Are timeshares bad?
Most people have a preconceived notion when it comes to timeshares. Some wonder if a timeshare is really worth it to buy. Whether it’s from personal experience or something a friend-of-a-friend said about their vacation ownership, it seems like everyone has an opinion. We highlight the top four myths pertaining to timeshares that the industry just can’t seem to shake. With more information out there than ever before, we can all be more informed about the way timeshares work.
“We would like to recolor the word ‘timeshare.’ Its meaning from 30 years ago and today is different,” — Howard Nusbaum, President and CEO of ARDA.
Myth #1- Most resorts are old or outdated.
Because timeshare is an industry that began after World War II and became a phenomenon among families vacationing in the years after, there are some resorts that could be considered “old.” The first deeded program in the U.S. started in the ’70s. That’s almost 50 years ago!
However, the industry is continuously growing and many big brands are planning on building new resorts or making big changes in the coming years. According to the American Resort and Development Association (ARDA), more than 20% of resorts in the U.S. have been built in the last six years. With an ever-evolving industry, timeshare resorts need to keep up with the newest and the best accommodations. Disney Vacation Club is set to finish their latest resort addition, the Riviera, this fall. Disney also recently renovated their Hawaiian resort, Aulani, in 2013 and it has become more popular for DVC members since.
Myth #2- Timeshares do not appeal to younger people.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, and we have the numbers to prove it! A recent study done by ARDA found that Generation Y (25 to 28) and Generation X (29 to 44), account for 39% of all timeshare owners.
When most people think of vacation ownership, they think of elderly couples (64 and older). However, this age group only accounts for 16% of owners. In fact, Millenials themselves take an average of four vacations each year. This is the perfect audience to use vacation ownership, as it saves them money in the long run. Millennials are known to be apprehensive about commitment. Knowing that timeshares offer flexibility and choices makes the vacation ownership route an attractive option.
Myth # 3- All timeshares are identical.
Maybe a long time ago resorts were similar in shapes or sizes. As consumers are becoming more interested in gaining new experiences rather than saving money on vacations, the travel industry is making big shifts. This means that more resorts and developers are building properties with luxury, comfort and activities in mind.
The beauty of timeshare resorts now is that they all strive to stand out. Vacationers can choose the perfect one for their needs and family. Of course, there are the standard suites that consist of multiple bedrooms, a large living room, spacious family rooms and great kitchens. But that doesn’t mean that is all there is. There are plenty of timeshares that come in the form of cabins, villas, stand-alone homes or even quaint cottages.
If you do start to feel a little bored with your usual timeshare resort, there are great exchange programs such as Interval International (II) or Resort Condominiums International (RCI). Programs like this allow timeshare owners to exchange their weeks or points to choose from thousands of affiliated resorts in hundreds of countries worldwide.
Myth #4- A timeshare is more expensive than a traditional hotel stay.
Some people associate timeshares with constant maintenance fees, dues and other expenses that might come with a true real estate property. However, frequent travelers or families can save a ton of money in the long run by purchasing vacation ownership. Owners are encouraged to enjoy their ownership for the long-haul, making timeshare extremely cost-effective.
Long-term use can more than makeup for the purchase price. Saving money on food alone makes it well worth it. Since there are kitchens in most villas or suites, families can cook at “home” and not have to spend so much eating out at restaurants each night.
Not only are timeshares more spacious and accommodating than hotels, owning a timeshare means paying for tomorrow’s vacations at today’s prices. For example, staying at a hotel for a week might result in a $2,000 bill. Once a timeshare property is paid off, the only recurring costs are annual maintenance fees. This makes the nightly rate at a timeshare a much lower price.
So, are timeshares really worth it?
Of course, purchasing a timeshare is a huge decision. It’s so important to be informed about the ins and outs of buying, selling or renting. Ask questions if you are unsure of something. As mentioned previously, a lot of people already have their minds set on how they feel about timeshares. However, the concept of “timeshare” has changed so much over the years.
It is up to each family or individual if purchasing a timeshare is really worth it. Remember, timeshares are not an investment. Key factors like a resorts location, unit sizes, costs or benefits all play a role in the decision-making process.