Getting great value out of your vacation days

Would you like to take a vacation at a nice resort and stay in a two-bedroom villa? You can do this every year if you own a timeshare. Let's look at buying and selling a timeshare and what kind of advantages and disadvantages you might encounter.

Buying Timeshares

When buying a timeshare, whether it's online timeshare buying or through an agency, a good rule is to look for ones that operate on a point basis. These timeshares give you X amount of points per year, and they have timeshares at multiple sites where you can stay basically anytime using your points. You have flexibility to go many places with these timeshares, instead of getting locked into one place or one particular week.

Selling a Timeshare

Unfortunately, buying a timeshare is kind of like purchasing a car - it goes down in value as soon as you purchase it. You will take a loss when you try to sell it; however, if you factor in the number of times you used the timeshare, you might still come out ahead.

The best way to sell a timeshare is to contact the company you bought it from. For a discount to the price, they can put you in touch with other companies that deal with timeshare resales, which can help it sell faster.

Timeshares Pros and Cons

Some people complain that vacation becomes "forced" with the purchase of a timeshare, in order to get their money's worth. However, a simple solution is to make deals with friends or family, offering them your location for a great price. Or, you can all go up together and have someone else cover the expenditures of gas and driving, since you're providing the location.

A great part about timeshare vacationing is that you know you will get to stay at a quality place with all the amenities you need. Since the timeshares have their own kitchens, you will not have to eat out, which is another great money saver.

Another reported downside to timeshares is that you are limited as to where you can go on vacation. While most timeshares companies have many locations, they don't cover everywhere. If you're interested in traveling all over, timeshares may not be the best choice, but for vacationers who just want a reliable place to escape, they are a solid investment.

By Art West