Many of those who have purchased into a timeshare feel frustrated and ‘conned’ by the fact that what they were sold was described as an ‘investment’ due to the fact the reality has proved the opposite. Despite this and tightening legislation surrounding the sale and purchase of timeshares, timesharing opportunities are often described as ‘investments’ or advertised as ‘investment opportunities’. Yet, can a timeshare truly be described as an investment?
To answer that question, let’s take a look at what constitutes a viable investment in relation to timesharing.
The True Value of Timeshares
The most important (and so the first) point to tackle and make clear when discussing whether timeshares can or should be accurately described or advertised as ‘investment opportunities’ is their value, what sort of value they have (financially and otherwise) and how transient that value is.
To do that, it is important to begin by stating that timeshares differ from almost all other property related purchases or ‘investments’ in that, their financial value almost always depreciates in value over time. When people first began buying into timesharing opportunities, few realised or foresaw this reality, or that this would even become a reality. In fact, the term ‘timeshare investment’ initially became common place because the belief was that timeshares did indeed present consumers with a viable investment opportunity. Hence, the term arose and stuck, despite the fact that it has since proved a complete misnomer.
The reality is, timeshares like cars and unlike properties, depreciate in value. This means that what you pay to purchase into a timeshare will almost always prove more than you stand to make when you decide to sell a timeshare. Hence, for those looking for a viable investment opportunity, it is unwise to purchase into a timeshare.
The Problem of Resale
One key and defining feature of anything described as a financial investment is that it can be resold at a later time, and resold at a higher value than that initially paid or been invested into it. Unfortunately, because timeshares depreciate in value, the timeshare industry is one so rife with scams and travel fashions have changed over the years, the ‘problem of resale’ when it comes to timeshares is also multisided. Suffice to say though that when it comes to reselling a timeshare not only do most fail to make their owners any money, but the timeshare industry is almost unique as an ‘investment’ industry in that timeshare resale often sees its ‘investors’ losing money or unable to rid themselves of their so-called ‘investment’ what-so-ever.
Then, owning a timeshare does not just prove a poor investment; at worst, owning a timeshare can prove a financial nightmare in whish ‘investors’ feel trapped paying sizable and annual fees to upkeep a property they cannot even afford to make use of, and cannot resell. Even more terrifyingly, thousands upon thousands of people have only learned of this potential and awful reality upon having ‘invested’ their life savings into a timeshare property.
Fortunately, help is at hand. To avoid this happening to you or if this has happened to you and you need a way out, organisations such as The Timeshare Consumer Association have been set up, and further seek to prevent this happening to others. So, to learn more about how to protect yourself when buying or selling a timeshare, visit The Timeshare Consumer Association Website.
Buying into Timeshares vs. Buying into Property
Like the term ‘timeshare investment’, that of ‘timeshare property’ is misleading; those buying into a timeshare agreement are not in almost all cases purchasing property or a share of a property at all. Rather, individuals stand to acquire a share of the lease affixed to a property. Hence, those purchasing a timeshare do not stand to reap the potential rewards of those who instead decide to invest their money into buying property.
Changing Travel Fashions
As the ‘package holiday’ and ‘budget airlines’ have gained prominence over recent years, those less affluent have begun to enjoy holidaying abroad more and more, and for less and less. Hence, one of the unique selling points which first made timesharing so popular (the fact that it supposedly enabled those otherwise not financially able to afford to holiday abroad regularly or at all) has so been lost; families and travellers of almost all financial situations can now choose from a veritable wealth of destinations within which to take a break or week away.
Further, ‘last minute deals’ and the flexibility provided by budget airlines and packages holidays permit people to visit a broad number of destinations year round – two things timesharing simply cannot provide. Hence, not only do those who opt to timeshare forgo the choice enjoyed by those willing to shop about for that budget bargain holiday abroad, they too forego the luxuries often included, such as all inclusive resort accommodation, and instead find themselves paying hundreds each year just to maintain a property that financially disables them rather than enables them to make the most of their hard earned holiday time.
To compare package holidays and timeshares in more detail, The Mirror Newspaper published an article via their website doing exactly that. Whilst the article was released in 2014, the information it contains remains relevant and is, as such, insightful and worth paying attention to if you are considering ‘investing’ in a timeshare opportunity.