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Personal Finances / Buying or Selling a Home


Subject:  Re: Time Shares Date:  10/16/1999  11:38 PM
Author:  ttm Number:  6367 of 128973

There are few more idiotic and ultimately embarassing mistakes in life you can make than to think of time shares as investments. They are not in any way shape or form an investment, though they are frequently peddled that way. They are an investment like buying a new car at list price is an investment. The way these are sold is utterly despicable. You're Joe Schmoe, you take your yearly week of vacation in Cabo San Lucas, for example, you're fried out from 51 weeks of work and gaagaa in paradise. They give you an 11 cent breakfast of scrambled eggs & beans with two chips stuck in them (am I right?) and scare you into thinking you won't be able to afford this gorgeousness in two years because hotel rates are going up 15% a year and your wages are only going up 5%. "See, look at this chart we've prepared for you." A classic take-away routine. "You can't have this unless you buy now and provide for your future piece of mind. This opportunity won't last forever, in fact, we're probably going to sell these babies out today or tomorrow". Yeah, right. Own a little piece of paradise and be a big shot. Don't think you'll want to vacation in the same place forever? No problem, join RCI for a fee and you can trade weeks with people anywhere in the world you want for a fee while you pay a fee for the annual maintenance of your glorified hotel room. Please don't allow yourself to be sucked into this type of egregious rip-off.

A typical time share costing $10K+ can typically be bought on the secondary market for $2500 any day of the week and for even less if you find a burnt-out owner who needs cash. Try a grand, and even that's paying too much. There are plenty for sale in any urban newspaper. There's no price, there's no liquidity. I for one don't call that an investment. I call it a scam.

I'm not saying they don't serve a useful purpose or even that some don't derive good and economical use from them. I'm sure there are plenty of folks who happen to take their vacations at exactly the same time every year and are willing to commit to that for 15-20 years. How depressing! But there couldn't possibly be a worse "investment" unless you like losing 50+% before the ink on your credit card slips is dry.

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