Explore Timeshares and What is NEW
Timeshare vacations offer families upscale, well located condominium resorts and cherished memories at affordable prices. Today’s timeshares are about flexibility, choice and comfort. Whatever your stage of life, there has never been a better time to discover timeshare vacations. Here at the Voyager Beach Club, we have made it easier and more flexible to purchase timeshare than ever before!
We are introducing a new way to own and enjoy timeshare, our LIMITED TERM, UNLIMITED FUN program. But first, read about the pros and cons of standard timeshare, and then our Limited Term program and then decide which is best for you!
By definition, timesharing is a shared ownership of vacation property which may or may not include an interest in real property. Timeshares allow buyers to purchase an increment of time, typically one week, in a fully-furnished condominium, villa or apartment. About two-thirds of timeshare interests today are interests in real property, which you own by deed just like your home.
For over twenty-five years now, the timeshare industry has evolved from fixed weeks to floating weeks and now points programs. Each transition along the way provided timeshare owners with greater flexibility planning their vacations, but each improvement has also led to more owner confusion, and decreased real value at a higher purchase price.
Why Own A Timeshare?
Our owners stay in superior accommodations at an oceanfront resorts and most accommodations are spacious condominiums with fully equipped kitchens and amenities. Typically, you would purchase a timeshare at a resort and location you and your family would enjoy and plan on returning to time and again to spend your vacation. However, timeshares are exchangeable at over 4,000 locations and in over 100 countries world-wide thru exchange companies such as Resort Condominiums International (RCI), Interval International, and others. You can also internally exchange to other properties managed by Liberte' Management and their affiliates.
Timeshare Pros and Cons
As with most things, purchasing a timeshare has its pros and cons. As timeshare resorts welcome thousands of families each and every year, we find much benefit and value in owning a timeshare. However, owning a timeshare may not be the best option for you. Things to consider are:
The basic timeshare concept is simple: you pay a one-time purchase fee that entitles you to a week every year (or sometimes every other year) at a resort. Instead of renting your vacations, you now own them. Due to the upfront costs, and the fact that most timeshares do not appreciate like traditional real estate, the cost savings is in future vacations.
Here's an example:
$1,400 per week for hotel @ $200 per night
x 30 years of future vacations
Total cost in today's dollars (without inflation)
With a timeshare, let's assume you find a resale for $8,000 with an annual maintenance fee of $550. Your equation becomes:
$550 annual maintenance fee (assuming fee is constant)
x 30 years of ownership
$16,500 total maintenance fees
+ 8,000 original purchase price
Using this calculation, you could pay as much as $25,500 upfront for a timeshare and break even with comparable hotel vacation costs. This is more like the high end new sales prices of timeshares sold today.
Most timeshare units have floor plans that closely resemble two bedroom, two bathroom condos or apartments, usually with an additional sleeper sofa in the living room. Timeshare unit sizes vary from studios to four bedrooms, allowing plenty of room for families.
Anyone who has been on a vacation with children or groups of friends can tell you that hotel accommodations are not always ideal. There are some hotel chains that offer suites, but they are often difficult to find, and two or more bedrooms are hard to come by. Adjoining hotel rooms are often much more expensive, and usually lack the living, dining, kitchen, and laundry amenities that make your vacation more convenient and affordable. In addition, timeshares come stocked with kitchen utensils, dishes, silverware, etc.. But, unlike your typical rental home, no need to pack sheets and towels.
REAL PROPERTY OWNERSHIP
If you buy a "deeded" timeshare, you are buying real property. You can give it away, will it to your heirs, rent it, sell it, and so on. Not all timeshares are sold today with deeds. You will need to look carefully at the contract you are offered.
ABILITY TO EXCHANGE
Exchange is consistently a top reason people buy into timeshare. When you own a timeshare, you have the ability to exchange for another resort. On RedWeek.com, you can exchange with our partner Dial An Exchange (DAE). You may also buy a membership with one or both of the more traditional exchange companies, Resort Condominiums International (RCI) and Interval International (II), provided your resort has an affiliation (which Voyager does!!). To be fair, this Pro also made our Cons list below.
Americans are notorious for giving up vacation time. When you buy a timeshare, you're making a significant upfront investment and may be more motivated to take valuable time with your family annually. If you buy an annual fixed week, you are guaranteed that same week each year at a resort you are familiar with, and don't have the hassle of vacation planning year after year. It is a fact that timeshare owners are more likely to use their vacations than those who don't own. Again… a lifestyle decision to build memories with your family and friends.
If unexpected circumstances arise, or you simply cannot take your vacation one year, timeshares afford other options. You can bank your timeshare with one of the timeshare exchange companies (each of which require memberships to do so). Keep in mind there may be restrictions on how long you can push your vacation off before you lose your week altogether, and there are fees associated with doing so.
Your other option is to rent your timeshare through our resort rental program and use your cash when you can take your vacation. Posting a rental price at or just above the cost of your maintenance fee will usually find you a renter quickly, and help you cut your losses for that year
LESS MAINTENANCE THAN A VACATION HOME
If you're trying to decide between purchasing a vacation home or a timeshare, there are some important characteristics of timesharing that you will want to consider:
REPUTATION OF UNETHICAL PLAYERS AND SCAMS
Timeshares have long been infamous and has developed a reputation of being associated with hard sales pitches and sneaky sales techniques similar to the notoriety of used car sales. While these horror stories are few and far between these days, as with any industry, there occasionally still are unethical salespeople trying to do whatever it takes to bring home their commission. That is why it is important to do the homework you are doing right now. Before walking into a situation where you know there will be a pitch, educate yourself on timeshare and go into it with an understanding of the pros and cons and what makes financial sense for your family's lifestyle. Research the resort and management company to be aware of any outstanding complaints. If you end up changing your mind after the purchase, most states have "rescission period" laws that allow you to cancel the sale within two or three days.
Although there are timeshare plans that afford more flexibility than others, some people feel nothing is quite as flexible as being able to decide when and where you go each year, in the more traditional methods of travel planning. If you want a holiday week, you may not be able to trade or exchange your timeshare for it, because there are many timeshare owners hoping for the same week. You also may not be able to decide last minute that you want to use your timeshare in a certain location.
When you pay an upfront fee for something that is most valuable in the long-run, your money is tied up. You are not able to invest that money in other areas, and you are contractually obligated to pay maintenance fees for as long as you own it, so there is no quick way to get your money if you need it. Additionally, if you use financing, you will be paying interest, which needs to be worked in to your calculations when figuring your purchase price and cost versus benefit.
TIMESHARES DO NOT APPRECIATE
While most timeshares can be considered deeded real estate, it is important to remember that a timeshare should not be considered a money-making investment. If you bought a timeshare directly from a resort developer, about 50 percent of the price you paid went to their marketing costs in selling it to you - costs such as the salesperson's commission, the mailers, phone calls, prizes, sales booths, and other activities that went into getting you to buy. Remember, they spent this money on people who did not buy, too. Rather than thinking of a timeshare as a real estate investment, it is better to think of it as a purchase such as a car that may likely depreciate in value.
MAY BE DIFFICULT TO RESELL
As we have said, the value in timesharing is in the long term. Once you've paid the upfront fee, if you can afford the yearly maintenance and actually use your timeshare, you are better off holding on to it. RedWeek.com is proud of its high success rates, but we cannot promise that there always will be a buyer wanting to purchase what you have to offer, so selling timeshares on the resale market sometimes can be difficult.
In addition, some developers include clauses into timeshare purchase contracts that may restrict your ability to sell on you own - requiring they get right of first refusal, commissions on your sales price even if they do not sell it for you, and so on. Before purchasing a timeshare from a developer, be sure to ask about their resale policies.
MAINTENANCE FEES AND SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS
Maintenance fees cover the grounds and housekeeping services, utilities, insurance, on-site management, keeping facilities and appliances up and running, applicable real estate taxes, replacing broken items, and reserves for major improvement projects such as remodeling, new roofs, and so on. They vary greatly based on resort location, unit size, and amenities. They are assessed and paid annually, so therefore are an important part of the value equation when considering a timeshare purchase. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to factor them in, since they are not a constant. Because the cost of goods and services goes up every year, and resorts may change management companies, maintenance fees have been known to increase up to 4 percent in a single year. A well-managed resort needs to spend money to retain the value of your purchase.
The maintenance fee is very likely to be lower than what you spend on a hotel room. However, if you are worried about the fee, consider taking simple precautions before you buy. Ask to see what the maintenance fees have been in past years so you can make an educated guess about what the increases might be, based on historical data. Ask the seller whether the management company has capped the amount by which the maintenance fee can increase annually.
Assessment fees happen in special cases where something at the resort needs to be fixed, and the cost exceeds the maintenance fee reserves. These may be a new roof, repair from major storms (which insurance usually covers), and so on. You should also check with the seller to see if the contract will contain provisions protecting you from surprise assessment fees.