Back in the 70s and 80s, timeshares were a popular option for people who wanted to own their own little slice of paradise. The industry was booming, and since then approximately 20 million households have bought a timeshare.
But in the 90s the industry took a hit as sales halved, and sales figures plummeted further still during the 2000s. People cottoned on to the fact that perhaps timeshares weren’t the great value for money investment they’d been promised, and word spread that there are far better ways of spending or investing your money if you want a great summer holiday.
These days timeshares are seen as a pretty poor investment but if you’re still thinking of investing in one, here are a few reasons why you may wish to reconsider.
They don’t offer a return on investment
The whole point of making a financial investment is that you get something of value in return, and preferably turn a profit in the long run. That is something that simply does not apply with a timeshare, and in fact in reality, they are more of a financial burden.
We spoke to Timeshare Consumer Association who told us “timeshares are a bit of a money pit, in all honesty, they drain your finances and offer little in return. On top of your initial purchase price, you also have to pay annual maintenance fees, and these tend to go up on the whim of the developers. As you don’t actually own the property, you can’t rent it out while you’re not using it, and there’s no way of generating any income from it.
The only real perk of a timeshare contract is your annual week or two in the sun, but realistically you can go on holiday without doing that and it probably works out easier and cheaper.”
They’re very difficult to get rid of
If you do sign up to a timeshare and then realise that it isn’t all it was cracked up to be, you will find it very difficult indeed to get rid of it once you’re tied in. You may have thought that you would be able to sell it at a profit, but in reality, the market is so over-saturated with people looking to sell that your chances of this are slim.
You can’t just get out of your timeshare agreement, and some people find themselves locked into them for life. In some cases, the financial burden is even passed down to family members once the owner passes away.
So what options are you left with? In some instances, people have been known to sell their timeshares for meagre £1 just to get rid of it, or donate it to a company such as Donate My Timeshare. Either way, you won’t see any financial gain besides being free from the annual maintenance fees.
There are some great alternatives
Salespeople can be very convincing, but the thing to remember is that there is always a better alternative to a timeshare. If you find yourself collared by one it is essential that you keep this in mind!
If you have the financial means, buying a holiday home will give you exactly the same benefits – a place you can return to year after year for a real home away from home feeling – but with much greater flexibility. For starters, you’ll be able to sell whenever you want to and visit at any time of year. You can even rent out the property while you’re not using it to generate an income!
Or if ownership is a little bit too much of a commitment there are now plenty of opportunities to rent out other people’s homes with sites such as Airbnb. There are some truly stunning locations to be visited and accommodation options for all budgets.
And of course, you could simply opt for a package holiday and enjoy a week or two in the sun relaxing at a resort in only a few clicks. Even better, if you go all inclusive you won’t have to worry about any extra costs!