You’ve waited your whole life to invest in a vacation property, so you deserve to have all of your questions answered. Real Property is just that; it is either land or improved with a single dwelling or multifamily unit (condos). A deed is recorded at the local courthouse and you pay real estate taxes and other holding costs each year. You have the sole right to use the premises and dispossess it (sell) at any time throughout the year. If you choose to derive some income from the property, then you can lease it or rent it on a vacation rental program. Under those circumstances you will loose the right to occupy at any time; however you still remain in control over the entire unit and can dispossess at will (so long as you are not violating any liens on the property, which include leases and management agreements).
Most people look for a vacation property in an area that they are familiar with and have visited often. Of course, because you are comfortable with the resort and you have a desire to continue returning again and again. So, once you make the decision to purchase a vacation home, you have done at least a small amount of research and are familiar with the price ranges. At most resorts that range would be $250,000 (condo unit) to millions (oceanfront or ski in luxury home). You find a realtor who is an expert in the resort area you love and on you go. That realtor will show you many fine properties in the price ranged that you agreed upon. He/she will be able to answer many questions about location, rental income, finance options, and carrying costs.
The first day is overwhelming, so you decide to wait and make another visit and leave instructions to email you as listings come on that meet your criteria. Mr./Ms. Agent happily oblige and keep you on their prospect list, which will alert the MLS to notify you any time there is an addition to inventory or any change that affects your criteria.
Well an overwhelming day needs one thing, a great meal at your favorite restaurant. You head to the restaurant and plop yourself on the bar stool and order up. You guest it, everyone beside you is a real estate expert, so you tune them out, just in time for the bartender to mention that he couldn’t help but overhear you and your spouses’ conversation about whether or not to purchase a home this trip. What do you know, but Mr. Bartender has a second job as a timeshare salesman (or as I like to refer to them, crime share). His information seems unbelievable; that you could own a vacation home in this lovely resort for 10%-30% less than the cost of the house. You make an appointment to meet up with him in the morning.
I can tell you that if your first action is to sit through a 2 hour sales pitch, you …