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TIME SHARES

skyscrapers of Singapore

skyscrapers of Singapore

 Have you ever thought about living overseas, particularly outside the USA?

Are you interested in living abroad, but not sure how you’d actually like it or which country to live in?

Would you like to ‘test out’ living in a particular country to see what it’s like?

Or  perhaps you’d just like to vacation in gorgeous destinations every year?

 Timeshares may be the perfect way to do just that.

timeshare resort

timeshare resort

Basically, a timeshare consists of either buying or leasing a fraction of a property. Usually, timeshare owners buy/lease a condo unit for a set amount of time each year. One week per year is typical. That makes the buyer’s / leaser’s costs much lower than buying/leasing an entire condo unit outright. All of the owners/leasers of said property are sharing the costs. It’s a pool of owners. Each owner/leaser pays a fraction of the total cost. For example,if you buy a timeshare for one-week, you pay 1/52th of the property value. Clearly, that’s a LOT less than the total property cost! Thus, timeshares are affordable for many people who would not be able to buy an entire property outright.

fontana cabin kitchenTimeshares are generally condos or apartments, so you live like you would at home, or like you would if actually living in that destination. You’ll generally have a fully furnished, fully-equipped kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and common rooms. Usually TVs and other appliances are included. Essentially, they are complete homes. Usually various amenities are also included and available to timeshare owners such as swimming pools, work-out facilities, spa, garden and/or yards.

 Most timeshares are located in amazing places around the world, including beach resort areas, charming towns, and other vacation destinations. According to statistics, internationally there are over 5000 timeshare resorts in 100 countries thus far. That gives timeshare owners a tremendous range of choices and countries to experience.

 If you want to see how you’d enjoy living overseas, timeshares are a great way to test it out. They’ll give you a much better feel for daily life than staying at a hotel.

 Hotels don’t give you the feeling of actually living in your own home or of conducting normal daily life in the destination. Hotels are great, of course, but you’ll feel like you’re on vacation, not that you’re living in a place.

 By staying in a timeshare, you can go about a real daily life in the location. Go grocery shopping, cook your own meals. Spend time at home: reading, watching TVs or movies, work on your computer, socialize, enjoy the yard or pool. Then go out exploring, enjoying the town’s beaches, gardens, or shops. Find out how much you like the town, the people, the culture, the country. That will give you an excellent feel for living in that city, that country and see how you like it. You can compare living overseas to living Stateside before actually making any commitments. And you can find the exact place you’d love to live.

timeshare unit in Sedona - photo by Manuel W on Flickr CC

timeshare unit in Sedona – photo by Manuel W on Flickr CC

Even better: nowadays, timeshares are extremely flexible. Although you buy a particular property, in a particular location/country, you’re not necessarily ‘stuck’ with that exact property every year. You might be able to change the dates you occupy the property. You can generally ‘exchange’ your property for an equivalent one in another country, at a different time. You can make a shorter stay, longer stay, roll-over your time to a future year. You can upgrade, downgrade. You can lend, let friends or family stay, rent, re-sell your units.

 You can return to the same unit ‘your unit’ every year at the same dates if you want. But you can also change locations every year, thus visiting several different destinations within one country, or several different countries over the years. If you’re not so crazy about one destination, you can check out another country next time around.

 Although timeshares might be an excellent way to try living abroad and checking out lifestyles in various countries, be sure to do your research before investing in a timeshare. Rules of contract can be complex. Annual maintenance fees are usually required. And timeshares are legally considered ‘equities’. Not surprisingly, many types of companies have developed to handle different aspects of timeshare ownership, exchange, rent, resale, and legal issues.

 Sound intriguing?

 Want to learn more?

 General information about time shares:

 wikipedia: Timeshares

do a google search for timeshares, where you will find several timeshare handling companies offering detailed information.

 Time share exchanges:

 There are just 3 major timeshare exchanges, which help owners use any of their timeshare options and find compatible timeshare exchanges around the world for the dates, locations, and type of timeshare you have.

 They are: RCI, Interval International, and Trading Places International.

 Time share rentals,  re-sales, transfers:

Timeshare resales can be bought or rented online for up to 50% off the price you’d pay to a resort directly. Timeshare owners who no longer want to own their timeshare often advertise them for sale and rent online at significant discounts.  If you’d like to test the waters a bit before committing to a timeshare purchase, a timeshare resale rental is a great way to do that. When you’re ready to buy, make sure to check the resale market to potentially save thousands of dollars on your purchase.

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