Such has been the bourgeoning popularity of the timeshare holiday option that most people know someone who has invested in one, but what seemed like a good idea as the buyer sipped sangria in a Spanish bodega a year or two ago, might not be so appealing in the chilly UK at this time of austerity.
There will have been two aspects to the costs involved in purchasing that poolside pad, an initial, one-off purchase price that buys the right to a set period of time in your slice of the Costas, and an on-going service charge or “maintenance fee” that is your share of the upkeep of the development. The initial reasoning behind the purchase will have a large bearing on whether you are still satisfied with what your timeshare cost initially, and what it is continuing to cost you.
If you bought your timeshare a few years ago as a financial investment, then you are unlikely to be satisfied with its current value. The European financial meltdown means that your property will have to be special indeed to be worth even what it was worth when you bought it, and you are probably cursing the on-going service charges.
However, if the purchase was made to secure a safe, predictable, cost effective and long-term holiday option for you and your family, then you are probably still enjoying those benefits and wondering what all of the fuss is about. This will be especially so if you are exploiting a timeshare network and swapping your annual allotment with other timeshare owners so that you can benefit from inexpensive vacations in ever more far flung destinations.
So, in the world of timeshare there are almost certainly three very distinct camps, the grumpy, thwarted investor, the smug holidaymaker, and the would-be timeshare owner, nervously appraising the market before dipping his toe in the communal pool. With the smug holidaymaker superfluous to the ‘sell or not to sell’ debate, the two remaining parties can, perhaps unknowingly to them, be a match made in heaven.
Admittedly, the Investor will have to bite the bullet and take a loss on what he paid for his timeshare, but at least he can recoup some of his outlay and cast off those tedious service charges. And if the would-be timeshare owner buys the Investor’s property from him, he will almost certainly get a better deal than he could expect from a new development, with less likelihood of serious depreciation, and instantly transform into a smug holidaymaker!
A number of companies, such as SellMyTimeshareNOW have sprung up to facilitate this type of arrangement by dealing in timeshare resales, and they can be useful in helping the interested parties to find one another.
The timeshare market will undoubtedly face more challenges in these difficult economic conditions, but while it remains an attractive option to so many smug holidaymakers out there, it is unlikely to fade away any time soon.