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Old 04-24-2009, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,560,975 times
Reputation: 386

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Scams scams scams. If it sounds too good to be true, thats because it is. Just take your vacas and plan then when you do. Dont get sucked in to anything more.

G Man
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,049 posts, read 3,423,252 times
Reputation: 730
I bought one through BlueGreen and regretted it the second I did it. Don't do it! You don't want to have to pay the annual maintenance fees. And you won't be able to get rid of the damned thing.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 5,067,737 times
Reputation: 3848
Time shares are a scam, in this lawyer's opinion. They are overpriced and don't deliver what salesmen promise.

Preliminarily, let me put to rest some of the biggest misconceptions about time shares. First, a time share isn't an "investment in real estate". It just isn't. Time share sales people say that all the time, and it's a lie. An investment is something that, under the best circumstances, appreciates over time. A time share, even under the best circumstances, depreciates over time. You cannot sell it at a profit, you cannot use it to obtain credit, and your interest expires without a "triggering event" such as death. Second, when you purchase a time share, you aren't acquiring "ownership of real estate". You cannot sell it, you cannot mortgage it, you own neither the land nor the building. Third, even though some time share companies are getting creative confusing people with some nonsense about "shares", you aren't acquiring "ownership in the company": after all, you can't sell your "shares" on the stock market, you don't get to vote in annual elections, you don't get to sit on the Board of Directors -- you have no vested interest in the corporation itself.

So if a time share is none of those things, what is it? Well, what you are really buying is a revocable license to stay at a hotel, subject to numerous conditions and restrictions. A straightforward hotel reservation is similarly a revocable license: you pay money, you get a room for the night; and when you actually show up to get the key, the hotel is within its rights to turn you away. A time share is sort of like booking a hotel for ten or twenty years going forward. In fact, it's exactly like that: it's as if you called a Sheraton and told them you want to book a room for a week for every year for 20 years, and you want to pay now; or sign a document saying you owe them the money and pay them interest. Sounds retarded, doesn't it? Well, that's what a time share is. It's a brilliant scheme for the seller, because they get your money now, but you'll spend decades collecting the benefit, and they might even get interest out of you; and it's a very bad deal for the buyer.

A lawyer is required by law to be a killjoy, so I always think of the worst-case scenario. Since a time share is a "revocable license", what happens if and when it does get revoked? Well, the owner (the real owner) of the hotel owes you the balance of the money, arguably -- good luck suing them. Time shares are sold by major corporations whose wall-to-wall lawyers have thought of that contingency, believe me. If you buy this time share, I guarantee you that somewhere in that 10-lb packet of papers you will sign a contract that will say you can only sue Wyndham in Guam or something, and not until you've gone through a mediation in Antarctica and an arbitration conducted in medieval Latin. Big corporations that push contracts of adhesion LOOOVE doing things like that, and usually get away with them.

And what happens if in the long years you have that time share the corporation that actually owns the properties goes bankrupt? Since you don't, in fact, own a fee simple interest in real estate, you are just an ordinary non-priority creditor, which means under the best of circumstances, you get pennies on the dollar.

There is another misconception about time shares that sales people push, and that's that time shares provide "flexibility". In reality, it's the exact opposite. Even in the most flexible of arrangements, like the one that the OP is describing, you are still limited to "network" hotels -- you are essentially tied to destinations that have participating hotels and you are at the mercy of their availability (unless you rent out your time share, which isn't terribly difficult, but still a hurdle). You want real flexibility? Pick a place on the map, look at the current deals on all accommodations and book a hotel of your choice -- and pay per reservation, not money upfront for accommodations to be had a decade from now.

Time shares are often pitched to people who haven't traveled much. Seasoned travelers know that time shares are nonsense. Sales people influence the unwary with horror stories of how you might want to go to Paris someday and won't be able to find a hotel room because you weren't smart enough to book it 10 years in advance by purchasing a time share. By buying a time share, they say, you are "guaranteed a hotel room" any time you want. This, as I said, is nonsense. There are always hotel rooms in Paris, Cancun, Buenos Aires, Miami -- nice ones. I've traveled all over the world, been to over 30 countries, and I've never found myself in a situation where I wasn't able to book a decent hotel at a reasonable price in a destination of my choice. And paying for a hotel room a couple of months before your trip sure beats the hell out of paying for it years in advance.

A time share does not magically "guarantee" a vacation. You can always have a vacation if you so choose, and pay as you go. Unless you need the time share as a psychological tool to get a sedentary SO out of the house, it's not a good deal under any circumstances. And it's definitely not an "asset".
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:14 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,883,976 times
Reputation: 23217
Redisca, you sound like my son until he went on vacation with us.

As for always being able to get a hotel room, you are wrong. My daughter was in a half marathon in Nashville and could not find a room because so many people were racing also. She called me and told me that she and her friend were going to sleep in the car because she could not find a place. I remembered our system had a location in Nashville and called reservations and had a room for her in minutes. It was a two bedroom that allowed them plenty of space.

I agree with your warning to check for the stability of the system. I also agree that you should not buy the timeshare as an investment although at the last visit I found that our points were worth $10,000 more than I paid for them. I wouldn't hold my breath until I was offered that by the company though. They tried to sell me more condo points at a price that was that much more.

I can say without reservation that this has changed the way we go on vacation. I feel so spoiled. I hate to go to a hotel room now. I also don't have to talk my husband into taking a vacation. He is not going to pay for something he does not use. It was his idea to buy the second condo so we could take everybody together if we choose. Anytime we don't want to go on vacation, we have two grown children who are more than happy to help us out.

We bought our first condo somewhere around 1998 and if we had stayed in rooms as nice as the ones we stay in, our vacations have already paid for themselves. It was taking a chance and it could have worked out in a different way. It is not "pie in the sky" but it is working for us. Other people will have to decide for themselves.

The saddest thing I ever hear are people who buy condo timeshares and don't use them. I know a couple of people like this. They just keep paying the maintenance year after year. I would at least let a friend go in my place, if I couldn't.

Last edited by NCN; 04-24-2009 at 09:35 PM..
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:09 PM
NSX
 
866 posts, read 1,837,637 times
Reputation: 679
I agree with most of you all here. It's probably smarter to invest in commemorative NASCAR plates than timeshares. If you're thinking about a timeshare purchase and haven't already, watch the South Park episode "Asspen".
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,305,392 times
Reputation: 10018
If CD.c would let me rep Redisca again, I would do it.

Fond dream: helpless timeshare salesman, functional soldering iron and cordless drill, and a week with no obligations.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,049 posts, read 3,423,252 times
Reputation: 730
Anyone know how to successfully rid oneself of a timeshare?
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:09 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,039,867 times
Reputation: 986
If you are not interested in making any money, can you just let it go back to the company? As in, you were left one in a will and don't want to pay the maintenance costs, etc.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,049 posts, read 3,423,252 times
Reputation: 730
I'm not sure... I'll have to look into that. I felt like it was a mistake to buy it since day 1... I really just don't want to pay the maintenance costs like you said.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:13 PM
 
4 posts, read 14,710 times
Reputation: 16
Default Only Buy a timeshare on the resale market!

I purchased a Wyndham Timeshare resale through eBay and paid $600. This price included all auction costs, transfer, closing fees etc . . ..

The original owner paid something like $12,000 when they purchased through the developer.

So essentially, we assumed ownership of the timeshare without having to pay the huge upfront fee.

So, it boils down to "Is what I am getting for my annual maintenace fee worth it?"

My $350 annual maintance fee got me 5 days in a 2 BR unit in smokey mountains back in June. That equates to $70 per day. Compare that to a $70 per night room at the Economy Inn and there is no comparison. The Wyndham 2BR unit provided much more space, a full kitchen, washer and dryer and the resort had many great ammenities (multiple pools, etc . . .)

I think owning a Timeshare could work for most people. The key is to "Not Buy From The Developer". Buy Resale through Ebay or one of the dozen timeshare resale companies you can find when you search www.google.com.

Once my timeshare now longer is valuable to me, I can unload it on ebay through one of the resale companies like (Laman34 or timeshareangels2004). Since I basically paid such a low price to own the timeshare, I won't be out anything but the $600 I originally paid.
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