Committing to buying a timeshare is an important decision. But deciding where to buy a timeshare is just as important—if not more. With over 7,000 timeshare resorts in top vacation destinations worldwide, choosing a resort can be daunting.
Let us help you narrow down your search. Below are a few of the most important factors to consider when searching for the perfect vacation ownership interest to enjoy with your family.
As a potential timeshare buyer, you are in a much different mindset than you are when booking a hotel room or renting a condo. With vacation ownership, you aren’t just looking at where to spend your next vacation. You’re looking at where you plan on spending your next 30 or so vacations.
While most timeshare owners join an exchange company, such as RCI or Interval International, to travel to different locations worldwide , most still spend 75% of their vacation time at a home resort. Make sure to pick a place that makes sense to you and that you enjoy returning to frequently.
Both the actual resort and general vacation location are important to consider when choosing where to own.
First off, does the resort have amenities that will intrigue you for the lifetime of your ownership? Will your timeshare unit be spacious enough to accommodate a growing family or be able to host friends and relatives? Would you prefer a small, secluded resort for romantic retreats, or a larger, family-oriented property? Are there enough on-site features and activities to keep your family entertained as they age?
Before making a decision, consider whether you see your unit as being a rest stop between nearby adventures, or if you prefer to spend the majority of your getaway enjoying activities at the resort.
If the resort is a perfect match, then it’s time to consider its surroundings. Is it a convenient location to travel to on an annual basis? Are there any attractions in the area you are interested in visiting? How far of a drive is it to visit them?
Chances are, as you spend more time at your home resort, , you will become intimately familiar with the immediate vicinity. Location is key. Make sure there is enough entertainment around you that you will not grow old of your ownership.
For adventure seekers who wish to exchange their timeshare more frequently in order to explore new destinations, the exchange value of ownership is very important. Many factors go into determining the value of a timeshare, including the week/season owned, size and view of unit, location, and resort rating and amenities. The higher demand there is for your timeshare, the greater value it holds. And the greater value is has, the more travel options you have when depositing your timeshare for an exchange.
An easy way to tell how much value a timeshare holds is to search current resale inventory. If asking prices are on the higher end , then its likely you are looking at a more popular resort. Consider buying in a location with less inventory as well to increase future odds of good exchanges.
If your schedule is always changing or you prefer a less restrictive ownership, research the resort or vacation club you are considering to maximize your vacation flexibility. For example, are floating weeks or points available so that you can pick and choose when you visit? How far in advance can you deposit your week or points? Do you have the option to split your week into two separate stays?
If you always take the same week off every year, then a traditional weeks ownership is a great fit for you. If your lifestyle is more fluid, then you might want to opt for a more flexible timeshare in order to make the make the most out of your future vacation time.
Last but not least, consider the fees that come with buying a timeshare. Timeshare fees along with general travel fees can become costly, depending on where you choose to purchase. Factor these expenses into your overall decision making process to make sure the timeshare you want fits in your budget.
Most of what you spend on your timeshare post-purchase will be maintenance fees. These are typically billed in annual or quarterly installments. Most listings on the resale market will include the maintenance fees in the description. If you plan on exchanging your timeshare, look into what fees may be involved.
While figuring out a budget for your timeshare purchase, take into consideration all vacation expenses that will be included in addition to the resale cost. Is your timeshare easily reached by car, or will you have to pay for plane fare? Does your unit have a kitchen to cook, or will you be eating out a lot? Do you plan on staying on-site to enjoy free resort amenities, or venturing off-site where you will be spending money on attraction tickets and rentals?
Some of these factors may be much more important to you than others, since everyone has their own personal preference in what they look for in a vacation. However, this should give you a helpful start in how to narrow down your search for the perfect timeshare.