Is Buying a Timeshare Cost Effective?

published on April 8, 2010 by

If you take a vacation every year, you may have wondered if buying a timeshare is right for you. When considering buying a timeshare, you must look at the numbers to determine if it is cost effective. The best way to do that is to use the following assumptions provided by Steve Danishek, President of TMA Travel, which outline costs spent on the average timeshare, then compare that to the prices you usually pay for nightly hotel accommodations.

Timeshare Cost Assumptions:

  • $15,000 money down
  • $750 annual maintenance fee
  • For 1 week, over 20 years

Total cost per night = $186

Paying $186 per night for luxury resort with amenities included, kitchens, washer/dryers and extra living space looks pretty good. As you review these numbers, let’s dig deeper into the pros and cons of timeshare ownership:


  • Buying a timeshare locks in the price you pay for a vacation, even when prices rise over 20 years.
  • You can exchange your week for another destination, worldwide.
  • If you buy a timeshare resale from an owner, and not retail from a developer, your money down costs can be even less or $0 – saving even more money.
  • Some resorts are All-Inclusive which includes the price of your meals.


  • If you have 2 weeks of vacation and want to stay longer at your destination, you may have to purchase additional nights at a higher rate somewhere else.
  • Reselling your timeshare can be challenging if your financial situation changes.
  • Special assessments costs (on top of maintenance fees) change every year and are hard to factor into the above equation.

For 7 million people, timeshare ownership is right for them. They enjoy the security of having a prepaid vacation and the flexibility of knowing they can use timeshare exchange to travel to another destination. Timeshare ownership can be a vacation dream, but only if it’s right for you.