The first commercial timeshare opportunities debuted in the 1960s in France and Switzerland and moved across the pond to North America quickly thereafter. Sharing vacation ownership allowed consumers the ability to travel regularly and at a fixed price, features that appealed to hardworking folks looking to escape their regular lives at a guaranteed place and for a guaranteed cost each year. Today’s timeshare market includes a more sophisticated point-based system with options to exchange, upgrade and extend vacations, but the benefits are perceived the same – at least for the timeshare owners who remain happily committed to the shared ownership model. For others, the timeshare experience can quickly become stale, cumbersome and downright fiscally detrimental. Here are five signs that it’s time to get rid of your timeshare:
Circumstances change. The job and good health that once enabled you to afford a yearly escape might now be diminished. Unemployment, lowered salaries and ongoing medical issues can affect priorities, especially where money is concerned. Even retirement, perhaps a time when you thought you might use your timeshare the most, can cause anxiety when traveling on a fixed income becomes more worrisome than relaxing.
Even if you have the money, it doesn’t mean you want to be spending it on maintenance fees that inevitably rise 2-3% or more each year. Increasing yearly timeshare costs can eat away at the budget you have for other things, like educating children, donating to philanthropic interests or funding your retirement.
Being locked in to one type of resort and/or one location can feel like a prison. When you were younger or had small kids or were interested in trekking around the great outdoors, maybe it made sense to have a timeshare at a ski resort or Walt Disney World or the mountains of Colorado. But now that you’re older, your kids are grown and your interests have changed, perhaps you want something different. VRBO, Airbnb and cheaper travel costs mean you have options you once didn’t.
Maybe a yearly trip sounded great before you had children and determined it was harder to bring them than just stay home. Or maybe you got a promotion at work and find it difficult to leave your duties for extended periods of time. Maybe you retired and need to stay close to your doctor for medical reasons. Whatever the case, if you aren’t using your property, you are wasting money.
The older something is, the more likely it is to become worn and dated. If your timeshare is not located at one of the big, well-known properties, there is a good chance it is being restricted by low occupancy and reduced cash flow, which can make keeping the property updated a hard task. The décor, the physical condition of the buildings and the quality of the activities offered should meet your expectations. Otherwise, consider getting out.
Buying a timeshare can seem like a great idea in the moment. But if you’re past the honeymoon phase and starting to question whether you’ve made a bad decision, there are options. To determine how to get rid of a timeshare legally, contact our experts at Step Zero. We can help you cancel timeshare obligations, freeing up your money and your time.