Timeshare Owners’ Blog Answers Reader Questions!

In today’s post, I answer questions about Canadian timeshares, finding the inside story on resorts, and more.

Today’s post is in response to an email I received over the weekend:

Thanks for the helpful information on your website, especially Buying Timeshare FAQs, and the Timeshare Advice link at the bottom of the Why TimeShare page.

I wonder if you could answer a question about the following excerpt from your August 19, 2005 article “Seven Important Considerations When Buying Timeshare on the Resale Market”:

“6. Some timeshare units are inevitably located in a facility that has been partially remodeled. Make sure you’re not paying a new-unit price for an old, beat-up timeshare.”

Having no experience with timeshares, I’m curious as to why, in the scenario you mention, a resort would allow an old, beat-up timeshare to remain that way without being remodeled?  How units are selected for remodeling by a resort?

First, since you are new to timeshares, I recommend that you pick up a copy of Lisa Ann Schreier’s Timeshare Vacations for Dummies. This book is packed with more helpful info than any other print resource I’ve seen. It makes it much easier to deal with a resort or a reseller if you know what questions to ask; it’s a matter of protecting your interests. Even seasoned timeshare pros will learn something from this book.

It’s not often that a resort will expect to reap full sale value for a timeshare in dire need of remodeling, but it does happen. It is important to be aware that not all resorts are created equal. Some resorts still operate by the same guidelines they used in the bad old days of the timeshare industry’s infancy, when customers practically had to be tricked into buying. Though most resorts have discarded this business model, it is absolutely vital to thoroughly research any resort before you buy timeshare.

It is always helpful to hear what other people are saying about the property in question. One good online resource for learning more about a resort is TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor offers lots of travel-related information including reviews of hotels, resorts, and timeshares. These reviews can be quite candid. Keep in mind that TripAdvisor has a very visible online presence, and resorts are not ignorant of this fact; I would guess that a small number of these reviews are written by resort employees looking to either spruce up their own image or denigrate that of a competitor.

I also encourage prospective timeshare buyers to check out the resort in person whenever possible.

I wonder if you’ve considered enhancing your search engine: After entering Canada in the Country field, I was required to click open every (unique) property entry to find out which coast it was on.

While security concerns prohibit me from divulging specific information on this subject, I can tell you that in a short while it will be much easier to get information from our database of timeshares for sale or rent, and this in turn will make it easier to do searches for specific locations (including Canadian timeshares).

In any event, do you have any idea why there are no rentals or units for sale anywhere in Nova Scotia or PEI?

Having spent some time in this part of the world, I find myself wondering the same thing. Canada’s East Coast is a great place to vacation. However, it seems that most resort developers are attracted to destinations with reliably huge demand for timeshares – for instance, Orlando or Cancun. The timeshare market in Canada has grown considerably in the past few years, but this growth appears to be largely limited to British Columbia. Resort development companies might be reluctant to build on the east coast of Canada because they find it easier to impress their shareholders by building resorts in proven resort locations. If statistical data shows that the majority of people would rather spend a vacation in Whistler instead of Halifax, resort developers would naturally be obligated to cater to the location with the greatest demand for timeshares. 

Do timeshare websites such as yours only deal with large resorts?… (vacation clubs, campgrounds) Are there not timeshares for smaller facilities (EXcluding a yacht/houseboat) — even a standalone home?

It is possible to find all kinds of timeshares online. Whether these are exotic timeshares owned and operated by the world’s largest hotel companies, or campground memberships at more modest facilities, there is an almost endless variety of timeshares available.

However, in the resale market, it is easier to find timeshares from large resorts, simply because these resorts are larger. The more timeshare units a resort has, the greater the chances of finding them on the resale market. This is not to say that resale opportunities for timeshares at smaller resorts do not exist; rather, they may be harder to find.

If you can’t find what you are looking for on our site, don’t give up! We know a lot of people in this industry, and by networking all of these resources together we are able to help people find the ideal timeshare or vacation rental. If you fill out our contact form, a representative will contact you shortly.

Thanks very much for your questions! I hope I have answered them to your satisfaction. Tune in next time for timeshare tips, news, and more from the Timeshare Owners’ Blog.