There are a number of benefits to buying a timeshare, including having a place to call your own when you travel so you can opt out of paying for expensive hotels, being able to build equity, and being able to claim special tax advantages. You can get many of those benefits from owning a vacation home, as well. However, there are many benefits you can get from owning a timeshare that you can't get from owning a vacation home.
Here are a few benefits that buying a timeshare has over buying a vacation home:
Timeshares are More Affordable
A condominium in South Beach or a nice cottage in Martha's Vineyard would make awesome vacation homes, but they'll also cost you an arm and a leg. Vacation homes are often way out of most people's budgets. However, a timeshare can give you the chance to own a piece of that dream vacation home.
Most timeshares are much more affordable than buying the vacation home by yourself. You can enjoy that luxury vacation home without having to pay full price for it.
You Pay for What You Use
When you buy a vacation home, you are responsible for the mortgage, taxes and upkeep all year long. However, you may only end up staying in the home a few weeks out of the year (at most). You may not want to rent it out in order to keep it available for when you like it. The house could go unused for the majority of the year.
With a timeshare, you only pay for what you use. You pay a portion of the ownership costs, and you get access to the property for a corresponding amount of time.
You Share Responsibility
Caring for a second home is a big responsibility -- especially when you don't live in it. You can have to pay for and manage the upkeep, including cleaning, repairs, utilities, and so on. It can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor.
When you own a timeshare, you share that responsibility with the others who own the house. You only care for the house as long as you are staying in it, significantly reducing your burden for responsibility.
You Can Trade It
If you own a timeshare in the Outer Banks but you decide you're tired of spending your vacation there every year, you can trade your timeshare for the chance to stay somewhere else. You can use a timeshare network to trade with another timeshare owner to stay in a more exotic location.
If you own a vacation home, you are tied to that location. House swaps are possible, but they are not as easy to arrange as timeshare trades.
Owning a vacation home is a luxury that many people dream of but that few are able to afford. Timeshares are more affordable and offer owners a number of other benefits over vacation homes.
What do you think are the best benefits of owning a timeshare instead of a vacation home? Share your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author:
Carmen Guzlas is a writer and manager for Movoto, where she has recently been researching Real Estate in San Jose. Her main hobbies are making soup (daily!) and hiking with her dog.