What Is A Timeshare [Pros, Cons, And How To Get Out]

what is a timeshare

Timeshares are a popular way to vacation, especially for families or groups who want to travel together. There are many benefits to owning a timeshare, such as cost-effective vacationing and increased vacation options. However, there are also some drawbacks to timeshare ownership, such as high maintenance fees and the difficulty of reselling.

With so many different types of timeshare resorts or vacation properties available nowadays in the timeshare industry, it can be difficult to decide if owning a timeshare is right for you. This blog post will provide everything you need to know about timeshares, from what exactly a timeshare is and how they work to how much they cost.

We’ll also dispel some common myths about timeshares and answer frequently asked questions. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether a timeshare is right for you.

What Is A Timeshare?

A timeshare is vacation real estate ownership where several people share the use of a property, usually for one or more weeks on an annual basis for a given number of years. This means buying the right to spend a set period in a vacation property. Timeshares typically offer amenities such as on-site restaurants, swimming pools, lazy rivers, and tennis courts.

One of the biggest benefits of owning a time-share is that it provides families with an opportunity to vacation together every year without having to worry about the cost or logistics of planning a trip. When choosing a timeshare, it is important to do your research and consider your needs and wants.

Types Of Timeshares

A timeshare property is a vacation ownership arrangement in which multiple parties share the use of a vacation property, usually for one single week per year. Each owner has exclusive rights to the property during their designated week and pays annual maintenance fees to cover the cost of upkeep and repairs.

There are four main types of vacation ownership timeshares: fixed-week, floating-week, point-based, and fractional ownership.

Point System Timeshare

Points-based timeshare, also known as a “timeshare exchange program,” works like a currency that can be used to book accommodations at any affiliated resort property within a particular network. Owners purchase an annual allotment of points, which can be used to book stays ranging from one night to an entire week.

This type of points-based timeshare ownership is best for people who like to travel frequently and want maximum flexibility in where they stay.

Fractional Ownership

what is a timeshare involving fractional ownership

Fractional ownership is similar to traditional home ownership in that owners purchase a share (usually 1/13) of a luxury property that they can use for personal vacation time for up to four weeks per year. This type of ownership is best for people who want all the benefits of owning a second home without the hassle and expense of maintaining it full-time.

Floating Week Timeshare

Floating-week timeshares give more flexibility for owners for when they can vacation. Owners can choose their week from a set list of available weeks each year, based on availability. This type of ownership is best for people who have unpredictable schedules or like to travel spontaneously.

Timeshare Seasons

Timeshares are usually divided into 52-week-long intervals, which are then classified into seasons. The most popular timeshare season for an annual vacation is the winter, when people can escape the cold weather and enjoy the sunny climate of the timeshare’s location. However, a timeshare season can also typically correspond to the busiest times of the year when a destination is most popular.

For example, the timeshare season might be from Memorial Day to Labor Day at a beach resort. During this peak season, demand for vacation or timeshare rentals is high, and the average sales price is at its highest.

Owners who have a timeshare during this season can enjoy their property anytime, although they may have to book it well in advance. Other timeshares are available during the off-season when demand and prices are lower.

Fixed Week Timeshare

fixed week timeshare arrangement

Fixed-week timeshares give the owner the same week at the same resort every year. This type of ownership is best for people who like to vacation each year at the same time period and do not want the hassle of rebooking their accommodations every year.

Fixed-week timeshares are often available through real estate agents or the timeshare developer.

How Much Does A Timeshare Cost?

A typical timeshare costs between $9,000 and $22,000. The average cost varies based on the amenities offered, location, and unit size. Most timeshares are sold through a timeshare resale market. There are also several ways to rent a timeshare, which can be cheaper for those not interested in owning one.

The actual costs of a timeshare unit can vary depending on the location, time of year, and amenities offered. For example, a timeshare in a popular tourist destination during the peak season will be more expensive than one in a less popular area during the off-season.

However, many people find that the cost of a timeshare is worth it because it gives them the ability to vacation in a luxurious setting without having to worry about having access to hotels or dealing with the hassles of planning a trip.

Exchange Fees

If you’re looking to exchange your timeshare for another desirable location or week, you’ll likely have to pay an exchange fee. These fees can range from $100 to $500, depending on the company you’re exchanging with and the location you’re interested in. You may also have to pay yearly maintenance fees, which we’ll discuss in the following subsection.

Timeshare Maintenance Fees

what is a timeshare and timeshare maintenance fees

Timeshare maintenance fees are typically paid yearly, covering the cost of maintaining the property and amenities associated with your timeshare. These fees can range from $400 to $1,000 per year, depending on the location and whether you have small, medium, or larger units. In some cases, these fees may increase annually by a small percentage.

Buying A Timeshare Resale

If you’re interested in buying timeshare resales through the secondary market (i.e., a timeshare that’s already owned by someone else), you should keep a few things in mind. First, you’ll likely have to pay a transfer fee, typically around $500. You may also have to pay closing costs ranging from 2% to 5% of the purchase price.

Additionally, if the previous owner still owes money on the unit (i.e., they have an outstanding mortgage), you’ll also be responsible for paying that off. Finally, don’t forget about annual maintenance fees!

Annual Dues

In addition to monthly mortgage payments and annual maintenance fees, you’ll also be responsible for paying annual dues if you own a timeshare. These dues go towards things like property taxes and insurance, and they can range from $100 to $1,000 per year, depending on the location of your unit.

Direct Purchase

If you’re considering purchasing a timeshare directly from a developer (i.e., the company that owns and operates the property), there are a few things you should know first.

First of all, initial purchase prices for direct purchases start at around $20,000 and can go up to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the location and size of your unit. Additionally, most developers require potential buyers to put down a significant amount of money upfront (typically 20–50% of the purchase price).

And finally, if you decide to finance your purchase, be prepared for high-interest rates; it’s not uncommon for developers to charge 20 % or more APR on financing.

Different Types Of Timeshare Contracts

what are different timeshare contracts

A timeshare contract is an agreement between two or more people who wish to share ownership of a vacation property arrangement, usually for a specific period each year. Several types of timeshare contracts are available, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Biennial And Triennial Timeshares

Triennial or biennial timeshare agreements are the most common types of contracts. They give prospective timeshare owners the right to use the property for a specific number of years, typically two or three. After that, the contract expires, and the Triennial and Biennial owners must renew it if they want to continue using the property.

Deeded Timeshares

Deeded ownership timeshares are deeded contracts that give current owners the right to use the property indefinitely as long as they continue to make their annual maintenance fee payments. However, owners could lose ownership rights if they stop making these payments.


Leaseholds are another type of timeshare agreement. They give owners the right to use the property for a specific number of years, after which the lease expires and must be renewed if the owner wants to continue using the property. These leases can be expensive, and if an owner doesn’t renew them, they could lose their ownership rights.

Right To Use (RTU) Timeshares

timeshares have different contracts and rights to use

Right-to-use (RTU) timeshares are a newer type of contract that gives owners the right to use the property for a specific number of years, but unlike other types of contracts, they don’t expire after that period of time. This means that owners can continue using the property indefinitely as long as they continue making their annual maintenance fee payments.

However, RTU contracts typically cost more than other types of timeshare contracts.

Pros & Cons Of Timeshares

A timeshare two-bedroom unit could be a cost-effective way to vacation, especially if you can use your timeshare points to stay at various accommodations. You will also have the same accommodations each year, so you will not have to worry about finding a place to stay or making reservations. A timeshare can also be a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

You will be able to meet people from all over the world who share your interest in vacationing. You may even be able to meet someone who can help you plan your next vacation. A timeshare can also be a great investment. You will be able to use it for years to come, and it will appreciate in value.

You can also sell or rent it out if you need to. Timeshares can be a great way to vacation without the hassle and expense of owning a second home. However, they can also be a financial trap if you’re not careful. Here are some things to consider before buying a timeshare.

The Pros:

  • You can vacation at a luxurious, all-inclusive resort with various accommodations without paying the full price of ownership.
  • Timeshares offer flexibility and can be traded or sold if your vacation spot needs to change.
  • You will have access to a well-maintained real property and its amenities.

The Cons:

  • The disadvantages of timeshares are they often come with high maintenance fees that can increase over time.
  • Finding someone to take over your timeshare can be difficult if you can’t use it.
  • You may be pushed into buying a timeshare during a high-pressure sales meeting or timeshare presentation.

How To Get Rid Of A Timeshare

If you own a timeshare that you no longer want, there are a few options for getting rid of it. You can try to sell it, give it away, or donate it to a charity. You can also contact the timeshare company and ask if they will buy it back from you. If you have a mortgage on the property, you will need to pay that off first. Once you have done that, you should be able to get rid of the timeshare.

Hire Someone To Get You Out Of It

The first option is to hire a timeshare exit company specializing in getting people out of their timeshares. The timeshare cancellation industry will typically charge a flat fee or hourly rate and will work with you to reach an agreement with the timeshare company that releases you from your financial obligations.

This is often the quickest and most efficient way to get rid of a timeshare, but it can also be the most expensive option.

Get The Timeshare Company To Take It Back

Another option is to contact the timeshare company and request that they take back ownership of the property. This is usually only possible if you have owned the property for a short period of time and if you are current on your payments.

The downside to this option is that you will likely not receive any money back for your original investment, and you may still be responsible for paying any outstanding fees or dues associated with the property.

Rent It Out

rent your timeshare out

If you are unable or unwilling to sell your shared ownership model, another option is to rent it out through a reputable rental company. This can provide some income to offset the cost of ownership and help avoid letting your property go to waste if you cannot use it yourself. Just be sure to thoroughly research any rental company you are considering using, as there have been some recent reports of timeshare scams in this area.

Timeshare Vs. Vacation Home

One final option to consider if you are looking to get rid of your timeshare is whether or not it makes more financial sense to convert it into a vacation home rental instead. This could provide some additional income while giving you more flexibility in terms of when and how often you can use the property.

However, it is important to keep in mind that this option would require significant upfront costs to make necessary repairs and renovations before listing the property for rent.

Are There Financial Benefits To Owning A Timeshare?

There are financial benefits to owning a timeshare. For one, you can save money on accommodation. In addition, timeshare ownership often gets discounts on hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals.

Additionally, you can avoid the hassle and expense of booking a typical hotel room or vacation rental. Furthermore, you can use your timeshare to generate income. Finally, you can rent out your timeshare to others when you’re not using it.

Finally, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you have a vacation destination that you can always count on.

How Do I Find Out What My Timeshare Is Worth?

how to find out how much your timeshare is worth

If you’re considering selling your timeshare, you might wonder what it’s actually worth. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question. The value of a timeshare can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the location, amenities, and size of the unit.

If you’re looking for a rough estimate, you can check out online timeshare resale markets and their listings to see what similar units are going for. Ultimately, though, the best way to find out how much your timeshare is worth is to contact a timeshare resale company or broker who can give you a more accurate valuation.

How Can I Buy a Timeshare Cheaply?

The best way to buy a timeshare cheaply is to purchase it through a resale. There are many websites that specialize in selling timeshares, such as RedWeek.com and SellMyTimeshareNow.com. You can also find timeshares for sale by searching online classifieds sites, such as Craigslist or eBay.

Another way to get a good deal on a timeshare is to wait for the right opportunity. Many timeshare companies offer incentives to owners who refer new members, so you may be able to get a discount if you know someone who is interested in purchasing a timeshare. Additionally, some companies offer special promotions and discounts during slow periods, so it pays to be flexible with your travel plans.

Finally, remember that the price you pay for your timeshare is not set in stone. However, if you do your research and negotiate skillfully, you may be able to get the price down significantly from the initial timeshare purchase asking price.

Are Timeshares Worth It?

what is a timeshare and are timeshares worth it?

Timeshares can be an excellent investment for people who vacation frequently and enjoy having a home away from home. However, there are also some drawbacks that you should consider before making a purchase. For one thing, timeshares typically appreciate at a rate below inflation, so you may not make much money if you decide to sell them down the road.

Additionally, maintenance fees can increase over time, and you may be required to pay special assessments if the resort needs to make significant repairs or upgrades, which is a big financial commitment. Finally, booking your preferred future vacations can be difficult if you don’t own a peak season timeshare week (or points). Overall, whether or not a timeshare makes sense for you depends on your personal vacation habits and preferences.

If you think you will use it often and enjoy the amenities and location of the resort, then it could be worth the investment. However, renting might make more sense financially if you only vacation once every few years or would prefer more flexibility in your stay.

Prioritized Family Time

One of the biggest benefits of owning a timeshare is that it gives you more time to spend with loved ones on vacation instead of worrying about planning logistics like transportation and accommodations. Families can relax and enjoy quality time together without feeling cramped when everyone has their own space but still shares common areas like a fully-equipped kitchen and living room.

In addition, with most resorts offering activities for all ages, there’s something for everyone to do, whether it‘s exploring nature, hitting the beach, or playing tennis.

Also, since many people purchase their units outright, they have the option of passing them down to future generations, ensuring that family vacations become cherished traditions.

More Vacations, Less Planning

Another advantage of being a timeshare buyer is that it takes the hassle out of planning vacations. Rather than spending hours ( or even days ) researching access to hotels and booking flights, you can simply make a reservation at your home resort and know that you have a comfortable place to stay.

What‘s more, many timeshare companies offer exchange programs that give you the flexibility to stay at other vacation properties around the world.

So, if you get the travel bug, you can easily book a stay at a resort in Europe, Asia, or even Australia without having to do any extensive planning. Or, If you’re looking for timeshare vacation clubs, there are many great options to choose from. Marriott Vacation Club, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, and Holiday Inn Club Vacations are all great choices. Also, Myrtle Beach is a great choice for a timeshare vacation, as there are many activities and attractions to enjoy.

Disney Vacation Club is another great option, as you can enjoy all the benefits of staying at a Disney Resort.


One of the best things about timeshares is that they offer great flexibility in how and when you vacation. If you own a fixed-week timeshare, for example, you can typically trade it in for points that can be used to stay at other resorts within the same company’s network.

Or, if you have a floating week timeshare, you can usually choose what week of the year you want to stay, giving you more control over when you take your vacations.

Also, since most people purchase their units outright, there are no restrictions on how long you can keep them in your family.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Much Does A Timeshare Cost Per Year?

A timeshare typically costs around $1000-$2000 per year. This includes the cost of maintenance fees, exchange fees, and annual dues. However, it is important to remember that a timeshare is a long-term investment, so the upfront cost may be higher than what you would pay for a traditional vacation.

What Is A Timeshare In Simple Terms?

A timeshare is a piece of property you own or lease for vacationing at a specific resort or location. You will usually have access to the property for a certain number of days each year, and you will be responsible for paying the maintenance fees and annual dues associated with owning or leasing the property.

How Long Do You Pay On A Timeshare?

A typical timeshare contract lasts 10–30 years, although some contracts may be shorter or longer such as 30-99 years. Once you have fulfilled your obligations under the contract, you will no longer be responsible for paying any fees associated with the property.

How Many Times A Year Can You Use Your Timeshare?

Most timeshares allow you to use the property for a specific number of days each year for a given number of years. For example, if you own a 1-week timeshare, you may be able to use it for seven days every year. Some timeshares also offer floating weeks, which means that you can use the property at any time during the year, depending on its availability.

What Is The Biggest Timeshare Company?

The largest timeshare company in the world is Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, which owns several popular brands such as RCI and Club Wyndham.

What Happens To A Timeshare When Someone Dies?

When timeshare owners die, their timeshare interest generally passes to their heirs according to the terms of their will or estate. According to state intestacy laws, the interest will pass to the next of kin if there is no will or estate. The timeshare company may require proof of death and ownership before transferring the interest to the heir.

If the timeshare is held in a trust, the trustee will manage the property according to the terms of the trust. The trustee may be responsible for paying maintenance fees and other ongoing costs associated with owning the property. Upon the death of a joint tenant, the surviving tenant usually becomes the sole owner of the property.

The same is true for tenants in common, but each tenant’s share passes to their heirs according to their will or estate.

It is important to update your ownership documents and contact your timeshare company if you plan on leaving your timeshare to someone in your will. You should also let your family know where these documents are located so they can be easily found in case of an emergency.


A timeshare can be a great way to enjoy vacations with your family, but it’s important to understand all the costs and commitments involved before you purchase one. Maintenance fees, exchange company fees, and annual dues can add up, so do your research before buying. There is also more than one type of ownership for timeshares, from floating-week to fixed-week, so you’ll need to decide what type of ownership best fits your needs.

Plus, if you ever decide you no longer want your timeshare, there are ways to get rid of it, but it may not be easy or cheap. So, is a timeshare worth it? That depends on what you’re looking for.

A timeshare could be a good option if you prioritize family time and want vacation options when and where you want. But if you’re not careful, the initial and ongoing costs can quickly outweigh the benefits.