This Man Owns 100 Timeshare Weeks
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
According to an article that appeared this week in Boston.com, Steve Shermoen plans to spend his retirement years traveling the world and staying in timeshare resorts. Shermoen, an attorney from International Falls, MN, says he owns about 100 timeshare weeks, bought with an eye on his retirement.
Tom Kelly, author of the article, explains, “A growing number of entrepreneurs with an exceptional grasp of timeshare purchasing, closing and selling have begun to acquire inexpensive weeks at upscale resorts via resale channels, which they then rent out weekly or on a per-night rate comparable to what a nice hotel would charge.”
Using some of his timeshares weeks as timeshare rentals is part of Shermoen’s plan. But he clearly understands the importance of buying timeshare resales rather than buying timeshare from the developer. Shermoen says, “You cannot make the rental concept work if you buy directly from the developer. You have to be sure of what you are buying and purchase only on the resale market. The cost from the developer simply is too high for it to become a rental that will pencil out.”
Here is the advice Shermoen offered for picking up great deals on timeshare resales:
- Look for timeshare owners who may be desperate to sell because of unexpected circumstances, such as job loss, divorce, or a death in the family.
- Stick to big name brands, such Marriott timeshare, Hyatt timeshare, and Hilton timeshare.
- Look for timeshare resales during the time of year when annual fees are announced for the next year.
- And for Shermoen, who happens to be an attorney, he offers to provide timeshare closing at a discounted fee.
Okay, but suppose you are not an attorney, you are not in the market for 100 timeshare weeks, and you want a good deal, but you are not willing to read the obituaries looking for desperate timeshare sellers?
The article, which is titled, “Despite Economy, Timeshares Drum Up Big Business,” suggests looking for points based timeshare ownership.
The Good Things about Timeshare Points
Points based timeshare, as the Boston.com article correctly points out, offers flexibility. While some interval based timeshare ownership allows you to break up your time into segments of less than one week, almost all points based timeshare lets you choose whether you use it one night at a time, or in blocks of consecutive days.
Once timeshare becomes lodging you can schedule as you would a hotel stay, it suddenly becomes something you use not just for vacations, but for family reunions, long weekends, weddings, and as a day by day rental.
On the other hand, the article also brings to light a downside about timeshare points. Points are like dollars, they represent a spending value that can be used for timeshare and other vacation related expenses, like air travel and cruises. But like the dollar, the value of your points can go down, depending upon how many timeshare points overall a resort issues.
If you are planning, like the attorney mentioned in this article, to use some of your timeshare weeks in future years (possibly renting the timeshare weeks you are not using), you need to understand how the fluctuation of timeshare points could affect you. The number of points it takes to “buy” a timeshare week today, may not be sufficient to “buy” a full week by the time you retire.
No choice is perfect. There are positives and negatives about buying a vacation home, buying timeshare, renting timeshare, or staying at home and never taking a vacation. But as Steve Shermoen figured out, buying timeshare the right way, at the right price, can turn out to be a very good plan. Just do your homework first!