There are so many reasons why investing in a timeshare in 2016 is not a sensible idea. Therefore, and for the sake of brevity, here are just the major reasons which combine to provide everything you need to know about why not to invest in a timeshare – along with some resources and ideas as to where to continue your research and reading into timesharing for those who want a more comprehensive understanding of the timeshare industry, and why exactly it is in 2016 such a murky one.
Timeshares Depreciate in Value
Buying a timeshare is more similar to purchasing a car than it is a house. This is because timeshares, like cars and unlike property, depreciate in value over time.
This fact makes the term ‘timeshare investor’ one of the biggest misnomers and most misleading terms in any industry as a timeshare ‘investor’ stands to make no return and in fact should expect to see their investment lose them money year upon year.
Therefore, and to reiterate: timeshares are not a financial investment nor do they provide any realistic financial investment potential, and to learn more about why, you can do so via the Timeshare Consumer Association website and by giving their article: Timeshare is Not a Financial Investment, a read.
Timeshare Owners Do Not Own Property
Almost all timeshares are sold as RTU agreements. Referring to ‘right to use’ contracts, this means that a timeshare purchaser owns no part of the property they are forking out for.
Rather ‘investors’ pay for a stake or share of the lease attached to said property which affords them the ‘right to use’ the property for a predetermined amount of time during a fixed period of every year.
Hence, almost all timeshare owners own no stake in the property and rather their ‘investment’ amount enables them to essentially rent the use of the property.
Annual fees are affixed to a timeshare and come as part and parcel of purchasing one in order for the resort where the timeshare is located to afford to carry out any routine maintenance and improvements on the property, ensuring it is fit for use and does not fall into disrepair.
Whilst this sounds, initially, perfectly reasonable, the reality is that timeshare annual fees can cost well over a thousand pounds per year. Hence, there is a chance that subsequent to stumping up a lump sum to ‘invest’ in a timeshare that you will then find yourself, as a timeshare owner, further forking out every year more money in fees than the average budget package holiday deal provided by the likes of establish high street travel agent, Thompson here in the UK is likely to cost you.
Of course, if upon realising this you decide not to pay the fees you will then find yourself facing court action and could stand to lose even more in court fees and bailiff fees, on top of having to pay any outstanding timeshare fees.
Further, you will have to continue paying timeshare annual fees for the duration of time for which you own the timeshare – and this is true whether you make use of it or not.
The Problem of Resale
Combine and consider the reasons for not investing in a timeshare so far laid bare and it will come as no surprise then to learn that it is near impossible to sell a timeshare in 2016.
As explained in no uncertain terms by TESS (the Timeshare Exist Support Service): there is an estimated 400 [timeshare] sellers for every buyer’ currently. This does not only mean that selling a timeshare is almost impossible, it also means that those who do manage to sell their timeshare number the very lucky few, however little they end up accepting in return for their ‘investment’.
To directly quote a shocking statistic cited by the International Timeshare Refund Action Organisation: ‘the EU ruled that 12% of Timeshare contracts are illegal’ in 2015.
Whilst this may come as fantastic news for the myriad of timeshare owners who have otherwise found themselves unable to escape a timeshare agreement (as they can now end their agreement and in some cases even file for compensation), many others who have managed to use and enjoy their timeshare are now learning that their contract means nothing.
To read the article from which this statistic has been quoted and learn more about the predicament this places many existing timeshare owners in as well as what it means for those currently attempting to purchase a legitimate timeshare, refer to the International Timeshare Refund Action website.
Meanwhile for more general information, advice and figures concerning timesharing, complaints, fraud and why the industry is such a dangerous one for consumers to enter refer to the European Commission’s Official Evaluation Study on the Application of the Timeshare Directive which you can read freely via PDF format online and in full.