Gary Newton of San Francisco isn’t the only one with a bad taste in his mouth from timeshare ownership. He, along with many other timeshare owners, have been looking for ways to get rid of their unwanted timeshares but are struggling to find a buyer. The use of unscrupulous timeshare sales companies have hurt Newton and his family with promises of fast sales that never happen.
Are Timeshares a Trap?
Timeshares are not a new concept. The first developed in Switzerland or France, but these “right to use” agreements became popular in 1963. Their initial promise was to provide people with an opportunity to “buy a part of the hotel” which was said to be less expensive than renting a room for regular travel.
It’s hard to reconcile this concept with people like Duncan Austin, who purchased a 20-year contract only to see a timeshare company take away his membership ten years in when he failed to pay a special levy that would have raised his annual cost by 50%.
Over the course of the 1980’s and through the early 2000’s, timeshares were a must have for many travelers. They provided a lower costing way to enjoy their vacation. And, a variety of formats developed providing enticing benefits such as being able to will their timeshare to their families. Yet, the recession caused many people to find themselves in expensive timeshare mortgages, paying fees they could not afford, and not being able to travel to even use them.
Many people saw the only option is selling them. Then, they couldn’t. Suddenly, no one wanted to buy them.
But, Timeshares Are Coming Back
In North America, sales of timeshares were up 12 percent in 2015 and likely growing since then. Buyers are purchasing them at a younger age, too. Younger generations are seeing them as more enticing. Millennials and those just slightly older are more affluent, and they are always looking for an opportunity.
Now, legitimate resellers are turning to timeshare owners who wish to sell and offering opportunities to do so. This new interest from younger buyers is turning heads again.