Family Vacation Destinations
Our experience with timeshare ownership



The big question... Should YOU buy a timeshare?

It has worked out very well for us, but it would be irresponsible for me to recommend it to someone else outright. After all, there are qualifications that any prospective owner has to meet before Westgate would even think of selling to you. If you make it past that hurdle, there are still other factors to consider.


- Not everyone will have the need or ability to vacation yearly, either due to a lack of funds or a lack of time, or both. Those in this position should not consider buying a timeshare. This is a real estate investment, and unless you pay cash upfront, you will have to qualify for financing. That financing is a mortgage, and the consequences of not servicing that debt in a responsible way will be just as harsh as if you failed to pay the mortgage on your home. Ditto for the yearly maintenance fees. If you skip paying those fees, you could forfeit your timeshare and lose your investment altogether.

This part may sound a bit daunting, but as long as you approach timeshare ownership with this in mind, you should be fine. In my personal experience, the mortgage cost for my timeshare is significantly lower than monthly rent on an apartment or an average home mortgage payment would be. Just be sure that, during the sales presentation, you keep the monthly cost in mind as you negotiate the final price of the timeshare week. Budget accordingly so that you're not stuck paying for something you cannot afford. Also, if you choose to book a discount package and take the tour, at no time during the sales presentation are you obligated to purchase. Always remember that.


- Westgate offers many different locations from which to choose, some of which have already been enumerated on this website. If one of those locations is a place that you visit regularly, it may be in your best interest to consider timeshare ownership. If none of their locations are visited regularly by you, a timeshare may not be for you.


- As mentioned on a previous page, patience is a virtue some days when dealing with the staff and management of any timeshare resort. These are sizeable places, and even though they have a good number of people on staff at any given time, don't expect people to always step and fetch for you at the drop of a hat. If you're expecting to be treated like royalty nonstop at any timeshare resort (not just Westgate), it won't happen and you should probably not consider timeshare ownership if this upsets you.


- If you like investments for personal enrichment and not strictly for monetary gain (i.e. owning property versus flipping property), then a timeshare would probably be just the right thing for you. In our case, we haven't considered renting out unused weeks because, so far, we have been using them. Making money off of our timeshare through renting out weeks was never a primary consideration for us. Yes, it would be a convenient way for us to make back the money from the yearly maintenance fee should we have a week that's due to expire, but to me it shouldn't be a motivating factor in purchasing a timeshare.

You may think differently about that, and feel that there is profit potential in owning multiple timeshare weeks and renting them out for a premium. Some people HAVE made money doing that, but they have the mindset to manage property and in a sense act as brokers. Personally, we haven't developed that mindset yet, especially with two young children to watch over. So, your personal experience will have to dictate whether or not this could work for you.


* With all of that having been said, I can certainly recommend that those who are interested in a timeshare should book a discount package at one of Westgate's resorts and enjoy the tour. If you've read through all of the above considerations, and feel that ownership is right for you, then definitely weigh your options and negotiate your way into your own timeshare.


For me, it's been a worthwhile investment and a decision that I don't regret.


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