Timeshare Market Maintenance Fees. I always have to laugh when someone complains about paying maintenance fees as a reason not to consider buying timeshare.
I would never buy a timeshare that wasn't charging maintenance fees -- I want to protect my investment! On the other hand, I don't want to pay too much!
So you have to pay attention to the timeshare market and what average maintenance fees look like.
My experience tells me that there is a huge variation in timeshare market maintenance fees.
Why because there is a huge variation in maintenance costs depending on location and several other factors, just like the housing market.
I'm going to recommend that in today's marketplace (2007), you shouldn't pay more than $800 in annual maintenance fees.
Now there may be a five star timeshare resort in an exclusive location that is telling you they have to charge more, but review Timeshare Market Value to see why I don't recommend buying there -- just trade in to stay there!
You also want to make sure that the timeshare resort you are considering is charging enough maintenance fees to keep your home-away-from-home in tip top shape, to protect your investment, ensure continued trading power and guarantee you won't be staying in a dump on your vacation!
Ask to see past financials for the resort, maybe the last three years, just to see how their maintenance fees break down.
Are you seeing similar maintenance categories you experience with your own home -- and more? You should!
How about maintenance fee increases. Once again, Worldmark wins out here! Review The Best Bottomline to see why!
They've figured out an ingenious way to offset increases in their timeshare market maintenance fees with Bonus Time! On the other hand, my five star Polo Towers increases at a healthy clip.
Yeah, it's a necessary evil -- I expect to experience "five star" if I stay there, but it'd be great if they could emulate Worldmark in this regard!
Worldmark has only increased a total of 3% since they opened in 1989! Polo Towers has increased from a .037% ratio to a .043% ratio since I purchased in 2000.
Worldmark has a 5% annual cap written into their owner bylaws. I'm not aware of a cap with Polo Towers. Make sure you ask this question of any timeshare you are considering.
Anyway, here's the long and the short of it when it comes to timeshare market maintenance fees -- make sure both the annual fees and the annual increases reflect the market, or just walk on by.
Combine this with all of my other Buy Right Rules and you should be enjoying your first of many first class dirt cheap vacations very soon!