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How to Choose a Great Timeshare in the UK, US, and Europe

Purchasing a timeshare is a unique type of investment, and requires two levels of research. First, you should determine if a timeshare is the correct type of investment for you. Are you better off putting investment money somewhere else and paying for vacations year-to year, or is a timeshare investment make more sense? Second, you need to determine which specific timeshare will give you the best payoff with regard to finance and fun.

Here is a checklist that may help:

1. Compare maintenance fees and what they pay for. Compare how much of this money is spent on basic and necessary upkeep (fixing appliances, doing yardwork, etc.) and how much goes into capital improvements such as putting in a new pool or fitness club when it is needed. The latter is more likely to increase the value of your investment long-term

2. What other fees could be involved? How many years have they had "Special Assessments" for example? Why were these one time fees charged, and what is the likelihood of that type of event recurring? It might have been due to a storm of the like they havent seen in a hundred years, or it could be that your timeshare is in the path of hurricanes that hit every three.

3. How much would you have spent on vacations otherwise? Timeshares are not a good investment for a speculator who is not going to use them. They do not increase in value as fast as most other investment vehicles. However, when the cost you would have spent on vacations anyway is factored in to the return, they may be an excellent investment.

4. Why would I ever buy a timeshare "new" as opposed to resale? A "used" timeshare, sold to you by a previous owner or a resale company will probably cost significantly less than a new one (usually purchased from a developer). However, in new and exciting places, there may not be "used" units available, and developers have started to add extra value perks to their sales to compete.

5. Where is the best place to own a timeshare? This answer is tricky. If you are leaning toward buying it more for your enjoyment than for resale value, then choose one with resorts you personally enjoy and maybe are not too difficult to get to. On the other hand, if resale value is also important, you need to balance all of that with choosing one that is in an area of high demand.

6. Fixed week .vs. floating week, which is better? This depends on you and your family's schedule. If you have a very clear schedule, such as having kids in school who get the same weeks off each year, than a timeshare with fixed week s is for you. However, if you tend to have unpredictable work schedules or take vacations at different times each year, then a floating week is for you.

Good luck with this exciting choice!

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