Thank you to Jeffrey for his great guest post yesterday about timeshares! I thought I’d add in my two cents on the whole timeshare idea.
The fact is, I love timeshares. I love using them, I love staying in them, I love their availability. You know what I love even more about timeshares? When they’re not mine.
I don’t own a timeshare. I admit, I felt the pull toward them; which for someone like me who won’t even buy new clothes is sort of concerning. The lure is impressive, when they sit you down and explain it to you. More than once I’ve taken the sales-perfect-pitch written upside-down on a piece of paper back to our room and stared at it. (God I find it so tacky, when the sales person sitting across from you writes the maintenance fees and mortgage upside down so you can read it, circling the amount you save just by owning!) More than once I’ve done more research on the topic online to see if it’s for real.
For reals…ain’t no way we can afford a timeshare, no matter how logically they break it down.
We’ve stayed in the timeshare owned by a former coworker of mine four times. I love staying in them. They’re huge, luxurious, and extremely cheap compared to hotels. My former coworker had a bajillion points that she never used up every year, so she would either just give me the points (very generous, I know), or I would pay her market value for them. Sometimes market value was equal to what a room in a hotel would have been. Sometimes market value was way, way less than a hotel ($150 for 3 nights in a 2 bedroom condo in Kauai? Sign me up.). In all cases, the timeshare offered free wifi, free parking, and a giant condo that held a kitchen and other great amenities.
It’s no wonder I really, really thought about owning one.
But behind the scenes of every great idea is reality. In reality, my coworker was paying $600 a month on maintenance fees for the timeshare properties. On top of the mortgage she paid for the points. Holy…what? That was $7,200 annually she was spending on fees alone! I just looked up a timeshare rental for a resort on the Big Island of Hawaii – it’s a 2 bedroom, 2 bath at a great resort…and it costs $1,500. She could stay there almost 5 weeks out of the year, on her maintenance fees alone.
But wait! There’s more!
My coworker likes going to Las Vegas. I just found a 2 bed, 2 bath timeshare for rental at the Marriott Grand Chateau for $1000 for the week. That means that for maintenance fees alone, she could stay in Vegas for seven weeks. Seven weeks! I don’t even know how many years I would have to go without vacation just to accrue 7 weeks of vacation in one year.
So is a timeshare for you?
It’s not for me. I still feel the tug of the timeshare (Imagine! A mandatory vacation you pay for every year!), and sometimes the number logic that they deal me when I’m trying to get my free $150 American Express gift card pulls at my yearn to travel. (Note to friends with babies – they don’t allow kids. But they don’t allow spouses to sit in the presentation alone. So…they grudgingly allow the baby to be in the room, but the presentation ends up rushed because the baby is screaming. You still get the gift card.) But reality prevails, for sure. We just can’t afford that type of vacation mortgage, when we struggle to find a way to get a regular mortgage. Plus their interest rate?
Thanks again for Jeffrey for his gust post! Have you/will you/what do you think…timeshare-wise?