US News and World Report on Timeshare Resales vs “New” Timeshares

When US News and World Report published its list of 20 things you should never buy new, it was no surprise that timeshares and vacation ownership property are on the list. As the article explains:

“Buying timeshares isn’t for everyone, but if you decide that it suits your lifestyle, purchasing the property as a resale would be a better deal than buying it brand new: on average, you’ll save 67 percent on the price for a comparable new timeshare. If you’re new to timeshare ownership, give it a test run first by renting short term.”

Even though timeshare resales make a tremendous amount of sense for most consumers, let’s try to look at this from all angles. Here’s a pros and con evaluation for buying timeshare as new property and for buying timeshare resales.

“New” Timeshare

It’s always nice to buy something that is shiny, sparkling and brand new… but with timeshares, the unit you buy is only new for one person for one week. After that, although the resort is new overall, and your unit is still new-ish, if you weren’t the first person to occupy the unit the week the timeshare resort opened then it is, realistically, not new.

Every year people buy new automobiles despite the fact that a resale would get them from point “A” to point “B” just as effectively. Why do they spend this money for a product that depreciates greatly the minute they drive it off the lot? Because the feel-good factor of the new car is worth—to them—what they pay for the privilege of owning and driving the vehicle.

If the idea of new timeshare brings you a huge feel-good component then perhaps this is the right choice for you. But let’s consider the other option—the timeshare resale.

Resale Timeshare

Since we’ve already established that there really is no such thing as “new” timeshare, then the real issue becomes whether you buy timeshare from a developer or from the person who already owns it. And you may be surprised to learn that among the ads for timeshare resales on there are plenty of “new” timeshares—some so new they are at resorts that have yet to open.

Not all resale timeshares afford the timeshare owner the same perks that may be available when you buy timeshare from a developer. This is case by case and buyers of timeshare resales need to be comfortable that they understand the product they are buying. Yet any times, if there are perks that do not transfer to the timeshare resale buyer, they may not be rewards that have great value to the new owner anyway. Since most timeshare resale is sold at a price that is significantly lower than timeshare purchased from a developer, the cost savings tends to more than make up for any reward that did carry over in the timeshare resale transaction.

Bottom Line on Timeshare Resales

US News and World Report is spot-on. In today’s economy, when most consumers are thoughtful and deliberate about how they spend their money, it is extremely hard to find any effective arguments against buying timeshare on the secondary market. And when you factor in the vacation accommodation savings that can be realized by purchasing timeshare resales, you begin to understand what it means when people say, “The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!”