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House Calls: Finding the Bargains

Edith Lank on

At any rate, enjoy your house hunting!

Another Timeshare

Dear Edith: My husband and I own a timeshare in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and it is paid for. We have tried to sell it over the years but been unsuccessful. Now we are retired and can no longer afford the timeshare maintenance fees, which will double in 2018.

We listed it with a company to sell for us, but that has not produced a sale, and we think we have been ripped off by the company. How in the world can we rid ourselves of this burden? We offered to give the timeshare back, but the developer would not take it. -- F.

Answer: A timeshare may be enjoyed for many years but should not be considered an investment. I don't hear from owners with happy endings, but stories like yours -- those I've heard many times over the years.

You did right asking the developer if it would take the timeshare back; that's a good first step. You did wrong giving anyone money upfront to "market" the place.

You can always try placing a classified ad in the local paper offering to give the timeshare up just for the legal costs of transferring it -- or even promising to pay the costs yourself.

--Sponsored Video--

You might also take the problem to a couple of real estate brokers there. You'd need to offer enough commission -- maybe a flat fee -- so it would be worth their efforts to find a buyer, or even just a taker.

Then -- I always feel odd making this suggestion, so I'll preface it by saying you should discuss this with your lawyer -- you may want to simply stop paying the fees. Ownership will eventually revert to the developer. In most cases, management doesn't feel it's worthwhile pursuing any legal steps against you. That's particularly true if the property is located in a different state.

Over the years, I've wished someone would write back and tell me how that option worked out.

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Contact Edith Lank at www.askedith.com, at edithlank@aol.com or at 240 Hemingway Drive, Rochester NY 14620.

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