Many people today understand the risks of purchasing timeshares, and often avoid the seemingly useless investment altogether. However, there are benefits to owning one. They can guarantee you a vacation time with the fixed annual dates you are allowed to operate within the home, and they are a great alternative to hotels in that you have all of your own personal amenities in a private space. But, before taking the plunge and buying a timeshare, take all of the most important considerations into account.

Know Your Rights

Sales pitches and the salesmen giving them have been accused time and time again of forcing customers to purchase timeshares through unethical, and, at times, illegal methods. To combat this, several states have adopted the “right of rescission,” which gives buyers the possibility of opting out of a contract should they feel it is not worth their time or money. However, be aware that these rights vary from state to state, and many timeshare companies are well aware of which states have the most lenient laws, effectively taking advantage of that location’s customers.

Know What You’re Getting

Understand that a timeshare is exactly as the name suggests: a shared piece of property with which you are given a certain period of time to occupy its quarters throughout the year (typically one to two weeks). This provides you with the conveniences of a luxury resort while avoiding the hassles. But, it’s important to keep in mind that you will not be the only person using this space. Never leave any personal items behind.

Another important aspect to understand about purchasing a timeshare is that it is not an investment. Its value will not increase over time. Those looking to invest and make money are mistaken. The only reason you should be purchasing a timeshare is because you actually want to spend time in its respective location.

Know When You’re Being Scammed

Not all timeshare purchases are scams, but many salesmen will offer to throw in a “free gift” or something of the like in an attempt to have you pay more than you have to. Similarly, there are hundreds of cases of resale scams for buyers who are struggling to sell their timeshare. If you are contacted by a “buyer” who is seemingly ecstatic to buy your timeshare, approach with caution. A few red flags include them offering to pay more than the asking price, and receiving any calls at all if you haven’t advertised your sale. Luckily, there are laws in place that help timeshare owners properly navigate this complex industry, and avoid falling victim to the many financial traps that exist.