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03/26/04

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Timeshare-Holidays.com

I have been looking for a good domain where I can set up a forum for people to talk about timeshares as well as providing a place for people to get together to buy, sell, or trade a week or even ownership. Well, this past weekend (Apr-9-2005) I finally found a good domain and I grabbed it. Please help me build Timeshare-Holidays.com into a useful resource for everybody that is interested in timeshares!

What is a timeshare?

Timeshare or interval ownership is a concept that allows people who want to have a holiday or vacation home to simply buy the part of the vacation home that they are going to use. As an example, my wife and I enjoy skiing and we wanted to define a week as our annual ski vacation. To do this, we bought a week timeshare in Killington Vermont just a couple miles from the base of the mountain. By buying a timeshare week, we did not need to purchase a property that would sit empty most of the year if we bought it outright and yet it is ready for us when our time to use it comes.

This has several advantages for us as we know when and where our annual ski vacation will be and where we will be staying. To my understanding, most timeshares are used about 50 weeks a year leaving a couple of weeks for maintenance and repair. The maintenance and repair costs are divided among all of the owners of the timeshare and are paid in the form of an annual maintenance fee. Because the timeshare is used in one-week blocks, the time-share is not left vacant for long periods of time as would occur with a traditional vacation home.

Another huge advantage with timeshares is the ability to trade your week for another week at another location. This is accomplished through parent organizations that act like brokers such as to trade your week for a week that someone else has that you may be interested in. I will add additional details on how this system works in the near future.

In addition to owning a defined week and the ability to trade the unit to visit other places across the globe, the owner of a timeshare unit also has to option of renting their week. In the spring of this year (2002) my wife and I plus my in-laws spent a week at Orange Lake Country Club in Kissimmee Florida just a few minutes from Disney. We had rented our week from a guy that had put his unit up for rent on EBAY. This allowed the owner to recover his maintenance fees for the year and make some profit on his unit and allowed us to have a MUCH BETTER place then we would have had if we rented a motel!

Where should someone buy a timeshare?

This section should really be called, WHERE SHOULDN'T SOMEONE BUY A TIMESHARE! To this second question, I must advise that the worst place to buy a timeshare is at the timeshare or resort itself especially if they are still expanding or selling new units. You see, a timeshare loses between 60 and 90% of its retail value when someone buys it. Why? Those costs are used to cover commissions, legal fees, sales and marketing promotions costs. They don't add any value to a timeshare. Just like a new car depreciates the first minute you drive it off the lot, a timeshares depreciates even faster.

Our timeshare in Killington Vermont was purchased by driving to the resort and asking if they had any owners looking to sell their units. The manager of our resort had a listing of units that were for sale by owners and a second list of foreclosure weeks where the owners had stopped making maintenance fee payments. The prices on these resale timeshare units were extremely low to as high as the seller dared to ask. Our unit cost us $3000 while a comparable unit purchased at retail prices would have likely cost us $15,000 to $25,000! Timeshare salesmen use high pressure marketing tactics to pressure you into thinking that you are being offered the best opportunity of your life while the reality is that you can purchase a RESALE or FORECLOSURE timeshare for much less than the RETAIL price!

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So, where should you look for a timeshare? I would start by looking online! I propose that EBay's Timeshare Auctions may well be one of the best places to look for a timeshare bargain. I have seen a great many timeshares sell for very little money and many of these are deeded properties where your only real fees will be the annual maintenance fees and any association fees that you choose to join. Obviously, you can always do a search for a specific area that you are interested in such as Hawaii, Florida, Disney, a specific beach, etc.

Click here for Bidshares

Another place you may wish to try includes a dedicated timeshare auction such as Bidshares.com! This auction, like EBAY, is free to join and will allow you to search for a timeshare that meets your needs including a location, season, etc.

Beyond the auctions, the next place that I would look is on the internet on the various forums, discussion groups, and other places. At the end of this page I have begun the process of listing a few places that you may wish to look. These places have an advantage in that you are working directly with a seller so there is no commissions or fees paid by either the buyer or seller so the cost can be better.

The next area that you may wish to consider is the resort itself. As I stated earlier, our timeshare in Killington Vermont was obtained by stopping in the office and asking them if they had any units for sale. The resorts want to keep the units filled with paying customers as they depend on the maintenance fees for their payroll and other expenses. This approach will most likely work with a resort that is no longer expanding and you know where you wish to stay. I would not be afraid to look up a resort and give them a telephone call to see if they can help you. Even if they do not do this directly, they may be able to suggest a realtor that does.

On the topic of realtors, this is the next place I would go to find a timeshare. Realtors work on a commission so you may well not get as good of a price when you buy through a realtor but the advantage is that the realtor will likely have done much of the leg work associated with finding units that are for sale. The internet has a great many websites that specialize in timeshare resale and these prices will always be significantly cheaper than what it would cost to buy a similar unit from a timeshare resort at RETAIL!

Well, I have run out of time so I will close with a few links that may help! I will be working to add additional links and information including a page where I will try and describe our vacation home, a timeshare in Killington Vermont during the prime ski season! If you walk away having learned anything, please realize that timeshares are a great way to have a vacation in great accommodations and when you go to a resort, the resort will show you many reasons why this is a better way to vacation! The only thing I would suggest is that you take the time to learn the resale market before you buy as you can save yourself THOUSANDS and have the same unit with the same privileges as someone that paid retail! I have attended many of the RETAIL SALES pitches and my father actually bought his first week at one of these high pressure sessions. It was my father that first showed me that there is a better way to buy a timeshare and I am sharing this information with you, if you care to listen!

Timeshare Related Books

I have just found a book that seems to share many of the same opinions and experiences that I plan to share on this webpage. The book, Timeshare Condominiums for the Beginner by Michael Strauss, seems to discuss the nature of the very high commissionís as well as the high pressures placed on a buyer when they visit a timeshare sales presentation. If you doubt any of the advice I have provided, do you and your bank account a huge favor by getting this book for a second opinion! I must admit that I have not purchased this book yet but I plan to do so the next time I place an order through Amazon.com.

Another book that you want to read is The Art and Science of Resort Sales by Dennis McCann that is written for those that are working to get you to pay the inflated RETAIL prices! Look at the reviews and description of this book and you will realize that this book will allow you to see how the sales people get you to spend your hard earned money! The $19.95 you pay for this book will give you a comfortable feeling about justifying buying a timeshare AND an appreciation for how to say NO to the high pressure sales people!

 

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