You Are At: AllSands Home > Travel > Time sharing advice
If you're looking at going on an extended vacation to an exotic or favorite holiday location, you may want to look at the option of timesharing. Timesharing gives you access to a vacation home for limited time, which is determined well in advance. With a deeded timeshare, you're essentially buying a piece of real estate. You own a fraction of the unit and have a right to use it for a specified period of time. But there's also another option of a non-deeded timeshare, which allows you to buy a club membership or to lease the property for an amount of time, but you do not own any part of the unit. It's quite similar to the difference between owning and leasing a car... or owning or renting a house. Here are some things you should definitely consider about timesharing before you choose to invest.

• Know your total costs. Understand the exact prices that will be expected of you. Know how much in mortgage payments, know how much annual maintenance will be. Decide if it's truly something you want to do.
• Look at your potential for investment. Property investors may tell you that it will be an incredible investment for you. Do your homework. Know exactly what you're getting into. You may face competition for renting or leasing the property by people you least expect.
• Get it in writing. Any kinds of promises made by the company should be in writing. Be aware that oral contracts rarely hold up in court.
• Know who you're doing business with. Research the background of the people you'd be doing business with. What is their track record? Get some references and contact those people to find out what that company is really about.
• Will you be able to visit the property regularly? Determine if whether over the period of the contract you'll be able to visit the house as often as you think you will. If you won't be gaining anything in the agreement, why do it?
• Know your rights. Find out what your legal rights are for different potential situations that may arise. For instance, what if the real estate management company has problems and files for bankruptcy: what would be your obligations?
• Know the laws. Find out the laws in the state you'd be doing business, and then some. It isn't good enough just to find out what the laws are in the state in which you live: you need to know what the laws are in the state in which you'd be doing business. Know what's expected of you.