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Timeshare Reality Check

By guest blogger Sarah Gagnon

Timeshares are becoming more and more popular; however, the long-standing stigma surrounding them still exists. There are plenty of voices in the travel industry talking about the positives and negatives of vacation property ownership and it is easy to get confused. Here are the ins and outs of the industry, the market and usage opportunities. Also, some helpful tips in case you are interested in taking advantage of the potential benefits of vacation real estate ownership.

Timeshares aren't evil. In fact, many people find that they are innovative, useful and valuable. That does not mean one shouldn't use caution when considering ownership. The concept of timesharing is inherently helpful, but the same cannot be said for every individual out there trying to make money. This is where the timeshare reputation has suffered in the past, and - although things are improving - continues to suffer today.

Timeshare history: As the timeshare industry struggled to progress in the 1970s and 80s, scams were recurrent and the bad name stuck. However, as associations like ARDA began to step in and refine the process and the amount of scamming dramatically decreased.

Resorts: Resorts are one type of timeshare and unfortunately, many resorts entice travelers into buying timeshare by using high-pressure sales tactics and deceitful information at very long, uncomfortable presentations. Furthermore, resort rates are high due to their large-scale advertising campaigns.

Resales: But there is good news about timeshares. The reason so many people still prefer vacation property ownership is that there are relatively easy ways to avoid the risks of buying timeshare. The most important way is to buy resale.

Timeshare resales can offer vacation value:

  • Low cost, often thousands less than resort prices
  • Private sales - no scams, no pressure, no falsehoods
  • Timeshare resale companies present the very same property that resorts do
  • These timeshare resellers also staff licensed brokers and closing companies to assist you
  • Resale Web sites allow you to search at your own pace and find what is right for you

Timeshare resales aren't perfect. But you can potentially save a ton of money and avoid headaches provided you take the same precautions anyone would when purchasing property. Timeshare resales basically succeed everywhere that timeshare resorts fail.

Timeshare resale benefits: For the money, resales are incredibly effective. You can also find good deals and timesharing can be less expensive than hotels. Furthermore, you don't have to worry about accumulating day-to-day bills. You own the timeshare, so you have a vacation every year already paid for. To sweeten the pot a little more, you can use exchange companies to trade your property and travel all over the world. All in all, if you want to vacation with freedom and flexibility while enjoying low cost and luxury, timeshare resales are something to look into.

Guest blogger Sarah Gagnon, M.A., works for Sell My Timeshare Now, a resale company, and is also known as the "Travel Lady-Bug."