Buying Private Vacation Property vs. Buying Timeshare

Owning a private vacation cabin in the mountains or a beach house by the shore sounds like a great idea, until you start considering what sole ownership really means.

Can you realistically afford to buy a home, pay taxes and insurance on it, decorate it, furnish it, and maintain it, but then use it only three weeks each year? Most people would have to answer “no” to this question. Yet, according to a 2005 report developed by Hobson Real Estate Advisors, the average use time in America for a private vacation home is three to four weeks or less per year. Ouch!

A timeshare enables you to own your own vacation property, yet essentially pay for only the days and nights you actually schedule to use it. If you cannot use your timeshare vacation property, you always have the option to use it as a rental on your own, or rent it by utilizing the global marketing of a timeshare rental service like Sell My Timeshare NOW. You also have other choices, such as trading your scheduled time for another date or timeshare resort location through timeshare exchange, or banking your timeshare interval for future use.

Christine Hrib Karpinski wrote an excellent book titled, How to Rent Vacation Properties by Owner (Kinney Pollack Press © 2004). In it, Karpinski explains all the different approaches to leasing your private vacation home when you aren’t able to enjoy it yourself. She does a very good job explaining the property owner’s options. But any way you look at it, the responsibilities of a vacation home dwarf the responsibilities you have when you own timeshare vacation property. When you are not in your timeshare, you never have to worry about whether your property is being maintained or if it is at risk for weather damage, break-ins, vandalism, or more banal (but sometimes equally destructive) threats such as termites.

Owning timeshare vacation property is simple. You pay your annual fees; schedule your dates to use your timeshare, (if those dates are not already fixed) and then you just show up. That’s all! Instant vacation. No hassles, no undue expenses, and no work.

And after all, isn’t that what the definition of a vacation should be?