbacks and transaction history. This very important to you as you may not want go to a seller with bad ratings or feedbacks. Also if you miss a bid by a whisker say $10, don't be discouraged you may contact the seller that you are ready to buy the unit just in case if the winner retracts his bid. Even if it doesn't happen you may get another unit if seller has multiple units. But never agree to pay over your bid price which defeats the purpose of an auction which provides an open platform for fair and reasonable bargaining but within the jurisdiction of the system adhering to the rules and regulations. Buying Guide for Timeshare Resale Are you on a hunt for timeshares? Are you tired of listening to the lengthy presentations of timeshare companies? Here is the solution, go buy a timeshare resale. Almost non-existent a decade ago timeshare resale industry is waking up to the call and catching up slowly and steadily. Timeshare resale takes place through classifieds, auction sites and also many reputed firms have joined this emerging market. The reason why anybody should look at buying timeshare resale is that they cost 30%-50% less than the new timeshare. The reason why new timeshares are expensive is the timeshare companies spend a lot on advertising. Sometimes the cost of advertising is higher than the value of resale. That is why timeshare resale is much cheaper option than new timeshare. But one should remember certain things while buying timeshare resale. Do not believe on word of mouth if the seller tells you that the timeshare is in a great location. It is advisable to see the timeshare yourself or at least tell your friend or family member if they live close to the location to go and see it. Timeshare is indeed a great investment in your life provided you know you are buying a right one. And also consider things like whether the timeshare is in a high demand area and in close proximity to grocery stores, malls, restaurants and other amenities. And also find out whether there are any major attractions nearby. Also buy your timeshare in a prime season which gives you more options for exchange later on. Also do not ignore the floor plan. Some units are converted from motels into timeshare units, while some may be outstanding but some may turn out to be very bad. Look for well designed and well planned unit. And also see if the units are well maintained. If it's clean and free from dust, structural damages and squeaking doors it speaks a lot about the management. Well maintained and well kept units represent a good management. This also adds to the value of the unit. The low prices of timeshare resale overshadow the underlying cost sometimes such as maintenance fees, property taxes and if there is any special assessment this year. Clearly ask the seller if all these have been paid up to date otherwise the price of owning a timeshare resale increases and makes no sense in buying. Also buy a timeshare resale unit in a timeshare resort which has low maintenance fee, as this is an annual fee it keeps on adding if you pay any extra money. If you are buying through a broker, do not fall into the trap of buying through an unlicensed broker. The timeshare industry has witnessed many scams and frauds related to timeshare resale. So always go to a licensed broker because they have much at stake compared to a non-licensed broker. Also put the money in an escrow account until the time you get the timeshare unit. The foremost important criterion is the price, so do your homework and research the prices of timeshare units in the area you are interested in buying. A timeshare is an investment for a better life. Keep in mind that the prices of timeshare resale units are as low as 30% to almost half the price of the new units. You can do the research on internet auction sites like eBay and bidshare.com. If you are buying through a broker you can ask the broker to show a comparative analysis of prices. The bigger the unit, the better the value and chances of exchanging. Most people are happy if they buy big units as it also accommodates big families and friends and also big gatherings. Also do not forget to ask the seller the reason why they are selling their units. It can be due to some problems related to management or inconvenience. This information will be crucial to you as you might be able to gauge whether you can handle those issues later on or not. How to avoid a Timeshare Fraud As with any kind of investment, the chances of your timeshare investment ending up in a fraud or scam are very much possible. A fraud or a scam can prove devastating for you both financially and mentally. It may take a while for you to recover from its backlash. Those of you who have already been a victim of these notorious frauds and scams can understand the trauma that they have experienced and gone through. That dream vacation that you may have been planning since a long time ended up being a nightmare for you. But if you think you are the first person to have been scammed hold on there are many more people may be in hundreds who have been the victim of this unscrupulous behavior of some individuals. As a matter of fact the timeshares are one of the safest ways of experiencing many popular vacation places. How about a secluded journey to the geographical wonders of the world? How about that romantic getaway in a beach resort? Sounds exciting, but these are one of the marketing tactics used by the scammers to lure people into thinking about buying a timeshare. In fact this is their first victory in setting a trap for you. This does not mean that every timeshare company who uses this tactic would be a scammer. The essence of that is to be precautious and not get impulsive about it in the first go. Always think and rethink before making a decision on buying a timeshare. Restrain yourselves to the maximum. One of the important criterions is selecting a right timeshare company. As a rule of thumb, always go with large, well established timeshare companies who have been in the business for years. In this way you know their history very well and their reputation in the market. They are less likely to fraud a person than a new or a small company. This is applicable when it comes to the resale of your timeshare property. Many times the catchy style of marketing techniques of these scammers can easily raise red flags and you can avoid being scammed. It first starts with an invitation to a timeshare presentation. They offer you a gift if you attend the presentation which may look expensive but in reality is not. Sometimes they may also inform you that you have won a gift and you can claim it by attending the free presentation. And then once you fall prey to it and attend the presentation which turns to be nothing more than a gimmick, they start using pressure selling techniques and they won't let you go out unless they have you sign something just like dealers selling used cars who say "we will sell you this car for this much price if you buy it today". They may say the property is only 5 minutes walk from the beach but in reality it may turn out to be 15 minutes away from the beach. Sometimes the property might not be the same they described in their presentation taking advantage of the fact that nobody would go to Florida or Carolina to see the property themselves before buying it. And in some rare cases the property might not even exist at all. What we learn from this is to read the fine printed lines in the invitation if you are sent one. Never ever succumb to their pressure tactics and refuse to sign any kind of paper. A much better idea is to consult a lawyer before signing any contract documents and see if all the promises that were made verbally are being fulfilled or not. Do your home work before buying a timeshare by researching the market prices in the location you are buying. And also ask for contact numbers of the previous customers. Make sure you call them and find out everything you want to know about the company and their properties. Does it make sense to buy a vacation timeshare? Many people have a question when thinking of buying a timeshare. Does it make financial sense or does it make sense at all to buy a timeshare? Well the answer can be both yes or no depending on who is buying and for what purpose it is being bought. In this article we will discuss why it makes sense to buy a timeshare. One of the most traditional answers could be that you own it, but when you rent something you don't own it. Timeshare industry has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in this country and many notions that people had earlier have been clarified. Timeshare is no more a small business. Big hotels and resorts are into timeshare business now. It is estimated to be a Five billion dollar a year industry worldwide and approximately two million Americans have timeshares. You might be wondering what lured so many people in America alone to timeshares. Here are some reasons. Consider this fact you pay rent to stay in a hotel. You pay the rent for staying in a hotel for a week. Suppose it is $900. If you consider a period of 30 years, multiply the cost of living in a hotel for 30 years with $900. It will be $27,000. You spend that much amount and only get a suite with only a bathroom. Now consider this, if you buy a timeshare for $10,000 which has a maintenance fee of $450 annually. The cost for 30 years will be $10,000 plus 450 multiplied by 30. The answer will be $23,500 which is $3,500 less than renting a hotel suite. But here is the interesting fact. You still get to own your timeshare property which will earn some money if not the original price. So your actual expenditure on your vacation will be way less than renting a hotel suite. Then who can ignore the comfort of a home in a timeshare property. A typical timeshare unit has two or three bedrooms, more than one bathroom, a kitchen, a laundry room and a pool plus not to forget all the resort facilities. Does it make sense now? It does because it also saves you from the hassle of planning your vacation each year because you know when you have to go in turn offering you a guaranteed vacation every year. How many hotel rooms can accommodate large families and friends? With a timeshare vacation you can invite who ever you want and can host reasonable size gatherings. A timeshare is like money lying safely in your bank. You can sell it whenever you want. Not only that if you buy a deeded plan, the timeshare gets inherited to your heirs also. Compare the timeshare with buying a vacation home. You don't have to worry about upkeep and maintenance also. The management company will take care of everything. You just have to pay the maintenance fee for that. But what a pleasure you can live like you are living in a hotel and still get a feel of your home and have to do nothing. Apart from these benefits, timeshare companies offer you so many discounts like bonus weeks, discounts on airfare, car rentals, attraction tickets, restaurants and much more. Timeshare Exchange Timeshare exchange is one of the primary reasons of buying a timeshare for many people because this gives them the flexibility of exchanging their timeshares with other owners principally to visit a different tourist destination each year. Earlier timeshares were not exchangeable. Slowly and steadily things started changing. With the advent of technology and better management tools available today more and more timeshares have the inbuilt feature of timeshare exchange. Though not all timeshares may be exchangeable, it is better to enquire this before buying a timeshare. Most timeshare developers have tie-ups with timeshare exchange companies, so when you buy a timeshare you are automatically enrolled into timeshare exchange program. The fee for the first year is usually free but you may have to pay the fee from the second year. A timeshare exchange gives the owner freedom to vacation at any time of the year unlike only at a specific time. Also it gives the freedom from going to the same unit every year. The way it works is the owner trades his/her unit with owners of different timeshare and different resort. But most of the times there is a requirement that the units should be similar means you can't trade one bedroom with a two bedroom unit and vice-versa. A timeshare can not only avail the exchange service through the timeshare developer but can also go directly to a timeshare exchange company. But care should be taken to select a right exchange broker. Do your homework first by researching well about the background of the broker. The timeshare industry is not fully protected against non-scrupulous acts by scammers and frauds. Do not pay huge fees or sign any document unless making sure you are doing the right thing. A timeshare exchange member usually deposits his/her timeshare unit into the inventory of the timeshare company's available weeks. It is not a simple transaction. If the week requested by an owner is in the inventory and the week offered by the owner is a good exchangeable week then the exchange takes place. It does not mean that the owner has to wait until the time the exchange company finds an exchange offer for your timeshare. They already decide it after reviewing the timeshare like what season timeshare it is? What location? Those who have timeshares in peak season have more chances of finding a timeshare and they can request exchange both in peak time and off peak time periods. The owners who have off peak timeshares usually get off timeshares, their chances of getting a peak season timeshare are almost zero. But this may vary from resort to resort. Some resorts may be busy all round the year. The owners in these kinds of resorts generally have no problems exchanging timeshares. If a person cannot find an exchange the exchange company puts you in the waiting list and contacts you whenever an exchange is available and gives you the exchange unit. The owner can also chose in the beginning of the exchange request whether to approve the exchange confirmation at the approval of the owner at least a week before the confirmation or to go ahead and confirm the exchange without the approval. Again keep in mind good planning is necessary to initiate an exchange. If you decide to exchange a timeshare in the last minute, it may not be possible. Tax Information about Timeshares Some people have a misconception that timeshare sales are not subjected to income tax. But in reality timeshares sales are subjected to income tax. It is treated similar to any other kind of real estate property. As a timeshare property is a capital asset so when you sell a timeshare and make profit on it, it is considered as a capital gain. But you have to own the property for more than one year for it to be eligible for income tax. You can include all the costs associated with buying a timeshare like closing costs you had to pay when buying your timeshare, the annual maintenance fee for all the years that you owned the property and special assessments if any. But like any other real estate property if you sell your timeshare and if you incur loss which is called capital loss, you many not be able to deduct the losses in your tax returns. But situation might differ if you regularly rent the unit; any loss on sale would be termed as allowable business loss and would thus be deductible as an allowable ordinary loss in tax returns. Loss on sale would not be allowed by IRS if the unit had been converted back to personal use before selling. There are no other deductibles allowed against timeshares. The exception is the property tax only if it is billed separately. They are also deductible if the resort differentiates it as a different item on your maintenance fee bill. You may also be able to deduct the interest on a timeshare loan, but, only if the loan is taken as a mortgage and there should be no other deductible mortgages except your primary home mortgage. But sad thing is not all timeshare loans qualify as mortgage loans as they are primarily termed as consumer loans. Also you have to keep in mind that you cannot deduct interest on multiple timeshare loans at a time if you also have a primary home mortgage. But you might be able to deduct interests on multiple timeshares if they are at same resort, as they can be viewed as one timeshare. The timeshares can also be used for donating to a charity. But there are some restrictions. If you want to donate a deeded timeshare, the allowable deduction is normally equal to the fair market value of the timeshare on the date of donation. If the fair market value exceeds five thousand dollars you will have to get a written appraisal that should meet IRS guidelines. In case of non-deeded and right to use timeshares which are considered as tangible assets, additional rules apply. The fair market value of the timeshare must be reduced by the amount equal to any gain that would have been made had the property been sold by the owner. When it comes to renting your timeshare you can claim deductions on all expenses including depreciation cost, cost of advertising, rental commissions and maintenance fees. Certain kind of special assessments may be deductible like repairs and unexpected expenses. Expenses like remodeling may not be deductible, so are the travel expenses Also one has to remember that vacation home rules apply if you use it for at least fifteen days each year for personal use. The timeshares can also qualify however you should use it at least 15 days. Renting a timeshare Although it is not the best of the ideas to rent a timeshare but in some cases it works out to be more economical than other options. Timeshare rentals were not so easy to find earlier as the owners of timeshares don't make any profit when they rent out their timeshare units and also very less people had timeshares. Over the past few years the popularity of timeshares has grown tremendously and there are many big names entering into the business now. There are over two millions American who have timeshares. The timeshare rentals are available because some owners have no other option but to rent out their units as they couldn't use it due to their hectic schedules. The timeshares can be rented through timeshare resorts who rent the units on behalf of their owners. Timeshare units can also be rented through brokers dealing with timeshare rentals and sales. But always be careful while approaching the brokers ecause the timeshare industry has witnessed many frauds and scams due to some unscrupulous brokers. Make sure the broker is a licensed broker and reputable also. One can also rent timeshares on auction sites like eBay in travel section and also bidshares.com which is timeshare exclusive website. But how will the timeshare rentals work out. Let us do some math. If you rent a hotel or a room in a resort the rent per night typically costs around $200 per night. Which means it is around $1,400 for a week's vacation and if you have more people and if you need another room it will end up totaling $2,800. Compare this to a timeshare rental which may cost $150 per night. The total would be $1,050 only for 2-3 bedroom units. The benefits you get are immense. A timeshare unit gives you more room compared to a hotel suite and is better furnished. Typical timeshare units have two to three bedrooms, one to two bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a laundry room and indoor or outdoor pool. Most of the timeshares are strategically located to the attractions. And they are located in some of the finest vacation resorts of the world. Timeshare resorts provide more amenities and conveniences compared to hotels. The timeshare resort also offer discounts on air travel, rental cars and tickets to many attractions. The resorts have many facilities like golf club, tennis courts, athletics, marinas and many more recreational activities. You can invite all your friends and family to the unit and have a gathering as well, all in the comfort of a luxurious unit. But few things have to be considered before opting for renting a unit. Try to select the best location if possible like near the pool or other resort facilities. You don't want to be left out when others are making full use of these amenities, the point is in busy seasons the pools and other facilities are overly crowded, so more near you are to these facilities the better chances you have. And do not hurry in deciding a timeshare unit; nowadays more and more units are being available as many big resorts have ventured into this business. So, shop around and go with the best price. Some timeshare units can be without kitchens, make sure you rent the one with kitchen as it can save you few extra bucks by saving you from eating outside. Also do your home work by researching about the resort from where you are renting the unit. In this age of internet, the resources are easily available which provides you with the reviews of the resort and more information to make you knowledgeable. It's also a smart idea to rent the timeshare unit near the attractions which will save the cost of renting a car. Idea place would be one which is easily accessible to public transportation. One can also share rental units with other interested parties by dividing the unit into two. Renting a timeshare definitely makes a strong financial sense compared to hotels and motels. Alternatives to Timeshare Over the period of decades the popularity of timeshares has grown by many folds so much so that over two million Americans have timeshare properties in country and out of country. But the rise of timeshare industry saw the rise in scams and frauds. More recently the timeshare industry has been plagued by unscrupulous activities of frauds and scammers. Notwithstanding these serious problems with timeshares a new breed of alternatives are emerging. One of the main reasons why people were attracted towards timeshares was that it will be an expensive affair for a big family to vacation every year at a hotel or a resort. Timeshares proved to be an economical solution to all that. But on the flip side of it, buying a timeshare requires large upfront fee and the timeshares typically range anywhere from ten thousand dollars to fifty thousand dollars also. On top of that the buyers have to pay the annual maintenance fee, property taxes, management fee etc. which could range from few hundreds to over a thousand also. People have begun realizing that why pay more money and still use the same property every year for only one week. And people get bored of going to the same place again and again. Although some timeshares offer exchange program which would allow owners to exchange their timeshare units across different resorts and locations but it is not that easy with exchange costing more bucks. And when the owner wants to sell a timeshare unit it is not that easy task. Timeshares are one of the most difficult properties to sell. Even when they sell they sell at 30%-50% lower than their original price. Now a new era of concepts is taking vacation industry by storm. And this era is represented by concepts such as resort memberships and condo hotels. A resort membership is a one time investment i.e. you have to pay the membership fee only once and you can enjoy the benefits of the resort life long. And what more you are not required to pay any maintenance fee or taxes. Resort memberships can cost anywhere from few grand to few hundred grand. Some resort membership may also have yearly fee. But if you do a good research there are some resorts within the range of affordability. The best deal that one can get is may be a lifetime member ship for around three grand and a limited five year membership for two grand. And the members have access to not only the resort they have membership in but they can choose from hundreds of resorts worldwide available in resort company's network. And there is no limit on number of times you want to go and at what time you want to go, your vacation is always assured. Another concept that is getting popular is condo hotel which is a relatively new concept and only very few people own condos in hotels. But the concept is receiving good reviews and is gaining popularity with the time. The way it works is it allows people to buy condos in luxurious hotels and utilize the benefits of all the amenities available in the hotel. If the owner is not using the condo he can put his condo for rent and can receive percentage of the revenues it produces. A condo hotel in comparison to a timeshare offers more flexibility, is better furnished, and has better amenities, better services and many locations. Timeshare Selling Alternatives Many people simply buy timeshares thinking that they would be able to take out some time from their busy schedule and go for vacation. But many end up not using their timeshares at all. So they start considering selling their timeshares. But if you think selling a timeshare is as easy as any other real estate property then you are completely wrong. Selling a timeshare is real pain in the neck taking several months to sell. Even when it finally sells, it sells at 40%-50% less than the original price. You might think is it really worth selling your timeshare or is there a better alternative to selling it. The answer is yes, there are alternatives to selling your timeshare. We discuss those in detail in the paragraphs to follow. One of the best alternatives to selling a timeshare is to rent your timeshare instead. You can either work this out with your timeshare developer if he can do it. The developers usually have special classifieds for timeshare, it would be a good idea to put an advertisement in those classifieds as they target people interested in timeshares. You can also search for a real estate agency specializing in renting timeshares or vacation homes. Most popular travel destinations have agencies that specialize in this. But remember there can be a fee if you choose to rent your timeshare through a real estate agency. You can also sell your timeshares by yourself by either advertising directly in classifieds or telling your friends, neighbors, family members and colleagues to see if anyone is interested in buying a timeshare. If not, internet is the best place to find out where you can put your timeshare for rent. There are many popular auction sites like eBay which has timeshare rental section on their auction website. Another alternative to selling your timeshare is timeshare exchange. Timeshare exchange is getting popular with many people facing problems with fixed schedule. And also many people get bored of going to the same place over and over again and they want a change. Timeshare exchange enables them to exchange their timeshare unit with similar unit at other timeshare location and at different time. Most timeshare companies have this facility and offer free exchange in the first year and charge a free from there on. But you can also go directly to a good exchange company and place your unit for exchange. But you have to remember that you can trade in only similar units only. You can't trade in a one bedroom for a two bedroom. Also you cannot rent the exchanged timeshare to somebody else. You may also be charged a fee for this service and you will get a timeshare in exchange depending on availability. Last but not the least, instead of selling your timeshares why not donate your timeshares to a charity if you don't want to for through the hassle of selling, paying huge upfront fee and much more. The donation is just like how you donate your cars, boats or stocks. Donating your timeshares to charity is tax deductible. But be sure to donate it to a right charity organization who can utilize its full potential. You can compare this with any losses you may incur if you sell your timeshare, donating a timeshare could bring you a handsome tax deduction. Timeshare Presentations: How to survive? Have you ever attended a timeshare presentation? I wish you would never attend one. It is traumatic experience sitting through a timeshare presentation. Compare it to buying a used car from a dealer; this is even more frustrating experience as more money is at stake here. What is a timeshare presentation? It is nothing but a sales pitch by the timeshare companies to force people into buying their timeshares. It begins with an invitation offering you an expensive free gift in return of attending the presentation. Now you go to the presentation thinking that there is no harm in attending and you get a free gift also in return, but you realize that you have made the biggest mistake of life only when you sit through the painful presentation. The expensive gift turns out to be a gimmick and you are subjected to sheer pressure tactics of selling. The presentation usually last for ninety minutes and may go on and on in some cases. After the presentation, the salesperson will encircle you and will ask you if you have any questions. They go to the extent of literally pressurizing you. They want you to either make a commitment or sign a paper before leaving the presentation. When you say constant no to him, the manager will approach and offer you a good deal. Sometimes it becomes very hard to resist the temptation after being offered such great deals. But you have to go mentally prepared to say no to them at any cost. Tell them clearly that you have already spent your precious time and can't spare your time further. Say that you have an appointment with somebody and you have to leave immediately. And do not forget to take your gift before leaving the presentation after all that was the reason why you attended the presentation. The salesperson and the managers would do their best to convince you to sign some papers by offering many offers, but you should stick to your resolution to not to fall into the trap by constantly saying into your mind that "no, I can't afford to buy a timeshare" and "will I be able to make payments every month". Politely say "no" to any offers however attractive it may look. Also say them that you need time to decide, take their contact number or fax number and tell that you will notify them about your decision. Also tell them that you would not tolerate any courtesy calls or emails. You can also tell them that you already have a friends or family members in that timeshare location and you don't need to buy a timeshare. Also another reason you can give them to escape is that you just came to the presentation for the free gift or you can also say that you just wanted to educate yourself about timeshares and it is too early to make a decision about buying a timeshare. You can also say that you are not one of the frequent vacationers and would be able to vacation year after year and even if you go for a vacation you don't like to go to the same location every year. Also say that you are not in the financial position to invest in anything now or in near future. Thus we have seen it all depends on our mental setup to sit through a presentation and still survive it. Orlando Timeshares Orlando is the world's most popular family vacation destination. Blessed with one of the longest white sandy beachfronts of the world and safest bathing beach Orlando offers unlimited excitement and fun. It is a paradise for vacationers and especially children. Dotted with theme parks it offers a complete experience to the visitors. The popular destinations of Orlando are: * SeaWorld * Downtown Disney Marketplace * Orlando Convention Center * Epcot Center * Disney's Animal Kingdom * Disney's Pleasure Island * Disney's Magic Kingdom * Walt Disney World Resort * Disney -- MGM Studios * Prime One Outlet Mall * Universal Studios * Church Street Station * Citrus Bowl * Kennedy Space Center Also Orlando offers vacationers with a plethora of amenities like beaches, boating, live entertainment, golf, water skiing, restaurants, shopping area, grocery stores, auto rentals, hairdressers, best medical facilities, innumerable resorts, top class hotels and what not. There might not be many people who have not visited Orlando but yes there are some people who cannot afford expensive Orlando. The timeshares provides an ideal choice to those people who want to come to Orlando year after year with families and friends. Some of the best names in the business are Westgate Timeshare, Marriott Vacation Club, Hilton Ground Vacation Club and Disney Vacation Club. The best thing about timeshares is that it not only gives you accommodation but also gives you discount on many entertainment places, theme parks and also restaurants. No other place in the world offers such outstanding theme parks and facilities as Orlando. Orlando has seven theme parks, three water parks and ninety other attractions. And from world class shopping malls to theaters to fine restaurants, Orlando has everything one needs for a perfect vacation trip. Not only that many departmental stores are located near theme parks for visitor's convenience. Coming to the climate, summers are very hot and hum in Orlando. The winters are mild with temperatures keeping around Sixty to Seventy Fahrenheit. The rains lash Orlando from June to September with prevailing hot temperatures. So vacation should be planned accordingly because weather is a factor to be considered. And remember to take light clothing when going to Orlando for the summers. Orlando is well connected to the rest of the nation and the world by air. Orlando International Airport serves many international and national destinations. It is fifteen miles from central Orlando. There is another airport located thirty five miles north from Orlando by name Sanford Orlando Airport. Also one can travel by train if traveling within U.S. There is an Amtrak station which provides service from Orlando to neighboring cities and to many other states of the country. There is a bus service also within Orlando which connects different parts of the city and suburbs. It also provides free service on some routes. So, one doesn't need to think of what to do in Orlando with so many world class theme parks and exceptional facilities. Also the availability of wide variety of transportation choices makes it an ideal choice for visitors to go to Orlando year after year. Also availability of reasonably priced timeshares is another reason to go to Orlando. Many big companies and resorts sell timeshare ensuring the safety of your money and offering the best services. Do you need to know more to get ready for your next vacation to Orlando?
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