For those of us who enjoy venturing to similar sun traps each year to enjoy a holiday in the summer months, a timeshare could sound quite appealing.
Having an assured apartment, a place you know and love to relax for a couple of weeks each summer is surely a great deal.
However, over recent years the amount of tales of timeshare hidden costs, rip-off deals and scams have muddied the name of a once extremely popular holiday option.
For those potentially considering one in the future, the one question on the tips of their tongues is of course whether it will be worth it or not.
To help you answer that question, here are a number of points clearing up whether a timeshare is a good investment or simply a waste of money.
The original appeal of a timeshare was that while you paid a lump sum of so many thousand pounds upfront, the money will eventually pay itself off and in a few years, you will essentially be paying little or nothing for a summer holiday.
Realistically if your goal in owning a timeshare is to enjoy a great holiday every year in a location that you enjoy, then yes, they are a good investment.
Once you are signed into a timeshare and book the week/weeks you’d like in it, the only thing holding you back is booking your flights.
A great place to initially invest in a timeshare is by looking in the reseller market as opposed to the normal market, as timeshares can go for a fraction of the price.
You can of course always sell your timeshare on if you feel you have no use for it anymore or fancy a change of scenery.
Just remember to get advice from exit experts such as TESS Ltd before committing to any sale deals to make sure you are getting the most from it.
Waste of Money
In recent years’ timeshares have increasingly gathered bad press for seemingly being bad investments, and we all know the old saying, no smoke without fire.
Generally, if you are looking to make money from property, then investing in a timeshare is not the way to do it.
The initial fee you pay for the timeshare may well appear reasonable if you plan to stay in the timeshare for a long time.
However, be very aware that the pace at which timeshares devalue is steep, this is why (as mentioned above) the reseller market is a good place to buy because it is populated with owners of massively devalued timeshares trying to unload the property.
There are also some sneaky extra fees which quickly turn that seemingly decent investment into a terrible one.
On top of the original lump sum, there will also be annual maintenance fees which each investor in the timeshare must pay for the general upkeep of the property.
While this is an entirely reasonable point, some owners have found that not only do they end up paying a surprisingly large amount of money, they also find the property’s condition is not up to scratch when you arrive.
Another recurring issue which has in some cases made timeshares a poor investment is the complexity of the contracts, making it difficult to leave.
This interesting but deeply harrowing tale from This is Money details the ongoing battle of an elderly couple attempting to leave their deal despite their inability to actually use the timeshare.
While investing in a timeshare is generally a decent decision if you want to visit the same destination and enjoy a consistent standard of accommodation, you have to be comfortable in the knowledge that you are very unlikely to make money from it.
There are of course a number of other reasons detailed above which suggest timeshares are likely to leave you out of pocket, so overall, we would consider a timeshare to more regularly turn out to be a waste of money.