Having grown up just outside of Boston, one of my favorite architectural features of the city has always been Boston’s Custom House with its four-sided clock tower. It sits in a prime historic location amidst buildings both old and new. The original structure was completed in 1847 and was designed in the style of a Greek temple topped with a dome. It was built to facilitate the inspection and registration of cargo and to collect taxes. The 16 floor Custom House Tower that sits atop the old Custom House was completed in 1915 and holds its place in history as Boston’s first skyscraper. This historic building was recently acquired by Marriott whose team redesigned the interior and converted it into a high-end timeshare property.
I had heard talk of timeshares before learning of this particular building. People who talked about timeshares to me either seemed to be very gung-ho for them or very anti-timeshare. My only other experience with timeshares was with the sales person in Thailand who tried to lure me into a lengthy informational session with tempting giveaways while I was on a mission to imbibe some cocktails beachside. To be honest, I was simply apathetic as I was already happy with my travel style. However, something about the conversion of Custom House into Marriott’s Custom House sparked my curiosity and inspired me to do a little research into this timeshare option that many people were so passionate about.
Now I can fully understand the pro points of view, as well as where the con points of view stem from. For those who are unfamiliar with exactly what a timeshare is, one could sum it up as a vacation or holiday investment. There are really three main categories of investment or ownership: traditional timeshare ownership; fractional ownership; and points-based ownership. In other words, you can buy a resort unit for a particular amount of time during a particular time of year and you can do so perpetually or for a set number of years. Alternatively, the point system allows people to use points for stays (this may be better for those opting for stays under a week).
For those who skip the planning, such as calculating how much they would normally spend on vacation, saving for spending money, and committing to a particular vacation period, timeshares might not be the right choice. Other negative impressions might stem from the cases of resale fraud in the news. However, various states have started enacting laws to combat this issue (which could really happen in just about any industry). Using reputable and well-known sources in conjunction with a bit of common sense and vigilance for resale will keep things worry free. And remember also, if you find a timeshare, fractional, or points program on the resale market you can save a lot of money.
Some quick research identified that there are a number of options for someone interested in timeshare. One of the most visible and well-known timeshare resales companies is SellMyTimeshareNow.com, a site which allows owners to promote their for sale by owner timeshares and also timeshares for rent. It seems like many people also make use of Ebay and sites like Craigslist, however, these sites are less regulated and do not have the staff available to provide purchase or sales support to you if you are a buyer. Working with a licensed real estate agent who focuses on timeshares is also a great option that is probably worth exploring. Check out ARDA ROC (the resort owner’s coalition) for a great deal of information about timeshare resales.
With a bit of research and planning, you could end up with a lovely and more spacious resort unit at the fraction of a cost of renting a hotel room for the same period of time. Vacation ownership is a growing sector in the travel industry, so timeshare options are increasing as well in terms of worldwide locations and cost options. For the right person who is willing to do the research and financial planning, a timeshare can be a frugal person’s key to luxury holidays.
Note: While this a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.