Question: My husband and I (who thought we were smart people) got talked into buying a vacation time share a couple of years ago. It is a lovely place, but we now know buying it was one of the stupidest things we ever did.
We still have several more years of payments, but the outrageous maintenance fees really hurt. We tried to sell it, without any luck. We basically just want to get rid of it. Even after it is paid off, we don't want to be stuck paying the fees for the rest of our lives. Although we have visited our time share several times, we now spend most of our vacations going elsewhere. Help!
- Tim and Loraine B.
Answer: You are not alone. I have a friend (L.K.) who has a time share in St. Thomas she got in a divorce settlement. As you, the monthly fees and taxes are a killer. Hundreds of thousands of time share owners are in your situation. There are a few internet sites that will auction your time share, but the chances of successfully selling for even 10 percent of your purchase are slim.
If you stop making payments, your credit could be ruined because the lender will probably report your default to the credit bureaus.
Ask your time share management company if they have a plan to take back or market your time share. If not, do you have a friend or relative who would like your time share as a gift? Be sure they agree to make the payments because if they don't, their default will reflect on your credit.
I have a time share at Disney World and I use it everywhere. I personally like them - that's just me. Good luck!
Question: Do you have any advice about renovating a house before selling it?
- Jack S.
Answer: There are two truths about home renovation. Every project costs more and takes longer than expected. So, before you start, keep your cost estimate high and remember the words, "return on investment."
Be aware that your investment may not result in a dollar-for-dollar increase in the value of your home. Although some homeowners make a profit on their remodeling investment, history tells us that most homeowners won't even recover the costs. Don't go overboard. Getting your money out of a house priced well above others near you will be difficult.
Have a real estate question? Write, call, fax or e-mail:
Bob Jeffries, Realtor
C-21 Birchwood Realty Inc.
4040 Del Prado Blvd.
Cape Coral, FL 33904