About six months ago, Money Magazine published an article on the benefits and value of timeshare ownership. We weren't surprised to read about how the timeshare industry has adapted to consumer needs, making vacation ownership more practical than ever before, but this was big news for some -- especially consumer watchdogs who have been wary of timeshares in the past. Now Consumer Reports, "an independent, nonprofit organization... [that] serves consumers through unbiased product testing and ratings, research, journalism, public education, and advocacy," is lauding the recent changes to timeshares and revealing how vacation ownership is often a wise financial decision.
The March 2016 issue of Consumer Reports features an article titled "Timeshares Come of Age," which details the potential savings that timeshares may offer over vacation rentals. According to the article, timeshare owners stand to save an estimated $82,000 over 30 years of annual vacations. That estimate includes the cost of financing and annual dues. This is great news for both vacationers and the timeshare industry which is still in the early stages of reinventing itself.
Interestingly though, these estimates appear to have been based on developer prices. As the article points out, "like buying a new car at a dealership, timeshares sold by developers are pricier than those sold secondhand." For vacationers who purchase a timeshare on the resale market, the long-term savings could exceed $100,000!
While we were very impressed by Consumer Reports' financial analysis of timeshare ownership, the additional benefits and flexibility of point-based timeshare programs were only covered briefly. It's worth noting that timeshare ownership no longer restricts vacationers to a single resort or a pre-designated week of the year. Instead, timeshare owners now often enjoy exploring different destinations at the time and duration of their choosing, all with the comfort of knowing their accommodations have already been paid for.
Hopefully, additional major publications and consumers will soon join Consumer Reports and Money in realizing the tremendous value of new customer-centric timeshare programs, particularly those available for surprisingly low prices on the resale market.