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What's the Point of Timeshare Maintenance Fees?

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Posted on April 18, 2023

What Timeshare Maintenance Fees Mean and Why We Pay Them

Timeshare maintenance fees are one of the most important features of owning a timeshare property. These fees are charged to timeshare owners to cover the costs of maintaining the property, including repairs, renovations, and general upkeep. While these fees can be a source of frustration for some timeshare owners, they play a critical role in ensuring that the property remains in top condition and that owners can continue to enjoy their vacations for years to come.

The Importance of Timeshare Maintenance Fees

Timeshare maintenance fees are sometimes viewed as a necessary evil by some owners. They can add up, and some owners may feel like they are not getting enough value for their money. However, these fees are important to the long-term health of the property and the enjoyment of all owners.

Without maintenance fees, it would be highly unlikely that timeshare resorts could keep up with repairs and improvements. Over time, properties would deteriorate and become less desirable for owners and guests alike. This would not only reduce the resale value of individual timeshare units but also negatively impact the overall reputation of the resort.

In addition to standard repairs and upkeep, maintenance fees can also cover the costs of renovations and upgrades. These can include everything from replacing outdated furniture and appliances to adding new amenities like pools or fitness centers. Without the funds provided by maintenance fees, it would be difficult for resorts to invest in these types of upgrades, which can be crucial in attracting new owners and keeping current ones happy.

Maintenance fees also help cover the costs of day-to-day management and operations at the resort. This can include everything from landscaping and housekeeping to security and front desk staffing. Without these services, the property would not be able to function properly and provide a high level of service to owners and guests.

Understanding Maintenance Fee Structures

While maintenance fees are an important part of owning a timeshare, it's important to understand how they are assessed and how they can vary from property to property.

Generally speaking, maintenance fees are determined based on the size of the timeshare unit, tax assessments on the value of the property and the resort's overall budget for the year. For example, larger units at a high-end resort will typically have a higher maintenance fee than smaller timeshares with low maintenance fees at a seasonal property.

Maintenance fees can also differ depending on the specific amenities and services offered at the resort. For example, a resort with a golf course or a spa may have higher maintenance fees to cover the additional costs of operating those facilities.

It's important to note that the amount for maintenance fees is not set in stone and can change from year to year. In some cases, fees may increase due to rising costs of labor or materials. In other cases, fees may decrease if the resort is able to find cost savings in its operations.

Tips for Managing Maintenance Fees

While maintenance fees are a necessary part of timeshare ownership, there are steps that owners can take to manage these costs and get the most value for their money.

First and foremost, it's important to preplan for maintenance fees when buying a timeshare. These fees are an ongoing expense, so it's important to factor them into your overall financial plan. Be sure to ask the resort about the expected maintenance fees for your unit, and factor in any potential increases in the future.

It's also a good idea to be updated about the resort's budget and how maintenance fees are being allocated. Many timeshare resorts hold annual meetings where owners can learn more about the property's financial health and ask questions about how their fees are being used.

Finally, it's most important to use your timeshare each year and get the best value for your maintenance fees. If you're not using your timeshare, you're essentially paying for a property that you're not getting any benefit from. Be sure to plan your vacations in advance and make use of your timeshare as often as possible, either at the resort or through a timeshare exchange provider.

What Happens if You Stop Paying Maintenance Fees on a Timeshare?

The average timeshare maintenance fees range from $720 for studio units at single site resorts through to over $1,000 for two- or three-bedroom units at the larger, hospitality-branded resorts. When factoring in the significant discounts to buy timeshare on the timeshare resale market, these numbers still provide excellent value for an annual, week-long vacation compared to rising hotel rates.

Even so, some owners may be tempted to stop paying maintenance fees on a timeshare if they feel as though they can no longer use their timeshare. Non-payment of fees would be a mistake for a number of reasons:

  • Restricted Use of Timeshare – when you stop paying your fees, you are unable to use your timeshare until those fees are paid up. Maintenance fees are typically due at the start of the year, but you may find that you have the opportunity later in the year to use your timeshare for a vacation. You don’t want to limit your use because of an “in the moment” choice. Think long term.
  • Resale Impact – resorts ultimately approve or deny resale requests, and most resorts require that all maintenance fees are up to date before approving a sale. You won’t want a sale of your timeshare to be denied because of owed fees.
  • Hit to Your Credit – accounts in arrears can be referred by resorts to a collection agency, which can lead to those phone calls, emails and letters looking for money. Agencies can report non-payment to the credit bureaus which can lead to a hit on your credit score and potentially impact your ability to quality for a future loan.
  • Possible Foreclosure – if a resort sees there is no chance of reconciling the account, they can pursue a foreclosure to gain back the ownership. This can be costly and lead to further hits to your credit score.

Resorts and timeshare companies want to make sure their owners are happy with their timeshare and are willing to work with owners so they can continue to use their unit. Payment plans and deferred payment options are often a good way to remain in good standing while the finances can be worked through, so contact your resort before you stop paying maintenance fees.

Additional Tips Regarding Maintenance Fee Costs

Keep in mind that timeshare maintenance fees are not just an expenditure, but also an investment in the long-term value of your property. By contributing to the ongoing maintenance and improvement of the resort, you are helping to ensure that your timeshare resort remains a desirable option over time.

Besides the standard repairs and upkeep that maintenance fees cover, they also help to fund special projects and initiatives that can enhance the overall experience for owners and guests. This might include things like upgrading the resort's technological infrastructure, implementing sustainable energy solutions, or adding new recreational facilities or activities.

Another way to help with maintenance fees is to take advantage of any discounts or promotions that the resort may offer. Some resorts offer discounts for owners who pay their maintenance fees in advance or who refer new owners to the property.

It's also a good idea to take a proactive approach to the care of your timeshare unit. By keeping your unit in good condition and addressing any issues as soon as they arise, you can help to reduce the need for major repairs or upgrades down the line. This can ultimately help to keep your maintenance fees more manageable over time.

Finally, it's important to be aware of your options if you can no longer afford your timeshare maintenance fees. You can sell your timeshare online or perhaps rent it out to help offset the costs. However, it's important to be aware that these options may come with their own risks and complications, so it's important to do your research and work with reputable professionals like BuyaTimeshare.com to ensure that you are making informed decisions.

Overall, while timeshare maintenance fees may be a source of annoyance for some owners, they are a critical part of ensuring the long-term health and value of your property. By understanding how these fees are structured, staying informed about the resort's budget and operations, and taking a proactive approach to maintenance and upkeep, you can help to manage these costs and get the most value for your timeshare.

Browse timeshares for sale for the best deals available on the resale market.


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Steve Luba - Chief Communications Officer


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