Question: Some friends recently offered me a timeshare. It’s an older place on the beach, and they’ve had it for about 20 years. I’d have to pay a transfer fee of $100, plus a yearly association fee of $500. I know you’re not a big fan of timeshares, but does this deal sound okay?
Dave: In essence, you’re looking at $500 a week. I know the $500 is technically an annual association fee, but you’re basically paying $500 for your week at the timeshare. And in the future, say five years from now, the association fee could increase. You might be paying $1,000 a year at that point — again, for your week.
In actuality, the numbers you’re talking about right now aren’t completely terrible. Still, it’s not a huge blessing. In my mind it’s kind of like, “How would you like a kick in the knee that’s not too hard?”
If it were me, I’d much rather spend my $500 a year on travel and be able to go and stay wherever I wanted. Not only does this free you up it that area, but you’d only spend the money when and if you did it. With a timeshare, you get charged whether you show up or not.
This one’s not as bad as if you’d have to pay $8,000 for the opportunity. But if these were my friends making the offer, I’d have to say no thanks.