What Do Timeshare Maintenance Fees Actually Cover?

Buying into a timeshare can potentially save you a significant amount of money on vacationing and can provide a far more enjoyable experience than a typical trip. However, there is more to buying into a timeshare than just the initial cost. You must also consider any maintenance fees and other added costs that you will be expected to pay after buying a timeshare.

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Timeshare fees are actually fairly straightforward and easy to understand at most properties. As everyone who owns a home knows, there seem to be a never-ending supply of odd jobs to take care of — windows to insulate, grass to cut, leaks to fix, appliances to repair and so on. A timeshare, however, should be fun — not something that requires you to waste time dealing with maintenance issues every other day. No one wants to have to work as a handyman during a vacation; the maintenance fees on your timeshare ensure that you will not have to. Before you begin your trip to the timeshare, you can be confident that everything will be in order and well kept and that the phone, electricity and television will be in order. The maintenance fee for your little slice of heaven makes sure that the place looks like a million bucks at all times.

The specific fees you will be expected to pay can vary from one timeshare and timeshare company to another. The property’s location and its amenities will make a significant difference. However, these maintenance fees will generally range from about $200 to $2000 per year. The location seems to be the biggest factor in the amount of these fees; for example, a timeshare on a beach in Hawaii will often have a much higher maintenance fee than one on a beach in Cape Cod.

In most cases, your timeshare paperwork will list exactly what your maintenance fees cover. For example, if the timeshare includes access to several pools, tennis courts and wireless internet, this could add more to the fee than if it just covered maintaining the lawn and keeping the condo tidy and clean.

Be careful to look for any additional special assessments that may be added on to the fees, especially if you are buying a resale property. For example, in some cases owners cannot afford a special fee for severe hurricane or tornado damage, so they try to sell their timeshare before it is time to pay the fee. Make sure you negotiate this into your purchase price if you are considering a property in this situation. Before you sign off on anything, make sure you completely understand every detail of both the normal maintenance fees and any additional assessments.

Buying a timeshare can be a great way to enjoy luxurious vacation homes without paying a fortune. However, make sure that you compare the total cost of the timeshare to your available budget. Say you buy a timeshare for $15,000 and feel you got a good deal because 15 years at $1000 a year is great for your budget. Well, remember that the maintenance fees could add an additional $500 for upkeep and cleaning. This is not a dealbreaker in the timeshare purchase process; it simply means that you should determine in advance how the full cost fits into your budget, not just the main price. Just make sure you understand ahead of time what is involved in the entire process of purchasing the timeshare and the fees associated with it.


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