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Ask Dave

Offered A Timeshare

Jill's friends have offered her an opportunity to buy an older timeshare on the beach. See what Dave thinks.

QUESTION: Jill in Jacksonville, FL, has been offered a timeshare by friends. It’s an older timeshare on the beach, and the current owners have had it for 20 years. She would have to pay a state transfer fee of $100, plus a yearly association fee of $500. Dave tells her what he thinks.

ANSWER: So, basically it’s $500 a week. I know it’s a yearly fee, but you’re basically paying $500 for your week. And then five years from now the association fee could be $1,000 a year — for your week.

The numbers you’re talking about right now probably aren’t too good to be true, but it’s not a huge blessing. It’s kind of like, “How would you like a kick in the knee that’s not too hard?” Personally, I would rather spend my $500 a year on travel, go wherever I wanted to go and stay wherever I wanted to stay. Not only does that free you up in those areas, but you only spend the money when you do it. With a timeshare you get charged whether you show up or not.

This one’s not as bad as if you had paid $8,000 for the opportunity, but I can’t stand timeshares — even the free ones.