For those considering the purchase of a vacation timeshare, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) would like you to know the facts before buying and selling them to avoid any costly mistakes.
A timeshare gives you the right, along with other timeshare holders, to own or use property at an allotted time. Usually, this is at a highly sought after travel destination, and the timeshare owner is buying rights to use a resort condominium at a certain time in the year.
Often consumers consult with the BBB after they are offered a free trip or other gifts from a timeshare telemarketing company. The trip is a marketing strategy to have consumers do a site inspection at a resort condominium and attend a timeshare sales presentation. Ask the telemarketer if you will first be required to sign a contract and make a down payment before your receive your prize. Will you receive the gifts if you decide not to buy? Are there any other conditions or fee for the “free” trip or prize?
Essential information about timeshares:
According to the BC Real Estate Act, a consumer has a seven-day rescission period to cancel a contract for real estate timeshare packages. To learn more about your rights, consult the Financial Institutions Commission (ficombc.ca).
Getting involved in a timeshare contract can typically include monthly maintenance fees and other expenses, which will impact your travel budget. Before buying, calculate your annual cost over the term of the deal and compare that to the cost of other vacation options or other uses of your money.
Find out if the timeshare is a title, lease or a club membership; how many years you are buying; and if you are buying specific, revolving or floating weeks.
Verify that everything the seller has to do is covered in the contract. Get ALL verbal promises IN WRITING. Do not sign a contract unless you understand it, and do not sign a contract with blank spots.
If you plan to sell your timeshare be careful of scammers. Some unscrupulous timeshare resellers are misleading timeshare owners into paying thousands of dollars in the hopes of unloading their timeshare quickly. Be wary of upfront fees and guarantees from resellers. Check out timeshare companies at the BBB website; Vancouver: http://www.mbc.bbb.org , Island: http://www.vi.bbb.org
JUNE 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER ISLAND
JUNE 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER AND LOWER MAINLAND
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