A timeshare is simply a vacation-property arrangement that allows you to share the cost of the property with other people, and in return, you get some guaranteed time at that vacation property. And as of the end of 2017, the timeshare industry was %9.6 billion industry. So it’s a huge industry, but still a mystery to many people. If you’reinterested in timeshares, here are our top tips for buying and selling timeshares in Los Angeles.
How Timeshares Work
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of buying and selling timeshares in Los Angeles, we first need to take a look at how timeshares work. And, actually, there are only two timeshare considerations that really matter – that is, the kind of contract and the kind of ownership involved.
Timeshare contracts fall into two broad categories: shared deed contracts and shared lease contracts:
This kind of contract simply divides ownership of the property among all the people involved. Basically, they share the deed. Each of the several or many owners, then, has a specific week or set of weeks during which she can use the timeshare property. Typically, this kind of ownership doesn’t expire, and, theoretically, it can be sold or willed to heirs.
With this kind of timeshare contract, the property deed remains with a single owner (often a resort where the property is located), and people lease the use of the property for specific times. Basically, you lease the use of the property until the lease expires. You are locked into a contract, but you don’t own the timeshare property.
Then there are two kinds of ownership under these two kinds of contracts:
With the fixed-week option, you choose and get a specific week in the year to use the property. The drawback here is that it’s usually extremely difficult to ever change that week.
The floating-week option typically allows you to choose your week of use within certain limits and within a certain time window – for example, any week between May 1stand September 1st, except the week before and of July 4th.
Another emerging trend is the points system. This “timeshare exchange program” allows you to access resorts using the points your timeshare is worth. (Contact your local agent to find out more about this. 562-881-9811)
Buying Timeshares in Los Angeles
When it comes to buying (as well as selling) timeshares in Los Angeles, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Pay cash if possible. Because interest rates for timeshare mortgages are typically higher (often as high as 12% to 18%) than for traditional mortgages, you can save a ton of money if you pay cash. Also, paying cash will keep you from getting upside down on the mortgage as the timeshare property depreciates (which is often the case).
- Don’t go through the developer. Try to buy your timeshare from an individual owner rather than the development company to get an immensely better deal. Check timeshare resale sites like My ResortNetwork and The Timeshare User’s Group.
- Be aware of the extra costs. The cost of buying a timeshare goes far beyond the purchase price. You will also have to pay annual maintenance costs, usually hundreds a year. And there’s always the travel expense to get to and from your timeshare property.
Selling Timeshares in Los Angeles
When it comes to selling timeshares in Los Angeles, you absolutely must keep in mind the special circumstances and challenges that call for different tactics:
SELL TO INDIVIDUAL BUYERS
You can, of course, try to sell to the company you bought the timeshare from if they have a resale program, but most companies won’t provide any help in selling timeshares in Los Angeles. Your best bet is to sell to individuals. Start by finding out who has the timeshare use immediately before you, and approach them. (Contact your real estate agent to find out how to do this. 562-881-9811)
USE ONLINE VENUES
Today, most people begin any kind of real estate shopping online. So be sure to leverage those sites that specialize in reselling timeshares: My Resort Network, RedWeek, and TransAction Realty. You can always put an ad on Craigslist, and for a quick sale, you can even use an auction site like eBay.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
The timeshare resale world is rife with scams – so beware. In particular, beware of shady resale companies that offer to, in their words, “take the timeshare off your hands” or demand a large upfront payment. Check out any company by contacting the Better Business Bureau and by consulting your local real estate agent.
USE A LOCAL AGENT
Selling timeshares in Los Angeles presents some unique challenges and not a few pitfalls. Be sure, then, to use a qualified local agent. You may pay a larger commission that when selling a house or condo, but the peace of mind your agent can provide is worth it. Find out today, how our agents can assist you in selling your timeshare. Contact us at 562-881-9811.