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Experienced Traveler but New to Timeshares

Discussion in 'New to Timesharing? Look Here!' started by Alfonso, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Alfonso

    Alfonso Guest

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    I recently attended a Wyndham presentation and after reading up on tugbbs I am glad I didn't purchase. However I am interested in purchasing a timeshare and wanted to post my newbie info to get a thread started. There appears to be a ton of useful info from many experienced users. I hope to develop some relationships, follow some experienced posters and above all learn which TS is right for purchase.

    I am looking forward to using the site. I looked at a few helpful newbie links and am ready to get started, Here is my info.

    1) I like California as a home base as it offers what I enjoy the most, Beach, Mountains, Golf.
    Initially I would probably stay at the home resort 30% of the time and and trade 70% but I see this becoming more 50-50 after the first couple of years.

    2)My top five destinations are
    • California
    • Scotland/Ireland
    • New Zealand/Australia
    • Hawaii
    • South America

    3) Most of the time it would be just me and my wife travelling

    4) I can travel anytime of year. Lately I have been traveling within 60-90 days of booking. Although I can plan ahead for further destinations. I travel 1-2 weeks at a time. I prefer upscale resorts on a scale of one to five either a 4 or 5.

    5) I can afford up to 10k upfront and would like to keep the dues under $2000/year. Used sounds very appealing but not quite sure just yet if this is the best option

    6) I can be very detailed if I have to.

    Some of my questions are:

    I prefer to buy used. I am thinking of buying HGVC for at least one week. As I mentioned above I like 4-5 scale properties internationally for at least one week. How many points should I be looking to buy?

    Should I buy my home week in California since this is where I would like to stay for the home week. If so should I attend the presentation there. How can I get an invite to the properties I would like for my home week.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Look at Worldmark - resorts in California & West / flexible program - there are recent TUG threads on Worldmark you can read

    Hawaii has lots of timeshare & on more than one island / best to rent from owners first to decide were you like as a resort location .
    (I believe there are a couple of Worldmarks as well ) .

    Your other locations are more complicated and best left off your initial research .
     
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  3. sue1947

    sue1947 TUG Member

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    Worldmark doesn't meet the quality standards specified. If you want 4-5 stars with resort type amenities, look at Hilton, Marriott or Vistana. Look at their resorts directories and see who has what you want. Marriott, in particular, has more resorts including international options. However, for the most part, focus on Hawaii and CA and use exchanges for the others.

    Sue
     
  4. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Join Tug, check the resales in Marketplace. Maybe try renting before buying.
    Good Luck
    Silentg
     
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  5. GT75

    GT75 Moderator

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    Welcome. You are taking the correct approach, asking questions to figure this out. I will add a couple of additional advice statements for you to consider,
    • take your time. There will always be plenty of resale TS.
    • learn all you can about whichever TS system you are considering. I would include reading/posting in the specific TS forum. I am sure that there are specifics in each system that must be weighed/understood before purchasing
    • renting first would be good idea,
    • don't tie up all your travel dollars on TS.
    • Comparison chart of various TS systems (http://tug2.net/timeshare_advice/timeshare-system-comparison-chart.html). We all worked on this together to try to compare each TS system. I think that it is a good start for you to consider, because I can only speak about one system.

    Now for specific advice. I can only speak to HGVC so you must factor that into my advice. HGVC is a good system especially to resale owners. They are treated the same except their resales purchases are not counted towards elite levels which isn't really worth that much anyway. They would meet (IMO) all of your survey questions except for your top 5 trade destinations (HGVC doesn't have any options for South American, they also are using an affiliate agreement with company in NZ [but this is only available for elite]. {But there is 3 properties in CA, 3 in Scotland and several in HI}.

    I would recommend looking at around 7000 starting points for HGVC. I recommend (others recommend buying the cheapest with lowest MFs) purchasing at where you plan to travel most often. My reasoning is that the club rules can be changed in the future so I want to ensure I like my base resort(s).

    There is a lot more which I could advise on, but this is a start. Good luck on whatever you decide.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  6. Alfonso

    Alfonso Guest

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    From what I gathered it makes sense to start with researching your home resort and visiting first to make sure its where you want to be. I think this is a great idea. I like HGVC as a starting point (good to resale owners and quality resorts) but only three locations in California. I would love to make Carmel/Pebble beach area my home resort. Are there good options in this area?

    I will begin focusing on HGVC and will look into Worldmark and Marriott as well. Also if I buy resale around 7000 points as suggested can I still by another resale later from HGVC and combine the points? Will they have to be the same season, number of BR's ect?

    Thanks for the great responses!
     
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  7. GT75

    GT75 Moderator

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    Yes

    No, but you will have additional MFs for second contract. I would recommend that you also look at the total cost of ownership (you will have your purchase price including transfer fees plus yearly MFs). In general MFs are based upon room size (not season) in HGVC. Therefore, MFs/points are less for platinum vs. gold. Remember to consider this.

    I will also say that the HGVC California resorts are affiliates. Usually this will not make much of a difference but these especially have their own set of rules specifically to them. I am not a expert on these resorts but you can look at the following threads for some information:

    https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php...liated-information.254931/page-2#post-2008406

    https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php...a-purchase-of-14k-points.254438/#post-2005481

    https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/carlsbad-resorts-opinions.241606/#post-1885470


    Note: I edited my earlier post that the NZ property is only available to Elite members. I haven't read favorable reviews of that particular property anyway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  8. Alfonso

    Alfonso Guest

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    When you factor in the total cost of MF's. It makes sense to buy one TS with enough points to use for a full week. The total costs of ownership can add up fast. After reading your links it appears that affiliates can have fees as well. When you account for all these possible fees the deal get less attractive. The MF's alone can be $1000-$2000.

    As with any purchase I ask myself am I getting value. I do believe there are some deals out there that meet the value criteria I am looking for.

    I think one week in a one BR (keep fees lower) may work for me. However I would like to stay at higher end properties when possible. I went through the comparison chart from your previous reply. It appears that your earlier suggestion of HGVC meets the low MF high value that I am looking for.

    I know there are some deals to be had and I am open to any suggestions/locations that may bring value when trading.
    Can you comment further on points,location,size of unit needed when trading to the highest end resorts/locations in the HGVC system.

    It's people like yourself that help others avoid the pitfalls of this industry. Thanks for helping me narrow my focus.
     
  9. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I would never

    I would never buy a one bedroom. A two bedroom at least. You can always downsize when trading but not as easy to upgrade. I know you said it will be just you and your wife traveling, but there could be times you might want to have guests with you. Plus, when you buy a bigger bedroom unit, the overall square footage of the entire unit is usually bigger.
     
  10. GT75

    GT75 Moderator

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    • The #1 pitfall is don't buy direct. Most TS lose about 75-90% of their value. Some TS are even sold for free or actually below cost. So don't think of them as an real estate investment. I do personally view them as an quality of time with family and friends (so different kind of investment). The rule of thumb for purchasing a HGVC resale is $1/point for annual platinum season.
    • I think the #2 pitfall is not understanding (which really means using and booking reservations) the TS system. If you procrastinate, you will be very disappointed. If you try to book like you do a hotel room (1-2 months prior to traveling), you will find no availability to super limited. I personally am making reservations 9 (exactly when club window opens) to 12 months out (home week reservations). It is easy to cancel a reservation later.
    • I think the #3 pitfall is not having adequate number of points to utilize in the system. I have heard people disappointed because they purchase a studio (<2200 points) EOY (every other year). This pitfall is of lower priority than other two.

    This really depends upon what you are trying to do. When I go on vacation, I want everyone to have their own bedroom. I like to spread out and relax. I would never consider booking a studio. That is just a hotel room in the TS. I purchased into the system to get away from them. Secondly, we like to bring friends so I agree with @mpumilia.

    I will also tell you a little more about the flexibility of the HGVC system concerning Home Week and Club reservations. Home Week reservations can be reserved 12-9 (few exceptions to this) prior to check in. It is made for the exact unit size & season on the deed. This reservation will use all of your points on that deed and will be for 1 week (usually Sat-Sat but is resort dependant). The reservation is non-changeable (but of course can be cancelled). Club reservations can be made < 9 months prior to checkout for any size room/season/any day/3-days minimum. You can also draw saved points (from previous year) and borrow points from following year for this reservation. So it is very flexible system. The club reservation will also be changeable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  11. Alfonso

    Alfonso Guest

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    I have a wealth of information now and I'm able to navigate the sight fairly well. Thanks all for the helpful pointers.

    On a slightly different note. I have a time share presentation coming up in Cabo that I booked last year before I knew anything about TS. It is at Villa Del Palmar 5 nights all inclusive I believe my paperwork said II. Since II is an exchange company will they be selling points? I probably will not buy from them but would like to know what to expect. I tried searching for II on Tug but the results were vague. Is there a link that explains the II system for purchasers or what can be expected at the presentation?
     
  12. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Alfonso .. your LIST did NOT include Mexico. Think TWICE about buying a Mexican timeshare. Or many other foreign countries.

    I own several lockoff resort weeks in Florida (not on your list is that state, but I want you to understand WHY you might consider a lockoff unit in your area). Most lockoffs are a FULL 1 bedroom unit and a small unit (either a smaller 1bdr or a Studio unit). These lockoff units can be traded via exchange companies as either a 1/1, ST or a 2/2 unit. MFs for these "2" units are usually lesser than 2 separate units. ie My L/O unit MFs are around $880 per week; 1/1 units MFs at same resort are around $770 per week. Yes, an exchange company has fees but that resort belongs to both RCI and II ... you can get memberships in both companies (but YOU pay these companies annual dues, too).

    Next you need to really understand FIXED WEEKS, FLOATING WEEK and POINTS ownerships. Every resort or TS chain will have vastly different rules. Decor styles & level. Add usage fees. Exchange methods (esp points systems). Exchanging every so often is different from exchanging every year.... And what was a great exchange 5 years ago .. might be way poorer/fewer units now. Exchange inventory is a big variable (which is WHY resort chains are successful) every year.

    I own where I want to be almost every year.
     
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  13. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Agree on the learn first -

    RE : Mexican TS - they are generally RTU ( right to use ) non deeded - with a contract end date . There are TUG members who will "buy for the transfer fee cost"( ie almost 0$ ) a contract with 10 use years left.
    This can be a good use & exit strategy.

    HOWEVER - I would call this an " TUG advanced learner " class and is generally done AFTER someone has exchanged into a specific resort a number of times .
    also - SOME have high transfer fees ( 10 % of original sale price / 5 x MF etc )
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017 at 12:18 AM
  14. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    While I agree with the wisdom to buy a 2 bedroom for most timeshare systems, this is not as important for Hilton - the number of points is most important for this system. With Hilton, lock-offs don't matter.

    We technically own a studio in NYC but the points are sufficient to trade for one and two bedrooms in other locations. We have never used our home week but always have used points even when staying at our home resort. With the flexibility of the Hilton points system, we can reserve larger units and even a penthouse in NYC by shortening our stay and borrowing from future years to easily upgrade our unit. There are no "upgrade fees" involved (other than larger units in certain locations can require more points,) Larger units are visible to all in the system and can be reserved with points, no matter what you own.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 2:18 PM
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  15. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    DO NOT BUY A MEXICAN TIMESHARE during your visit. DO NOT.

    If you want one, then you can come home and decide. You can probably get one for free. You can certainly buy ANYTHING they offer you at a later date.
    DONT DO IT.

    Many seem to visit and then come home with unexpected souvenirs (and a lot less cash!)
     
  16. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    II is all 'weeks' based unless you have II points. You don't want II points--even if you could buy them. If a resort is points based (like Worldmark etc...) then the resort (that you own) has an established practice with II for charging points/weeks exchanges (eg 10,000 points for 2br exchange >59 days prior to check-in) or they deposit a week (of their choice) when you exchange and charge you the appropriate fee.

    With the Villa Group, I see references to booking and depositing weeks, using preferred points, paying MF's for additional weeks to deposit, points deposits, etc..... No telling. There are many types of ownership in MX and apparently multiple ways of depositing, exchanging and/or space-banking (or it's equivalent). I recently tested a UVC membership on II and it did look to have decent trade power. That being said, I would not recommend purchasing an MX timeshare unless I was a)an expert on the subject, b)planning to vacation almost exclusively in MX, c)fully informed as to the cost to rent at these resorts vs ownership

    Good luck
     
  17. GT75

    GT75 Moderator

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    I would think twice about even going to a Mx TS presentation or accepting this promotional package. These can be very intense. Just getting through the Cabo airport is a challenge unless you know what you are doing. For example, the two rooms after leaving customs are call "shark tanks". The are completely TS. The people in these rooms will act like they are helping innocent Americans looking for directions but only trying to sign you up for a TS presentation. They will completely lie to you. I would suggest that you read and even post into the Mx TS section on TUG. I have read that some of the Mx TS presentations last all day. You will also find the phase "body snatchers" used.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 4:38 PM
  18. VegasBella

    VegasBella TUG Member

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    Read read read

    Visit places via rental or TS presentations to see what you like. Just don’t buy til you have a very clear understanding of your needs and all the options.


    Side notes:
    I own two 1 bedroom units and they’re great, exactly what I need, and much cheaper than the 2 bed equivalents. I also own a 2 bedroom unit and it’s great. But I wouldn’t follow the advice to “never buy a one bedroom.” Everyone’s needs are different.

    If I had followed that advice I would have had to pay double or quadruple the price, PLUS higher mf and taxes and/or not get what I wanted! I wanted a summer week at Carlsbad Inn. They have very few 2 bedroom units, even fewer are Summer, and none are corner units with extra balconies and views. On top of that I have to pay $200/yr in property taxes on my 1 bedroom unit in addition to my mf. I’d have to pay way more for a 2 bed.

    And we wouldn’t use it! My immediate family is me, my spouse, our son. When we invite other family they need their own unit anyway bc there’s too many of them. Plus I want more separation. So we just rent for them if they’re coming - works out way better. And I foresee many years in the future where it will just be me and hubs. So we don’t need that extra space and bigger financial burden.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  19. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    A- 2 bedroom lock-off can make sense - as a trader - because you deposit each side seperately
    and get more RCI TPU's per MF dollar . This again is a TUG advanced learner class .

    In general it is best to buy what you need in a system you will use .

    PS - It took,me about 9 months of TUG forum reading ( outside of the system I own )
    to start to understand some of this stuff .
     
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  20. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Hyatt has a resort near Carmel and Hyatt fits your 4-5 rating criteria. Check out the Hyatt thread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 6:54 PM
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  21. Alfonso

    Alfonso Guest

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    I like the idea of a LO to trade or use separtely. Just to be clear does this mean I can trade one side of the lock off and use the other every year? This seems to good to be true. I think this merits further research.
    I did research on the Hyatt property in Carmel. I have family in the Bay area so I would like to make this my home report. I've seen some resales on Redweek but they start around 3-5k and the home week does not always work for me. I am trying to find a TS that I would go to regularly and I wonder how easy/hard it would be trade your week to the same resort in the event you can not travel on your home week.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017 at 12:28 AM
  22. Alfonso

    Alfonso Guest

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    Also I have seen a few deals on EBAY for Worldmark points. This sounds intriguing. Any thoughts?
     
  23. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    The best way to buy WM points is from a trusted (check history and postings etc...) seller on WMO or TUG. Less than 40cents a point, all-in (ALL fees) and fully loaded (bank, current, borrow with full HKT). Points are about .07 cents a piece, so you can subtract missing points @ .07 and missing HKT's at $90 (approx). Pay close attention to anniversary date and make sure it's Premier (others are rare).

    Timeshare Angels is a good seller, but higher prices.
     
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  24. Alfonso

    Alfonso Guest

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    Thanks for the heads up taterhed. I will use this info when evaluating WM points. I think that buying points may a be a better strategy when buying resales. At first look they appear to be a better buy than say, buying 7000 point HGVC or a Marriott TS. Is this based on the resorts being better with HGVC/Marriot? Also what are HKT's?
     
  25. Alfonso

    Alfonso Guest

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    I checked out the Hyatt thread and I liked what I read. Good quality, reasonable MF and great locations. I noticed a few sales on TUGS. It appears they hold their value pretty well. The downside is they start at around 7k for some decent options. At this rate it will take a few years to break even on this investment. I'm definitely intrigued since Carmel would be a great home resort for me. Now I guess it's just waiting for deal for the week that I want.
     

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