Most people who don't understand timeshares don't value their potential and the huge investment opportunities they're missing out on. In fact, timeshares can be a good budget option for a vacation if vacationers took time to conduct some research.

This is an option that gives an individual an opportunity to share the costs and use of a condo or home with other people. In other words, when a person invests in a timeshare, he or she buys the right of using the cabin or home and its shared facilities. Timeshares are not like hotel rooms and resorts that offer people a place to sleep. Timeshares have a wide range of amenities such as restaurants, kitchens, night clubs, and babysitting services.

How do they work?

The three types of timeshares include a fee simple, right-to-use, and a vacation club also referred to as a point system. Since the rules that define these types of timeshares differ, it can greatly impact on the price and even resale value.

A fee-simple timeshare or deeded timeshare: Allows vacationers to buy a home for a certain period of time yearly. Therefore, the buyer is fully responsible for the assessment fee, maintenance costs, and the purchase price. In some timeshares, the new owner will also be responsible for property taxes in case it has not been rolled over to the annual maintenance costs by the management.

Right-to-use timeshares: Gives people an opportunity to sign a lease to use a home for a few weeks every year for a certain period of time. During this time the person who leases the home will be responsible for any special assessment fees and maintenance costs. The special assessment fee is payable whenever the resort decides to make any necessary repairs to the timeshares, and thus the owners should pay for the same. Owners are allowed to give away rent or sell their right-to-use their timeshares at any time.

Timeshare point systems: It allows vacationers to buy points within a resort. Most people prefer to use the points because they can use them to buy any available vacations within the network without necessarily being locked to a specific time of year of location. The points can also allow the owners to buy other things offered within the system such as cruises and flights.

How much do timeshares cost?

According to industry statistics, about 50% of the timeshare's retail price after listening to a presentation goes to marketing. Therefore, it's prudent to purchase a resale instead of a timeshare that is going at a retail price in order to save money and keep the overall vacation costs low. Check out for websites that offer resale timeshares. Some resorts take long intervals to conduct repairs on their timeshares.

If a resort takes over five years to conduct repairs, it may end up costing the timeshare owners a hefty one-time maintenance fee. The amount of money owners pay as the annual maintenance fee, regardless of whether they used the timeshares or not, is also reliant on the level of luxury they bought.