Timeshare Expert Answers Owner Questions

Timeshare Expert Answers Owner Questions

Lisa Ann Schreier is a leading timeshare expert who is helping Senior.com members make wise decisions about their timeshare investments.  Here are some of the latest important questions submitted: Timeshare Expert Answers Owner Questions

1.  Recently, Marriott and Starwood merged. Will this affect my timeshare ownership and usage?

These types of mergers are becoming more and more the norm. Individual ownership should not change all that much. The manner in which your timeshares are used, i.e. reservation systems, ability to use loyalty points across different platforms (hotel, timeshares, travel, etc.) and ability to trade/exchange MAY significantly change. More than ever you must pay attention to all communication that the resort issues and if possible, attend your annual HOA meeting(s). If you are unable to do so, request a full and detailed recap of the meeting.

2.  I’ve been looking to sell my timeshare that I’ve owned for 20 years, but have been disheartened to find out that they are practically worthless. Why is this the case and how can I maximize my purchase?

In most cases, 50% or more of the price that you paid when you purchased your timeshare from the developer were attributed to sales and marketing costs. Factor in the glut of timeshare on the resale market and the increasing number of developers that are placing usage restrictions on secondary market purchases and it can look pretty glum for many owners. If you’ve used your timeshare for 20 years and enjoyed great vacations and can sell it for even a small fraction of what you paid for it, you’re coming out ahead…remember that this is NOT an investment. If you just can’t bring yourself to sell your timeshare for $1,000, consider renting it out. This way you can make some money while still holding on to your timeshare. If you are set on getting out of your timeshare, here are some tips:

  1. Use a licensed timeshare broker who will not charge an upfront fee
  2. In some cases, the “value’ of the timeshare is so low, that a broker will not accept the listing. In that case, look into the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service which will be rolled out in January 2017 from the National Timeshare Owners Association.

3.  When multiple siblings inherit a timeshare what are the pitfalls of managing fees, ownership sharing, scheduling etc.  What can be put in the estate planning to make it better?  

Inheriting a timeshare can be difficult for everyone involved, particularly if there are multiple siblings. Some siblings may not want the timeshare; so if possible, find out who does and who does not. The parent or grandparent leaving the timeshare must first clearly understand the details of the timeshare; i.e. weeks, points, reservations, fees, etc. The easiest way to “split” a timeshare is to stipulate that each heir gets the use and the responsibility of the timeshare on alternate years.

4.  What do you see is the future of timeshare ownership?  Point systems?  Ownership weeks?  

The majority of timeshares being sold today are point based products. But, that doesn’t mean that the week-based system is in any danger of being phased out. Many of the point-based systems have absolutely no real estate interest, which begs the question “do I really own anything?” Smart developers will begin to offer term-products, so that owners are not saddled with an ‘in-perpetuity’ product. However, this is no longer timeshare in my opinion. More than ever, it is imperative to understand what you own or what you are thinking of purchasing. A 5 year vacation club is vastly different than a deeded timeshare. Both have pros and cons.

Timeshare Expert Answers Owner Questions

about the author

Lisa Ann Schreier

Lisa Ann Schreier has been involved in the timeshare industry since 2000. Media outlets such as CNBC, The Chicago Tribune, The Ladies’ Home Journal MainStreet.com regularly seek her out. Lisa has written 2 books on timeshare aimed at consumers. In addition to her monthly “Ask the Timeshare Crusader” feature with Senior.com, she serves as the Lead Advocate on timeshare issues on Elliott.org. She also serves as the Director of Member services for the National Timeshare Owners Association. Senior.com readers receive a special discount on an annual NTOA Value membership by using CODE TI545…just click here to join http://www.ntoassoc.com/join-ntoa/

To send Lisa a question and have her answer it here in her column, write her at lisa@timeshareinsights.com and follow her on Twitter at @LisaLooksAt.

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