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Full disclosure: I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of timeshares. I understand the appeal of having a guaranteed vacation home in an area you love and being able to swap your unit for a place halfway around the world.
But I worry that many buyers don’t consider all associated costs and mistakenly think timeshares are sound financial investments that will appreciate in value. In fact, sellers rarely make a profit — some only get pennies on the dollar. Plus, the waters are filled with sharks eager to rip off people desperately trying to unload unwanted timeshares.
Before you buy a timeshare, understand how they work, challenges you may face when trying to resell and scams to avoid:
Timeshares are usually either:
• “Deeded,” where you own a share of the property, usually for a particular unit for a specified time period — typically one or two weeks a year. Depending on your contract, you either own it for life, for a specified number of years, or until you sell it.
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