If you are considering the purchase of a timeshare or vacation interval plan, you may find the Federal Trade Commission’s “Timeshares and Vacation Plans” publication useful.
Before buying, the FTC suggests consumers consider carefully the total cost of the timeshare or vacation plan.
For example, calculate not only the mortgage payments, but also maintenance fees and taxes applicable to the property, broker fees, closing costs, finance charges and the cost of travel to and from the vacation location.
It may help to compare the purchase costs with the cost of renting similar accommodations with similar amenities in the same location for the same time period.
Further comparison shopping could include evaluating resort location, quality and unit availability.
When visiting, speak with current owners about their experiences. Check out the resort developer or the property management company.
Some questions the agency suggests you check into include the current maintenance budget for the property, the applicable policies on management, repair and replacement furnishings, and timetables for promised services.
Understand all transaction terms and obligations before you act. Get the seller’s promises in writing. Of course, it is wise to consult with a professional you trust.
Resist acting on impulse or under pressure.
For additional information, go to www.ftc.gov (type “Timeshares and Vacation Plans” in the search box).