The Ins and Outs of Timeshare Purchases

BALTIMORE (Aug. 4, 2010) – In the latest edition of The Consumer’s Edge, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler advises consumers to thoroughly review all the advantages and disadvantages before purchasing a timeshare. Despite sounding ideal, some timeshare purchasers have regretted their decision due to factors such as poor resale value and costly fees that they didn’t expect. The Consumer’s Edge Edition 140 is available online at

Timeshares and vacation interval plans are two common vacation ownership options. There are varying alternatives available within each type of plan, and Marylanders are urged, before making a purchasing decision, to research whether the purchase is right for their lifestyles. Consumers shouldn’t make a purchasing decision based on a sales pitch. Some developers pressure consumers to sign paper work immediately, or promise exciting destination possibilities that never come to fruition.

Before purchasing a timeshare:

-- Consider the costs, including mortgage payments, travel costs, annually increasing maintenance fees, closing costs, broker commissions, finance charges and other taxes. Visit the timeshare resort for a first-hand experience. Speak with other timeshare owners about their experiences.

-- Contact the Attorney General’s Office in the state where the property is located, or the local Better Business Bureau, and inquire about complaints against the developer. Consult someone who is experienced in real estate contracts to review the paperwork.

“Timeshares are an expensive purchase and should not be considered an investment,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Consumers need to do their homework before signing any contract.”

For more information on the featured topics, consumers should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 410-576-6300 or toll-free at 1-800-743-0023. They may also visit the Attorney General’s website at

The Office of the Attorney General distributes The Consumer’s Edge to more than 900 businesses, agencies, schools and community associations. Groups interested in receiving a monthly issue should call 410-576-6956 or e-mail to be placed on the e-mail distribution list.

Source: Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler

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