Wednesday, November 30, 2005

So frustrated with our timeshare

About 5 years ago, Jody and I committed the biggest, most expensive mistake learning experience of our lives. We bought a timeshare. It cost us $10,000 and is not anywhere near being paid off. In fact, it's now rolled into our home equity loan to get it off a super high interest rate. Oy.

They promised us it was a great investment. "Think of all the great memories you can make with your family on vacations." "Think how much you will save over the years by buying this versus staying in a hotel." Etc.

Were we gullible? Yes. Naive? INCREDIBLY! Uninformed? YES!

Come to find out a few years down the road, the resort we thought we bought into (a really nice, upscale resort) isn't even the resort they sold us! They seriously pulled a fast one on us and we were none the wiser.

We've had the timeshare for 5 years, but due to limited vacation time from work, having a baby, etc., only had the opportunity to use it 3 times. (One of those times was in Florida at a complete DIVE.) Yet, every year we have to pay around $400 in maintenance fees.

We've been talking about getting rid of it for a couple years now, but never done much about it. After getting our latest bill for $463 (maintenance fees) due in January and not having the money to pay it, we are getting serious about this.

We've done some research and one thing is clear - timeshare companies and resellers SUCK! You can really only make back about 30-50% of what you paid for it (and oftentimes much less than that!). Nearly everyone is out there to "f" you over.

We recently contacted a place to advertise through. They want $500 up-front to list it. And then there's no guarantee it will sell. Ever. Turns out that company is on the shitlist of the Better Business Bureau. Go figure.

We thought about donating it to charity and taking a tax write-off, but that doesn't work either. Bunch of legal crap makes it pretty much impossible.

So now we're at the point of possibly listing it on ebay, selling it for whatever we can get (probably only a few hundred dollars), and being done with the damn thing forever.

It's just been such a huge headache for us. If only I'd known then what I know now I NEVER would've agreed to such a purchase. (Famous last words, right?)

Anybody want to buy a timeshare? It's a one bedroom, one week slot at a resort in Las Vegas. Seriously, if you think you would use it, it might not be a bad investment. Especially considering how cheap we are willing to sell it. Let me know. I'm not joking.

If Jody and I are ever fortunate enough to retire and we want to look into something like this again, we would NEVER, EVER buy through a developer again. It's amazing and frighteningly scary how many people are trying to get rid of their timeshares.

Let this be a lesson to you all. Never buy something without sleeping on it first.

Off to do more research...


At 11/30/2005 7:25 PM, Blogger Running2Ks said...

Yikes, how aggravating and horrible. I can't stand when people prey on others. And now you know, and now you share the expensive crash course in timeshares. That is one good thing out of this. I hope you can sell it.

At 12/01/2005 2:24 AM, Anonymous Timeshare Trap said...

Unfortunately, this is a fairly common occurance. First off, NEVER pay an upfront fee to list your timeshare for's scam in itself.

I'm not sure which charity your tried to donate it to, but there are some that specialize in taking timeshares as donations and do all the paperwork for you.

I'm sorry that it turned out this way and I hope you can get it resolved without too much more of a headache.

At 12/01/2005 6:05 AM, Blogger Heather said...

UGH Amy that sounds like a horrible mess!! It really does suck when people are out there to scam others. We are part of a timeshare club and I LOVE IT. We just rent out places we don't actually own them but I really love being part of it. Hopefully, you can figure something out without losing too much money.

At 12/01/2005 8:31 AM, Blogger halloweenlover said...

What about renting it? Are you allowed to do that? I feel like I know people who would want to go to Vegas for a week.

I hope you can figure something out.

At 12/01/2005 11:33 AM, Blogger Jody said...

The problem with donating, as I read it, is that you will have to pay for an appraisal first, to find out how much the donation is worth. Thats expected to be $500. Then you have some special type of classification for the donation because it is not a normal product. From what i've read, its just a huge pain and you don't really end up with much beyond getting out of the yearly maintenance fee.

I think if you go in with a week or more that you can definitely travel, its a great thing to have a timeshare (i'd get one again) but I would never go to a presentation, or buy from the manufacturer. Its too easy to buy them cheap online. People are selling them for under $1000 on eBay.

At 12/01/2005 1:59 PM, Blogger awaterpixie said...

That's awful.. I'm so sorry! My parents used to have one and finally got out from underneath it. Now we're all with Global and couldn't be loving it more.

Good luck getting out of it. I hope you're able to.

At 12/01/2005 5:30 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

Thanks for all the comments, suggestions and advice.
It totally sucks to take such a huge loss on it, but just to get out from under the $425 maintenance fee each year will be worth it in the long run.

HL - Yes, we can rent it out but we really just want to see the whole thing go bye-bye.

awaterpixie - How did your parents get out from underneath it? Did they sell?

At 12/02/2005 12:27 AM, Anonymous Timeshare Trap said...

Jody said - The problem with donating, as I read it, is that you will have to pay for an appraisal first, to find out how much the donation is worth. Thats expected to be $500.

You need the appraisal if you want to claim the timeshare for more than $5,000 on your taxes. If you claim the value is less than $5,000 you don't need to get an appraisal.

amygeekgrl said... It totally sucks to take such a huge loss on it, but just to get out from under the $425 maintenance fee each year will be worth it in the long run.

Donating is best if you just want to get out from the maintenance fee. If you think you can get a few thousand selling it, then that makes more sense, but don't pay a reseller. Do it on your own. If you think you'll get less than a thousand, then donating it (if you can) makes sense, IF you just want to get out or you itemize your tax deductions.

Again, good luck and I hope it works out.

At 12/03/2005 7:54 PM, Blogger Camille said...

Boy that sounds like my DH and me way back in 1999..I heard those same comments about making memories, etc.

Ours is from a diff company and it's for 1 week at any of their resorts.

We have actually used ours as a stopping point in Vegas from Utah to California. So while I hate paying the $123.47 every month and the maintenance fees every quarter as well it's kind of been nice.

I actually used one of those selling places and paid $200 up front. Never sold it though. DUH on my part.

I feel your pain though!!! I still owe $1800 on mine....UGH

At 4/05/2006 12:58 PM, Anonymous timeshare advice said...

Don't give up yet! Selling a timeshare on the online resale market is entirely dependent upon only three factors:

1. Aggressive pricing. You are likely to make back 1/2 of your initial investment on a timeshare sale. Go see what your week is worth at a few different for-sale-by-owner sites.

2. Marketing effectiveness. If a FSBO company won't do as it promises, there's probably a slew of BBB complaints against them. Do your homework first- if there's any complaints, don't hire the company if they have ANY complaints on their BBB record.

3. Search results positioning. Don't advertise your timeshare where no one can see it! Use a search engine like Google - search for timeshare-related terms. See who has the most top ten results for these terms.

There is hope! Don't resign yourself to timeshare ownership if it's not right for you! There are other people out there who would probably like to buy your timeshare. The challenge only lies with finding them. Thanks to the internet, this is now possible.

Hope this helps...


Post a Comment

<< Home