Hurricane Dennis: Timeshare Owners Brace Themselves For Hurricane Season

Hurricane Dennis: Timeshare Owners Brace Themselves For Hurricane Season

Hurricane Dennis hit areas previously damaged by Hurricane Ivan ten months ago. Damages, though less than expected, still cause concern among timeshare owners and the timeshare-owning community.

After battering Florida’s Gulf Coast, Hurricane Dennis has dissipated. Though damage reports are much lower than initial estimates ($1 billion as opposed to a predicted $7 billion), Florida’s hurricanes pose challenges for the timeshare owners that own time at nearly 30,000 time-sharing units in the Sunshine State.

Florida is the timeshare capital of the world – however, vacationers who consider buying Florida timeshare would do well to examine the hidden costs. Last year, hurricanes converged on the Sanibel Island/Captiva Island area, and damage done to timeshare resort properties was severe. Many resorts in this area are still undergoing repairs at the time of this writing. In much of Florida, timeshare maintenance fees have increased to cover hurricane damages, and timeshare owners are often being charged, on average, $100.00/year above and beyond their usual maintenance expense. Some owners have been unable to use their timeshare because the damage has been so extensive.

Anyone looking to buy timeshare should investigate the property fully. It all boils down to posing the right questions to the timeshare seller, whether it be an individual owner or a resort company. Ask up-front about hurricane damages and how they affect the maintenance fees. Demand actual numbers! As a consumer, you have the right to get the complete lowdown on any property before you buy. On the other hand, if the timeshare you already own is damaged badly enough as to be rendered uninhabitable, ask about your exchange options. Many timeshare owners have found that resorts and their affiliated exchange companies are quite willing to help an owner exchange timeshare weeks in this situation.

Hurricane-damaged properties are very attractive on the resale market, because of their low price. This could pose an incredible opportunity for a timeshare buyer. People buy high-demand timeshare weeks in these circumstances for as little as $50.00! Then, when the resort is repaired, they get to spend their time in a freshly renovated unit that often boasts better amenities than it did before it was damaged. However, if you plan on purchasing a damaged property, be aware that resorts pay for their renovations by charging maintenance fees and special assessments to timeshare owners. True, the cost can be divided between hundreds of timeshare owners, but the cost is directly proportionate to the amount of repair necessary. Even though timeshare buyers can save thousands on hurricane-damaged timeshares, the abrupt increase in maintenance fees can prove disconcerting to a timeshare owner. One is left with the choice of either absorbing the increase in maintenance fees (which are still likely to total much less than the original purchase price of a new property), or exchanging banked weeks for a timeshare in better condition. The answer? Ask the timeshare seller whether or not the maintenance fees and special assessments have been paid to date.

No matter where you buy timeshare, be sure to pursue your own due diligence with regard to any timeshare property. Research any timeshare thoroughly before buying. A well-thought-out timeshare purchase can mean years of happy vacations for the rest of your life.

When Dealing With Timeshare Resorts Outside of the United States, Use Caution!

When Dealing With Timeshare Resorts Outside of the United States, Use Caution!

In foreign countries, laws regulating timeshare resorts, timeshare sales and other real estate purchases can be very different from US laws.

Recently, I read an article about timeshare owners who were pressured into buying timeshare from  timeshare resorts in Mexico. They wanted to buy a timeshare for the sole purpose of renting it out. However, not only did the contract they signed specifically forbid them from renting the property, the rental company that they were referred to did nothing to help them rent this timeshare. Though the terms of this agreement seem self-contradictory, many people each year are, in effect, scammed at timeshare resorts by unethical timeshare salespeople using similar ploys.

Laws pertaining to the regulation of real estate (including timeshares) differ drastically in all parts of the globe, and this can create leverage for dubious timeshare sales agents to exploit. For example, in the UK, the cooling-off period (a period of time during which a timeshare transaction can be cancelled for a full refund after it is completed) is ten days. In Mexico, it is five days. Recognizing this, the US State Department warns potential timeshare buyers not to sign a contract which penalizes the buyer for canceling the timeshare sale within five days.

In addition to carefully reading through any agreements, people who buy timeshare directly from a resort should familiarize themselves with local laws that may affect the terms of sale. For instance, Mexican law prohibits the ownership of property by foreigners within 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) of any border, or within 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) of a coastline. Typically a Mexican bank holds the property in trust, and a trust beneficiary enjoys the rights of ownership. This is why rental timeshares and right-to-use agreements are the predominant ways in which Americans enjoy Mexico timeshares. This is not to say that anyone who wishes to use timeshare in Mexico will undoubtedly undergo a bad experience; rather, it is more accurate to suggest that anyone looking to buy timeshare in a foreign country should pursue as much research as possible before entering into an agreement.

In regard to the article under discussion, I am inclined to wonder if things would have turned out quite differently for the timeshare owners, had they investigated their options in the timeshare resale market. Before they were approached by the resort developer’s sales team, they may have been pleased to find out that they did have the option to buy a resale timeshare directly from a timeshare owner, saving a considerable amount of time, money and hassle in the long run. Local regulations aside, even after they were duped into buying this property, they might have discovered that a reputable online timeshare reseller could have given them a chance to rent this property (like they intended to do from the beginning) or resell the timeshare outright. Sadly, as events unfolded, they became the latest in a long line of timeshare buyers badly treated by the resort industry.

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The many advantages of owning a timeshare resale

The many advantages of owning a timeshare resale

What makes a timeshare resale such an ideal vacation lodging alternative?

The concept of timeshare offers many advantages over hotels, rental cottages, and other traditional forms of vacation accomodation. Timeshare resale offer truly unique vacation possibilities not ordinarily available.

Many online resources on the subject focus on the lengthy sale presentations put on by timeshare developers, or the yearly maintenance fees every timeshare owner pays. If the world of timeshare was really this negative, why do people choose to own timeshare in the first place? While there is a downside to timeshare ownership, most timeshare owners are delighted with their purchase and get the most out of their property by returning year after year. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Stress-free vacations– with a timeshare property, the stress of planning your vacation disappears. No more time wasted searching for the best hotel rates during the busiest times of the year; you already have a high-demand week reserved at a luxury resort!
  • Comparatively minimal cost– Unlike a hotel room, a timeshare is purchased outright for a flat fee. The price stays the same, and it’s already paid for! For a minimal yearly maintenance fee, you get far more luxuruious accomodations than could otherwise be obtained at the same price.
  • Flexibility– In today’s busy world, flexibility is important. Last-minute change of plans? A timeshare unit is large enough to accomodate additional guests. Want to spend your vacation somewhere new and different? Simply exchange your week for a different one at another fabulous resort anywhere in the world. Some resorts even allow you to spend a few days at a time whenever you can get away. This kind of flexibility is not only desirable, it is essential.
  • Owning timeshare vacation property makes good financial sense- Tired of dumping money down a rental or hotel room every time you go on vacation? Consider owning timeshare. Say goodbye to that hefty hotel bill when you own time at a resort. After a small initial investment, you vacation at an exclusive resort free of charge for the rest of your life! You can always sell your timeshare or give it to a family member (a week at a luxury resort is a wonderful gift). Timeshare is deeded ownership, so you can will it to your loved ones, ensuring generations of vacation enjoyment for years to come.

These are just a few of the many reasons to consider owning a timeshare property. For more information on the many advantages of timeshare ownership, visit SellMyTimeshareNOW. While you’re there, check out the “Why Timeshare?” page for more advantages of vacation ownership.