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To Timeshare or Not To Timeshare?

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Back some time ago, my fiancee and I were on vacation in Aruba, when we took in a timeshare tour for the Marriott. Over the years, timeshares have gotten terrible press. My parents and her parents laughed at the idea. Still, my very smart friends had purchased them, and a large publicly traded company like the Marriott couldn't steer us wrong right? She decided to buy... to this day we aren't so sure if she made the right move.

The idea was particularly tempting to her for a few reasons. She gets an enormous 6 weeks of vacation, so why not have a place to go to every year at a discount? She had just gotten a big promotion and, after growing up deprived of many of the luxuries that her peers enjoyed, saw this as an opportunity to make up for years of getting a "Nyke" shoes while everyone else got Nikes. Lastly, it was billed as a great investment opportunity. After all, it is a deeded property and can be passed on in a will. We were also told that RedWeek.com and Ebay would return profits. So she decided to go for it.

In retrospect, she's not sure she'd do it again. I think half the reason is that I don't have the vacation time she does. She also can't get her friends to go - again I have no clue why as I'd love to take a vacation in Aruba if I just had to pay airfare. We also found that few people purchase vacations from RedWeek - and again I have no clue why as there really are some exceptional deals there. I think there's a bad taste in her mouth from that.

And finally we learned about for sale by-owner timeshare resales on sites like SellMyTimeshareNOW. These are the same thing as regular timeshares but for much less as you avoid paying the marketing costs and sales commissions that are rolled into the price when buying wholesale from a resort.

So I ask, what are your opinions on timeshares from reputable companies? Are they a scam, an investment, or a little of both?

Last updated on June 16, 2011.

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5 Responses to “To Timeshare or Not To Timeshare?”

  1. Empty Spaces says:

    i think its a scam.

    i’ve been meaning to post a blog on it but haven’t gotten around to doing so.

    i’ll get right to it!…..

  2. MOMM says:

    I do *not* think they are investment at all. Regardless of getting the tax write off from having a “second home” and interest payments, you still have yearly fees (which go up with inflation) and the added cost of getting to wherever your timeshare is located.

    Buying a timeshare was actually our first big money mistake (I’m writing a post about it now).

    We ended up selling at a HUGE loss. We didn’t try to sell via our company though we could have. Buying one on eBay is the way to go – selling on eBay? You’ll take a loss there too.

  3. I’m not sure if you can count the yearly fees and the cost of transportation to timeshare. We’d have those costs and more on any vacation.

    I’m sure we couldn’t sell it for what we bought it for, but considering that it’s at least break-even now and it’ll appreciate in value, I’d like to see a lot of hard stats to show why it is a big mistake. What if you bought and held for 30 years?

  4. […] As I had mentioned previously, I am going on vacation to Hawaii. As far as vacations go, this has the potential to be an expensive one. We are using the timeshare, so it feels like we are not really paying for a hotel, but we essentially are. The flight was a lot cheaper than expected since we moved from Boston to San Francisco. Still, I have to think that things are going to be expensive simply because so much has to imported. […]

  5. […] – From Australia we’re paying out of pocket to get to Phuket beach. We’ll use our Marriott timeshare in Aruba and stay at a deluxe Marriott. We lucked out because we are able to trade a one bedroom for a two […]

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