For many families, the dream of owning a vacation home remains just that–a dream. That’s because the cost of buying a second home is moving further out of reach. According to the Wall Street Journal, second home prices are rising; the median sales price of a second home in 2014 was $168,700.* Fewer people have enough cash to buy one on their own–or enough vacation time to justify the expense in the first place.
• So what are a family’s options?
• Some opt for shared ownership of a vacation home with trusted friends or extended family members. But shared or joint ownership of vacation homes between friends or family members can cause a multitude of headaches for all parties involved, from figuring out how to buy, to sharing time, to splitting costs, to selling. And what happens if one of the buyers can’t keep up with mortgage obligations?
• Who is responsible for keeping the place clean and in good repair?
• Who pays for maintenance?
• Who gets to use the house when?
• Will it primarily be a vacation spot for the owners to use, or rented to others for income, or both?
Clearly, potential issues run the gamut. Unfortunately, these issues can also put a serious strain on relationships with co-owner friends or family members.
Benefits of a Timeshare: Owning a Vacation
With timeshare, you get all the benefits of a vacation home and so much more, with none of the aggravation. Here’s a quick breakdown for comparison:
Affordability: Lifetime timeshare ownership can cost less than a third of the median price of a vacation home.
Choice: Generally, the timeshare industry has moved away from the traditional same-location model towards a points model, which allows owners to enjoy a wider variety of vacation experiences all year long in popular family vacation destinations, from Orlando to Las Vegas, and Myrtle Beach to Branson, Missouri.
Many timeshare companies also belong to exchange networks, which give owners access to resort and hotel stays worldwide. Most also feature a range of ownership programs that provide owners with an greater diversity of vacation experiences, including world-class cruises, once-in-a-lifetime outdoor expeditions, and much more.
Flexibility: Timeshare owners are no longer limited to one vacation destination at the same time of the year, year after year. Instead, point systems offer owners the flexibility to travel to any available timeshare resort multiple times per year, and enjoy unique vacation experiences every time–from sophisticated cityscapes to sunny beaches, and snowy mountain slopes to destinations with centuries of history to discover.
Quality: Timeshare resorts feature top-quality accommodations that far surpass a hotel stay. Their goal is to maximize their owners’ comfort and enhance their vacation experience. Many timeshare accommodations feature master suites, full kitchens, dining and living rooms, and even balconies, so there’s plenty of room for families of all sizes to relax and enjoy all the comforts of home away from home. Onsite amenities can include spacious pools, dining venues, fitness centers, recreational activities and more.
So when it comes to the benefits of timeshare vs. vacation home ownership, the choice is clear–timeshares provide the affordability, variety, flexibility and quality that vacation home ownership just can’t match. Plus, your relationships with good friends and family members remain intact, and what’s more important than that?
*Green, Peter S. “How to Own a Vacation Home–With Someone Else.” Wall Street Journal. 15 June 2014. Web. 10 February 2015.