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Does Time of Year Matter When Buying a Timeshare?

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Posted on August 28, 2023

Timeshares are a very popular option for about 10 million families in the U.S., providing a flexible way to enjoy a favorite destination year after year. While buying a timeshare might seem straightforward, one common question arises: does time of year matter when buying a timeshare?

The answer is not as simple as it might seem, as several factors can influence the decision-making process. Let's break down the issues to understand how timing can impact a timeshare purchase.

Reasons Why Time of Year Matters When Buying a Timeshare

1) Seasonal Demand and Availability to Buy

a) Peak Season

During peak travel seasons, such as summer in beach destinations or winter in ski resorts, demand for timeshares spikes. This surge in demand often leads to higher asking prices and reduced availability for high demand weeks. Buying timeshare weeks during these seasons can cost more, and the specific weeks you desire might already be taken, so you may need help in finding the right week.

b) Off-Peak Season

By comparison, off-peak seasons typically see lower demand and prices, which can provide better deals as this can be an opportune time to negotiate a better deal on a timeshare. However, there might be a reason for the lower prices, such as traditionally undesirable weather during the allotted weeks. Think Ocean City in January. Carefully consider what you want out of your timeshare before purchasing during off-peak times.

2) Resale Market Considerations

The resale market behaves differently from buying directly from a developer. Individual owners might be more motivated to sell at specific times, such as during the Fall when maintenance fees come due or after the holiday season when finances are tight. Timing your purchase to coincide with these periods might yield a better deal.

3) Financing and Personal Considerations

Your personal financial situation and available resources also play a role in deciding when to buy a timeshare. Interest rates, maturing investments, and your own budget can vary throughout the year. Waiting for favorable conditions can save you money in the long run.

4) Economic Factors

Economic trends and local market conditions might also affect timeshares. Economic downturns could result in more motivated sellers and lower prices, while a booming economy might drive prices up. Being aware of these larger economic factors can help you make an informed decision.

5) Location-Specific Considerations

Different areas of the country have unique trends and patterns that influence timeshare prices and availability. For instance, temperature and weather in a given season can significantly vary from one end of Florida in the north through to Key West in the south. Understanding these nuances can make a significant difference in the buying process.

a) Tropical Destinations

In places with year-round warm weather, peak seasons might be less noticeable. However, avoiding storm season or other weather-related factors may be essential when selecting your preferred weeks.

b) Mountain Resorts

Ski locations have their own considerations, with peak prices during the winter. If you love the mountains but don’t ski, summer can be a desirable time to own in ski locations because of hiking, fishing, swimming and other outdoor activities in these areas.

c) Urban Destinations

Big cities might not have the same seasonal impacts as traditional vacation destinations, but they still have their own popular times of the year for visitors. For example, the Cherry Blossom Festival heralds in spring in Washington D.C. and brings in tourists from across the country. Here, local festivals, sporting events, and other factors could influence timeshare demand and pricing.

6) Maintenance Fees

As we alluded to earlier, another often-overlooked factor in the timing of a timeshare purchase is the maintenance fee schedule and associated fees. These can vary throughout the year, depending on the payment schedule in place for an owner, but generally mid-Autumn leading into January is the time of year when bills become due. Owners at this time may be more willing to deal to move on from their timeshare.

7) Personal Vacation Preferences

Consider your own vacation habits, priorities and desires when looking to buy a timeshare:

a) School and Work Schedules

Aligning your timeshare ownership with school breaks or work holidays can maximize its usage. Points programs have more flexibility when it comes to scheduling so keep this in mind as well.

b) Holiday Preferences

If you enjoy spending specific holidays in a particular location, that should influence both the timing of your purchase and the weeks you choose.

c) Health Considerations

For those with health considerations such as seasonal allergies, buying a timeshare during a season that minimizes these concerns can be vital.

8) Exchange Programs and Flexibility

a) Exchange Opportunities

Nearly all timeshares are part of larger exchange networks like RCI or Interval International that allow owners to trade their weeks for vacation time at other properties. Consider the exchange value of the timeshare available, as the exchange value placed on the timeshare by the program provider may influence your immediate ability to participate in these programs. Generally the higher the value, the most options are available to exchange.

b) Flexibility of Use

Some timeshare operators provide more flexible arrangements, allowing owners to use points rather than fixed or even floating weeks. The time of purchase might affect the allocation or remaining use year for these points and the immediate options for using them.

9) Type of Timeshare Considerations

a) Fixed Week

Buying a fixed-week timeshare at specific times of the year may limit your immediate usage or result in higher prices for preferred weeks. Refer to our Timeshare Calendar to see when the timeshare week is scheduled for a given year. You may not want to buy a timeshare immediately after the specific week and have to wait another 12 months before you can use it.

b) Floating Week

A floating-week system allows more flexibility but may also influence the best time to buy, based on the season and availability of the week. Also – check when the specific season is for using a floating week, as this can change from year to year and not all resorts operate floating weeks the same way.

10) Emerging Destinations

Newly developing destinations may experience fluctuating timeshare values but also provide options for resales. Owners have been known to buy timeshares off the plan, only to sell when the resort is newly opened. Timing your purchase to coincide with new resorts or emerging destinations such as Costa Rica can provide benefits.

11) Technology and Market Information

Utilizing technology to track prices for timeshare resales or availability when new sellers come onto the market can help buyers identify the optimal time to purchase. Platforms such as BuyaTimeshare.com offer real-time market alerts when timeshares come onto the resale market that can guide your decision-making process.

So, Does Time of Year Matter When Buying a Timeshare?

The answer is a complex yes, but the exact timing depends on a variety of factors. From seasonal demand to resale market considerations and even broader economic trends, many elements come into play.

In the end, while timing can make a difference, buying the right timeshare that matches your lifestyle and vacation goals is paramount. An attractive deal may be tempting, but the ultimate satisfaction comes from finding the perfect fit for your family's vacation needs.

Remember, a timeshare is more than just a financial decision; it's an investment in lifestyle and leisure. Finding the right balance between all these factors will lead to a satisfying and rewarding ownership experience, no matter the time of year you choose to buy.

If you are ready, search through the timeshares for sale in our database by starting with the search bar at the top of the page. Enter in the name of the resort or town and choose from the options provided from our system in the dropdown menu. You’ll be able to see the available timeshares for that resort or vacation club program and start the conversation with the owner.

You can always ask our Customer Care team for assistance by calling 800-640-6886 or emailing our team by clicking here.


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Steve Luba - Chief Communications Officer


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