Time Out

Getting the best deal on a vacation time-share

you go on a time-share tour, research the product and company so you can ask important questions like: Is this a lifetime ownership? Can I pass it down to my children? What are the terms of the sale? What if I want out of my contract? Is there the possibility of vacation exchange?

Know your options. There’s deeded interest, or time-share ownership, which can be rented, sold, or willed. It is not, however, a property investment but an investment in future vacations. Some time-shares restrict the renter to a specific time frame and a specific vacation time. It is best to buy a time-share that you know you will use, as many of them have very lengthy commitment terms (for example, 50 years to life).

Check out the product. Take advantage of the many discounted mini-vacation packages and touring gifts that time-share resorts offer. Also, talk to owners when touring the premises.

Before you buy. Read all documents carefully. And check out the American Resort Development Association’s Website (www.arda.org), which offers tips for buying a time-share, and the Association’s Resort Owners Coalition site (www.arda-roc.org), where owners discuss their experiences.

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