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# What do you think about Vacation Timeshares? Owners or Non-owners welcome

The worst investment someone could possibly make is to buy a timeshare. Consider the yearly maintenance fees. For the cost of the yearly maintenance fee alone, you could go on a nice vacation.
I've gone to many, many time share presentations. They say it will take 90min and that's all the time I give them. Then I gladly take their free dinners and breakfests. I've been to at least 50 timeshare presentations and I'm proud to say, I've never ever bought one. All timeshare sales people are high-pressure sleaze-balls, and i enjoy playing on them. Here's a little information that the average buyer doesn't realize when they sell their timeshare. The original owned is responsible for maintenance fees if the buyer {for whatever reason} does not pay those fees. I've seen yearly maintenance fees from \$900.00 all the way up to \$2000.00 per year. Multiply that cost x say 200 units, then multiply the cost of each unit x 52 weeks. If you play with the numbers, you will soon realize that there are big profits to be make at expense of the ignorant public.
My advice: Never ever buy a timeshare at any cost. You'll be left holding the bag.

Here's an example: Lets say there are 200 units for sale at \$10,000.00 per unit per week with yearly maintenance fees of 1000.00 per unit per week. Are we starting to understand? It gets even better!
That's \$10,000.00 x 52 weeks = \$520,000.00
per unit cost.
Now, lets not forget the maintenance fee!
That's \$1000.00 x 52 weeks = \$52,000.00 per unit, just for maintenance. Wait, it gets even better.
200 units x \$520,000.00 per unit = \$104,000,000.00 + 52 x \$52,000.00 in maintenance fees = \$2,704,000.00. That's \$2.7 mil per year in just maintenance fees alone!!!! NOW, THAT'S THE REASON FOR THE HIGH PRESSURE!!

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I have owned a time share for 15 years. My maintenance fees declined this year to \$457.54 for our 1 week ocean front in Garden City, South Carolina. We have deposited our week on occasion and enjoyed time shares i such diverse and enjoyable locations as Cape Cod(twice)--Georgian Bay North of Toronto--horse country in Kentucky. You can buy time share weeks for about \$2000-4000 from liquidators. It is true you have to watch the maintenance fees. I attended an owner association meeting and we discussed the yearly costs which were reasonable and the unit is being reasonably maintained.
We are able to travel other weeks with Interval World without using our deposited week.
Last year we went to Hilton Head for one week--used a 2 bedroom unit for \$199.00 in mid March as part of our time share investment.
We have called Interval World on a Tuesday last September and rented a time share in Western Massachusets for Saturday the same week for only \$199.00.
These are some of the excellent fringe benefits of being a time share owner.
Mike--if you can travel to such nice locations and pay these reasonable amounts with minimal notice, then you should write a book.
I agree 2002 prices and maintenance fees is some locations appear to be high. However those locations may be worth the investment.

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Anyone looking for a timeshare needs only to read Mike's 1st line! If they are a good investment, then why all the high pressure and dumb tactics to get you to buy one- why, because many people subscribe to PT Barnum's infamous quote- "There's a sucker born every minute." kk

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To invest one hopes to receive more money upon resale. This is not true with timeshares. A timeshare holder is paying for a vacation. When I vacation I want to decide where I want to go and where I want to stay while there. I do not want to be limited to "what's available" And Jim, Mike does not have to write a travel book for ecomomical travel, the bookstore's are full of them. Pick up any of Frommer's books, I would imagine you could find a place in Hilton Head in March and Mass for \$199.00 for maybe not 7 days but for 5 days.

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Hey, Mike! What is it w/ you & the anti-timeshare spiel??? I have seen this before from you & I am just curious? Why the crusade?

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Hey,Hey Paula- Mike is right on the money. It's no crusade- Hopefully people will look at the facts and see what an unwise investment timeshares are, while the profit margins for these con artists are outrageous! kk

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mike/kk
what make you think peple buy timeshares for investment? and peples don't take vacations to make money.

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I agree that you have to beware with anything you purchase, including timeshares, but I also believe that anyone who buys a timeshare as an investment rather than as an opportunity to vacation each year is niave. There are some goood benefits to timeshare ownership too, in spite of what some of you may believe. You can generally use your timeshare at your convenience, you know what accommodations and amenities you are getting and the weeks are easily tradable for other parts of the world. If you purchase wisely timeshares can suit your travel and vacation needs in many ways. In spite of what some postings may make you believe, there are some decent timeshare resorts that are not rip offs and that try to keep their maintenence costs down. You get what you pay for generally and if you choose wisely and know what you are getting into, why not invest in a vacation each year at a place you want to be?

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I own a 1-week timeshare with Whiski Jack at Whistler. It was a re-sale of a small studio that seemed pretty reasonable to us, particularly given the favorable exchange rate with the Canadian dollar. I understand the criticism of timeshares, and it is probably true that we are not going to save much money over the long haul. On the other hand, I don't think that we will be losing any money either. We stay in a very nice location in walking distance to the ski lifts, and cook most of our meals in the condo. Half the time, we have managed to trade for other weeks at Whistler, and have also traded our week for condos in Hawaii and Costa Rica. We just got back from Costa Rica, having spent a wonderful week on the Guanacaste coast, in a resort that we would normally not be able to afford. I am not a big timeshare booster, but it is not necessarily a rip-off either. Yes, it is probably not a good investment, but I don't think that is why most owners buy in.

It is true that the sales presentations tend to be ugly, and I would not sit through one just to get a free dinner or weekend stay, or whatever. My wife, on the other hand, loves getting the promotional goodies from such presentations, so we tend to endure one every couple of years.

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Mike you did a great job outlining the Big Picture, but the smaller picture is, with \$20,000 invested elsewhere, plus the annual maintainance fees, plus the cost of joining RCI, plus the cost of switching if you want to go elsewhere, adds up to a very nice week at almost anyplace you want to stay.

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Yearly maintenance fees I am aware of are \$500. Since when can you go on a vacation for \$500. Even if the yearly maintenance was \$1000 what family can travel on that. Not everyone has camping in mind on a family vacation. Timeshares look like a viable option for families but I think the trick is to pay for the timeshare in a lump sum not monthly installments.

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My sister switches her location every year and never has a problem. She also is not spending the figures mentioned here.

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There are a lot of things I don't understand about timeshares, but I was under the impression that you buy a week for a set price and then pay an annual maintenance fee for that week. If you choose not to use your week at the place you buy into, you can "trade" that week for another location depending upon availability -- or change to a different week. Is that right? If so, Jim, then I don't get how you say the week in Hilton Head and the week in Mass. each cost you \$199. Didn't each cost you \$199 plus your annual fee of \$457.54 -- or roughly \$97 a night? Or were these weeks in addition to the week you still used at your original purchase destination?

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Mike, i'm not sure where you are getting your resources for maintenance fees - because mine are around \$270 for 2 bedroom and \$300 for a 3 bdrm unit. Furthermore, if you buy a timeshare on the secondary market they are way cheap!!! i paid \$800 for a 2 bdrm/2bath unit in SC - we've never been to the unit itself but have traded it for places in disney world that normally go for around \$200/nt plus most of these units have kitchens and washer/dryers! The money you save in being able to eat some meals in more than pays for the maint. fees! also, for a family having a washer/dryer is a must! the last unit we exchanged for was in hilton head. we exchanged a 2bdrm/2bath for a 3bdrm/3bath unit! it had 2 master suites w/ whirlpool tubs, 4 tvs, was spotless, very well maintained and was only 500 yds from the ocean plus 3 pools, etc. With 3 kids in tow, this really works for us and is so economical!

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Mike is completely right, of course.

But timeshares serve a very important purpose. They make sure people who are not too bright do not compete with the rest of us for bargain travel at nice and varied locations.

Think of it as natural selection. The strong get good travel deals without spending money up front and incurring high annual fees. The weak sit in the same boring timeshare year after year, desperately hoping find an even bigger sucker on which to unload the "investment," hoping to find an acceptable location for a trade months or even years in the future.

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yeah huh…and the really bright have time during the middle of a work day to post ridiculous comments such as yours.

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Actually I think "huh" has a point.
Most timeshare owners simply don't have the ability to figure all the angles.

Example: it's a lot like figuring out whether a car lease is a good deal (versus buying) or not.
This is not a simple set of calculations for the mathematically challenged.

Timeshares don't pay in the end (for most people's goals/needs) but create a nice illusion...the same way car leases make monthly payments appear lower.

Or debt consolidators....there's another one. "Lower your monthly payments AND have cash leftover!!"

Yeah right. Something for nothing.

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That's right, xxx, the really bright do have time during the day to post, because they have employees or a staff doing all their work while they make money at a job which is done by other people. That's how smart people do it these days, in case you hadn't noticed.

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Our timeshare makes sense for us because we bought a 2 bedroom condo for a fixed week in August right on a Canadian lake in a great resort. We see the same group their every summer, the kids have friends, the weather is always hot, waterskiing, pools with slides, golf, etc, it's a top notch place. We look forward to it every yr. There are waiting lists every yr. for nonowners to rent these villas. They go for Can\$600(with tax) per night. We can rent it out if we can't go for about \$450/n. We figured out after all the maintence fees(factoring in about a 10% rise ea. yr.), initial purchase price, loss of interest if money was used elsewhere, etc, it would cost us about Can. \$350/n over 25 yrs. We found trying to make an exchange was frustrating, a hassle, have to pay membership fee, have kids so limited to school holidays, a waste of money and time, so we dropped out of II. I think timeshare makes sense if you love the unit and get a fixed wk you like, and aren't buying it for "trading power"(which is a bunch of B.S. imo).Mike doesn't realize some people like going to the same place at the same time every yr. Not all timeshares are equal. And what a weirdo to go to 50 timeshare presentations-they are't worth the free breakfast or whatever, it sounds like he just likes to argue with people!

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Mike you are way too upset over this timeshare deal. You sound like a really fun guy. I'll bet your idea of dinner out is going to the grocery for free samples. If you have been to over 50 presentations for timeshares seems like you are the one with the problem not the person who owns one. Mind your own business.

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As soon as you hear the word "Timeshare", RUN! Just say no! Don't do it! There is no such thing as a Good Timeshare! This has been the longest running scam in the last years. When you figure how much money you spend each year on a Timeshare you can typically have a real nice vacation for the same or less money. That is only if the Timeshare is from a Legitimate Company and I am very hesitant to put the words Legitimate and Timeshare in the same sentence. I have a few friends that swear by them but I know more people that swear at them. http://www.timesharescam.com/blog/136-free-timeshare/

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And you had to dig up an 11 year old thread to tell us that, peggybryant? Or was that just to plug your blog?

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