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Tips for Buying Timeshares

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What if there was a way for you to go on vacation each year without having to put up the megabucks it can take to stay at a resort for the week? Maybe you just don't like the uncertainty that comes with getting a hotel. After all, it can be hard to know for sure just how big the room will be or how nice the hotel is. It'd be a shame to spend all that money and not enjoy your stay. Well, renting a timeshare can be a great way to deal with these issues.

What is a timeshare?

Generally speaking, a timeshare is a type of property ownership in which you "share" ownership of a single property with a group of people. When you own a timeshare, you get the option of using the property for a specific week or set of weeks each year. Owners of timeshares can, in turn, rent out their allotted time to others if they wish to do so.

A traditional timeshare usually binds you to a specific place and time each year, but there are many timeshare companies that offer exchange programs, allowing timeshare owners to swap weeks. Additionally, there's another type of timeshare ownership that is based on a points system. In this case, you purchase timeshare points that can be exchanged for the use of a variety of destinations and resorts. This allows you to have more flexibility when planning your vacation.

The benefits of owning a timeshare

There are a quite a few benefits to having a timeshare. Consider these:
  • Finding a vacation spot can be extremely time consuming. On top of that, you'll probably be competing with tons of other people who are also looking to book time in hotels or resorts. You may finally find the perfect spot, only to discover it's completely booked for the week you want to go. With a timeshare, you could avoid all of this frustration.
  • You may complain about the lack of flexibility, but you can easily circumvent this issue by purchasing a timeshare that comes with the trade option mentioned above or other flexibility options that may be available.
  • If you like the idea of a "home away from home," a timeshare is the best option short of buying a vacation home. You'll be on vacation, but after your first or second year, the change won't be a difficult adjustment. This is also beneficial to those who find change stressful.
Timeshares have gotten a bad rap over the years. This is due to several highly publicized scams that have taken place. A timeshare sales presentation isn't necessarily as bad as it's been made out to be. However, make sure you pay attention; any special contract clauses or other suspicious circumstances should send up red flags. You can make sure your timeshare company is reputable by checking them out with the Better Business Bureau and through online reviews. Doing these things will help protect you from scammers.

Just as with any property purchases or rentals, you should research properly and make your selection carefully. If you do these things, you should enjoy your timeshare for years to come.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on May 14, 2010

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