There are over 1500 unique timeshare resort properties in the US alone. That makes it a nearly $9 billion industry.
For comparison, the music industry is only worth $7 billion.
The average person will pay around $20 thousand to buy in. But this initial investment is only a drop in the bucket. Very soon after that initial purchase, people learn the hidden timeshare costs that no one told them.
I’m here to share them with you. Whether you’re thinking of buying or having second thoughts, you need to know this.
Let’s explore the timeshare costs they don’t want you to know about.
1. Your Life
Does that sound overly dramatic? You’ll quickly see why. Buying a timeshare is often a lifetime commitment.
Once you’re in, it’s almost impossible to sell it to someone else. You’re competing with all of the new, unsold properties at the same resort and others.
Lose your job? Go through a divorce? Terrible diagnosis? It doesn’t matter. You’re responsible for whatever you agreed to in your contract.
Failure to meet these obligations could result in legal actions taken against you.
Now onto less dramatic, but still impactful hidden timeshare costs.
2. Your Freedom
Want to go to Disneyland this year? How about Venice? Did you always want to visit Dubai?
As they say: Variety is the spice of life.
But not for you. You have a timeshare. You already know where you’ll be going every year for the foreseeable future.
Even if you do have several resorts to choose from, your choices are very limited. The top destinations may require booking years in advance.
And they may not tell you up front that you’ll pay yet another fee to exchange units.
One of the hidden timeshare costs is playing vacation deja vu for the rest of your life.
The resorts know that people hate monotony. They’ll try to sell you upgrades every chance they get.
3. The Not So Hidden Hidden Costs
When you own a timeshare, you’ll probably be told up front that you’re responsible for annual ownership and maintenance fees.
It seems all transparent. You’ve got this. You know exactly what you’re in for.
But do you?
These fees are due whether you use the property or not. If the property goes into decline, they may go up. Depending on your contract, they could go up a lot.
And, they usually don’t cover the big stuff. Does the resort need a new parking lot, roof or lobby? They’ll send you the bill.
4. A Hefty Tax Bill
When you buy your timeshare, you’re savvy enough to ask probing questions.
Is this all I’m responsible for? Are there any hidden timeshare costs I should know about?
They may look you straight in the eye and say that’s it.
Then you get your tax bill. As a property owner, you’ re responsible for the annual property taxes. You can’t write these off.
A timeshare broker doesn’t have much to do with these hidden costs. It might simply slip their mind.
But you could owe a thousand or more in property tax each year in addition to the costs you knew about.
This timeshare is looking like less and less of a bargain all the time.
5. Real Estate Fees
When you buy a timeshare, you’ll pay the same kinds of real estate fees you pay when you buy a house. There’s an assessment fee, an appraisal fee, a transfer fee and so on.
The resort may even find some clever finder’s fees or other fees to tack on there. These fees should be in your final documents. But they are often hidden until you are already excited and well into the buying process.
These hidden timeshare costs can really bite into the value of your timeshare. But there’s more.
6. More Real Estate Fees
Let’s say that you find a buyer for your share down the road. You may be thinking that you’ll get at least most of your money back.
But when you add up real estate agent fees and concessions you have to make to sell the timeshare, you really end up paying these fees or more twice.
And if you do sell it, this doesn’t get you out of any back fees you may have acquired during ownership.
7. Travel Fees
Okay. You already knew that the resort wasn’t going to pay for your plane tickets to the resort every year. But these are hidden timeshare costs that almost always slip the buyer’s mind.
In order to enjoy your timeshare, you’ll need to pay for you and your family to travel there.
If fuel costs go up and you can’t afford to travel, you’re stuck with a terrible choice.
Either don’t use the timeshare that you’re paying thousands for each year. Or go into debt to travel there.
When you consider other options like waiting until fuel prices go down or taking a close to home vacation that year, you’re wasting a ton of money.
You buy into this great resort. You see all kinds of entertainment venues and restaurants going up around it. What a great investment?
Timeshares rarely, if ever, go up in value. In fact, plan to take a mighty loss on it when you sell it.
We’re not even taking all of your annual fees into account. That’s a loss out of the gate.
If you paid 20 thousand for it, expect 10 or less. Yes, really? When you add up all of the hidden timeshare costs you no longer have to pay, you’ll actually be relieved to dump it.
But There’s Good News About Hidden Timeshare Costs
It’s possible to get this burden off your back. You may be ready to dump the timeshare and you don’t care what you lose. But wait!
You may have options.
I can help you better understand what those are. The timeshare may have been misrepresented. Perhaps, they told you it was an investment or that your annual fees were fixed.
Don’t suffer under a timeshare anymore. Learn about your options. Set up a free consultation today.
Do you have a timeshare contract you no longer want to be party to?
Timeshares seem like a great deal, until they’re not. The upfront fees can be as much as $19,000, plus annual maintenance fees. Not a small amount by any means.
Many people sign up for a timeshare while on vacation, then realize it’s a costly mistake. They are generally a bad choice in the long run. And if you hold on to a timeshare you don’t want, it will cause unnecessary expense and become a headache.
If you find yourself owning a timeshare after coming home from a vacation there may still be a way to get out of your timeshare. Keep reading, because you’re about to find out how you may be able to have your timeshare contract canceled.
Give Your Timeshare Back to the Resort
First things first, this is going to be a painful process getting out of your timeshare and you are going to lose money, in fact, it may even cost you more money to rid of your timeshare.
Contact the resort and see if they will take back. However, understand this is rare and they are not obligated to take back the timeshare because you changed your mind. However, trying to sell your timeshare is almost always a bad idea. Why? There is no resale value, you can find them everyday on Ebay(R) for $1.00, yes that’s one dollar. People sell them just to get out of the lifetime of annual maintenance fees.
In order for them to consider your offer, you need be in good standing and the unit should be paid off. You may be able to do a “deed back”, which means signing the deed or interest over to the resort. It’s most likely you won’t get any money for it and you may have to pay a fee to transfer.
Approach the condo association and find out if the resort is open to your offer. Whatever you do, don’t stop paying maintenance fees as it will damage your credit and lead to foreclosure. Then you won’t have a property, and you’ll still be liable for the fees.
Check the Law on Rescission in Your State
There is a legal way to cancel a timeshare contract that can work if you act in time. When you sign the document, it is a legal and valid contract. This means it’s covered by normal contract law.
“Rescinding” basically means the act of you canceling your obligations under the contract. The time period you have to rescind will be stated in the contract, and you can check your state’s laws as well.
Usually, this period is between three to fifteen days. If you were pressured into signing up for a timeshare a few days ago and regret it, the time to act is now.
Cancel a Timeshare Contract in Writing
In order to go ahead with the cancellation, you must do it in a certain way. The standard method to cancel a timeshare contract is to send your decision in writing.
For detailed instructions, you must look at your contract’s cancellation policy. It will usually specify that the cancellation letter includes certain things. Some of these might include the purchase date, your personal information, and a timeshare description.
It’s vital that your letter includes a clear intention to cancel. You don’t need to state a reason for your cancellation. But it’s good form to include a request for a confirmation that your letter was received.
It’s not a good idea to call, as the salesperson will usually try to persuade you not to cancel. If you do call the company, be sure to speak to a manager. Definitely don’t speak to the same salespeople who sold you the timeshare in the first place!
Delivering the Cancellation
The method of delivery is extremely important for the timeshare cancellation to be effective. It will be specified in your timeshare contract and can range from hand delivery to certified mail.
If you don’t follow the instructions exactly, it’s possible your rescission could be rejected. Be sure to make copies of the letter before you send it. Also, make copies of your agreement and any other relevant documents if you send the originals. Be sure to mail it certified return receipt.
Refinance the Timeshare Loan
Sometimes the timeshare itself isn’t the problem, the loan you took out for it is. You can keep your timeshare by refinancing your loan so that you don’t have to cancel a timeshare contract.
It’s not mandatory to stick with the rate the timeshare developer gave you. While you will need a good credit record, this option can shave a lot off your repayments.
Shop around for the best options. Once you have moved your loan to another lender, this opens up possibilities. You can then look into getting rid of your timeshare because you don’t have a high mortgage to pay.
What to Do If the Cancellation Period Has Passed
What should you do if you can’t cancel a timeshare contract?
In this case, selling the timeshare is the easiest option. Sadly, a timeshare isn’t like a normal property. It doesn’t increase in value year by year.
Even if you sell it at a loss, however, you will have gotten out of a costly contract. Your best bet is can contact a licensed firm that specializes in timeshare matters. You can also look for a buyer yourself by posting an ad on the internet, however SELLER BEWARE! This is laden with scams and most people lose money pursuing this path, again the sad fact is there is no resale value for the majority of all timeshares.
Another choice you can make is to donate the timeshare to a charity.
A local charity can sell the use your week at an auction to raise money. If you get a bigger organization, they can even take over the payments. The great thing about donating is that you can get a tax deduction to offset the money you’ve spent on the timeshare. This is far more difficult to do than it appears.
Get a Lawyer to Cancel a Timeshare Contract
While there are some steps you can take to cancel a timeshare contract yourself, in most instances, you will need professional help. Or your time to cancel may have passed and you need to find other options. In a case like that, you should get in touch with a trusted timeshare attorney.
A lawyer may also be able to find a way to get you out of your contract even if the rescission period has passed.
Go ahead and contact us today, our consultation is free. The sooner you call, the sooner you can get out from under your costly timeshare.
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