A Look at Timeshare from the Canadian Finance Blog
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Here is an excerpt from an article that appeared this week on The Canadian Finance Blog, the Canadian Source for Personal Finance.
This portion of “The Smart Consumer’s Approach to Buying Timeshare Resales” is reprinted here with permission. However, it is only a small portion of this informative article that is helpful to anyone, from any country, who is interested in learning more about timeshare on the secondary market.
To read the article in its entirety, go to: http://canadianfinanceblog.com/the-smart-consumer%E2%80%99s-approach-to-buying-timeshare-resales/
Canadian Timeshare Owners and Canadian Timeshare
Until the fall of 2007, Canadian timeshare buyers had, for at least thirty years, been in the position of paying for United States timeshare with Canadian dollars at an exchange rate that worked against Canadians. But as the US dollar has weakened, the playing field has become leveler. During the past few years, parity has shifted back and forth between the US dollar and the Canadian Loonie, but has remained roughly equivalent.
As long as the US dollar remains weak, Canadian consumers can head south to enjoy warmer winters in United States timeshares, taking advantage of the competitive prices of timeshare resales as well as a Canadian dollar that has strong buying power in the US.
For Canadians interested in buying Canada timeshare, global economic challenges again work to the benefit of Canadian buyers. American and European buyers have tightened their belts, cutting back on purchases of luxurious ski resort or mountain retreat timeshares in Canada, creating reduced demand and driving the price of Canadian vacation ownership even lower.
Buy Safe and Buy Smart
If you see the value in locking in the price of a lifetime of vacation accommodations at today’s prices and recognize the convenience and time savings of having a pre-paid, pre-planned vacation that rolls around year after year, then a timeshare resale is likely to be a great purchase for you. Know before you buy, that timeshares are an investment in vacationing, not a traditional investment from which you seek to gain financial return or appreciation.
Look at the cost of maintenance fees and or taxes you will need to pay annually. If you want to vacation in different destinations each year, consider the exchange value of the timeshare you are purchasing. Timeshares in peak times at high-demand destinations are easier to exchange than are smaller timeshares in off-season or low-demand resorts. Look at the potential cost to exchange your timeshare. Some resorts offer timeshare owners an internal exchange at a select group of resorts for little to no exchange fee. Timeshare exchange may also be made through membership with a timeshare exchange company. Such companies vary in cost, with some charging an annual membership fee and others charging you only a flat fee at the time of exchange.
In addition to which timeshare you buy, you also have options regarding how you buy it. You may wish to purchase a timeshare resale through a timeshare by-owner service or you may want to deal only with timeshares sales facilitated by a timeshare broker. Whichever option you choose, do your homework first.
Look to see what other comparable units or intervals are selling for as resales at the resort you are considering. If you are buying through a by-owner service or timeshare broker, look for one with a large, well-established website, and ideally a company that is a member of both ARDA (the American Resort Development Association) and CRDA (the Canadian Resort Development Association). Be extra cautious of timeshare sold through online auctions, as they may have many hidden fees or costs that aren’t evident until you are deep into the closing process.
Before you buy, understand that typically purchases of timeshare are governed by the law of the country in which the timeshare stands, but can occasionally be governed by the country in which a timeshare company is headquartered. Canadian law, like those in other countries, has ramped up in recent years, taking a tougher position on timeshare sales and resales for the increased protection of the consumer. You can view the most current Canadian regulations at Can LII under the heading: Time Share and Points-Based Contracts and Business Regulation.
Consider renting timeshare at a location where you are interested in buying as a way to try before you buy. Although over 80 percent of timeshare owners use and enjoy their timeshare, vacation ownership is not the right choice for everyone. Before buying a timeshare resale, take your time to shop, study and understand what you are buying; timeshare that you don’t use is never a smart way to spend your hard earned money
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