It’s a common dream: “I want to own my own vacation home.” For most people, though, owning one house is burden enough; owning two seems impossible. Enter a timeshare: a seemingly perfect solution for folks wanting a slice of paradise at a fraction of the cost of a second, single-family home. The appeal of sunny beaches or snowy mountaintops can sway many a dreamer to plunk down the necessary funds and start “living the dream.” But what happens if the dream turns into a nightmare? What happens after the excitement wears off and you realize you’re stuck with the same view year after year? Or your financial circumstances change? Or you simply don’t have the time to vacation anymore? Just because you have a contract doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Here are six ways to get out of a timeshare:
Many contracts allow for rescission of the contract terms within a short period following the timeshare sale. During this time, you are allowed to cancel your contract without penalty and receive a full refund.
Even if you’re past the rescission period or your contract doesn’t mention one, most U.S. states offer a “cooling off” period that permits contract cancellations within a few days or weeks. Check with your state’s Attorney General Office or Consumer Protection Office to see if this could be an option for you.
While not ideal, it’s a valid option. Many companies offer to buy back timeshare property for a percentage of what you paid, or they will assist you with selling it for a portion of the sale’s proceeds. Either way, you will probably lose money during the transaction. But if you get out now, you could be saving money later by no longer being responsible for community fees, general maintenance expenses or your travel costs.
Like selling it back to the management company, selling your timeshare to someone else will probably cost you money. But the relief of having it gone can be a great motivator and provide a distraction from any lost profit. Consider advertising it during peak vacation periods for a low price or offering it to the people who share ownership directly before or after your allotted time. Who knows? Maybe they’ve been wanting to extend their vacations, and you’ll provide them with the perfect opportunity.
You will probably need to have your timeshare paid off with all fees up-to-date, but you might be able to deed your property back to the management company or donate it outright to a friend or charity of your choice. You won’t make any money, but you won’t have the hassle anymore, either. You might even be able to write it off as a charitable donation on your tax return.
When all else fails, contact a professional to help you cancel your timeshare obligations. Here at Step Zero, we understand the legal ramifications of exiting timeshare contracts and can help you navigate any contractual problems. Contact us today for a free consultation.