-- Buy at a vacation spot that you wouldn't mind returning to year after year.
-- Visit the facility and inspect the unit before you buy.
-- Choose peak-season weeks at brand-name resorts. That gives you the most flexibility if you want to exchange or rent out your unit.
-- Do not view a time-share as a real estate investment, since time-shares generally lose value. The flip side: Consider buying resales from owners.
-- Ask about maintenance fees and other additional costs you could be hit up for, such as repairs and cleaning.
-- Don't commit any money unless you're sure. Read the contract carefully and have your own lawyer review it.
Corrections and Clarifications
The table in "Is time-sharing ready for prime time?"(BusinessWeek Investor, June 25) that cited costs at a Marriott International Grand Vista resort should have been for a two-bedroom unit, not one-bedroom.