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Henson Construction Group

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Joe Onofrio
Joe Onofrio

Timeshare Buying Guide

That's because if a timeshare exchange request doesn't work out, it's nice to have a home resort that you enjoy staying at. If it isn't too far from home, you won't have to spend a lot of time and money getting there. And if it is a popular spot, others will be more willing to exchange their weeks to go there. Now that you have a location selected, visit the timeshare resorts in the area. Don't go to the sales presentations. In fact, avoid resorts that are still in their initial selling phase. Their prices are inflated and there are too many restrictions on resales. You'll do better at places that are 100% sold out and owner-owned. Walk around the resort, including the common areas. Look for bulletin boards showing owner-to-owner resales. Ask for copies of their newsletter. Check out their Web site. Read reviews online, especially at the Timeshare Users Group site. Talk to other owners. How do they like the place? What is their yearly maintenance fee? Is the board of directors doing a good job? If you can, attend a resort get-together or a board of directors meeting. Meet the resort manager. He or she knows the place better than anyone. Spend some time with this person. Ask for a tour, and visit a couple of units. What rules and restrictions are in place? What amenities are included? How are units sold? If owners are required to sell through the resort, prices will be higher. The best deals are owner-to-owner sales or better yet, foreclosures. Ask about any bargain weeks they are trying to sell. Remember, in timesharing, a resale unit is the same as a "new" one. Both receive the same upkeep and usage year after year.

timeshare buying guide

How much should you spend? Of course, it depends on the resort, the week, and the unit. Shop around -- you'll probably find weeks selling for well under $1,000. If you are uncertain, rent for a couple of years before buying. Remember, if you pay the true "going rate" for a unit, based on what owners are willing to sell for and buyers are willing to pay, you'll approach the fair market value. If you buy a timeshare week at a fair market price, your chances of selling it someday for the same price or higher are much better. But no matter how much you pay, don't look at your timeshare as an investment, any more than you would any other form of vacation or recreation. If you take a cruise or fly to Europe, you don't look for a return on your investment. With timesharing, you should get at least some of your money back if and when you sell, but your main reason for buying should be the quality of vacations you'll have at your home resort or the ones you exchange to.

The TUGBBS online community forums consists of tens of thousands other timeshare owners and is the first, largest and most informative online Timeshare Forum on the internet! No timeshare question goes unanswered no matter how simple or complex! With Timeshare experts and owners alike, you will learn more from just reading and participating in these forums than you could ever imagine!

The TUG Timeshare Marketplace is one of the largest and most visited timeshare classified ad sites on the internet with Millions of dollars in completed listings and thousands of current ads posted by owners! All ads are open to the public and do not require membership to browse! TUG Members receive free classified ads in our Marketplace to sell or rent your timeshare all year!

TUG Advice is probably the most helpful section of the site for new buyers/sellers just getting into timesharing. Written by owners, members and experts. These articles cater to the entry level and intermediate level timeshare individual and are a must read for anyone thinking of buying or selling a timeshare and those who want to make the absolute most out of their timeshare experience!

1. Evaluate How You Travel - Does your family vacation for one week at a time, or for three and four-day intervals? Do you vacation every year? How often are you likely to return to the same location? Start the buying process by answering these questions. If your family takes shorter vacations, you might be better purchasing a points-based ownership, than a fixed week. If you only travel every two years, a biennial odd or even-year timeshare would be more cost effective than an annual ownership. Once you've evaluated your needs, you can move on to where to own.

2. Buy Timeshare Where You Plan to Travel - Timeshares represent the best value when you purchase at a location you expect to return to at least once every 5 vacations. Developer sales presentations sometimes suggest the location of ownership doesn't matter - while this may be true for points-based clubs, typical fixed and floating week timeshares must be exchanged through an external program. For those type of ownerships, which can be very desirable, we suggest you buy timeshare where you like to travel, that way you'll still enjoy vacation on years where exchanges are unavailable. For more flexibility, consider a points-based or 'club' ownership.

3. Decide on the Quality of Accommodations You Want - Generally, most timeshare accommodations will far exceed those of a typical hotel, however timeshares themselves have a rating system denoting their level of luxury and amenities. Do you want a simple, clean unit, with limited amenities and value pricing? Choose a resort without an RCI or Interval International award. Do you expect the highest level of service, amenities, and furnishings? Choose an RCI Gold Crown, or Interval International Premier rated property. Visit or to review resort ratings, and choose a timeshare resale that fits your budget and expectations.

4. Visit the Timeshare You Want to Buy - If you have not done so already on a timeshare tour presentation, visit the resort you'd like to purchase. Examine the condition of the grounds and facilities, talk to the staff of the resort, note the condition of units, and inspect the surrounding real estate. Although timeshare should not be considered investment property, the overall conditions at the resort will have a bearing on future resale value. Many of the sellers advertising their properties for sale at Bay Tree Solutions are willing to rent you a week to 'try-before-you-buy,' and some will even consider applying the rental amount to the sale price. (Make an inquiry to contact the owner directly.)

5. Decide What You're Willing to Pay & Get Pre-Approved - There are no accurate appraisals available for timeshare property: Ultimately, the price of any timeshare is what a willing buyer will pay, and what a willing seller will accept. If you have previously toured the resort, you may have some idea of what units are selling for, and you can make your offer accordingly. If you've not, or if the resort is no longer selling timeshares, you should base your offer on the value of usage the timeshare provides you. Once you know your budget, visit our timeshare financing page to get pre-approved for a timeshare loan at a reasonable rate. (You can even request additional funds for closing costs; giving you a true zero-down buying experience.)

6. Make an Offer - While viewing the Profile of the timeshare you want to buy, simply click "Make an Inquiry!" Use our form to submit the details of your offer to the owner. Indicate the amount of your offer, and any conditions you may have for the sale. Typically it's the timeshare buyer's responsibility to pay closing costs. If you haven't been pre-approved, make sure to indicate if you need financing. We will immediately forward your offer to the owner, who will make the ultimate decision on its acceptance.

7. Arrange the Closing - To complete the process of buying timeshare, you'll need to arrange the closing. Many buyers have a title company they prefer to use; if you do not, we will gladly refer you to a title company experienced in closing on timeshare resales. Whichever title company you choose will hold your funds in escrow, while verifying the specifics of the ownership and maintenance fees with the resort, and transferring the timeshare's deed/trust/lease into your name.

8. Enjoy Years of Happy Vacations - Relax in the knowledge that, by buying timeshare, you've made an investment in your family's happiness. You'll enjoy many wonderful vacations, with better accommodations and more value than a hotel... Should your needs change, or if you are unsatisfied with your timeshare purchase for any reason, our BuyerProtection+ program means you can return to at any time and use our service to sell your timeshare without a fee! has many resources that will help you determine whether to buy a timeshare. You can read all about the pros and cons of buying a timeshare, the differences between timeshares and hotel units, peruse our glossary of timeshare terms, and even ask questions of other members in our forums.

There are many different options available, and it can be confusing. If you want to travel to the same place each time, you should buy a timeshare at your favorite resort (you may want to rent a timeshare first, if you have never been to make sure it's what you want). If you prefer traveling to new places for each vacation, you might want to consider buying within a certain vacation club or timeshare points company. See our guides on Buying Hilton (HGVC), Marriott, and Hyatt - and watch for more brands to be added.

If you do not travel annually, you may consider saving money with an every-other-year (EOY) ownership. If you require a certain size of unit to accommodate children or traveling companions, you should make sure you're buying that fixed unit type. If you will always travel during the same week, you should make sure you're buying a fixed week, rather than floating. You can also decide whether to buy a deeded property to leave to your heirs, or buy the "right-to-use" the vacation for a designated period. If you must have a certain view, you should make sure the unit or view is fixed. 041b061a72


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