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Back from Kauai and thinking of rescinding...

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by kippax, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. kippax

    kippax Guest

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    This is my first post to TUG and would appreciate some impartial advice from fellow members. I understand that everyone's circumstances are different and subjective but we've just got back to chilly England having spent a wonderful two weeks in Kauai. Whilst there we were seduced by the Westin Princeville Villas and purchased 1 1/2 weeks for $71,000. I am a SPG Platinum member and was enticed not only by the resort but by the starpoint incentives. The problem is now that we're back we're questioning our judgement for the following reasons;

    1. Given that we would only go to Kauai say every 4 years, are we crazy to buy a timeshare in Hawaii?
    2. If we kept hold of it for just 5 years, would I be naive to think we would get our money back if we re-sold then?
    3. I now notice (following research on TUG) that this is a Voluntary resort and therefore could reduce it's value as a resale?
    4. One of my main motivations is to eventually get up to 4 weeks so we would get SPG Platinum for life. Can this only be achieved by buying from the developer?
    5. Given that being able to convert to Starpoints is one of the biggest advantages for me, is there a cheaper way to buy the equivalent of 148,000 Staroptions and then convert to Starpoints without having to spend $47,000 on one week in Kauai?

    I would have liked more time to research before buying Princeville but we had to sign up whilst we were there and we won't be hopping back there for a year or two.

    I've got 3 days left to rescind.

    Thanks

    Andrew
     
  2. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    RESCIND NOW. Do not hesitate. Do not pass go.

    Yes. (in my opinion)

    You can obtain cheaper StarOptions by purchasing into the SVN program elsewhere, and then trade to Hawaii when needed (assuming availability, etc etc).

    Possibly, but I wouldn't count on being able to sell close to the purchase price. Most voluntary resorts appear to lose value faster than mandatory resorts, but others are more informed on this than I. Typically you lose 30-50% of the purchase price the day after you purchase.

    I would think so.

    Yes and no. SVN permits "requalifying" a resale ownership when purchasing a week directly from the developer. You could therefore purchase one week resale, then a week from the developer, and then repeat.

    I would think so. I'm sure others will chime in on this question with updated pricing...

    Ask yourself if a salesperson wouldn't accept your money...regardless where you live. Obviously there are legal issues to deal with, but many of these salespeople rely on the "legal" concerns to force a quick (and hard sell) sale, when the reality is sometimes quite different. I have no knowledge if the sales office was right in informing you that you couldn't purchase from England or not, but you could quickly find out by calling the corporate sales dept and asking if you could buy from home.

    Everything is relative. That said, I'd rescind today. If you do, make sure you fax the document, mail it overnight with signature required, and call/email the sales office informing them of your decision. Try to get a confirmation of receipt (get a fax confirmation from your fax machine and keep the record). Basically, do everything possible to prove that you rescinded within the timeframe.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
  3. kippax

    kippax Guest

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    Thanks for your input Ken, you've confirmed what I've been feeling. We're going to Fedex the cancellation note to them today. You wouldn't happen to know what the fax number is? I can't find any record of it on the paperwork they gave me.
    Cheers
    Andrew
     
  4. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    In your contract, there should be very specific directions for rescinding and it's important that you follow them to the letter, or your rescission might not be valid.

    Ken gave you a very complete answer, but as for reselling in a few years, I can relate a personal experience. We bought our Starwood timeshare on Maui a few years ago for $44K and now you can buy the same unit resale for $31K. And Maui is a mandatory resort, so I wouldn't expect Princeville to hold it's value any better.

    I think you're making a good decision. Now you can take your time, do your homework, and make a decision you will feel comfortable with.
     
  5. Denise L

    Denise L Tug Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Welcome to TUG!

    I'm trying to think of the resorts that are currently for sale with an equivalent Starpoint conversion (to 80K Starpoints per year). Typically you would have to buy a 148,100 Staroption interval, so that would be Kauai or Maui (North). You must buy from the developer for the conversion, or go the "requalification" route, which a few TUGers have done with success. It would just take a little more time.

    Just out of curiosity, what was the Starpoint incentive you received for buying 1.5 weeks in Kauai?

    General advice is to buy where you want to go, as internal (SVN) or external (II, or other company) exchanges are never guaranteed. If you have a lot of flexibility in your travel planning, then having Staroptions and using them at the 8 month mark may work. Think about where you would like to travel, how often you would want to convert to Starpoints, what size villa you would need, and how much you can afford for annual MFs.

    Like DeniseM and others, we bought directly from Starwood. We paid $45K for Maui (and got airline points on a credit card), received a good amount of Starpoints, and have visited WKORV for the past four years (one year, using five nights "free" from Starwood as part of an Explorer Package, and the other three, as owners). I looked at resale at the time, and the first one showed up a week after we closed escrow. It was $38K. Was it worth paying $7K more to buy developer? It depends on what the value of the incentive Starpoints are worth to you, etc. Plus, at the time, we did spend six weeks scouring TUG and looking for a resale, but the resort hadn't opened yet and there were none to be found. Anyhow, no regrets for us!

    Today, if I could buy a resale for $32K with occupancy in 2007 or 2008, would I take that deal over the $45K deal? Were my four Maui vacations, SPG Gold cards, 45K Mileage Plus miles, and 130K Starpoints, minus three years of MFs worth $13K? For us, resale would have saved us money but we have had a great time :whoopie: ! Now to figure out how to afford another week....ha ha :D .

    Have fun with your research & I'm sure you'll find something that works! There are a lot of reputable resale brokers out there that understand the mandatory/voluntary thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
  6. kippax

    kippax Guest

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    160,000 points.

    The bottom line Denise is that we are 17 hours from Kauai and whilst we absolutely loved it there (only South Island in New Zealand is prettier in my opinion), $71,000 is a big outlay plus another $23,000 in 12 months time for the extra half week plus the $4,4,00 maintenance costs per year. No number of starpoint incentives make that a sound investment given the various comments on here about the cost of re-sale vs developer especially on a voluntary resort.

    I'm glad it works well for you and to be honest if we lived in say California, we'd buy it and be there every year. SVO really need to start opening up place in Europe/Middle East to get us Europeans spending the cash as well!

    All the best
    Andrew
     
  7. Henry M.

    Henry M. TUG Member

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    I think rescinding is your best bet. Exchanging for Starpoints is not a good use of your property, especially for the more expensive properties like Princeville and Maui. It is a convenience and better than losing the value if you can't make it to your resort, but not as the primary way to use your ownership.

    Timeshares are a luxury and I certainly have enjoyed my weeks with Starwood, but the only way it makes sense is if you use the timeshare part pretty much every year, whether at your home resort or by exchanging somewhere. The other perks are nice to have but poor value all by themselves. I don't know of any timeshares where you get your money back. Some of the smaller non-Starwood developments can lose 90% of their value. I think for SVO Hawaii you might be able to recover 70-80% of the price you paid.

    I've heard rumours of the first European property coming online in Turnburry, Scotland, in the not too distant future. Maybe after that opens it makes sense for you to look into ownership again. If I were going to get just one week I'd buy resale at a mandatory resort. If I were getting more I'd buy one resale and re qualify it with a second developer week. I would probably buy where I want to go rather than the cheapest available because at the more desirable locations exchangers may not get the nicest views (I'm influenced by what I hear when I go to Maui, not sure if this is really an issue at other resorts).
     
  8. duke

    duke TUG Member

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    Andrew:

    I think your incentive and pricing breaks down as follows:

    Price for 2 br l/o EY is $47,900
    Incentive is 100,000 plus 10,000 for the tour.

    You purchased 1 1/2 weeks and got 1 1/2 incentives plus the 10,000 for the tour.

    Actually, Princeville is reasonably priced in the "pre-construction" phase now. It does not open until late 2008.

    Given the price of Maui and other not as desirable locations the pricing seems reasonable (ie: Cancun at $39,900, Maui $57,900, etc.)

    Everyone here is correct that this is NOT an investment or something to sell later. If you want to buy a great vacation, in a 2 br 5* suite, next to the St Regis Princeville hotel, with the available option to get 86,000 starpoints if you can not use it or be able to trade to other locations with 148,100 staroptions this is a nice deal.

    Like others have said they have enjoyed their TS's. Don't be put off. However, if this TS or the deal is not right for you then decline and there will always be another chance to make the same or better deal.
     
  9. Denise L

    Denise L Tug Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Andrew,

    I agree that rescinding is a good decision for you, so I am very glad you found TUG in time to get that done :clap: .

    As I wrote previously, if you ever buy a timeshare, the general rule is to buy where you want to go (and can go). Perhaps an EOY purchase at a mandatory resort might meet your needs better? Or maybe just renting from an owner every fourth year would be even better? If you do decide to pursue a number of Starwood resale purchases in the future, and you are interested in the Starpoints, then you will have to buy developer eventually to requalify a resale (assuming that option continues to be available). But maybe you will decide that the Starpoints won't be worth the added cost of buying developer, as some Starwood owners on this board will debate ;) .

    Most will tell you that a timeshare should never be considered a financial investment. We definitely haven't saved or made any money, but we are getting a great return on quality family time!
     
  10. califgal

    califgal Guest

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    You are doing he right thing in recinding! You are way to far away! The only thing you have going for you is that you are paying in pounds! With that thought....just think how far your pounds will go in a resale purchase! Maybe look at Harborside in the Bahamas which is at the Atlantis resort. At least that is about 10 hours closer to you!! Much easier to get to!
     

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