The choice of timeshares today is better than ever, so which one is right for you?
Back in the 60s, Swiss timeshare pioneer Hapimag introduced the shared ownership concept and while the concept gained momentum, nobody could have imagined how popular timeshare would become over the next five decades.
If you’re thinking of buying a timeshare but aren’t quite sure which kind of membership or week is right for you, take a look at our quick “how to buy ” guide before you commit to one particular option.
No. 1 – Do Your Homework
It used to be one week, one resort, once a year but things are so different now, the hardest part about buying timeshare is often simply deciding what sort of timeshare or resort(s) to buy into!
The good news is that so many timeshares are so flexible now, you can return to the same resort or try somewhere new every time you holiday.
Would flexible timeshare points be the best solution for your family, to use towards longer holidays, specific seasons or long weekends close to home? Or are you just looking for a more classic one week stay-by-the-pool holiday at sun-soaked southern European resorts?
Do your homework upfront and you’ll feel better informed, it’ll help you make the final decision.
No. 2 – How Long?
One of the current trends in timeshare is the recent introduction of shorter term contracts – e.g. 10 years. This is a great option for anyone who – for whatever reason – would rather not buy into a longer term agreement.
No. 3 – Use Social Media and YouTube to get a feel for the resorts first
Social media like Facebook and Twitter can double as useful timeshare research – especially reading people’s comments or recommendations about a particular resort you might have your eye on.
And leading holiday exchange specialist RCI has developed a superb range of apps and online tools to help you get the most out of your timeshare – they even have a dedicated YouTube Channel with really informative resort guide videos. These are brilliant if you’re considering a resort you’ve never been to before but want to get a sneak peek of the feel and flavour before buying those plane tickets! www.RCI.com
No. 4 – Take advantage of a low cost inspection visit
Many developers now offer low cost ‘inspection visits’ – it’s your chance to try before you buy.
No. 5 – Read the paperwork (carefully)
Check the paperwork thoroughly. Your contract will be accompanied by a document which sets out your rights and obligations including details of the annual maintenance fee, the way the management of the resort is arranged, a description of the resort and its facilities and whether there is an elected owners committee.
Other things to look out for:
This document should be written in your language provided that it is an official EU language
You have the right to a 14 day cooling off period to cancel your contract without penalty in the European Union
The cooling off period must be detailed in writing in your contract
Make sure that any promises made to you at the point of sale are included in the purchase documentation – again, in writing.
Timeshare is not a financial investment – you are buying future holidays at today’s prices rather than a property based investment. Economical holidays.
No. 6 – Is the resort (or developer) an industry trade body member?
For maximum peace of mind, check if the resort is a member of the industry trade body the Resort Development Organisation (formerly Organisation for Timeshare in Europe or OTE). If it is, its members sign up to the RDO code of conduct. Or choose a timeshare membership with one of the big brands like Disney, Marriott, Wyndham, Ritz Carlton and so on – these brands have years of hospitality experience and have helped lead the timeshare industry to become the success that it is today.
To explore the timeshare holiday exchange opportunities available in some of the world’s
most sought-after destinations, visit http://www.rci.com/, http://www.intervalworld.com/ and www.dialanexchange.com