Timeshare is concept that has been around for many decades. The principle is quite simple – instead of buying a whole property abroad you simply buy a share in that property and use it during your allotted time whilst other people use the property for the rest of the year.
The advantages of Timeshare are quite obvious;
- You are only buying a share in the property and therefore don’t have to find the full purchase costs.
- The total costs of running the property (maintenance, taxes, insurance etc) are shared between the owners so it costs you less to run the property.
- A property that is used all year round is less likely to have problems in terms of maintenance or burglaries than one that it always used.
- If you only need a holiday home for a certain time of the year you are not tying up your money in a property that you have exclusive use of but hardly ever utilise.
Since Timeshare was invented and subsequently developed, another advantage has been added on – that you can swap (exchange) your time at that resort for a different resort and therefore don’t need to go back to the same resort if you don’t want to.
It is therefore a good product for some people but is of course not right for everybody. Even though the quality of many resorts is actually quite high some of the problems with Timeshare can be;
- The way it is sold. Often unscrupulous salespeople will use heavy pressure techniques to persuade you to buy. You may be told certain things which turn out not to be true and which often don’t match up with the small print in the documentation.
- The price can often be highly inflated. If you take a €200,000 apartment for example and split it into 50 shares of €7,000 each the Resorts can potentially turn a €200,000 property into a €400,000 property.
- Maintenance fees have also increased dramatically over the last few years. Most buyers who signed up for a timeshare and were happy to pay £200 a week maintenance are now faced with unmanageable maintenance fees of between £500 and £1,000 per week and often do not even use their allocated times anymore.