I’ve written on this blog about timeshares before, but recently I saw firsthand how timeshares are a faulty product and should be avoided because the quality of tourist destinations are almost always changing. Choosing a vacation spot is like playing the market, and choosing one for the long term, like you do in a time share, is risky because it’s very easy to buy high and be stuck with a worthless property after everyone crowds the place and it no longer has value. At that point, your only choice is something like Transfer Smart
that will take the timeshare off your hands.
I recently met some friends for a week in Virginia Beach. We stayed at a time share that a friend’s relative had allowed him to use because she didn’t want to or couldn’t use it. Although we had fun, Virginia Beach is an over developed beach town that has a beach that is bordered by miles of high rise resorts and restaurants. There are the same shops selling the same vulgar t-shirts on every corner. It might have been a cool place to go once, and it was still pretty fun, but if I made a list of beach towns to vacation at, and even if I restricted the list to the East Coast of the U.S., Virginia Beach would not be on it.
And that’s the problem with time shares. Virginia Beach was probably a good spot fairly recently. But it is very rare for vacation spots to remain good. Especially with the instantaneous communication and review capability of the internet, the quality of vacation spots remains fluid and always changing. Here’s how it works.
- A place is a local treasure.
- A few travel writers find out about it and recommend it.
- The first wave of tourists arrive.
- The growing tourist industry attracts investment.
- Hotels go up. Restaurants open. Tourist infrastructure is built. The place starts marketing.
- People flood the place. This leads to more investment.
- Everything that made the place initially alluring is destroyed.
Given this cycle, it’s easy to see why getting locked into a timeshare for years, sometimes decades, is a bad idea. And guess what? By the time you can get a timeshare in a place, the place is at least in the fifth step (but probably closer to seven).