• Dear Property Guy,

    I’ve had a timeshare for almost 20 years. When the kids were younger, and I was travelling more, it was fun. But now, it’s just an expensive hassle. The maintenance and annual fees are killing me. I just want to be done with it.

    — Timeshared in Tumalo



    Dear Timeshared:

    Property Guy has a few rules for clients and friends: First, we don’t sell, we BUY property in Oregon. Second, we NEVER buy timeshares. We’ll go over the other rules in a different column…

    Timeshares can be structured a few ways, but basically you are a part-owner with the right to use the property for a pre-determined period of time each year. The rub is that you are on the hook for: maintenance, management, repair, and any other fees the timeshare company dreams up in the future.

    I’m not a timeshare expert, so I reached out to some attorney friends who are. Strangely enough, none of them actually own timeshares.

    Timeshare presentations can be pretty slick. And when combined with free food and booze, can also be very compelling. Timeshare salespeople have even been known to (gasp!) lie about facts to get you to buy. Timeshare staff actually rank somewhere between used-car dealers and politicians on the trustworthy scale.

    When it comes to exiting a timeshare, you have a few options; none are really awesome. But let’s work through them.

    Talk it out. Always start here. It’s easy and it doesn’t cost anything. Call the company and ask what your options are for sale or for a “deed back / surrender.” You’ll find that (surprisingly) most timeshare companies don’t even want their own stuff back for free. Most will even try to sell you something else during the call.

    Try to sell. Websites like Sharket, RedWeek, and Timeshare User Group can help you determine market value your property. These sites also provide listing services. This is probably the best option if you can make it work. Unfortunately, the market value of many timeshares is less than free as a result of high annual maintenance fees. A quick search on those sites showed pages and pages of listings for under a dollar.

    Timeshare exit companies. These come in all flavors. Some are outright scams and others are very good. The ones that are scams will demand an upfront fee, and you will never hear from them again. Good ones will come with excellent references. There are many lawyers who specialize in this. The key here is to research, research, research before you pay anyone to help you get out from under a timeshare. There are no guarantees here, and the average cost for these services is about $5,000.

    Walk away. This is just as it sounds. You can stop paying the bills, but this doesn’t stop the obligation. You will start getting nasty letters from important-sounding attorneys and collection agencies. Your credit may take a significant hit, and there is potential for legal judgments and attachment of assets. Or you may never hear from them again. Just the luck of the draw.

    The best way to avoid getting burned by a timeshare is not to get involved with one. With the advent of AirBnB and VRBO, there is no reason to “own” something to explore different areas of the world. If you’ve already taken the timeshare plunge, there are always options.



    Mike Dear Property Guy,

    A few columns ago, you talked about the importance of reviewing HOA financial documents. I have asked our HOA for our records, but they have not been forthcoming. Help?

    — Concerned HOAm Owner



    Dear Owner:

    This is not a good situation, and one that may require a competent attorney, and perhaps even the District Attorney. It is important to note that HOA officers are bound by their governing documents and state laws. HOA officers can face criminal prosecution, and be sued for breaches. My experience is that HOA members tend to be more forthcoming with documents when reminded of this fact.

    — Mike



    Mike Zoormajian is principal at WetDog Properties in Sisters. Providing local property management and investor services. Questions, comments to: letters@

    wetdogpnw.com. Free legal advice is worth what you pay for it. Consult a real attorney before doing anything crazy.
  • Johnstons mark 10 years at The Pony Express
    During the first week of September in 2009, Wesley and Teagan Johnston took over ownership of The Pony Express.
  • Sisters business marks 30 years in the saddle
    Eurosports Bikes, Skis, Beer and Food Carts is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a live music event, sale, and beer tasting.
  • This fall, The Nugget will publish the first edition of a new magazine-format publication that honors the triumphs and achievements of the vigorous and accomplished people who call Central Oregon their home.
  • Lifelong Sisters resident Samuel Pyke shared his passion for his work as the keynote speaker at last week’s EDCO Pub Talk (see story, page 1).

    Pyke grew up in Sisters, graduated from Sisters High School, and went on to Oregon State University.
  • At last week’s EDCO Pub Talk, Sisters resident Josie Johnson, CEO and founder of Josie’s Best Gluten Free Mixes, explained her mission of redefining gluten-free foods.
  • Kiwanis grant helps woman change careers
    Sisters Kiwanis is helping a Sisters-area resident shift her career path.
  • EDCO shines spotlight on Sisters business activity
    The spotlight was on Sisters Thursday evening, July 25, when several hundred Central Oregon businesspeople gathered at the Three Creeks Production Facility for the EDCO Pub Talk featuring Sisters businesses.
  • A report outlining strategies to meet future housing needs in Sisters is heading on to the Sisters City Council.
  • Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)’s Central Oregon PubTalk heads to Sisters Thursday, July 25 to see what’s been cooking in the entrepreneurial community.
  • XPress Printing in Sisters was named among the top 100 small commercial printing companies in the U.S. by Print Magazine. XPress placed No. 94 on the list published in the July edition.
  • Dear Property Guy:

    With all the people moving here, and not enough new construction, Central Oregon property looks to be a solid investment.
  • Dear Property Guy-

    I’m looking at investment property in a subdivision with a homeowners association (HOA). A friend recently bought a home in the same subdivision and (the) lender required a review of HOA documents. These documents turned out to be in a significant state of disarray, which delayed the closing process.
  • SHS graduate invents water-saving sensor
    Eric Adler, Sisters High School graduate in the class of 2010, is making waves with his self-designed water conservation sensor.
  • Two new food carts arrive in Sisters
    The people-and-dog-friendly Food Cart Garden at Eurosports has welcomed two new food carts this summer: Three Sisters Snack Shack and G Spot Foods and Catering.
  • Oishi thanks Central Oregon by giving back
    Oishi Japanese Restaurant is celebrating its sixth year in Redmond by giving back to a family in need.
  • A long-simmering legal battle between the Oregon Department of Transportation and the owners of Sisters Airport has been resolved by a settlement arrived at this spring.
  • Chef competes in Bend
    Eight accomplished local chefs from Central Oregon competed to prove their culinary skills kicking off the Top Chef Competition at the Bite of Bend on Saturday with Chef Jon Hosler, owner of The Porch in Sisters, competing against Chef Chad Berg for Deschutes Brewery in round one.
  • Eclectic treasures for Creekside Park visitors
    The showcase of fine arts and crafts that spread across the manicured lawns of Creekside Park drew in thousands of visitors on Saturday for the 17th annual Art in the Park, an added attraction for visitors to enjoy during rodeo weekend in Sisters.
  • Cowboy Court Apartments to open this summer
    Paul Pinion saw a need in Sisters for comfortable apartments at a reasonable rental rate – and he didn’t see anybody filling the need. So he stepped up.
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