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Old 24.07.2011, 15:18
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Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

I am wondering what the deal is with time shares. On the one hand they seem to make sense as you can swap properties and travel rather inexpensively but they seem to have such a bad rap. Can anyone provide any feedback?
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Old 24.07.2011, 15:31
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

Here's some feedback for you.
Don't even think about it.
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Old 24.07.2011, 15:36
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

We have 8 weeks of timeshare that were bought about 30 yrs ago and have used them extensively, they are in 2 very small resorts in Tenerife. We have had many years enjoyment from them and the reason they were originally bought was to ensure my parents actually took holidays each year as they owned a large company and holidays were often skipped year after year as they just didn't get around to booking one. Tenerife was chosen as it was winter sun and those were the quiet times at work. We have never swapped the weeks to other resorts but lots of our friends have, with no problems. I would only recommend buying on an established resort though as there are some sharks out there.

For comparison we pay around 300 Euros a week in service charges for a 2 bed/2 bathroom villa

Hope that helps ...
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Old 24.07.2011, 16:03
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

I would suggest you try a couple of resorts out before you actually take the plunge. We had one and divested ourselves of it fairly quickly because in order to get the good resorts (if you want to exchange) you have to plan really well in advance and we just weren't in a position to do that.

You might also want to join the Timeshare Users Group forum and hang around there and ask some questions.

http://tug2.net/
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Old 24.07.2011, 16:20
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

I would not recommend one purchasing a timeshare. Most of the times, if you are trying to exchange weeks, there's usually nothing available.

Plus you need to deposit your week in order to do an exchange. Once you do the deposit of your week, you don't get it back, even if nothing is available to exchange it for. Plus the maintenance fees are high, and you cannot bank your weeks.
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Old 24.07.2011, 17:08
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

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I am wondering what the deal is with time shares.
In Switzerland..? Never heard of any such option here, is it legal here?
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Old 24.07.2011, 17:12
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

Where are you thinking of buying and why? I could write a book about it!
It really depends what you want to do with it, swap or use- whether you want to use/swap during main holidays and where. Some areas have huge numbers of availability, some, like Switzerland have few- and some, like the UK, is almost impossible to get a swap, especially during main hols. Some are cheap to buy but have high maintenance fees, for some it is the other way round. I 'worked' as a voluntary director for the timeshare resort where we owned a couple of weeks in the UK for a long time, and have learnt an awful lot along the way.

There are 3 main timeshare companies RCI, Interval International, and a much smaller one called Dial-an-Exchange. RCI is the biggest- but Interval International now has much better properties at the moment, and is great for golfers. To use both for swapping, you need to be a member and pay a yearly fee, then an exchange fee on top everytime you swap. You also have to (more or less!) swap 'like for like' - eg a 2 bed, 2 bath property in red (peak) time, can be exchanged to a 2 bed, 2 bath property in red time, OR less- but never more. Dial-an-exchange is a much smaller outfit (NZ based) - you don't pay a membership fee, and only pay an exchange fee, and you can swap anything for anything - if they've got it! So you could have a studio in blue (low) season, and swap it for a 3 bed, 3 bath in peak season IF they have one available. But locations are limited- for instance no good at all for skiing or indeed Switzerland. It is a minefield and you need to learn how to use the system to your advantage. The week we have in the UK was great value as we could use all the facilities (squash, tennis, multigym, swimming pool, sauna and steam room, etc, all year round- so made the yearly maintenance fee very good value- it is a popular location so is high on the 'swap' stake. Resorts are classified for their amenities, maintenance and services - and this is reflected in cost and also swapability. We did an exchange with Tuscany about 10 years ago and loved the area so much that we bought a week there, and have never put it with one of the timeshare companies as we use it for ourselves every year. If you tell me what you want, where and how you want to use it- I could advise, by pm or on Forum. It is indeed a very funny and bizarre ball game, where you can easily get stung. Must say though that EsayJet and others have allowed much better use of timeshare weeks- as previously the cost of flights was often prohibitive.

Last edited by Odile; 24.07.2011 at 17:27.
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Old 24.07.2011, 17:15
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

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I am wondering what the deal is with time shares. On the one hand they seem to make sense as you can swap properties and travel rather inexpensively but they seem to have such a bad rap. Can anyone provide any feedback?
Just DONT do it.
Its all you need to know.
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Old 24.07.2011, 17:15
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

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In Switzerland..? Never heard of any such option here.
There are plenty of Timeshare resorts in CH - just a few here from top of my head: Verbier, Villars, Les Diablerets, Leysins, Torgon, Saillon, Ovronnaz, Leukerbad, Crans-Montana, Haute-Nendaz, Champoussin, Murren and a few more there are 17 altogether I think). Anybody can go on the RCI website and look at their resort directory.
We've swapped into quite a few of them over the past 15 years. With rents being so high in CH, it is very good value as a swap.

Last edited by Odile; 24.07.2011 at 17:31.
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Old 24.07.2011, 17:20
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

Most of the people I know that have them are perfectly happy, and many have more than 1. Just do your research and stick to established resorts and you'll be fine. The bad rep' came from some very shadey practises and high pressure techniques by salespeople and downright scammers.

Be aware there are management fee's to pay on an ongoing basis and they do offer the ability to exchange and bank weeks, but that isn't always without draw back.
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Old 24.07.2011, 23:07
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

It's probably impossible to sell & you have to pay fees regardless. I do know of somemone who 'gave it back' after trying to sell for 5 years.

Don't buy one, you will not save any money just walk away, you will probably meet the salesman next year trying to sell you imsurance or investments..
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Old 25.07.2011, 00:06
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

In theory, it's a good concept, as it should give a higher standard of holiday accommodation at up market resorts (around the world, using exchange networks) - they are many owners ... some even happy.

In reality, it doesn't really work, because developers and marketing companies were in the industry just for the quick buck and not enough investment was made in resorts and exchange organisations for the long term - resulting in high resort maintenance charges and failed exchange requests.

Unfortunately much of the bad press comes from the marketing techniques used - although there were/are many dodgy and badly run resorts.

If you're purely interested in a better standard of holiday at a preferred location, then it could work - but luck is required.

It's not cheap; it won't save you money on your long term holiday plans; and it shouldn't be seen as property investment - if you're considering it, then it's for the long haul - the resale market is a real lottery, with most tickets being losing ones.

I was more familiar with this industry over 20yrs. ago, and probably a lot has changed in the interim, but at that time there was a variant emerging involving holiday ownership as opposed to property ownership. I don't know if this concept developed or is still around, but basically it was run along the lines of a cooperative, where people effectively bought "shares" into a company that owned or long-term rented accommodation in pre-existing resorts and locations, and "members" could book and use these accommodations for their holidays.

Depending on initial investments, a number of "points" were issued, which were used annually for holiday accommodation - high-end resorts in peak periods "cost" more points than less up-market in low season.

The concept appeared to be much more usable, as the high price of resort development and long-term maintenance, were not present, but like timeshare in general, probably suffered from lack of proper investment and inefficient management.

If, through your research, you come across such an operation, it may be a more beneficial option, and worth further investigation.
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Old 25.07.2011, 00:51
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

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We have 8 weeks of timeshare that were bought about 30 yrs ago and have used them extensively, they are in 2 very small resorts in Tenerife. We have had many years enjoyment from them and the reason they were originally bought was to ensure my parents actually took holidays each year as they owned a large company and holidays were often skipped year after year as they just didn't get around to booking one. Tenerife was chosen as it was winter sun and those were the quiet times at work. We have never swapped the weeks to other resorts but lots of our friends have, with no problems. I would only recommend buying on an established resort though as there are some sharks out there.

For comparison we pay around 300 Euros a week ["owned"] in service charges for a 2 bed/2 bathroom villa

Hope that helps ...
Nice to hear from a satisfied owner from Tenerife.

If you bought about 30yrs. ago, you may have just missed some of the resorts that were (allegedly) funded by Lebanese arms dealers or by Brinks-MAT gold (jokingly the bathroom fittings of one resort were reported to be yellow-coloured metal).
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Old 25.07.2011, 20:45
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

you lost me on the "OWNED" ?
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Old 25.07.2011, 21:40
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

I suppose that what he means is that if you own it, eg you've bought it, you should not have to pay yearly. Every house owner knows that even if you own a house, you have to pay for services, cleaning, maintenance, repairs and replacements, and with holidays homes, reception and other staff. 300$ seems very reasonable. Maintenance costs can vary greatly from country to country - depending on staff salaries and cost of repairs/replacements. In 'my' resort in the UK, there is a constant replacement programme for carpets, kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, as well as up-dating (new digital TVs, WIFI) etc- as well as replacement of gym equipment, changing rooms, heaters, etc. Of course maintenance costs are more expensive in CH or UK than in Spain or Mexico.

All the resorts we've exchanged into in CH have been very high quality apart from the one in Champoussin- where everything was very dated, bordering on the derelict!

As said, exchanging into CH can be extremely good value, as renting would cost a bomb (eg quite a bit more than maintenance cost and exchange fee), especially during peak time ski season.

Last edited by Odile; 25.07.2011 at 22:44.
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Old 25.07.2011, 21:53
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

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For comparison we pay around 300 Euros a week in service charges for a 2 bed/2 bathroom villa
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you lost me on the "OWNED" ?
When I first read your post, it came across (to me, at least) that you pay that amount every week.
Obviously its only for the weeks you've purchased per year, for your timeshare, that you pay maintenance charges.

You/one "own(s)" the timeshare for only those number of weeks purchased p.a.

Now, I (like you) was aware of this, as I'm familiar with the business, but did wonder if the uninitiated might not realise the same, and just felt the want to qualify the fact.
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Old 25.07.2011, 23:19
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

lol, yes we only pay the service charges for the weeks we "own".

I have to say our resort still looks like it did in the first year it is still immaculate, the refreshes are done on a regular basis. In the early days they used to send out the options for the new bedding and furnishings and everyone got to vote , lol .... that does not happen anymore ... we just get what they consider tasteful

Looking at the posts above it seems that buying one simply to swap your week for another resort is a bit pointless, you may as well just rent direct from the resort, they all rent out any empty weeks.

Also worth noting is that even if you dont use your week you are still liable for the maintenace fee for that week.
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Old 25.07.2011, 23:26
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

Empty week are rarely available at peak times. You might get 'empty' weeks in November in the Swiss Alps - but who would want to go? No good if you want to go skiing. This is less relevant in Tenerife, where it is sunny and warm year round. But no empty weeks in school holidays.
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Old 25.07.2011, 23:37
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

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Here's some feedback for you.
Don't even think about it.
+1.

Been there, done that, NEVER again!

Tom
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Old 25.07.2011, 23:40
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Re: Any have experience with purchasing a time share?

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It's probably impossible to sell & you have to pay fees regardless. I do know of somemone who 'gave it back' after trying to sell for 5 years.
Did that myself, though it was 8 or 9 years!

Tom
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