Should I Buy a Timeshare?

Pressed for time? Click to listen.

Buying a timeshare is a big decision — you must weigh the pros and cons before jumping in.
Are Timeshares Worth It? | www.deductingtherightway.com

Product Recommendation: Cheap o Air (FLIGHT30 exp 12/31/19), Airfare WatchdogVacations by Marriott
[We may earn a commission or referral fee when you click on the links appearing in this post. Read full disclosure].

How timeshares work

A timeshare allows a group of people to split the cost of a vacation unit inside a condominium building or resort community. Each owner gains access to at least one week of use.

Why people buy a timeshare

Rather than invest a lot of money purchasing a villa or condo (or staying at a hotel), you buy a timeshare to avoid bearing all the holding costs. It's also referred to as fractional ownership. 

The owners pay their fair share of utilities and property taxes via an annual maintenance fee (similar to HOA fees). Sometimes owners must also pay a special assessment bill when the property or unit suffers damage (e.g., tornado, hurricane, fire, flood).

Are timeshares worth it?

Do not buy a timeshare if you cannot use it regularly. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for something that wouldn’t make sense from an economic standpoint. It’s like paying for a boat docked at a marina you never visit.


Make sure you do the math to determine if it’s cheaper than the other vacation alternatives (don't forget all the maintenance fees you'll pay during your lifetime). Most timeshare developers offer private financing using a note term of seven years.


Confirm that you can deposit your week at a sister resort or similar network to increase your likelihood of using the timeshare each year (e.g., Interval International, Marriott Vacation Club, Westgate Resorts, Bluegreen Vacations, RCI).

When should I sell my timeshare?

Timeshares hardly keep their value, so expect your week to be worth a fraction of what you originally paid when you sell it. A more effective timeshare exit plan is to pass it down to a family member so they can take over the annual maintenance payments.


DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your accountant, attorney and financial advisor before implementing any information displayed on this website. DIY research does not replace the advice of a licensed professional who has thoroughly reviewed your file.