The Hidden Costs of Timeshare Ownership

Timeshare ownership can seem like a sweet deal because you’re praying a fraction of the cost it would be to get a hotel each and every year. Plus, it’s all yours for the rest of your life. However, there is a definite downside to timeshare ownership that many of the timeshare companies tend to downplay such as all the additional, hidden costs of ownership. If you are considering becoming a timeshare owners, you should know what you are getting yourself into and at what cost.

The most common fee you will encounter with timeshare ownership is the maintenance fee. In addition to your initial purchase, there will also be an annual maintenance fee to pay for maintenance of the property. This can be paid once a year in a lump sum or in some cases, you can pay it monthly. Maintenance fees may vary from place to place, but know that they will always continue to increase.

Another unexpected fee you may encounter includes taxes, which sales agents never warn you about. Be sure to ask about the tax on your potential timeshare because in most parts of the world, there is an imposed timeshare tax for every night that you stay in your timeshare and can be anywhere from $20 and up a night.

One hidden fee that you would think is included in your maintenance fee is utility fees. Your maintenance fee does not cover how much electricity you use during your stay, so at the end of the week, you end up getting a bill for it. If you’re running the air conditioning unit all week, this can be pretty costly.

Other hidden fees include transportation costs. You are on your own for that, so if you’re timeshare is far from where you live, you must be sure to factor how much it will cost to drive there, or fly there and either rent a car or use public transportation. Your source of transportation and the distance of your timeshare from your home should definitely be considered when calculating the cost-efficiency of owning a timeshare

Lastly, there are also trading and exchange fees. Most timeshares are part of a larger network, so if you want to use your timeshare week at a different location, you will have to pay a fee to make that happen. If you are seriously considering buying a timeshare, don’t let the purchase price alone fool you or sway your decision. Timeshares cost much, much more because of the aforementioned fees that sales agents tend to leave out and don’t exactly highlight in your contract.

Timeshares may be for some people, but they are definitely not for everyone. If owning a timeshare no longer fits your budget or your lifestyle, you may want to consider your timeshare relief options.