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Tell us about: Bob Massi Time Share

Considering a Timeshare?

What to Know Before Signing on the Dotted Line

As the weather cools down and winter arrives, you may find yourself nostalgic for the summer weekends and vacation memories you’ve just experienced.  Facebook and Instagram are filled with travelers enjoying sunny resorts in exotic places throughout the seasons, with possibly some of your friends touting the benefits of having their own timeshares in paradise just waiting for their next getaway.  But is the timeshare life for you?  Before signing a binding contract that you may regret, here’s a few things you should know.

The true story of Roberta and Rob:

Like many of us, Roberta and her husband Rob dreamed of a second home by the ocean where they could spend summers and holidays with their families. After months of hearing how their neighbor Jane is loving her timeshare in the Bahamas, they knew they had to consider one for themselves. They found the perfect spot and could already envision their sunset cocktails on the porch. Yet luckily for them, they had the sense to consult with Massi & Massi Attorneys at Law before signing on the dotted line. We advised them on the positives and the negatives they should be aware of, the potential pitfalls that might be encountered, as well as extra expenses they hadn’t factored in the total cost. Just as with any major purchase, it’s important to have your eyes wide open to the entire transaction.

First thing’s first. What is a timeshare?

A timeshare is a property (typically smaller homes, such as condominiums) where multiple parties purchase and hold rights to use the property at different periods of time throughout the year. In almost all cases, each owner only has rights to the property for a specific time period annually. There are also timeshare options that allow for fractional or point based ownerships within a larger network of properties. These can be attractive for those that don’t want to be tied to visiting the same location every year, and would like longer vacation stays with more luxurious accommodations and amenities. Because timeshare units are often located on resort properties, the “owner” may have access to many of the activities and amenities the resort offers to all of their guests.

This sounds perfect for me! What’s the concern?

Oftentimes, the timeshare ownership is “pitched” while you’re on an existing vacation, having been lured into the discussion in exchange for free excursions or other incentives. This presents for an emotional, even impulsive purchase that doesn’t seem as complicated or expensive as it sounded, until all of the added fees and costs arrive after the fact. As mentioned above, the purchase of a timeshare can be fairly restrictive, and even if the parameters work at the time of purchase, circumstances change over time. In addition, unlike a home, timeshares depreciate in value, so purchasing one should never be seen as investment, no matter what your sales person says.  When you combine these factors with the difficulty in selling a timeshare if your lifestyle changes, you could find yourself in a financial mess.

How hard is it getting out of a timeshare?

Depending on the company you used for the purchase, as well as stipulations in your contract, there may be options. Certain states do have a clause where you can rescind your agreement within 72 hours if you’re experiencing buyer’s remorse, so ask what the policies are for that state or country during the purchase presentation. Other timeshare companies will attempt to work with individuals who want to cancel their timeshares, as they hope to avoid the bad press of customer complaints. It’s always advisable to negotiate with the company when possible before pursuing any legal action. If you find they will not be flexible or work with you, you can default on the property with the understanding they can foreclose, but your credit will be negatively impacted. Ultimately, the best course of action is to fully understand the contract before you sign and, as with any sizeable purchase, don’t fork over cash and signatures without careful consideration.

The bottom line is that timeshares work very well for some people but are all too often a big regret for others who jump at the idea before understanding what they are getting into. If you have questions regarding a timeshare or other real estate issues, contact Massi & Massi Attorneys at Law today for an in-person, online or phone consultation.

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