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Need to know everything about how Time Shares work...

Need to know everything about how Time Shares work...

Apr 25th, 2004, 12:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 25
Need to know everything about how Time Shares work...

Just as the catch line states, I know nothing about them and would be interested in finding out what everybody knows about them.

What are the good ones to get? Do you trade your time at one place for a time at another? If so, does it have to be the same week? Anything you can think of will help me out.

marmaduke is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 85
I haven't seen much about time shares on this website. I hope this is permitted, but this site:


is a timeshare user's group and can teach you EVERYTHING you need to know. The subject is way more complex than you could imagine, and almost everyone there started with a "mistake" and then learned how to do it right.
HappyLC is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,189
My very biased 2 cents: timeshare developers and salespeople prey on and make a very nice profit from people who aren't very good at math. (Disclaimer: I've never owned one or had any interest).
For most, the only way a timeshare will work out to be a great deal is if you buy a resale at a good price.
You need to be able to add up all the costs (some of which are not obvious, some of which can't even be predicted in advance), including the cost of the time value of money you tie up in the TS at the beginning, and the 'cost' of lost flexibility compared with completely a la carte vacations.
Tread carefully.
travleis is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,566

That's all you need to know!
ChristieP is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 07:57 PM
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What you need to know about timeshares:

DON"T invest in one!
John is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 259
We own a deeded one in Orlando that we got thru an online auction from the original owner. Over the five years we have owned, we have traded for Myrtle Beach and for a different week at another resort in Florida. We have neighbors who joined the Disney vacation club a few years ago, that is a timeshare based on a point system instead of a deeded week, and they have used it annually and enjoy it very much. Definitely join TUG, that is what we did before buying. You can save THOUSANDS by buying a resale or direct from an owner.
JoyinVirginia is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 03:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 371
http://www.tug2.net/ is the correct website for the Timeshare Users Group BBS.

I suggest you check out TUG to find out what you want to know. There is a Timesharing 101 article to read, plus all the various sections that will teach you about timesharing BEFORE you buy.

We have owned timeshares for 21 years and have had some wonderful vacations going to the various resorts. You can buy where you want to go every year, or you can trade those weeks for other weeks in other resorts, making for very flexible vacations. But you MUST plan ahead to get what and where you want.

Hope to see your post on TUG, Marmaduke.
mamajo is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 215
Timeshares are a RIPOFF. Suckers and people who can't do math buy them. The website you should visit is www.beattimeshares.com. Here is just one letter from the website....I think the writer really sums up what a horrible deal these timeshares are...

"We have had many second thoughts about our timeshare purchases. At first it was just the small stuff: not having important information sent to us, not having questions and inquiries replied to; then finding out about point deadlines and extra fees for various things; as well as other things. More importantly, after having the time to analyze the entire situation and to contemplate what we had done, I have come to the conclusion that this was something we never should have done.

How could we have ever been so dumb as to buy into such a terrible financial disaster? Obviously, we were told and knew that buying a timeshare is not like a real estate purchase, where your property probably would appreciate over the years; but we were under the idealistic notion that it would at least be a good, reasonable travel situation.

We certainly should have been much smarter consumers and done our homework much better. The glitzy sales presentations and expert and persuasive sales representatives do an outstanding job of making people think with their emotions instead of their economics. It seems unbelievable that so many persons, like us, fall for the sales pitches and decide to buy something. If only we had looked at the money figures more carefully, it would be extremely evident that purchasing a new timeshare makes no economic sense at all.

Ordinarily, when someone purchases real estate, there is a reasonable assumption that the property is going to appreciate. But that is not the case when one buys timeshares. It must be understood from the onset that instead of any appreciation, an extreme amount of depreciation immediately happens. Why is this? Why don't timeshare properties appreciate? Why shouldn't timeshare buyers expect that their properties should appreciate? I have a feeling that the worth of timeshare companies' property is appreciating handsomely. It is my contention that timeshare companies, through high sales commissions, developers' and management salaries, maintenance, provisional and all the other fees, don't allow the timeshare owners' individual properties to increase in value.

TS's are tremendously overpriced and not a reasonable investment by any stretch of the imagination, certainly not materially. They are a wonderful incentive to travel but an unbelievably poor place to put your money; and the bill from the start is high; and even if and when one is fortunate enough to pay off the original investment, plus the loan interest, the bill regarding maintenance fees, etc. just keeps on and on and on, forever.

If one figures the total amount of money per year spent on this one-week travel investment, dividing the expenses by the years owned over the years, even after 20 years, the amount spent on that one week timeshare is a very high amount of money for a "luxury" week. These kind of calculations would make the per week expense, even though declining, from the beginning on down through the twenty years a large amount of money per year for one "luxury" week. I believe the timeshare system is a ripoff for the consumers who buy into it; and I don't understand why so many persons do buy into it. There must be something, some pertinent facts that I can't see. I've been trying to think of a fair way to determine the per year cost of each week purchased through a timeshare program but there are so many variables involved. However, if you figure the total cost of your timeshare purchase with financing, plus the required maintenance fees per year, it shows some disturbingly high figures.

Also, for instance, using my timeshare example for Shell, the following figures show the cost of one week, including original purchase price with financing ($18,350.) and maintenance fees ($445.), per year averaged out over 10,20,30 and 40 years to be approximately $2280., $1362.50, $1056.67 and $903.75 respectively. In most cases, this would be for a low season 1BR resort.

I have decided that we and all other timeshare owners basically are getting royally ripped off. Considering the presentations methods used, pertinent facts related to the sales procedures, certain information not mentioned during the transaction, and especially the amount of money being paid for what is being received, I think many consumers, prospective timeshare owners, consumer advocates, government agency officials, etc. should listen and take some action.

Not once during the entire sales presentation and purchase agreement signing did any Fairfield or Shell sales or official representative mention that there is a time period in which the contract can be rescinded and thus the buyer can get out of the situation. Moreover, never is there any information detailing to the buyer how much each point is really worth and how much each resort week costs per year. It seems to me that such a lucrative transaction for the seller and such a terrible ripoff for the buyer should have much better protection under the law. There are so many considerations that are glossed over or undiscussed at all, so many unexplained rules and regulations, so many fees and penalties and those never-ending maintenance fees.

I am at the mercy of the marketplace of timeshares, which for reasons I don't understand, since they don't appreciate in value, sell extremely well. In fact, they lose probably 60-80% of their value almost immediately, but the general public continues to purchase them.

I really didn't expect any kind of remuneration from my timeshare companies and, in fact, I didn't even get a reply from them regarding my specific letter. However, since timeshare ownership seems to be the "in" thing to do, there must be many good reasons (some of which I am unaware of) why so many persons decide to purchase them, even though they seem to be an unbelievably poor buy."

BigRed is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Do some math before you buy. If you pay X for a timeshare, compare that (including all fees, maintenance, etc.) with how much it would cost you to RENT similar lodging each year. If you buy timeshare at initial offering (instead of on secondary "used" market), it is often not that great a deal.

Do some soul searching - do you really want to go to the same place at the same time every year? What about when your life changes - plus or minus kids, job situation, etc.

Tread carefully when the most attractive part seems to be ability to "trade". Too many people I know find they can only trade for times such as August in south Florida. And what else do you spend money on with the idea you can get rid of (trade) it. And where and when you can "trade" is influenced by health of company owning these timeshares.

We never were interested in a timeshare - but have sat through a few of the "free dinners" and the like where they are peddling them. Even though we had absolutely no interest in one at the time nor the money to afford one - we were almost sucked into the sales pitch. (And we are both generally tougher than that!).
gail is offline  
Apr 26th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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I've known 2 sets of couples with timeshares. An older retired US couple who loved it, were able to trade to different places. A young UK couple with children who've become bored with their location & have found it next to impossible to trade locations. Additionally, many of the locations included in the 2nd couple's options when they bought in are no longer available to them (those properties either folded or are no longer in the group.)

As others have said, tread cautiously.
mclaurie is offline  
May 13th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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Thanks for all of the info.

I think I'll pass. I'm not a Rockefeller.
marmaduke is offline  
May 13th, 2004, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 415
I have heard horror stories although I do have a friend who has a timeshare at Walt Disney World and is getting a good deal.

Another friend bought one in Cancun and got royally *&^%$!! Of course, it was all spelled out, clear as day, in the contract. But the sales pitch was too enticing.

It always seems to me that time shares end up being more expenisve than just renting a place once a year. And the wait lists to go to different, shared resorts is always incredibly long.
Alisa is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 04:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 140
Big Red that was rude of you to say that about those who buy timeshares. It's an individual's decision. My uncle who is a financial advisor owns several. My husband and I are planning to buy one. It is most economical for us because we go on trips EVERY year. I've used my aunt's and my uncle's to take nice vacations and they have no problems. The other main benefit is it is like owning a home, you can take some deductions on your taxes. BTW, I work in financial services with an investment counseling firm.
India is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 05:16 AM
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India - I've always wondered about timeshares and have done a little reading about them but am not convinced. Will you please explain the financial benefit of owing one?
sundowner is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 05:39 AM
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It's so complex and would differ for each person sundower that you'd have to speak with your tax advisor, but you can deduct the property taxes you paid and the interest.
India is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 06:21 AM
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I wasn't being rude, India...I was pointing out that people are getting ripped off daily by these things.

The tax angle is inaccurate. You're sending Fairfield or whomever thousands of dollars to keep from sending hundreds to the Government.
BigRed is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 140
Big Red, you said "Suckers and people who can't do the math buy them" that's an opinion, not fact which is what marmaduke is looking for. You say it's not rude and you said it so that settles it.
India is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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Posts: 215
Actually...it is a fact.
The "people who can't do math" is not at all an opinion. If you look at the financial side of timeshares, it's SO clear that they have a horrible ROI. Why else would people say they're a deal unless they can't (or won't) do the math?

And there are two types of "Suckers"....people who accidentally are and people who want to be since they think they're getting a "deal".

India, I don't really want to argue (and I'm not going to) with you since you're not going to convince me and I won't convince you.

But, Marmaduke is looking at something that is dangerous to his financial health. He (and everyone else) needs to be warned.
BigRed is offline  
May 14th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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India, would you please provide a link or a website that has a financial adviser/banker/CPA etc that thinks a timeshare is a good investment? Not that I doubt your word but everyone I know in the financial world screams the opposite.
May 14th, 2004, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 526
Per typical, Big Red is wrong (again!).

I bought my deeded 2-week Red-Month time share at a Gold Crown resort and paid $6,500. Maintenance fees are $510/yr. I can exchange quite easily through Interval.

I did the math. It works great for me!

...As stated by others, just do your homework.
Paul is offline  

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