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Monday, November 3, 2008

Alternatives to Timeshare

Over the period of decades the popularity of timeshares has grown by many folds so much so that over two million Americans have timeshare properties in country and out of country. But the rise of timeshare industry saw the rise in scams and frauds. More recently the timeshare industry has been plagued by unscrupulous activities of frauds and scammers. Notwithstanding these serious problems with timeshares a new breed of alternatives are emerging. One of the main reasons why people were attracted towards timeshares was that it will be an expensive affair for a big family to vacation every year at a hotel or a resort. Timeshares proved to be an economical solution to all that.
But on the flip side of it, buying a timeshare requires large upfront fee and the timeshares typically range anywhere from ten thousand dollars to fifty thousand dollars also. On top of that the buyers have to pay the annual maintenance fee, property taxes, management fee etc. which could range from few hundreds to over a thousand also. People have begun realizing that why pay more money and still use the same property every year for only one week. And people get bored of going to the same place again and again. Although some timeshares offer exchange program which would allow owners to exchange their timeshare units across different resorts and locations but it is not that easy with exchange costing more bucks. And when the owner wants to sell a timeshare unit it is not that easy task. Timeshares are one of the most difficult properties to sell. Even when they sell they sell at 30%-50% lower than their original price.
Now a new era of concepts is taking vacation industry by storm. And this era is represented by concepts such as resort memberships and condo hotels. A resort membership is a one time investment i.e. you have to pay the membership fee only once and you can enjoy the benefits of the resort life long. And what more you are not required to pay any maintenance fee or taxes. Resort memberships can cost anywhere from few grand to few hundred grand. Some resort membership may also have yearly fee. But if you do a good research there are some resorts within the range of affordability. The best deal that one can get is may be a lifetime member ship for around three grand and a limited five year membership for two grand. And the members have access to not only the resort they have membership in but they can choose from hundreds of resorts worldwide available in resort company’s network. And there is no limit on number of times you want to go and at what time you want to go, your vacation is always assured.
Another concept that is getting popular is condo hotel which is a relatively new concept and only very few people own condos in hotels. But the concept is receiving good reviews and is gaining popularity with the time. The way it works is it allows people to buy condos in luxurious hotels and utilize the benefits of all the amenities available in the hotel. If the owner is not using the condo he can put his condo for rent and can receive percentage of the revenues it produces. A condo hotel in comparison to a timeshare offers more flexibility, is better furnished, and has better amenities, better services and many locations.



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