Author Topic: Do timeshares ever make sense?  (Read 9567 times)

Gyosho

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Do timeshares ever make sense?
« on: June 07, 2016, 01:34:41 PM »
I was recently on vacation in Maui at a fancypants resort. One of the couples in our group confessed that they were there on their timeshare points, which were significantly cheaper than what the rest of us had paid for the week. They smirked very nicely about it, and said they take timeshare vacations once or twice a year.

I am pretty high on the Mustachian scale, but I do like nice vacations in Hawaii. Given this fact, would a time share make sense? Are there any Mustachians who own time shares and are happy with them? I can't find any unbiased information anywhere on the Internet, but I know Mustachians can provide a good cost/benefit analysis.

Cassie

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 01:53:58 PM »
The maintenance fees go up every year and are high. Many people will give them away or sell them dirt cheap to get out from under the maintenance fees. They are also sold dirt cheap at tax sales. A few friends own them and have to book a year or 2 in advance to get where they want.  My Dh bought 4 at a tax sale that were in Lake Tahoe for a total of 6k. I wanted to kill him. Eventually I sold 2 on ebay for 350.00 and gave the other 2 away and even had to pay the maintenance fees and transfer fees for the first year to get rid of them.  I never let him go to another tax sale without me:))

boarder42

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2016, 02:04:28 PM »
i've researched this b/c my gparents are giving theirs to a family member and i thought i may be inerested

some reasons people may use them
1. people who have trouble making time for vacation but since they've put the money towards it will use it (basically forces them to take vacations) - NON mustachian reason
2. If you can get it for free or very cheap on the second hand market and use it to its full potential with the last minute bookings and loop holes that come with a flexible schedule basically if you're FIREd - MAY be worth it.
3. if you pay retail they will never be worth the cost - your friends week may have cost them 1000 dollars in dues but that doesnt take into account the 30-50k the likely paid for it.

so lets just stop and think about that 50k for a second.  you invest that 50k and it makes you 3500 at 7% annually.  thats a lot of vacation right there.  Lets go one step further and see you're a mustachian so you dont pay retail prices for vacation you travel hack with credit cards - i went to Maui this march for 10 days with my wife in first class with a jeep rental car and stayed at 5 star resorts (see Grand Wailea)  and my out of pocket cost for that was 0 dollars.  so now you still have 3500 in the bank and you can take another trip.  my wife and i planned a cruise to Europe in December. 11 days includes drinks - balcony cabin.  total out of pocket cost expected to be 500-1k for the whole trip including flights and shore excursions.  so we'll still have 2500 in the bank to compound with for the next year plus any extra gains.  plus we havent even factored in the maint. fees they are paying which is likely another 1500-2k

but as for item 2 when you're FIREd you can do what the retired couple we met on our honey moon in Kauai does every winter.
1. buy a truck with a shell on the back in the states load it with camping gear clothes/beach stuff/bikes - ship it to the islands.
2. camp out on the beach using the truck as your bed if weather is bad while searching CL for a reasonably priced monthly condo
3. rent a condo for 450 a month on the beach and bike everywhere.
4. sell truck in hawaii when you leave for more than the cost plus shipping b/c people pay a premium for vehicles over there

all inall we arent even going to be taking my Gparents FREE time share b/c we dont see the value in it.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 02:11:22 PM by boarder42 »

boarder42

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2016, 02:19:30 PM »
Are there any Mustachians who own time shares and are happy with them?

I inherited the timeshare and it was originally purchased in the early 90's I think. It's not a big fancy resort timeshare, it's a smaller family oriented place on the beach, probably under 200 units all together. This means they don't have the points system I've heard about elsewhere. I have one unit that I can use for a certain week (Saturday 3pm through Saturday 9am) per year, or I can contact the property managers with the standard form saying I'd like to rent it out for the year. They handle the rental and even after their fee and the annual dues I make a little money (not enough for it to be an investment property, IMHO). The years that my family uses it we enjoy the fact that we're already familiar with the area and the (limited) amenities. The property has an ongoing flyer that they hand out to whoever is staying for the week with the units that are currently up for sale (basic info: bedrooms, bathrooms, unit number, price), so it's pretty much the opposite of the sales pitch I've heard about elsewhere. Overall I'm very happy with it, but it's very unlike what most people think of when they hear "timeshare".

i would say what you just described is the original thing most people do think of when they hear time share.  they are way different now and the systems can be worked to your advantage but at the end of the day in most you're stuck with a payment regardless of whether you want to travel or not.   it also greatly decreases spending flexibility in FIRE if you need to back off spending thats a fixed cost that typically goes up slightly faster than inflation.

Beriberi

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2016, 02:23:01 PM »
A fun thing to watch is Queen of Versailles -- its a documentary and it is available on Netflix. Is is about a guy who is a time share billionaire who loses a lot in the economic downturn of 2007-8.  It gives a peek into the marketing of time shares, and the crazy excess of his family.  It doesn't paint a pretty picture.

One of the take home messages about time shares was that no one, NO ONE, buys one except on the day that they are pitched. (This applies only to the first-sale market, Westgate propreties).  You never, ever sleep on the idea and then decide you should buy.  Which hardly makes it seem like a good idea.

acroy

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2016, 02:55:05 PM »
A fun thing to watch is Queen of Versailles -- its a documentary and it is available on Netflix.
great show!
Timeshares are not worth it to purchase 'new'
Plenty available for little or nothing 'used'
Or just purchase the rental through VRBO or equivalent.

There are special cases: years back, I got a nice deal for 'points' in one of the timeshare systems. It worked out to about $75/night in Hawaii at a very nice place, $40/night in Branson at an older place.

StarBright

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2016, 03:18:02 PM »
I've mentioned this in another thread but I'll recap here. My parents bought in to a points based timeshare (DVC) and love it and use it several times a year. My brother and I and our families also use it fairly frequently. DVC is also not owned forever, it is like a 55 year lease or something similar ( a good thing).

If you are traveling frequently to the location of the timeshare, and think you will continue to travel there in the future I think it could be worth it if you are able to buy the points/share on the resale market and if there is a good rental market for the property. Other important things to look for are the ability to bank/borrow/roll over points and to make sure they are tradeable. If my parents don't feel like going to any of the disney properties in a year and don't feel like renting them out they can usually roll over points. They can also essentially use like 3 years worth of points to take nicer trips - several years ago they ended up using a couple years worth of points to take an Alaskan cruise and ended up basically paying the same in maintenance fees as they would have if they paid for the cruise outright.

I don't think they are a good deal for most people but I'm not against time shares completely. If you run the numbers and they look good for you then it might be worth thinking about.

ltt

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2016, 03:30:39 PM »
I wouldn't do it--and I considered it, but only briefly after we took a trip to Maui---absolutely gorgeous, but unless you absolutely know for sure that you will be able to travel at a certain time every year for $xxx amount of years, I'm not sure it's worth it.  The maintenance fees would be expensive.  And what if you wanted to sell it??  What then? 

Here's a link to Maui timeshares on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR3.TRC2.A0.H0.Xmaui+timeshare.TRS0&_nkw=maui+timeshare&_sacat=0

Please note on the very first listing, it states "based on availability only." 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 03:33:47 PM by ltt »

paddedhat

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2016, 05:07:40 PM »
My mother had one, and it became part of her estate. It was a difficult "asset" to liquidate. It was also a pretty interesting mess to ponder. It was a legitimate real estate holding, filed in the local courthouse, with a deed showing a percentage of ownership of a specific unit.  It had a negative value, since there was no actual resale market. Local realtors didn't want to touch it, and there was no verifiable evidence that any of the "timeshare re-sellers", could prove that they could liquidate it. Those chucklenuts did however want several hundred, to several thousand, dollars to attempt to find a buyer. In the end the HOA of the resort agreed to take it back, if I paid all the various legal fees and taxes, and the transaction didn't cost them a penny. The most irritating cost was a 2% county transfer tax, based on the county's  judgement that the one dollar transaction was actually worth $8K, LOL.  My estate lawyer was happy to cut a check for a couple of hundred in closing fees and taxes, based on the fact that I was damn lucky to just be rid of it.

As you may of guessed, when it comes to timeshares, I'm not a fan.

MoonShadow

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2016, 06:56:06 PM »
A timeshare contract is not a liquid asset, and are hard to sell should you need to.  However, if you are 99% certain that you won't be taking vacations anywhere else for the life of the contract, it might be a fine deal.

katsiki

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2016, 07:13:05 PM »
Run!!!  I made a serious mistake of buying when I was young.  (I don't think I was even qualified to buy one but they made it "work" which should give you an idea).  It was a terrible decision and we loss a couple thousand dollars unloading it. 

It might make sense to buy one used very cheaply but I would be sure you understand the annual fees.

albireo13

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2016, 07:45:42 PM »
Nope!

mpg350

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2016, 07:56:29 PM »
Maui was amazing, my avatar is from my Maui trip.

The only way I would think about a timeshare was if the price was dirt cheap like under $500 and the yearly fee was cheaper than the price of visit for a week, if you found that and its place you would consider visiting every year I guess it could make sense for you.
Just gotta find a desperate seller.

Goldielocks

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2016, 08:12:44 PM »
I purchased one about 10 years ago...  during my non MMM phase.  (Could not think of what else to do with my bonus.... grrrr to old me)

Timeshares
1)  The ones with exchange programs are best for people with very flexible schedules (not travelling on holidays), that like travelling "off season".  Many RE people I know love theirs for the same reason I dislike it.  I have not been able to make an exchange for the past 2.5 years, despite leaving things wide open and looking far, far in advance.  I have kids in school.  Summer in the midwest or northern states, anywhere at christmas, summer in the rockies and weekends at ski hills in season are all hard to book.  Europe is a challenge, too , most units are in "cottage country" not near cities...(air BNB and travel hacking is so much better for Europe).

2)  You are better going for an every other week, with the lower annual dues and overall commitment.  After 5 years, you will no longer think you have too many points.   I could easily use mine and alternate with variety vacations each year.  The annual dues keep increasing.  Some people wanting more exchange "points" will buy a second very cheap unit in south america.  Those are the ones that already find they travel a lot and use up all their points quickly and know what they are getting into.

3) Buy used, and treat it like a sunk expense, that you will donate for $0 when you are done with it, just to get rid of the maintenance fee.  (Those start at $600 per year to over $1000/yr for many of the nicer locations like Hawaii or DVC).

4)  Alternate if you know you will never move from your location -- get a week at a place you love, that you can drive to each year.  Those airline fees can really add up, so much so that it makes more sense to airBNB or rent from another timeshare owner.  (

5)  You can airBNB your week, with some (paying a guest certificate) or sell your use points at 75% of your annual maintenance fee, which is a hassle, but a decent backstop.

6)  many of the exchange properties (with RCI, a big outfit) are not high end "resort"...   I am not fancy, and love having separate bedrooms and a full kitchen in a great location, so that is A-OK with me, but to read other reviews, a lot of people out there really want that Disney or Marriot quality experience.

7) COSTS -- It costs $130+ a year for the exchange program registration, $70 to $160 per booking (for a week), sometimes there is a housekeeping or resort fee on top, plus maintenance fees of $500 to $1200 per year (or more).  Exchanging into Hawaii (other than an interior island golf unit) could cost you $1100 for 7 nights, for a unit away from walking to restaurant/tourist areas, that was last renovated in 1986.   Still a deal... if you did not pay much up front to buy your timeshare initially.

7b)  Cheaper cost options -- buy used, keep a fixed week a year, and never exchange it.   $800/yr (est) maintenance fees + initial cost for 7 days per year. 

If it still makes sense, then yeah, go for it.   Just be warned that like a boat or RV with annual costs and storage fees, it can get tiring quickly.


CHECK IT OUT   This is the best website for Resales and Rentals (most are offered directly by owners)

TUG2.NET
tug2.net
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 08:17:38 PM by goldielocks »

SimplyMarvie

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2016, 11:48:55 AM »
My mother had one, and it became part of her estate. It was a difficult "asset" to liquidate. It was also a pretty interesting mess to ponder. It was a legitimate real estate holding, filed in the local courthouse, with a deed showing a percentage of ownership of a specific unit.  It had a negative value, since there was no actual resale market. Local realtors didn't want to touch it, and there was no verifiable evidence that any of the "timeshare re-sellers", could prove that they could liquidate it. Those chucklenuts did however want several hundred, to several thousand, dollars to attempt to find a buyer. In the end the HOA of the resort agreed to take it back, if I paid all the various legal fees and taxes, and the transaction didn't cost them a penny. The most irritating cost was a 2% county transfer tax, based on the county's  judgement that the one dollar transaction was actually worth $8K, LOL.  My estate lawyer was happy to cut a check for a couple of hundred in closing fees and taxes, based on the fact that I was damn lucky to just be rid of it.

As you may of guessed, when it comes to timeshares, I'm not a fan.

Ugh, this is like a preview of coming attractions. My inlaws just increased their timeshare 'investment' so that they had enough to leave it equally to Mr. Marvie and his brother. We have no interest, and the brother has no money so I haven't the faintest idea what we're going to do with the damned things.

mm1970

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2016, 12:31:32 PM »
I have friends who have a timeshare in the Bahamas. I guess it works for them - they've done it most years (one year they offered it up to friends...and it was pretty sweet looking, and it happened to coincide with our spring break...but have you looked at the cost of airfare from CA to the Bahamas for four people???)

I can't see it because
1- I can't see going to the same place over and over
2- I can't see trying to use points with places where you have choices
3- I don't always vacation...sometimes we fly to visit family
4- I don't even fly with the family of 4 every year
5- I'm happy to rent other people's timeshares for cheap.  For example, for spring break last year, we camped 2 nts in Joshua Tree and spent 2 nts in a resort in Palm Springs (or was it 3 nights?)  It was a 1BR apt in a resort, with pools and water slides.  The timeshare sales pitches abounded!  But luckily for us we dodged them - after 2 days camping, we really needed a shower.

I don't even travel hack at all, but I manage to get our vacations down to the cost of timeshares or below with airBNB, or renting condos, etc.

norabird

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2016, 12:39:30 PM »
I can never imagine wanting one--I like traveling flexibly and the whole mentality makes no sense to me. If you're a Disney fanatic and know you want to go back every year maybe it makes more sense for you, otherwise I think it's probably never worth it.

solon

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2016, 12:43:13 PM »
i've researched this b/c my gparents are giving theirs to a family member and i thought i may be inerested

some reasons people may use them
1. people who have trouble making time for vacation but since they've put the money towards it will use it (basically forces them to take vacations) - NON mustachian reason
2. If you can get it for free or very cheap on the second hand market and use it to its full potential with the last minute bookings and loop holes that come with a flexible schedule basically if you're FIREd - MAY be worth it.
3. if you pay retail they will never be worth the cost - your friends week may have cost them 1000 dollars in dues but that doesnt take into account the 30-50k the likely paid for it.

so lets just stop and think about that 50k for a second.  you invest that 50k and it makes you 3500 at 7% annually.  thats a lot of vacation right there.  Lets go one step further and see you're a mustachian so you dont pay retail prices for vacation you travel hack with credit cards - i went to Maui this march for 10 days with my wife in first class with a jeep rental car and stayed at 5 star resorts (see Grand Wailea)  and my out of pocket cost for that was 0 dollars.  so now you still have 3500 in the bank and you can take another trip.  my wife and i planned a cruise to Europe in December. 11 days includes drinks - balcony cabin.  total out of pocket cost expected to be 500-1k for the whole trip including flights and shore excursions.  so we'll still have 2500 in the bank to compound with for the next year plus any extra gains.  plus we havent even factored in the maint. fees they are paying which is likely another 1500-2k

but as for item 2 when you're FIREd you can do what the retired couple we met on our honey moon in Kauai does every winter.
1. buy a truck with a shell on the back in the states load it with camping gear clothes/beach stuff/bikes - ship it to the islands.
2. camp out on the beach using the truck as your bed if weather is bad while searching CL for a reasonably priced monthly condo
3. rent a condo for 450 a month on the beach and bike everywhere.
4. sell truck in hawaii when you leave for more than the cost plus shipping b/c people pay a premium for vehicles over there

all inall we arent even going to be taking my Gparents FREE time share b/c we dont see the value in it.

A condo on a beach in Hawaii for $450/mo? If you have a link, I'd love to explore it.

Le Poisson

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2016, 01:21:13 PM »
Timeshares make great sense - just ask the companies selling them! They are very efficient at moving money from the pockets of the consumer to the pockets of the corp; which is precisely the intended function.

boarder42

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2016, 01:39:34 PM »
i've researched this b/c my gparents are giving theirs to a family member and i thought i may be inerested

some reasons people may use them
1. people who have trouble making time for vacation but since they've put the money towards it will use it (basically forces them to take vacations) - NON mustachian reason
2. If you can get it for free or very cheap on the second hand market and use it to its full potential with the last minute bookings and loop holes that come with a flexible schedule basically if you're FIREd - MAY be worth it.
3. if you pay retail they will never be worth the cost - your friends week may have cost them 1000 dollars in dues but that doesnt take into account the 30-50k the likely paid for it.

so lets just stop and think about that 50k for a second.  you invest that 50k and it makes you 3500 at 7% annually.  thats a lot of vacation right there.  Lets go one step further and see you're a mustachian so you dont pay retail prices for vacation you travel hack with credit cards - i went to Maui this march for 10 days with my wife in first class with a jeep rental car and stayed at 5 star resorts (see Grand Wailea)  and my out of pocket cost for that was 0 dollars.  so now you still have 3500 in the bank and you can take another trip.  my wife and i planned a cruise to Europe in December. 11 days includes drinks - balcony cabin.  total out of pocket cost expected to be 500-1k for the whole trip including flights and shore excursions.  so we'll still have 2500 in the bank to compound with for the next year plus any extra gains.  plus we havent even factored in the maint. fees they are paying which is likely another 1500-2k

but as for item 2 when you're FIREd you can do what the retired couple we met on our honey moon in Kauai does every winter.
1. buy a truck with a shell on the back in the states load it with camping gear clothes/beach stuff/bikes - ship it to the islands.
2. camp out on the beach using the truck as your bed if weather is bad while searching CL for a reasonably priced monthly condo
3. rent a condo for 450 a month on the beach and bike everywhere.
4. sell truck in hawaii when you leave for more than the cost plus shipping b/c people pay a premium for vehicles over there

all inall we arent even going to be taking my Gparents FREE time share b/c we dont see the value in it.

A condo on a beach in Hawaii for $450/mo? If you have a link, I'd love to explore it.

see number 2 above where they look on CL til they find it. and just keep shopping til they find something.  they said it was a studio. could have easily been a studio in someone's house ... it was in the tunnels beach area.  it was 3 years ago when we were there.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2016, 02:03:06 PM »
Timeshares:  Fagetaboudit!!  All smoke and mirrors (you getting ripped off in the smoke). 

Invest your money.  Rent your vacation spot as needed.

Frugal D

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2016, 02:09:44 PM »
Timeshares make me just about as mad as MLMs on Facebook.

If you have to ask if it's a good deal, you can't do math. The typical points system today forces you to prepay your vacations for the next 100 years and cost, on average, $100k. Again, if you can't do the math on the opportunity cost there, well...

The industry itself is absolutely sickening. Just sit through one of their pitches and you'll want to take a shower when it finally ends (3-4 hours later). It's the most high pressure sales situation I've ever been in. And they prey on elderly people, positioning it as an asset that they can pass down to their children and grandchildren. I have never seen an asset that comes with an annual cost that grows in perpetuity.

Luckily, timeshares are going the way of the dinosaur. Like everything else, the internet is flattening the vacation industry. The Expedias of the world fired the first shot and now Airbnb is delivering the final blow. Timeshare company revenues are getting crushed because of the transparency and price discovery that the internet provides. My generation and future ones will never fall for it and I suspect all timeshares will be gone in about 50 years.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2019, 03:48:33 PM »
Bump since I went to a presentation. Yeah no way the developer package makes sense but has anyone bought resale and not regretted it. I like the idea of it but can't even make the maintenance fees cost work.

http://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemDescV4&item=193070859721&category=15897&pm=1&ds=0&t=1567367903011&cspheader=1

Seller pays the fees of transfer and basically free. Maintenance is 1250 a year. Probably gets you a 1-bed room some place nice like Hawaii for 6 nights. Could be a decent deal if leveraged right but feel you are better off looking for a travel deal.

Cassie

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2019, 04:02:37 PM »
If you go back to the beginning of the thread read my answer to this question.

ctuser1

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2019, 04:43:17 PM »
I was recently on vacation in Maui at a fancypants resort. One of the couples in our group confessed that they were there on their timeshare points, which were significantly cheaper than what the rest of us had paid for the week. They smirked very nicely about it, and said they take timeshare vacations once or twice a year.

I am pretty high on the Mustachian scale, but I do like nice vacations in Hawaii. Given this fact, would a time share make sense? Are there any Mustachians who own time shares and are happy with them? I can't find any unbiased information anywhere on the Internet, but I know Mustachians can provide a good cost/benefit analysis.

Timeshare never makes sense, financially!!

There is a reason why people have such a difficulty in re-selling timeshares in the secondary market.

Please do a detailed research and I am pretty confident you will arrive at the same conclusion as me, and everyone else who chooses to spreadsheet the numbers out with realistic assumptions. I did some analysis a decade and a half ago (back when I had the bright idea to part-finance our florida trip with timeshare presentations). At that time I arrived at a conclusion that timeshares would only make financial sense in Florida if someone sold them for free AND paid me $1000 every year on top of it.

i.e. they not only are worthless, then have a negative financial value.


Goldielocks

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2019, 04:45:26 PM »
I also looked into AirBNB the timeshare... that would certainly help me out on the years that  I don't want to use it, myself.   

Although the timeshare building is zoned as a hotel residential mixed use (city allows short term rentals in this building), the RCI rules state that reselling your week is not allowed.  IDK if someone would "catch" you or not, especially if you use your own personal photos of the place, but I can imagine that they use search bots to double check. 

 I may have it easier as my unit is in a building where other non time share users rent their units out online, so my unit could potentially be mistaken for a non timeshare one.

This past year, my timeshare cost approx $750 USD to carry.   If we use it at another resort, that would be another $110 in booking fees, minimum.

secondcor521

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2019, 05:03:03 PM »
My Dad owned a timeshare briefly earlier this year.  He paid $16K for it new and handed it back for $50 a few months later.

Timeshares may differ in their specifics, but in my Dad's case:

1.  The maintenance fees started out at a reasonable level.  However, the contract says that they can raise the maintenance fees as much as they want whenever they want, and you have to pay it.  When my Dad signed up, they even charged him a monthly processing fee to charge his maintenance fee to his credit card.  So the maintenance fee was like $60 a month, but the actual charge to the credit card was $65.  The monthly processing fee was never disclosed anywhere and was probably illegal but too small to fight over.

2.  The contract allowed for them to make special assessments.  Imagine a timeshare in Florida that gets hit by Hurricane Dorian in a few days.  The roof blows off and half the units are damaged.  Timeshare company repairs the damage at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars, then sends all the owners their proportional share of the bill.

3.  Someone earlier mentioned donating time shares.  I've never seen that done successfully, as charities understand that timeshares are a negative value item.  When we were trying to get rid of my Dad's, we couldn't find any charities that would take it.

4.  If you want to sell your time share, the timeshare company reserves the right to approve or disapprove of the sale.  This is to prevent the "Viking ship" maneuver which used to be a way that timeshare exit companies got rid of them - they'd create an LLC, have the LLC buy hundreds or thousands of timeshares for $1, then let the LLC go bankrupt.  Now, the timeshare company will not allow the sale of the timeshare to a Viking ship.

5.  Even if you own a timeshare, we looked into using his points for a vacation.  Airfare not covered.  Transportation not covered.  Activities not covered.  Available dates were few and far between and/or ridiculous amounts of points for what was available - essentially paying above market rate for a decent hotel/condo type deal.

6.  The salesperson lied to my Dad during the pitch.  My Dad wanted to take his girlfriend to Israel.  They said if he bought X amounts of points that he could use them for a two week trip to Israel no problem.  So he bought the timeshare.  Turns out this timeshare company has no locations within 5,000 miles of Israel (most were in Hawaii).  It also turns out that bald-faced misrepresentations are not a way to nullify a contract.

7.  They give you an Amazon Kindle as part of the pitch.  I later figured out that the reason (I think) they do this is that in order to be legal, they have to disclose a bunch of information about the timeshare and it's costs.  They can disclose this by putting all of that information in an app inside the Kindle and giving it to the person.  Guess how many old people know enough about law and technology to fire up the Kindle, find the app, open it, and read the legalese buried there?  Few if not zero.

8.  After you die, the timeshare is legally required to be handed down as part of your estate.  It might be possible to do a specific disclaimer by all the heirs and escheat it back to the state, but that means that the original owner paid for it their entire life.  And specific disclaimers and escheating isn't simple, easy, fast, or cheap.

SwordGuy

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2019, 06:40:22 PM »
If timeshares were inherently worth something people would not have to pay to get rid of them.  People would be lining up to buy them.

mistymoney

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2019, 08:25:37 AM »
I think the thing is time shares should be a great idea/worthwhile investment. It makes sense conceptually, and people keep getting hooked because it should be a good deal.

But they are not because the industry is geared to make a crap ton of money off supposed maintenance. What if the people who owned the shares voted the management teams in and out? voted on the budget, costs, fees? but they don't, it's just a thinly veined scam.

Le Poisson

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2019, 05:07:16 AM »
Agree with you @mistymoney - and now many of the management comanies are changing their marketing as folks become more and more aware of what a poor choice these things are. Around here we see "Fractional Ownership" cottage resorts, or "Weekly ownership." The equity side alone should be enough to kill these as an investment.

Example: https://www.realtor.ca/real-estate/20440934/2-bedroom-single-family-unknown-102-emerald-hills-court-16-week-g-mactier

The ones I wonder about are condominium resorts with rental packages. One of the more famous around here (Deerhurst) has units that come available regularly with the resort renting out units and managing the property on behalf of the owners. It's run like an exclusive resort, has really good amenities and reputation... but the rents are barely adequate to cover costs.

Example: https://www.realtor.ca/real-estate/21016461/1-bedroom-condo-54-105-deerhurst-resort-summit-lodge-drive-huntsville

I think a resort with a rental option is a better choice than a timeshare, but I'm still not sure that it's a good choice. Just buying a vacation property and putting it on AirBNB (if the cottage association & zoning allows it) is likely a better choice, but many lakes have covenants against this now.


Roadrunner53

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2019, 06:12:09 AM »
I owned a timeshare in Aruba and loved it for many years. We went there year after year and it was, for us, a most relaxing, gorgeous place. When we bought Aruba was having a timeshare explosion. They were building them on every corner. We got in on 'preconstruction' prices and they were really great prices at the time. Maintenance fees were reasonable. Over time, maintenance fees went up and up. Then the resort almost went into bankruptcy so we, the timeshare holders, had to throw in money for a one time special assessment. The place got back on track but fees kept creeping up and up. We basically stopped going due to a family health problem. Since we had not gone in about 4 years and it sat empty due to the fact we couldn't rent it, we offered it back to the resort...they would not pay a dime for it but took it back. We unloaded it. In some ways we didn't lose money due to the fact we went there for many, many years. But we sure didn't make any money on it. They tell you when you buy a timeshare you can join RCI or some other timeshare exchange company. This again costs you a fee per year. You can bank your weeks and apply to exchange for another unit in another state or country. If you buy a cheap timeshare, you will have less trading power. The better the resort, the better the week you buy, the better trading choices you will have. I don't have any regrets but at times it made me mad with increased fees. They had appointed committees who made decisions on improvements and spending of monies that we had no control over.

I am sure I would not have had so many wonderful vacations had we not bought our timeshare. It did kind of 'force' us to take a vacation every year which we really needed with our non stop stressful jobs. The other thing is that if you buy a timeshare in a location where you have to fly, the expenses add up the more family members you bring. If you buy something where you can drive to, then costs can be kept down. I miss my timeshare but kind of glad for it to be off our backs too! I would try the renting route thru VRBO or TUG2.net in the future.

I would not suggest anyone buy a timeshare. You typically cannot get rid of them.  Maintenance fees are killers and only go up.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 03:49:19 AM by Roadrunner53 »

saguaro

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2019, 08:24:32 AM »
My mother had one, and it became part of her estate. It was a difficult "asset" to liquidate. It was also a pretty interesting mess to ponder. It was a legitimate real estate holding, filed in the local courthouse, with a deed showing a percentage of ownership of a specific unit.  It had a negative value, since there was no actual resale market. Local realtors didn't want to touch it, and there was no verifiable evidence that any of the "timeshare re-sellers", could prove that they could liquidate it. Those chucklenuts did however want several hundred, to several thousand, dollars to attempt to find a buyer. In the end the HOA of the resort agreed to take it back, if I paid all the various legal fees and taxes, and the transaction didn't cost them a penny. The most irritating cost was a 2% county transfer tax, based on the county's  judgement that the one dollar transaction was actually worth $8K, LOL.  My estate lawyer was happy to cut a check for a couple of hundred in closing fees and taxes, based on the fact that I was damn lucky to just be rid of it.

As you may of guessed, when it comes to timeshares, I'm not a fan.

My parents had a timeshare, bought it against the advice of their lawyer, who told them it was not a good deal and this was in the 90s.   They toyed with buying a vacation cabin in the same area but decided on the timeshare (with strong encouragement from friends of theirs who owned in the same community) because they thought it would be cheaper than buying and maintaining the cabin.   They did go to the timeshare on vacation for many years but the maintenance fees added up and became a big issue after my mom passed and Dad really couldn't afford it anymore.

It took over a year but we managed to get rid of it just after Dad passed.  He signed the papers just before he died, my sibs and I signed quitclaims since we were named as beneficiaries.  It was a major pain to get rid of it, we paid about 2 years worth of maintenance fees plus the associated taxes, legal fees, selling it back to the resort, who btw, were downright uncooperative and hostile though the whole process. 

ericbonabike

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2019, 01:06:20 PM »
I can't imagine a time when they would EVER make sense.


My parents bought in maybe 15 years ago.  They're currently paying about 5k a year in "maintenance" costs.  If they've been doing that for the last 15 years, then that's like 75k. How many vacations could you take with 75k?

But there's no end in sight.  Have tried talking my parents into getting rid of them. But they are convinced that me and my 2 sisters want the points as part of their "legacy".  We've all three explained to them we're not interested.  I figured I could get rid of them and make a 50-$100.  But I think my dad is embarrassed he's spent so much money on them and is now in too deep to use. 

My parents are currently 70.  If they live to be 90, that's 20 more years at 5k a year.  ~100k the resort scams off of them.


TomTX

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2019, 06:40:50 PM »
Ugh, this is like a preview of coming attractions. My inlaws just increased their timeshare 'investment' so that they had enough to leave it equally to Mr. Marvie and his brother. We have no interest, and the brother has no money so I haven't the faintest idea what we're going to do with the damned things.

Decline them.

SwordGuy

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2019, 06:58:04 PM »
My parents bought one and realized they didn't need it and it wasn't a good deal for them.

Called me to ask if we wanted it.   

Hell no!

I don't know how much they had to pay to get rid of it, but it was enough they weren't happy about it

rosarugosa

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2019, 04:06:10 AM »
These do seem to be enough of a scam that I'm surprised it's even legal to sell them.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2019, 06:31:04 AM »
I would say don't do it; I have been there, done that and luckily mine was quite inexpensive and myself and some friends used it to make it somewhat worthwhile

With that said, if it's something you are seriously interested in because you think it fits your travel style and needs you should look into the secondary market and forum(s) like https://tug2.net/ where I was able to get a lot of information in the past and there were also people selling their weeks they couldn't use so you COULD potentially not buy a timeshare still stay somewhere for less cost from someone looking to cover their maintenance fees etc.

Goldielocks

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2019, 09:21:23 AM »
My mother had one, and it became part of her estate. It was a difficult "asset" to liquidate. It was also a pretty interesting mess to ponder. It was a legitimate real estate holding, filed in the local courthouse, with a deed showing a percentage of ownership of a specific unit.  It had a negative value, since there was no actual resale market. Local realtors didn't want to touch it, and there was no verifiable evidence that any of the "timeshare re-sellers", could prove that they could liquidate it. Those chucklenuts did however want several hundred, to several thousand, dollars to attempt to find a buyer. In the end the HOA of the resort agreed to take it back, if I paid all the various legal fees and taxes, and the transaction didn't cost them a penny. The most irritating cost was a 2% county transfer tax, based on the county's  judgement that the one dollar transaction was actually worth $8K, LOL.  My estate lawyer was happy to cut a check for a couple of hundred in closing fees and taxes, based on the fact that I was damn lucky to just be rid of it.

As you may of guessed, when it comes to timeshares, I'm not a fan.

My parents had a timeshare, bought it against the advice of their lawyer, who told them it was not a good deal and this was in the 90s.   They toyed with buying a vacation cabin in the same area but decided on the timeshare (with strong encouragement from friends of theirs who owned in the same community) because they thought it would be cheaper than buying and maintaining the cabin.   They did go to the timeshare on vacation for many years but the maintenance fees added up and became a big issue after my mom passed and Dad really couldn't afford it anymore.

It took over a year but we managed to get rid of it just after Dad passed.  He signed the papers just before he died, my sibs and I signed quitclaims since we were named as beneficiaries.  It was a major pain to get rid of it, we paid about 2 years worth of maintenance fees plus the associated taxes, legal fees, selling it back to the resort, who btw, were downright uncooperative and hostile though the whole process.
Good point, a timeshare is certainly a lot cheaper to use than a cottage!

Not all cottages go up in value over time, at least not as much as they cost the owners each year.

Goldielocks

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2019, 09:35:46 AM »
Agree with you @mistymoney - and now many of the management comanies are changing their marketing as folks become more and more aware of what a poor choice these things are. Around here we see "Fractional Ownership" cottage resorts, or "Weekly ownership." The equity side alone should be enough to kill these as an investment.

Example: https://www.realtor.ca/real-estate/20440934/2-bedroom-single-family-unknown-102-emerald-hills-court-16-week-g-mactier

The ones I wonder about are condominium resorts with rental packages.

The one we have (note, not defending this choice, it is worse each year), we vote in the board and review finances each year.
Our maintenance fees are $610 USD per year.  Plus the RCI fees that we can get rid of if we choose to never exchange it, and accept the same week of use each year.

The costs are driven by:
1)  Have two staff members, an admin and a handyman.  I am not sure that the admin really works full time and she is paid a lot of money for what she does.  Also needs to rent a small office, mailing costs are high.
2)  Condo fees (typical to an apartment, except the pool and grounds cost more than a residential level apartment, plus a week of maid service)
3) Insurance.
4) Insurance and admin fee on top of insurance and admin fee.  We have insurance for our timeshare group, they pay condo fees to the building that have more insurance, plus fees to the "home network" for admin as a % (the home group helps with billing and lawyer stuff, but also have insurance)
5)  Carrying costs of any units that they take back or owners that default on them
6)  Cost for lawyer fees to take back units for non-payments or to sue the defaulters.

In contrast, the costs to upgrade the units is quite minor to the above.

Right now they are trying to assemble enough weeks on a specific unit to sell it on the market.   Of course all of the high weeks won't agree to assemble it, and all the low weeks are sitting in default.

Kris

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2019, 11:04:24 AM »
I thought I'd throw in my two cents. Note: I personally have never owned a timeshare, but my husband had one when we were first together, which he subsequently got rid of a couple of years later. Through him and his crowd, I've known quite a few people who have or had timeshares at one point or another.

The impression I have gotten from the majority of current or former timeshare owners is this: When they currently own it, they extoll its virtues and talk about how great it's been.

Once they have sold it, they talk about what a pain in the ass it was to sell, and how they're glad to have gotten rid of it (though they still talk about how great it was when they had it, "Even though the fees started really adding up, and sometimes it felt a little constraining because it limited our options of where we could go on vacation..."). Many of them sound to me like they're holding on to a narrative of it being great because they're trying to keep themselves convinced it hadn't been a mistake.

But that's just me witnessing it as an outsider.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2019, 01:47:19 PM »
Kris, you are completely right and timeshare owners realize that they get locked in, can't sell them, have a hard time renting them and many times do not even use them and lose the week altogether. You can bank the weeks thru RCI but then at some point you may have too many weeks to use. For us, it was really good for many years. We griped about the maintenance fees every year when they went up. The unit we had,  rented out at about $400 a night. At that time we were paying about $800 a year maintenance fee. Then we chalked it up to we got 5 nights free after maintenance fees were paid. Timeshares are a very bad investment. I would not even consider them an investment at all. They are for the most part big mistakes. I think if you could sell them when you are tired of them or no longer are able to travel, that would make it easier to swallow. There is a huge glut of timeshares for sale and no one wants them. We went to Aruba around 22 times and never got tired of it.

Here4theGB

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2019, 02:28:53 PM »
I thought I'd throw in my two cents. Note: I personally have never owned a timeshare, but my husband had one when we were first together, which he subsequently got rid of a couple of years later. Through him and his crowd, I've known quite a few people who have or had timeshares at one point or another.

The impression I have gotten from the majority of current or former timeshare owners is this: When they currently own it, they extoll its virtues and talk about how great it's been.

Once they have sold it, they talk about what a pain in the ass it was to sell, and how they're glad to have gotten rid of it (though they still talk about how great it was when they had it, "Even though the fees started really adding up, and sometimes it felt a little constraining because it limited our options of where we could go on vacation..."). Many of them sound to me like they're holding on to a narrative of it being great because they're trying to keep themselves convinced it hadn't been a mistake.

But that's just me witnessing it as an outsider.
My experience as well.  Nobody likes to admit that they've been duped by one of the most widely known, longest running scams in the modern world.  I get it.

If I owned a business that relied on salesmanship, the first thing I'd do is fly to Hawaii to recruit some timeshare sales folk.  They must be freaking awesome.  To the point I've almost volunteered to sit through the pitch before just to see them in action, but I never want to give up the vacation time.

marion10

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2019, 03:25:23 PM »
Anyone interested in timeshares needs to go to TUG- Timeshare User Group (tug2.net)- all the information you need. I have a co-worker who bought a timeshare in Aruba- they have never been and I don't think they have ever traded it- they just keep spending $$$ every year. For most, with the maintenance fees you pay, you can rent the equivalent.  Also, it costs money to trade. Many years ago, I bought two South African timeshares for $420 each (good exchange rate). Joined RCI at South African exchange rate- so something like $15 a year. We went to Ormond Beach, Manhattan, Poconos, Assisi Italy, Idaho (Yellowstone), French Lick,Indiana, San Diego, San Francisco- had a great time with the kids and I was able to sell them for what I paid. The South African loophole is closed now. For these trades, I had to book a year to 18 months in advance and it became too difficult as the kids schedules got more complicated and trading got harder.

dorf

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2019, 06:48:57 PM »
My parents bought a time share on Sanibel Island in 1978.  We had vacationed there regularly and continued after getting the timeshare that came up the week of the 4th of July.  My father died shortly after.

My Mom found it difficult to go to Sanibel after my father's death but had no problems finding friends or family who would take the week, covering the yearly cost.  We eventually started utilizing it again, inviting friends and family to come with us.  Many good memories and a strong connection that continues until this day.

I currently own the timeshare and my family continues to go.  My two daughters consider it part of their lives as I did when I was a teenager like them.  For a luxury condo, 3 bed/2 bath, with nice facilities, I pay $800 a year.  Sanibel is unique in that it has limited development by a strong local government plus restrictive construction rules due to hurricanes.  I would estimate that paying for a similar property for the same time frame would cost 3 to 4 times my cost.  Summer is an off-season for Sanibel but 4th of July is an oddity.

The negatives I see are that we are locked in for the 26th week of the year, every year to the same geographic location.  Much as I love Sanibel, sometimes I want to go somewhere else. 

The positives are that I have memories from Sanibel going back to my childhood that include my father and other family members that are no longer living.  The unit we go to is as much a part of my family as relatives homes in other states.  I have the phone number in my cell phone from years ago.  I've seen Sanibel grow up and the property renovations over decades.  Furniture replacements, TV's, Flooring and artwork.  It is as if it is my home but without the headache of being my home. 

Now that my family is financially secure, Sanibel is just the vacation at the beach in July.  There are other vacations to other destinations.  I think of Sanibel as my "reset" point for the year and treasure the memories that my family has there.  I see the memories that my daughters are building.  If we rented a different place each year, even if it is at Sanibel, it would not be the same.  There were times when I had more responsibilities and a go-go attitude that I did not have time to plan a vacation for my family.  The time share was always on the calendar with the only obligation of packing a bag and driving a couple hours to get there.  My family begins looking forward to Sanibel after New years.  I think the anticipation of it makes the vacation better.  The shared memories compounds the enjoyment even more.  Returning each year jogs synapses that otherwise would not be jiggled.  Bike rides, kayaking, fishing, Paddle boarding.  Generations of family participate in activities in the same place year after year.  The 4th of July parade that is the epitome of small town living.

I don't know that my families experience with our time share can be duplicated in this day and age.  I hope that my daughters continue to enjoy our timeshare in the same manner I have long after I am gone.




Telecaster

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2019, 08:07:24 PM »
My wife and I own a timeshare which we bought from my MIL, in order to get her out from under the maintenance fees.   It is a points based system (Worldmark) and you can use it worldwide.  We've used it a lot.  Several times in Hawaii and in Australia. 

My analysis is that timeshares are fucking stupid.  Don't buy one, don't even thing about it. 


minimustache1985

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Re: Do timeshares ever make sense?
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2019, 04:15:13 PM »
They’re ridiculous to buy at retail.  We technically have half of one, after my dad passed mom put me on as the second owner on their unit.  It’s a smaller outfit that we trade through Interval, or can trade to one of the 5 sister properties for free.  Maintenance is about $500 annually and by the time you pay trade fees and your membership to Interval it is nearly 1k to actually use it (present day costs).

That said my mom doesn’t regret it at all, my dad was the type that had to have money committed to a vacation to actually take one, and as he worked a lot the weeks we spent at timeshares make up a large part of the memories my sister and I have spending meaningful time with him.  It was also somewhat flexible in that in good years they’d trade to Hawaii or near Disney, in less flush years they’d trade to a driving distance destination that still got dad to take a week off work and go- since timeshare units (generally, and that was a must for any trades they selected) have a full kitchen dining costs didn’t need to be much higher than at home.

Not sure how much use we will get out of it in the future, availability has generally not lined up with where and when we would like to go, so it may be something that turns into a pain after my mom passes, but in the meantime she uses it with friends (and pays the fees), and when it has worked out it’s been nice.