TimeShares – The Good, The Bad and The (REALLY) Ugly

20150429_150304I should probably start with a disclaimer. We own a timeshare. I guess everyone, at some point in their life, makes a bad financial decision.

This. Was. Ours!!

While there are always going to be various opinions on these, personally, I would give ANYTHING if we had NOT bought it.

Unfortunately….we did. Since we haven’t been able to get rid of it, we have made the decision to just use it.  Otherwise those maintenance fees (which we MUST pay every year) will go to waste…

Why are timeshare such a bad idea (imho)?

The Maintenance Fees!! No matter how many times they tell you these won’t go up unless owners vote to increase it, that’s just not true. They go up every single year.  You’re not the one voting….it’s voted on by the Board of Directors and they have a tough decision to make:

Do they want more of your money?  hmmmm…….Guess how they answer that one….

Since purchasing ours, the fees have more than doubled.  No exaggerations! I have the records to prove it!!


Yes, the condo/apartment set up for vacations is GREAT!!!  Having separate rooms, larger bathrooms (sometimes 2) and a full kitchen and dining room table…possibly a washer and dryer or Jacuzzi,  make vacationing MUCH easier…..not to mention more luxurious.  However, it’s not necessary to purchase a timeshare (or pay the annual maintenance fees)  to get these types of accommodations.   You can stay in accommodations like this through  VRBO or their sister company Home Away  (and there are others too) for about the same cost as annual maintenance fees….   BUT, with these rentals, you only pay when you use it.  If you don’t vacation for a year…or vacation in an area without timeshare properties (National Parks for example) or decide to take a cruise, you don’t pay for it. With timeshare, you pay every year whether you use it or not.  For more information on VRBO et al check out Finding Frugal Accommodations

How can OUR mistakes help you?   TUG (Timeshare User’s Group) http://www.tug2.net/ is a site where time share owners rent out their weeks.  Figure out the week # of your vacation (wk 1-52 beginning Jan. 1)  and search for availability from one of those “unfortunate owners”.  Now, these won’t be “steals”, but they will be reasonable rates for nice accommodations with kitchens, bedrooms, and various amenities.

20150429_150313Expect it:  🙂  If you’re staying in a Timeshare condo, you’ll be invited to a Timeshare presentation…… (this doesn’t happen at VRBO rentals – just fyi)   Of course, you can say “no”…They might pressure you, but you’re under no obligation.   Just don’t be shocked when the “invitation” comes.

I’ve written a post How to Survive a Time Share Presentation   to let others know that these are not necessarily scams to be avoided as long as you know HOW to not get duped. While they can be irritating…time consuming and a host of other things you might not want to deal with on your vacation, they are NOT scams.

In the meantime….


Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk on Flickr CC Lic.

If after all this, you still want to buy a Timeshare:   Go to TUG again: http://www.tug2.net/    As mentioned above, this is a reputable site that has been around for 25+ years. (there are many scams in timeshare)  These are those same timeshare owners who are trying to rent their weeks – but in THIS section of the website, they’re trying to sell the whole thing!!  These owners list these for as low as .01!!  Why?  They just want to get rid of their properties for ANY price, because they know that with the timeshare comes the annual maintenance fees.  If you really want to buy one, at least, buy it on TUG…  NOTE: Prices range from .01 – $500.  Those listed for $500 can be used 52 wks a year. If you’re going to buy one of these, that’s a better choice than a fixed week…imho.  🙂  Just don’t pay $10,000 …..$20,000……$30,000 for something you can buy on TUG for $500!!!

Bottom Line: Buying a timeshare  is RARELY a good decision unless you have more money than you know what to do with.  Instead, travel in these condos by renting from owners.  BUT….If you must buy, at least buy for .01 instead of $25,000.

…and that’s my ‘take’ on TimeShares.

Update to this Post:  We were FINALLY able to get rid of our Timeshare in 2016. We turned it back to the company & PAID THEM $250.  I would have GLADLY sold it to anyone for .01.  We would have saved $250.01!!  If you want one (I don’t recommend it, but If you do) check out TUG!  🙂


2 thoughts on “TimeShares – The Good, The Bad and The (REALLY) Ugly

  1. Thousands of International travelers, particularly from the US and Canada, have fallen victims oftimeshare fraud while vacationing in Mexico. Resort developers hire skilled salesmen to represent their timeshares as many different attractive packages, such as financial investments, deeded properties, or vacation clubs, just to increase their sales.


  2. It is ok to go and attend the presentation. However, be very careful as this presentation is very high pressure and many decently intelligent people have fallen victims of these scams. I would recommend you to book a vacation on your own and just travel if your intention isn’t buying a timeshare.


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