I must concur here with the esteemed commentators. Time shares are
rarely make a good investment (or fun). The reasons:
(1) Most, if not all people, get tired of it
(2) They are usually overpriced (see Probonopublico's short comment)
Wikipedia lists "pros and cons of timeshare":
"The timeshare industry has been widely criticized and even sometimes
likened to a travel scam. Unlike the customary renting arrangement,
where the customer decides every year on the quality and price of
accommodations, timeshare requires to make a major payment up front.
There exist doubts as to whether timeshare buyers ever recover the
money spent, but the vast majority of timeshare owners have no desire
to exit the system and find the quality of their holiday accommodation
makes their financial outlay a logical expenditure.
There are also some complaints that owners have to return to the same
resort every year, but there exist several companies - the best known
being Resort Condominiums International (RCI) & Interval International
- that enable timeshare owners to exchange their weeks into literally
thousands of resorts around the world. There are a growing number of
independent timeshare exchange organizations available to timeshare
Other complaints include issues surrounding the yearly maintenance
fee. Some critics talk of ever escalating fees that mean owners cannot
afford to keep their weeks due to financial pressure." (SOURCE:
Wikipedia, Time Shares, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_shares>).
They also write there:
"One of the major benefits of the product is the fact that vacation
timeshare is real property. Resort developers purchase land in a
location and develop a timeshare resort. They are actually selling
consumers deeded weeks of real property at a specific location,
meaning customers can do what they wish with the weeks they own. This
flexibility includes the opportunity to rent out weeks that are not
used or indeed to lend them to friends or family." (ibid)
My answer to that: cool. Just check how many people have managed to
rent out their weeks and for how much money. Usually there are good
deals for other resorts in popular areas during high season ; and the
prices really sink during the low season.
In addition: "Like any other product, timeshare exchange is subject to
the law of supply. This should make the exchange mechanism a fair and
meritocratic system. For example if a timeshare owner deposits a
studio apartment in low season that owner is unlikely to be able to
exchange into a villa during a country's high season. In practice the
major exchange companies have proprietary exchange formulas that add
complexity to the system. The study of and issues revolving around
exchanging are beyond the scope of this article and should be
researched before making any timeshare purchase." (ibid)
A personal anecdote: My father is a partner in a firm of 20 or so
employees. They bought a unit for the whole firm. That means, that 20
people could go on a holiday there; and it was in one of those
companies where you could choose different resorts. And still, people
didn't want to use it.
Here are several sites that would help you make up your mind:
Department of Homeland Security, "Time-Shares and Your Legal Rights"
Deceptive Timeshare, Campground and Travel Club Sales
I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
clarification on this answer before you rate it.