Many travelers dream of owning a small piece of vacation paradise. They want a place they can visit every year. A place they can create lasting memories with family and friends. To realize their dream, they purchase a timeshare. Sound familiar?
According to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) 2018 State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry report, the average sales price per interval for a timeshare was $22,180. That’s the upfront cost. Many folks don’t realize there are other involved with timeshare ownership. A few additional expenses to consider:
Annual Maintenance Fees —
Many timeshare resorts charge an annual maintenance fee to all owners. This fee typically covers costs such as taxes, utilities and maintenance. The annual fee is due each year, regardless of whether you visit the property or not. According to 2018 survey findings released by the ARDA, the average annual maintenance fee is $980. The fee depends on several factors and it is important to ask questions before purchasing to get a clear understanding of what the annual fee covers, how often it can be increased and if there is a limit on the annual increases.
Property Taxes —
While property taxes are typically covered in the annual maintenance fee, there are times when the annual fee charged to owners does not cover the property taxes owed. Owners are then responsible for the remaining balance owed for property taxes. Depending on where the timeshare is located, the property taxes may increase annually.
Assessment Fees —
Resorts and timeshare properties will make major improvements or need to make considerable repairs to the property from time to time. This cost is passed on to the owners as an assessment fee. It is important to understand how major improvements and repairs will be assessed, before purchasing your timeshare. These assessments can be unexpected and add up to thousands of dollars.
While this is not a fee that is assessed, it is important to factor your annual travel expenses into the cost of your timeshare ownership. If your timeshare is close — within a day’s drive of your home — your travel expenses will be limited. However, what if you need to fly to your timeshare every year? The cost of travel can quickly add up — depending on the size of your family, the distance you need to travel and the time of year you are traveling. Peak seasons will command higher ticket prices.
Before purchasing a timeshare, be sure to educate yourself on the true cost of timeshare ownership. Ask questions and get clear answers regarding annual fees, property taxes and assessment fees, before you sign on the dotted line.
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