8 TIPS YOU MUST CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A CABO TIMESHARE
The warm ocean breeze blowing through your hair, the smell of saltwater filling your olfactory, and soft, white sand dancing between your toes. This is what Los Cabos real estate feels like on a normal day.
Cabo has a rich variety of elements that draw people in making it one of the most dynamic destinations to visit. The unique climate brings in all kinds of plants, animals, and gorgeous scenery. With plenty of daytime and nightlife activities, it's no wonder you're considering a Cabo timeshare.
Fortunately for you, Cabo Platinum has access to a multitude of owners that have had various experiences with their timeshare purchases. Some good, some bad. We aggregate their comments and include them below for your benefit. Hopefully, these anecdotes help with your Cabo timeshare buying decision.
HOW DO TIMESHARES WORK?
A timeshare is a vacation property where a Developer arranged a financial instrument that lets you share payments with others. The costs you pay will guarantee your time at the property. You pay for ownership of a timeshare and other costs such as administration, time value of money, and maintenance fees. Timeshares work with contracts and a variety of different ownership types. Your contract will tell you if you own the deed or if someone else does. There are two types of contracts and three types of ownership:
SHARED DEEDED CONTRACTS
This type of contract divides ownership evenly amongst those involved in the timeshare. The owners have specific time frames that they can use their vacation property. These contracts don't usually expire and can be sold. Shared deeded contracts allow you to have a deed to the property, but it is unlike normal real estate. Everyone involved must agree to the same terms.
SHARED LEASED CONTRACTS
A shared leased contract is similar to a shared deeded contract. The difference is that the property deed stays at the resort. You are only leasing out a property under this contract; you have no ownership of it. This type of contract does expire within a time limit or when the owner dies. Once you have the contract part covered, you can go about using the property.
FIXED WEEK OWNERSHIP
Fixed week ownership allows you to decide on a specific week during the year to vacation at the property. If you want to spend every Fourth of July at the beach in your Cabo timeshare, fixed week ownership could work for you. We find this is best for teachers or those that have the same time off of work each year. Moving your chosen week could take a lot of effort or a large sum of money.
FLOATING WEEK OWNERSHIP
With floating week ownership, you can choose your week within certain limits. This option gives you a little more leniency. Requesting a week is basically on a first-come, first-served basis. Your decision must be made during a specific amount of time. You don't want to get stuck with a random week in the cold winter to go to your Cabo timeshare. Be sure to read the fine print and understand what is required during the "picking process."
POINT SYSTEM OWNERSHIP
The points system ownership option is also known as a "timeshare exchange program." Your timeshare has value. This value is based on a points system. You can use the points that your timeshare is worth to access other resorts that use the same system. It's important to be careful with this type of ownership because not all resorts in the system cost the same. You could end up paying extra.
IS TIMESHARE FOR YOU?
No matter which type of timeshare you choose to buy, there is always one common frustration we hear from timeshare owners; "you cannot customize your residence." Because you own within a shared-living environment, you don't have the ability to put up pictures of your family, purchase new furniture or make interior modifications to your desire. Some say they feel "trapped" by the decision of the developer and have to wait--sometimes years--for the management to make changes to the residence. However, other don't mind this and for them, we have assembled a list of tips for buying a Cabo Timeshare.
TIPS FOR BUYING YOUR CABO TIMESHARE
Now that you understand how timeshares work, you can start looking for Cabo San Lucas timeshares. To help get you started in the process, here are 8 tips when buying a Cabo timeshare...
1. SKIP THE DEVELOPERS
When looking for Cabo San Lucas timeshares, it's better to go straight to the source, the owner. When purchasing directly at the location, there is a high probability that you could be persuaded into overpaying.
Development companies will make you overpay when you can buy a timeshare for a fraction of the price. Look for timeshare resale sights that have motivated sellers. Make sure the websites are trustworthy to avoid scams. Our team has sourced timeshares from our homeowners who no longer need them. To see options that still hold great value, CLICK HERE.
2. BE WARY OF SCAMS
When looking to buy a Cabo timeshare from resellers, it is important to watch out for resale scams. A lot of owners desperate to sell their timeshares got caught up with fake companies that used them to swindle money. There are a lot of timeshare resale scams, but the most common one is companies claiming they already have a buyer waiting. This hooks the owners and then charges them a fee to get the property ready, but the actual sale never happens.
Posing as a "relief company" is another common scam. These "companies" will charge to take a timeshare off the owner's hands, but they remain in ownership with all of their normal fees.
Companies will also pose as timeshare sellers to get information from you. They have no real intention of selling you a Cabo timeshare property. Always spend time in the area you want to purchase a timeshare. Do your diligence, ask around, and understand the opportunities and pitfalls. Try renting in the area first and see how that works before you dive-in and buy a timeshare.
3. PAY IN CASH
Timeshare mortgage loans almost always cost more than a traditional mortgage does. The interest rates are usually higher, generally sitting between 12% and 18% APR. Use cash in case you ever want to sell your property. Taking out a loan could keep you stuck in the timeshare when you no longer want it. Paying in cash allows for a smooth buying and selling transition.
If you need to finance, look at real estate options. There are several financing options in Cabo that will yield far greater results and end up costing you less in the long run. Speak with a Cabo Platinum Real Estate Advisor about your options today.
4. KNOW ABOUT THE EXTRA COSTS
Once your Cabo timeshare property is yours, there will still be costs to cover. You won't stop paying for your timeshare just because you now have ownership papers. There are annual fees that are usually laid out for you when you are purchasing a timeshare, but there are also fine-print fees that you may not know about until after your purchase. These baked-in costs could have you spending way more money than you thought you would.
A fair amount of your purchase price is committed to marketing and sales commission. Just think about all of the ATV tours, parasailing vouchers, breakfasts, cocktails and promotional goodies timeshare companies pay for to get customers. Annual maintenance fees are included in most timeshares. These fees can cost you hundreds of dollars per year. But, there's more to think about than just the fees. When you don't own your home, shared environments are always more costly because you have to purchase everything for the first time, each time you arrive. Small things like ketchup, plastic bags and laundry detergent are small items, but over time, they all add up.
You must also consider the cost of a vehicle. Most timeshares don't allow for a parked car when you are not in residence. This means you will either have to taxi or rent a vehicle. Vehicle ownership is a cost-effective method when looking to cut corners over time, but it's also MUCH MORE convenient.
5. DON'T BUY WITH INTENT TO SELL
Only buy a timeshare if you want it. That means expecting to hold onto it as long as possible. In general, Timeshares DO NOT increase in value. It is rare to sell your Cabo timeshare for more than you paid to buy it. The odds are not usually in your favor if you decide to sell, you may not be able to sell at all.
The harsh reality is that your timeshare will decrease in value as soon as you buy it. If your objective is to make a return on your investment, then you must consider Cabo Real Estate. Take a look at some of our Cabo Investments as we have compiled some great recommendations HERE.
6. RENT IT OUT
Paying for your portion of a timeshare can be pricey. Luckily, you can (almost) always rent out your property to make extra income or at least pay for the basic expenses of your annual vacation. Renting your Cabo timeshare can help you pay your maintenance fees and any other unforeseen expenses that may occur throughout the year.
When renting out your timeshare, it is important to know the disadvantages. Be sure to ask about these when you are buying. As an example, a timeshare that comes with golf privileges might not allow those privileges to be extended to your renter. There are particular "Owner" and "Renter" clauses of your contract that you should definitely review. And once you finally rent out your vacation home and begin to earn money, be sure of the people you are renting to. If you don't know the renters, they could make a mess of your timeshare. This comes in the form of damages, over usage of utilities and/or abuse of common amenities, thus tarnishing your ownership. You may be paying extra maintenance fees if the people you rent to end up causing damage.
If Renting your Timeshare is of interest, then look at some alternative options. Our Cabo Platinum Property Management Team will be happy to sit and review case studies of full ownership real estate projects that have provided our homeowners with substantial returns.
7. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXCHANGE COMPANIES
An exchange company works on a timeshare exchange program. Taking advantage of these programs will ensure you get the most out of having a Cabo timeshare. However, be sure to have a flexible schedule and be open to last-minute opportunities. Yes, you'll be able to spend your designated week on the beautiful beaches of Cabo. But maybe you want a little something more or slightly different every so often.
With exchange companies, you can exchange your week at your Cabo timeshare for another in various parts of the world. This is a great opportunity to travel to places you have never been to. See new places and locations HERE!
Not all timeshares can be evenly exchanged. Some timeshares are more expensive than others. Spending a little extra money to exchange your Cabo timeshare week for another may be worth your while. While reviewing these companies and opportunities, compare timeshare exchanges with a full-ownership exchange. You may find yourself very impressed with the options available to a full-ownership experience. This will equate to a slight increase in your investment, thus resulting in a much larger return.
8. CHECK THE AMENITIES
If you are looking for specific amenities for you and your family to enjoy, make sure you check beforehand. You can ask the resort that holds the title to your Cabo timeshare for a list of amenities. Resorts offer different things. Some have special packages for the guests such as golf, bike riding, tennis, water activities, and more. Amenities can cost extra but most of the time they are part of your management fee. Some even have access to off-site amenities that are discounted. Be sure to review your paperwork and ask your concierge so you always know what your ownership is entitled to.
Think about what is important for you when visiting your Cabo timeshare. Begin by being sure the amenities of your purchase reflect that. Timeshares are almost always located within large resorts instead of private homes. Some of our homeowners consider this a disadvantage of owning a timeshare. We hear that in the beginning, it was fun. But over time, the community living is noisy and overcrowded. People find they want more private space for their family and less bombardment by strangers. Because you are going to be in a resort location, you won't have much say when it comes to your timeshare. In fact, as a contract owner, you will have very little say when it comes to changes within the property and ownership changes. Know that the developer can make changes as he/she sees fit at any time. We've heard stories about golf being replaced with kids' community amenities and more homes. Be sure to read your contracts!
These tips are important to remember when buying a Cabo timeshare, but what if you eventually decide you want to sell your share?
SELLING YOUR TIMESHARE
As we have established (above), timeshares can be difficult, and sometimes impossible to resell. If you decide your Cabo timeshare is not for you, use these tips to try and sell your share:
Sell where you bought your Cabo timeshare
Sell to other owners
Use a licensed real estate agent from the area
Sell online with a resale site
Be careful of scams
Time your sale
Find your selling point and price competitively
Selling your Cabo timeshare is one of the biggest downsides to owning one. Your timeshare will decrease in value the minute you purchase it making it difficult and sometimes even impossible to sell. If you are eager to sell your timeshare, you are more likely to fall victim to a scam that will cost you more in the end. Another disadvantage of owning a timeshare includes paying annual fees no matter what. If you don't end up using your vacation time, you will still have to pay annual fees.
You don't have to be rich to own a Cabo timeshare, but you probably should be comfortable. If you don't think owning a Cabo timeshare is right for you, there are other ways to enjoy the area and all it offers.
ALTERNATIVES TO TIMESHARE
Buying a timeshare may not be exactly what you are looking for. Fortunately, you have a plethora of options that will provide different ways to enjoy a Cabo vacation. Some alternatives include:
Real Estate with Financing
Real Estate Partnerships
Villa rentals and real estate can provide you with the vacation of your dreams. You can vacation without a designated time frame. Enjoying the Cabo sunshine does not have to break the bank. With no hidden fees, villa rentals and real estate may be the better option for you and your family.
Villa rentals provide options for group excursions, corporate team building and/or private excursions with your family. Buying real estate means you can vacation whenever you'd like and own the property.
VACATION HOW YOU LIKE
A Cabo timeshare isn't for everyone and that's okay. The disadvantages have been known to outweigh the advantages when it comes to owning a timeshare. Don't get persuaded into buying a timeshare that isn't right for you. Vacation how you like and be sure to review villa rentals and real estate options!
**Cabo Platinum does not sell the timeshare. All statements in this article are taken from interviews with timeshare owners and are not the opinion of Cabo Platinum. Our team of real estate and rental professionals will help provide information, but investments are strictly at the discretion of the individual making the purchase.**