In the ‘70s and ‘80s, the timeshare industry really reached its peak with consumers from all over the world signing contracts.
However, the industry’s sales halved in the ‘90s and lowered ever more during the 2000s. This has led many to ask the question: is a timeshare still seen as a great investment?
In short, getting involved in timeshares is not still seen as a great investment and you should probably keep your distance but, if you’re looking to sign up to one, here’s why they’re not a sound financial move.
They don’t generate income
A widespread misconception surrounding timeshares is that they’re a good way to make a bit of cash on the side; this is absolutely not the case.
We spoke to Timeshare Consumer Association who said: “The only benefit you’d see from a timeshare contract would be your annual week or two away, but you could do that without signing up for a timeshare.”
“You would see plenty of negatives, though. Timeshares are essentially a money sponge that drains your finances rather than building them up. On top of your initial payment, you’d also have to pay large maintenance fees and, as you wouldn’t actually own the property, you wouldn’t have the option to rent the place out to other holidaymakers to get some of your money back.”
They’re difficult to get rid of
If you sign up to a timeshare and realize that it doesn’t suit your lifestyle, you’ll find that they’re exceptionally hard to get rid of. The ideal route would be to sell but, because the market is so saturated, meaning that there are more people looking to sell than to buy, this is quite unlikely.
Even in the rare event that you did manage to sell your timeshare, it’s almost unheard of to make back the money you spent on it. There are instances of people selling their timeshares for as little as £1 just to get rid of it.
However, you could go down the road of donating your timeshare through organizations such as Donate My Timeshare, but you’d still see no financial gain.
There are better alternatives
No matter how charismatic a salesperson is, remember this: there is always a better alternative to a timeshare contract, even if that means a rainy caravan holiday in Prestatyn – at least there are no strings attached!
If you can, buying a holiday home is a much better alternative to getting a timeshare as it offers the same benefits, such as privacy and home comforts, but it also comes with the benefits of you actually owning it so you can rent it out for a bit of cash and you can decorate it and modify it as you please.
In a similar vein, in the age of websites like Airbnb, it couldn’t be easier to rent out someone else’s home. Again, if you like your creature comforts, you’ll still get all of those, but you will also get a better look at the culture of the place you’re visiting, seeing it through the eyes of a local. You also won’t have to pay hefty sums of money for maintenance fees.
In this way, a timeshare would be seen as a poor ‘investment’ as you could get more for your money elsewhere.
Hopefully, this has made you reconsider your decision to get a timeshare property but, if you still want to go through with it, please make sure that you read your contract carefully, preferably with a solicitor.