Extreme Real Estate: Tempting Timeshares

  • Timeshares: Where it all began…

    Timeshares have been around since the mid-1960s when an entrepreneurial resort owner in the Swiss Alps began selling blocks of time to European vacationers. The idea was that it was more affordable and convenient for people to share ownership of a vacation property than for one person to shoulder the entire expense and upkeep responsibility. Photo Credit:  Spigoo
    Timeshares Come to the U.S.
  • Timeshares Come to the U.S.

    In the U.S., timeshares first popped up in the late 1960s along the pretty and pristine shores of Hawaii and have spread to every state in the union and around the world. A timeshare, sometimes called vacation ownership or holiday ownership, can most simply be defined as a purchased right to occupy a unit of accommodation for a specific period of time, usually one week. Photo Credit: skyseeker
    A Budget Friendly Option
  • A Budget Friendly Option

    People gravitate to timeshares for any number of reasons including cost, convenience and flexibility. Trish Halamandaris, an entertainment executive in Los Angeles, purchased a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 12 years ago. She didn’t have the time or energy to maintain a full-time vacation property and she said, “The cost fit into my tight, post-graduate school budget.” While she beefed a bit about increasing maintenance fees and charges for switching weeks and trading time, overall she has found it to be an easy and excellent place to corral friends every year for a week of fun in the sun. Photo Credit: Tokyo Tanenhaus
    A Solid Investment?
  • A Solid Investment?

    Timeshares are sometimes given a bad rap since they don’t usually–if ever–increase in value. In fact, some critics say that, like a car, the value of a timeshare decreases by as much as half as soon as you sign the purchase papers. Whether that is true or not, according to the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), a trade association that oversees the industry, timeshare resorts and vacation ownership remain a popular option for many. The ARDA Web site states that in 2008 there were 1,629 timeshare resorts representing 180,000+ units with sales that totaled $9.7 billion. And that’s in the U.S. alone. Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa
    Orlando: A Part-Time Home Near Disney
  • Orlando: A Part-Time Home Near Disney

    Purchasing a resale timeshare package is often the most affordable way to go. Just one mile from Disney World in Orlando, Fla. (Stock Quote: DIS), at the Sheraton Vistana Resort a 2-bedroom and 2-bathroom unit with a full kitchen normally priced at $1,800 is currently offered at $1,404 with maintenance fees of $745.28. There is a bit of a catch: The timeshare is biennial which means the owner has access only one week every two years. The week can be exchanged for time in one of the other 850+ resorts and hotels in the Starwood Hotels chain. Photo Credit: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
    Orlando: The Living Room
  • Orlando: The Living Room

    In addition to being in Disneyworld’s backyard, the resort offers vacation owners 13 tennis courts, an 18-hole mini golf course, a massive free-form swimming pool and party-sized hot tub and a spa facility where guests can get massages and fake tans. Food options include two restaurants, a food court filled with fast food joints, a deli for quick lunches and snacks and in-room food delivery. Photo Credit: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
    Orlando: Mini-Golf Too?!!
  • Orlando: Mini-Golf Too?!!

    For additional information on this and other resale timeshare options visit the Holiday Group Web site or call 800-930-9717. Photo Credit: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
    A High End Share in Hawaii
  • A High End Share in Hawaii

    On the island of Maui, the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas in Lahaina sits squarely at the pricey end of the timeshare spectrum. According to a sales rep named Greg we spoke to, prices for an oceanfront 2-bedroom and 2-bathroom unit start at $94,900 with annual fees of $1,976. At 1,233 sq. ft. the unit is larger than most New York apartments, includes a full kitchen, dining area and a private, furnished lanai (a Hawaiian veranda). Vacation owners of this timeshare have one week of access to the same unit each year and intervals can be exchanged for access to any of the other 850+ Starwood resorts and hotels around the world. Photo Credit: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
    Hawaii: Poolside
  • Hawaii: Poolside

    Amenities are commensurate with what one expects from a luxury resort in Hawaii: an oceanside swimming pool surrounded by swaying palm trees, multiple tennis courts, the Heavenly Spa by Westin, 24-hour fitness facilities with steam and sauna and, of course, the scenic sugar sand shore of Ka’anapali’s North Beach. The resort offers several dining options including two restaurants, the Pu’ukoli’i General Store for quick take-out meals and snacks, poolside food and beverage service and a market for in-room food preparation supplies. Photo Credit: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
    Hawaii: View From the Balcony
  • Hawaii: View From the Balcony

    For more information call the folks at Starwood Vacation Ownership (800-601-8699) or visit their Web site. Photo Credit: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
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