Probably the most important thing to remember if you’re considering buying timeshare is that it is unwise to think of timeshare as a property investment. Timeshare is a property with a particular form of ownership or use rights, where you, and many other parties, buy the right to use a holiday unit for specific period of time at a holiday resort property. A resort management company looks after the management and upkeep of the unit for you, and, because you pool those expenses with all the other timeshare owners, the annual levy you pay for this is still cheaper than trying to look after your individual unit yourself.
Right to Use your Unit
With some timeshares, you buy the right to use your unit at the same time each year, while others have floating options, where you can change your booking period from year to year. Some timeshares give you the right to use the property for a specific number of years, while others give you the right to use it in perpetuity.
Owners of certain timeshares can also, through your own timeshare company, become members of timeshare exchange companies like RCI (Resorts Condominium International) or Interval International, enabling you to swap your booking, subject to availability, for one in another resort, either locally or overseas.
Things to do before Buying Timeshare
i. Before you buy, get as much information as possible about the property and the timeshare company itself, and the financial implications of the deal. Make sure the timeshare company is a member of the New Zealand Holiday Ownership Council, which requires its members to comply with certain codes of ethics and practice. Try to find others who already own timeshare at the same resort and talk to them about the place.
ii. When buying timeshare always do your research and do not allow yourself to be unduly pressured by the sophisticated and often high-pressure sales tactics used to sell timeshare – don’t ever let yourself be swayed by the gifts on offer, such as free or heavily discounted stays at fancy resorts during the ‘sales-pitch weekend’.
iii. Take time to think about everything before you make any decision – and never, ever sign anything before you’ve talked with your timeshare property transfer and conveyancing lawyer and got them to go over the sales contract with you.
If you’ve purchased timeshare but in the interim your situations have changed or perhaps the timeshare holiday arrangement is simply no longer your cup of tea. What are your options? After all, you likely still have obligations to the timeshare in the form of the usual annual levy.
Again, it’s important to remember that, as mentioned above, timeshare is not a property investment, and the second-hand timeshare market is always a buyer’s market, not a seller’s market.
However, there are a number of options available to you for disposing of your timeshare, subject to the rules governing your specific timeshare property and contract conditions. It’s therefore important to discuss your particular situation with your timeshare property transfer and conveyancing lawyer.