Some vacations leave an impact that feels magical. Maybe you felt that way about a world-class skiing adventure in the mountains. Or, perhaps you can’t forget the way a coral reef looked during a snorkeling trip on the coast.
Whatever the vacation was, you feel the urge to return and do it again. Everything was perfect, from the food to the people around you. The only question is, how do you get that experience again?
Many people find this experience through a timeshare. A timeshare getaway can be the perfect way to enjoy your vacations for years to come. However, choosing the best timeshares requires several considerations.
In this article, we’ll explore how to choose the best timeshare for your vacation getaway. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
How Do Timeshares Work?
Before we get into all the considerations that go into choosing a timeshare, let’s first explore how timeshares work. A timeshare is a real estate deal that allows several people to buy partial property ownership in a vacation or resort area.
Various resorts allow people to purchase different lengths of time. The standard length, however, is one week out of the year. The size of the property can likewise vary. Some timeshare properties are condos, a suite of rooms, or a single room.
There are two types of timeshares on the market. The first is a deeded timeshare, and the second is a non-deeded timeshare. Deeded contracts function similarly to buying a house.
As such, you get a share of the property’s ownership. This ownership means you can rent out your share, resell it, or leave it as an inheritance. Most of the timeshare transactions out there occur through deeded contracts.
Non-deeded contracts are more akin to renting and signing a lease. Your purchase isn’t so much one of ownership as it is right-to-use. This right may last several years, but the property isn’t yours. When your term runs out, ownership will revert to the original property owner.
Choosing Your Dates
A smart traveler often knows his travel dates well ahead of time. Usually, there’s a particular week or time frame when he goes on his vacation getaway.
If that’s the way you travel, then a fixed-week system is probably your ideal timeshare system. A fixed-week arrangement allows you to use the property for the same dates each year. Most of these systems come through deeded contracts.
If you enjoy predictability, this will likely be your best arrangement. Fixed-week timeshares won’t let you change your dates. If these dates don’t work for you one year, you can rent the property to others during that date. Alternatively, you can trade it with other deeded owners.
This system may seem restrictive to you. If so, you’re not alone. Fixed-week systems are no longer as popular as they were because people want flexibility.
The more flexible alternative to this system is a floating-week system. This timeshare schedule allows you one week per year, but you can choose that week each year.
This system grants you much more freedom, as it allows you to pick your dates at any time or within a particular time frame. However, this freedom comes at a price. You’ll face competition for all the popular times of year in your destination.
Costs Of Timeshares
A timeshare comes with certain fixed costs. The primary expense is the fee you pay upfront, which amounts to your timeshare closing costs. The second fee is your annual maintenance fee, which is usually the worst part of financing a timeshare.
Maintenance fees come annually, whether you use the property or not. Most of the time, there is no expiration date. You also may end up with additional fees, such as upgrade and repair fees resulting from a storm.
Getting The Most From Your Time Share
Knowing all of these factors, you can now make an informed decision about your timeshare purchase. Now, all you have to consider is where you want your timeshare and what quality of share you want. We’ll explore these choices down below.
Where To Buy Your Timeshare
Only buy your timeshare in a place where you’re sure to travel. This advice may seem obvious, but many people make this mistake. People often like the idea of owning a timeshare in a place they enjoyed and think they’ll come back later. Then, they end up hardly ever visiting the property.
Before you buy your timeshare, you need to assess your travel habits. Are you somebody who likes repetition and routine, or do you prefer variety?
Do you love going somewhere often enough to feel like a local, or do you love to see new places? Once you’ve made these decisions, you can purchase your best timeshare in a place you love.
Amenities and Accommodations
Several timeshares offer accommodations and amenities that hotels won’t match. However, these amenities aren’t necessarily universal. Timeshares divide themselves into classes based on the level of amenities they provide.
If you want a property that feels more like a home, look for a timeshare that doesn’t include an RCI or Interval International award. These places lack many of the resort-level amenities.
However, if you like to travel in luxury, find a resort with an RCI Gold Crown or Interval International award. These places offer a variety of amenities. At the highest levels, they may include rental cars and airfare coverage.
Visit Your Timeshare Prospect Soon
Once you’ve picked out a timeshare location and a property that seems amenable, the next step is to visit the property. Look around and see if it meets your expectations. Will it fit your family comfortably? Does it look to be in good condition?
If you’re satisfied with the type of contract, costs, and its condition, all that’s left to do is make an offer. With any luck, you’ll have your ideal timeshare getaway in no time.
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