Canadian Resort & Travel Association

Purchasing Tips

Buy because you plan to use your vacation ownership interest for many years to come. Buying a timeshare is a lifestyle investment that offers better vacations with family and friends. The “dividend” is a lifetime of memories and vacation experiences together. And, because of its pre-paid nature, timeshare gives people the discipline of taking time from hectic schedules to relax and recharge with high-quality accommodations year after year. Timeshares should not be purchased as a traditional real estate investment.

Choose a vacation that fits your lifestyle. Think carefully about what you value most in a travel experience and then explore the wide variety of vacation ownership products and options available to you. Choose options that will best suit your family’s needs today and into the future.

Visit a vacation ownership resort on your next vacation, to experience the accommodations and recreational opportunities. While there, talk to existing owners about their experiences. Many companies also offer "mini-vacations" or "sampler" programs that may provide discounted options for a stay at the resort.

Read all documents carefully and understand what type of product you are being offered. Ask for a clear explanation of the terminology and purchase terms.

Ask if the resort is a CRTA member. All of our Members have agreed to adhere to CRTA’s Code of Ethics.

Look for signs of good property management, such as well maintained facilities and amenities, good housekeeping, and friendly service. Also study the resort’s annual Home Owners Association (HOA) budget so you understand how your annual maintenance fees will be spent.

Verify the resort’s affiliation with an exchange company and learn about the resort’s internal exchange policies and member benefits.

To maximize your opportunities for exchange, buy the most desirable unit in the most popular season or the largest points package you can afford. If your primary goal in purchasing is to take advantage of the exchange benefit, know that the greater the exchange demand for your unit, the greater the exchange flexibility you will gain.

Vacation ownership is one of the most highly regulated vacation products in today’s consumer marketplace. In BC, Alberta and Ontario, provincial legislation pertaining to timeshare, real estate and/or consumer protection govern the purchase process. These laws typically address financial requirements for the developer, rescission rights, disclosures about the resort for consumers and provisions for resort management.

If you don't understand the purchase documents, seek advice from a lawyer who is experienced in vacation ownership.

If you are considering a “travel club” or other form of unsecured vacation product, confirm that the club sponsor has secured sufficient resort inventory to support its members’ travel demands.

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