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Tips For Buying A Timeshare

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - What do you need to know about timeshares before buying in?

The US timeshare industry enjoyed significant growth in 2013. This, according to the timeshare industry, which said so in its study titled: The State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry. I'm sure the timeshare industry has every reason to be completely forthcoming. If you sat through a timeshare presentation in exchange for a free hot breakfast and have gone from thinking: we can't afford to buy to... we can't afford not to, you need to know that there are happy timeshare owners, but you need some information before you plunk down your money.

First, understand that there are 2 types of timeshare purchases: a timeshare estate where you actually own a deed to the property and get the benefits of ownership and equity, and a vacation interval also called a right-to-use timeshare which is less expensive and in which you have a right to use it but don't actually own it.

Ask which one you'd be buying.

Know also that timeshares are usually sold in one-week increments for a one-time cost plus annual maintenance fees - which may increase and often don't cover the costs of major repairs. So ask if there's a cap on maintenance fees.

Also ask about the broker and closing costs you have to pay and your rights to resell so you know as much about the timeshare as the guy serving you the breakfast.

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