Timeshare sales contribute more than 80 billion dollars to the U.S economy each year, according to the American Resort Development Association. The average timeshare buy-in costs just over $21K. That’s a lot of money individuals are spending on these vacation properties, and even more that the cumulative owners are pumping into the industry. Is it worth it? Maybe. If you’re someone who takes regular vacations, paying the up-front fee plus the nominal annual fees associated with timeshares could mean paying, on average, far less for vacations over your lifetime than most do.
One study done by Bank Rate found that, on average, an American spends about $2,000 a year on vacation between airfare, accommodations, entertainment, and meals. If you plan on vacationing at least once a year between the ages of 25 and 65, that cost quickly adds up to around $80,000 in your lifetime. And, given inflation rates, we know that two grand a year average will only go up and up. So, when you look at it that way, paying $22K today to take “free” or nearly free vacations then onward, can make sense. Maybe. It sounds perfect, right? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. Here are questions you should ask before buying a timeshare.
What are the annual fees?
You may expect to pay an upfront fee of somewhere in the $15,000 to $25,000 range. But that’s not the end of it. The timeshare company needs money to sweep the grounds, pay for the housekeeping service, keep the lights on, staff their front desk, and much more. For that, you could pay annual fees of around $500, if not more.