We recently interviewed Brian & Bill Rogers of Timeshare Users Group (TUG) on our show, The Traveling Eye.  Bill, the father and founder of TUG told us that there's no "in the middle" for timeshare owners.  You either love it or hate it.  Why because you either understand the business of timeshare ownership or don't.  This is exactly why we did the show and looked to TUG for some expert advice.

I think we have all been to a presentation or two.  For my husband it became a sport to find and receive the best prize when we were traveling.  My issue was to get that prize you had to endure the sales presentation.  You were promised a 90 minute presentation but it was never 90 minutes.  I started to calculate the amount of time we spent getting to the appointment, the 90 minute presentation, the wave of managers who won't take no for an answer and finally leaving and discovered it wasn't worth the prize.  I, of course had to convince my husband of this and finally insist.  Anyway, I don't want to go off on my own tangent.
Here's are the things you wish you knew before you bought that timeshare or even went to that presentation.

  • It's not a one time deal.  The sale person will be all too happy to receive a phone call from you at a later date if you want to purchase.
  • You can cancel if you buy but there is a time limit and sometimes that time limit is only a few days and it may expire before your vacation is over.
  • Choose a place you'd like to visit year after year.
  • Consider your family dynamic. If you have children choose a two bedroom unit.  If you are a couple then a one bedroom is fine.
  • But a popular season
  • Buy what you can afford to pay cash for - it's a luxury and shouldn't be financed and the financing is very high.
  • Know what the maintenance fee is
  • Check on special assessments.  Sometimes "great deals" are for resorts with heavy assessments.
  • Don't buy with the expectation of making a profit
  • Buy a resort with a heavy demand for rentals and exchanges.
  • There are two different types of Timeshares Deeded and RTU or Right to Use.  The later is usually in Mexico and means you do not own real estate, you have the right to use it for specified period of time like 20 years or so.
  • Learn the business of exchanges.  There is a network of Timeshares that are exchanged so you can use anothers time at another resort.  You have to be a member of one of the exchange companies like RCI or Interval.  Fees are associated with it.
The biggest tip of the day was to RENT a timeshare.  You don't have to own one to rent one.  Many Timeshare owners who can't use their Timeshare will list their time for rent.  You can find Timeshare Rentals on TUG's website through their network of owners or go on EBay.  The savings can be as much as 80%.

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Comment by Northeast News on December 9, 2012 at 9:10am

Lot of good advice here but the best comes last which is to rent, don't buy. I know several people who bought timeshares but couldn't find a buyer when they were ready to sell. Instead they only found hucksters who sold them ads with "guaranteed results" to sell. It's impossible to resell timeshares. If you feel compelled to buy then buy used because you'll pay 1/3 what you pay new even with all the "discounts."

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