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Your Location: Timeshare Users Group:  Checklist for the Timeshare Buyer   |updated: 3/31/08

Look, Learn, and Listen:

A Check-It-Out Checklist for the Timeshare Buyer

From Advantage Vacations

During the 24 years that we have been in timeshare sales and professional development we have seen a growing trend towards a more educated and independent buyer.  By acquiring knowledge, timeshare buyers can maximize their investment dollars -- with access to first-rate properties, increased flexibility, and fewer headaches.

If there is a topic you would like us to tackle in future, please email us at bestbuys@advantagevacation.com.

What to Look for in a Property

When shopping for a timeshare your first priority should be to buy a property you'd like to vacation at yourself. Since you might not always want to use your timeshare for trading, you can be assured that you own something you really enjoy. The second consideration is, of course, trading power.

Questions for Your Broker

Buying a timeshare is no different than any other major investment. The success or failure of your purchase is directly related to how much research you are willing to do. Here are key questions to ask to avoid hidden pitfalls:

1. What is the history of the resort's maintenance fees?  Have they been escalating at an unusual rate?

2. What are the reservation policies?

3. How do I go about insuring that I will have the best possible chance of locking in a desired week?

4. What is the earliest date that I can make my reservations?  (This information will be important when it comes to using the property. If you buy a floating week, you will be competing with other owners for the week that you desire.)

5. What extra benefits will I receive when I purchase a timeshare?

6. Is there bonus time?

7. Can I trade with other resorts without joining an exchange company?

 CAUTION: Point-based Timeshares If you've been in the timeshare market for long you're aware that a number of major players such as Marriott, Four Seasons and Starwood try to discourage buyers from purchasing resales.  If you are willing to pay high "developer prices," you will be promised a variety of benefits (airline tickets, hotels) that you will receive when you convert your week into points.  You'll be told that resale purchasers do not receive these benefits.  The question you need to ask is: Does this justify the tremendous discrepancy in price?  For example, a timeshare using the point-based system at the Four Seasons will cost roughly $47,000.  If you purchase it through a resale broker it is likely to cost $30,000.  Why not take the $17,000 you've saved and shop around yourself?  You can find a comparable value at a Hyatt or Westin, and still have plenty of money in your pocket for side trips, shopping and dining out.

Six Factors That Determine Trading Power

1. Demand for a specific week.

2. Demand for a specific area.

3. Color code.

4. Unit size.

5. Quality of resort (RCI Gold Crown, Resort of International Distinction; II 5-Star).

6. How far in advance time is deposited.

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Homepage updated Mar 17, 2008  by B. Rogers - Send email regarding this page to tug@tug2.net