Timeshares are sold to potential buyers as more than a place to stay once a year. Salespeople try to highlight the lifestyle that hardworking people want to envision themselves living, with regular family vacations taken in affordable, desirable places. The desire to make these memories can drive people to spend more than they can afford, or borrow money to finance the timeshare. While this does work out in the end for some people who invest in a timeshare, others come to regret their purchase with time.
The Facts Around Timeshare Regret
It’s easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and excitement when you initially buy into a timeshare program, but these positive feelings rarely last forever. In the end, just over 40% of timeshare buyers didn’t think they would regret their purchase but they do. Some 30% of buyers feel neutral before the transaction is done but ultimately regret buying into a timeshare program.
When the initial contract is signed, there are a few key points that buyers are convinced by, including the ability to vacation in new places, the affordability, and the commitment to annual vacations. But over time, paying the interest on the mortgage payments, annual fees, and fees related to improvements of the property can bring those feelings of regret to the surface.
Ability to Change Your View
While 95% of all Americans live within an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water, many of them struggle to find the time or inclination to visit the nearest body of water. The truth is that over time, humans tend to grow tired of what is familiar to them and long to see and visit something new.
This is one of many reasons that a timeshare can be so appealing, particularly if the vacation destination is located along the ocean shore or somewhere exotic with beautiful weather. If the nearest body of water to you is a lake that is not very scenic, going to a timeshare instead for your vacation can be very appealing.
Ease of Owning a Timeshare
Having a vacation home or cottage takes extra work and investment that most people can’t take on, like maintaining the exterior and yard of the home, leaving them to pay out more to have local people do the jobs. For example, a newly hydroseeded lawn should be watered as much as two to three times a day. If you own your vacation property out of state, re-seeding the lawn can mean you having to pay someone to come water it every day or risk it failing to take. Having a timeshare where you don’t do maintenance at all is a much simpler and more appealing option.
Force Yourself to Make Time for Vacation
One key point of the timeshare sales pitch is the idea that once you have the timeshare you’ll be more compelled to take a vacation. While it’s true that timeshare ownership can make it easier to plan a vacation, the added expense of the timeshare can prevent you from having the extra money needed to go out of town. Not only will you be looking at paying a mortgage on the timeshare, but there can also be annual fees and fees assessed at the time you book the space.
Instead of investing money in a timeshare, financial experts advise putting the money into a financial investment like a 401k, or a property you can own outright in the end. No matter if you pay the timeshare fees and mortgage, you still do not own your space in the timeshare resort over time.