October 19, 2012 — I recently read a report in which the author asserted that when we all pass on to those great ‘Endless Vacations’, and after a respectable grieving phase has passed, our heirs turn into “money hungry” beneficiaries & begin to unload just about everything we left them as fast as humanly possible— including our homes, boats, RV’s and yes, those damn timeshare plans too!
So here’s the scoop. To agree with that author’s findings about “money hungry” heirs would seem a bit cold hearted but as I thought about the writer’s perspective I found myself wondering what ever happened to that 800 acre ‘estate’ my great-great grandfather owned in Tennessee during the mid 1800’s?
At first I decided that my lineage included a bunch of ‘folks’ who could not have cared less about the “future of our children” because they left me nothing; and I’ll be the first to admit that I wouldn’t have minded inheriting everything that my ancestors had accumulated throughout the years.
However after further consideration I concluded it wasn’t just my ‘family’ because if all the ‘great-great’ grandparents had passed along all their ‘stuff’ & if that process had continued to this day then the United States would, should or could be awash in ‘estate’ owners. Yet today only 60% (+ -) of those living actually own a piece of property, mainly a home.
There was also an article published in Yahoo Finance and Smart Money that told the story of a continued plummeting market for timeshare resales and in that article ‘the Nusbaum’(Howard, President and CEO of ARDA) told the writer that buyers should purchase timeshares to use them – not as an investment.
Oh so wise. I guess that is why Howard makes ‘them big bucks’ but I’ll leave that topic and his remarks for another time. However what he and most timeshares developers need to understand is that most of our heirs apparently ‘don’t want no stickin timeshare’ left to them and can y’all guess the number one & two reasons why they feel that way?
Now wait for it; drum roll please!
The first reason, according to the author, is the first ‘stuff’ our heirs unload are those things that have an ongoing cost attached to them, such as boat storage/docking charges, maintenance & insurance fees, etc. And as you guessed, timeshare ownership plans are right at the top of the list as well.
Seems our loved ones don’t want to inherit ‘forever vacations’; that is once they learn that doing so is going to cost them (money) any balances currently due including all future annual maintenance fees, special assessments and oh by the way, the 2nd reason they don’t them thar timeshares is they don’t know how in the hell to use ‘em anyway!
One of the ‘would-be owners’ referenced in that report is a young and successful California real estate investor whose mom, now a widow, doesn’t vacation any longer and can’t afford to pay the annuals, etc. He told the writer that he is offering to give the timeshare way for free & before his Mom passes because: “I don’t want to inherit it” – “I want it to go away.”
I suppose if Mom passes before he can give it away he’ll have to lawyer-up and spend thousands of dollars to legally get out of it and I’m sure he’ll justify that expense because paying the annual $1,495 maintenance fee (two weeks) for all eternity is the greater of two evils. Did I mention his concerns for his eternal contractual obligation if he inherits, regarding potential special assessments, too?
Fortunately there are a few timeshare developers now putting together some (e.g.) 20 year plans, etc. And of course there are all those RTU for ‘x’ years plans in Mexico and overseas. But as an industry timeshare developers and HOA’s will soon be facing, with the passing of the ‘Baby Boomers’, an avalanche of their heirs who don’t want the perpetual hell, I mean costs, associated with most timeshare plans.
That said, like the resale issues over the past couple of decades, I suspect most other developers will just turn their backs on reality once again until the old ‘…and you can will it to your children’ is all over the news in an endless barrage of more negative timeshare horror stories originating from millions of these new ‘owners’ crying out for help because they, too, just “want it to go away”.
To send tips, comments, suggestions, agree and/or disagreements etc. email Scoop: [email protected]
Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry, Scoop covers an array of industry related subjects each week including inside information, tips, scandals, interviews, forecasts as well as new (good or bad) products and services--- and, of course, all the 'Good', the 'Bad' and the 'Ugly'.
Stay tuned for what is sure to be a fun ride and check back to Timeshare Scoop du Jour each week for more of the inside scoop.