Did you know that Orlando is the world’s top tourist destination, welcoming over 75 million visitors each year?
If you and your family love taking trips to the Sunshine State, you might be thinking about buying an Orlando timeshare. With dozens of amazing timeshare resorts (and those shiny timeshare packages), it seems like too good a deal to pass up!
Not so fast. While timeshare programs can be a great option for some families, those who already own a timeshare will tell you there are some potential downsides too.
Keep reading for four important things to know before you sign on that dotted line.
1. Understand the Costs
Buying your timeshare will involve an upfront purchase fee averaging around $21,000. If you divide that out over decades’ worth of future vacations, it seems like a fantastic deal.
However, many excited buyers fail to consider the other costs that come when you own a timeshare. These include annual maintenance fees, property assessments, and various taxes, which can easily top $1,000 per year.
It’s worth taking a serious look at your budget to determine whether a timeshare will save you money in the long run — or if it could become a financial burden.
2. Understand Timeshare Programs
Fixed timeshares offer a “fixed” amount of time to stay at the property, generally a certain week (the same week) each year.
Other timeshare programs work on a floating timeline, where you can theoretically reserve your stay for anytime you like. Of course, you’ll need to beat other timeshare holders to the punch, which means the exact week you want may not be available.
Some programs are points-based, allowing you to accumulate and redeem nights at specific properties. Others are considered “right to use” timeshares, which means you don’t actually own the property — it’s more like a lease.
3. Know There’s Little or No Resale Value
If you do decide to take the plunge, you need to look at it as a lifetime investment. It’s incredibly difficult to sell a timeshare, and most companies won’t repurchase your slot if you get a case of buyer’s remorse.
Even if you do manage to sell your timeshare down the road, you’re unlikely to recoup much of your investment. As an example, Disney Vacation Club owners can get info for DVC sellers about what their property’s resale value is currently worth.
4. Consider Your Circumstances
Does this mean that timeshares are automatically a bad decision?
Not necessarily. If you like the idea of a prepaid vacation and you enjoy going to the same place every year, it could be the perfect choice for your family. But since it’s a long-term investment, you need to consider the long-term implications.
For example, are your kids already teenagers? What happens in a few years once they grow up and leave home? Will you and your spouse still want to spend your annual vacation at an Orlando timeshare?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, so take the time to consider if timeshare rentals are the best path for you.
Orlando Timeshare: The Right Choice for You?
Timeshare packages have their appeal, and they can be a great option for some families.
However, before you commit to that Orlando timeshare, make sure you understand exactly what you’re signing up for. Use the information above to weigh your options and make an informed decision!
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