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Need advice on buying first timeshare

Discussion in 'New to Timesharing? Look Here!' started by IntuitiveMe, Sep 4, 2018.

?

What's the best timeshare program for us to purchase?

  1. Marriott

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Hilton

    33.3%
  3. Hyatt

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Wyndham

    33.3%
  5. HICV

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Other

    33.3%
  1. IntuitiveMe

    IntuitiveMe Guest

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    Hi Everyone! Apologies, but I couldn't find where to post this survey, so here goes. Thanks in advance for your advice!

    1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where?

    No - we want flexibility of destinations.

    2) Do you want to visit your home resort at least half the time, or do you want to trade more than half the time?

    Trade more than half the time

    3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?

    California
    Caribbean
    Mexico
    Europe
    Hawaii

    4) How many people do you usually travel with?

    2 (my husband and I), but eventually a child in the next few years.

    5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule?

    Any time

    6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance?

    Yes

    7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time?

    Yes

    8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars?

    3 stars and up

    9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?

    $2,500 (including closing costs)

    10) How much can you afford to spend every year for a maintenance fee that will come due right after Christmas, and increase each year?

    $750

    11) Are you a detail oriented planner?

    Yes

    12) Do you understand that once you buy a timeshare, it may be very difficult to sell or give away, and you are responsible for all fees, until you do?

    Yes
     
  2. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    You lost it at the $750 cap on annual fee. It order to get into a system with multiple locations and 3+ star resorts plan on minimum of $1000/yr expenses when you factor in exchange fees, housekeeping fees etc. There are some point based systems that sidestep some of those fees, but are stronger in some locales than others.

    Stick around TUG. Others will have suggestions, but whatever they are, buy resale, save thousands.

    Happy hunting!

    Jim
     
    TravelTime likes this.
  3. IntuitiveMe

    IntuitiveMe Guest

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    Thanks Jim! We can afford the minimum if that's including the other costs like exchange fees, housekeeping fees, etc.
     
  4. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Welcome to Tug. It is good you are asking here before you make a mistake.

    When we were young and didn't have children yet, we attended our first timeshare presentation. I am thankful we did not buy. We could afford the unit (it was not much $), but now I realize that it was a small studio on a fixed week.

    We subsequently had 2 children so would have needed more room and the quality of the timeshare and amenities that I would be comfortable in then, is not what I would want now. Our travel patterns also changed with kids. It is a lot more economical to drive than fly a family. This would have been a financial albatross around our necks.

    Timeshare fees increase every year. Your budget is extremely tight (and you envision a child in the future which which puts incredible pressure on your budget). Suggest you rent at locations that interest you, until you have enough money to buy a larger, better unit to accommodate your growing family and you have a strong sense of where you want to buy and what you need for the next 20 years.

    Timeshares can be great in the right conditions (we own 3 and are very happy). Take your time. Join Tug and do a lot of research and rent before you buy a resale unit. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
    TravelTime and IntuitiveMe like this.
  5. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    Location:
    Dover, FL
    Resorts Owned:
    WorldMark 39K
    Wyndham 406K
    RCI Points 196K
    Pick up a 98K Grandview Vegas RCI Points account, They are typically $100-$500 bucks and many times will already have 98K points+ in account already.

    MF’s are $803 a year currently, but only wanting to spend $750 a year MF is a hard one.

    Idea above can easily get you 2 or more weeks of vacation plus access to RCI last minute deals.

    You could pick up a 6K WorldMark account, but 6K would only give you a week in off season in a small unit, but MF’s are under $700
     
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  6. IntuitiveMe

    IntuitiveMe Guest

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    Thanks breezez! We almost purchased HICV points last week while at a TS presentation in Myrtle Beach and then decided to take our chance on the resale market. Do you have any thoughts on HICV vs RCI?
     
  7. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    A few in SC, VA and FL, a single resort in NC, MD, PA, NY, UT, ME, WI, and TN plus Jamaica and the Bahamas
    In order to make your MF's limit work you maybe able to find an every other year (EOY) lock off. You likely won't be able to pull off Europe with a timeshare.
     
    IntuitiveMe and Free2Roam like this.
  8. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    Location:
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    Resorts Owned:
    WorldMark 39K
    Wyndham 406K
    RCI Points 196K
    HICV I don’t know much about other than you can trade into the via RCI. So others will have to help you on that.

    On tug there is a comparison chart comparing all major TS systems and $750 or less is not very practical, 98K RCI points will get you 2-4 weeks a year on average for about $800MF. You can stay in HICV, HGVC, DVC, Wyndham, Blugreen, WM and many other TS systems.

    Since you are asking about HICV here is an example. Orange Lake in Orlando Typically would take 50,000 points for a 2 Bedroom for the week. Last minute deals i.e 9/8 - 9/15 2 bedroom is 7,500 Points.
     
    IntuitiveMe likes this.
  9. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    A few in SC, VA and FL, a single resort in NC, MD, PA, NY, UT, ME, WI, and TN plus Jamaica and the Bahamas
    An off season week at OL averages around 50,000 rci points. A prime, non holiday week is around 90,000 rci points.
     
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  10. breezez

    breezez TUG Member

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    Location:
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    Resorts Owned:
    WorldMark 39K
    Wyndham 406K
    RCI Points 196K
    I didn’t put prime weeks as they can travel anytime and were looking for low MF opportunities, but either way we are both slightly off

    Here is a chart for Orange Lake
    A141FF94-F335-4770-A96B-8C04635BC8A8.jpeg
     
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  11. Slwags

    Slwags Guest

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    I am very new to timeshares as well. Can someone provide a link to the Grandview option mentioned above ?
     
  12. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    There is no specific link. Those ownerships are readily available on eBay, Redweek, in the TUG Bargain Deals, and others. Just look and be persistent. You can snag one.

    Jim
     
    IntuitiveMe likes this.
  13. rboesl

    rboesl TUG Member

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    Resorts Owned:
    Divi Village Beach & Golf Resort
    Vidanta Grand Mayan
    Villa del Arco Cobo
    Grandview Las Vegas
    Vacation Village at Bonaventure
    I agree with breezez, to a point. That 98k points translates to a 2BR lockoff at Grandview. It gives you nice flexibility and gets you affiliated with the Vacation Village chain of resorts. But, you could pick up fewer points at Grandview for the equivalent of a 1BR (61,000 points I think). For your current family situation that should be large enough for a while. It would reduce your maintenance fees to about $430 annually and give you access to Last Minute Vacations in RCI, which are usually pretty cheap (there's a sale now starting at $269 for a week), allowing you to vacation at other places while still staying at or around the $750 limit you noted.

    Keep in mind that RCI isn't the only exchange company and there are other timeshare companies affiliated with their competitor Interval International. For instance, Tahitti Village, also in Las Vegas, has similar maintenance fees for a 1BR, gets you affiliated with Somerpoint Resorts which I believe has an internal exchange program that could save you exchange fees to go somewhere else besides Las Vegas.
     
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  14. IntuitiveMe

    IntuitiveMe Guest

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    Thanks everyone! Still doing research, but will update once we've come to a decision.
     
  15. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I really think you should push timeshare ownership off to the back burner at this time. They are a luxury item. To be acquired when the necessities of life are well, and easily taken care of. Like healthcare, college for the kids, a cushion of several months income as savings, easy house payments with the end of those within view, and most importantly, secure employment with common goals within the family. Sure, those eBay sales are easy, and hard to pass up, but along with the annual MF payment comes the cost of use. RCI charges nearly $250 to do an exchange. EACH. So if you are fortunate enough to score one of those 92,000 point ownerships, it's pretty easy to get 2 weeks use from the points, but at $500 in exchange fees ON TOP of the maintenance fees, and you haven't put the first gallon of gas in the car to get there or bought the wife a new top to wear- or budgeted anything to eat in the resort town where you'll go. (hint)- even hot dogs cost more in those places.

    I don't want to scare you off if you are really committed to this. I just ask that you know what you are getting into. I joined TUG, paid my membership many years before I bought my first TS. In the end, that was the best way--- for me. Maybe you too.

    Jim
     
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  16. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    I agree. Based on the OP’s budget, timeshares do not make sense right now. It is good to hear we are giving him/her the appropriate advice.
     
  17. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    Two things:
    Buying on the resale market isn't "taking a chance" as long as you educate yourself. Making an uninformed decision...that's the risk
    The exchange fees with RCI are sky-high and rising. One exchange would eat 1/3 of your specified $750 budget. That doesn't leave ANY money for MF's

    Suggest you consider renting. There are some great last minute rentals here on TUG. If you have any type of affiliation (Military, LE, EMS, medical etc...) you can probably access timeshare 'wholesale' rental sites that rent last minute surplus timeshare weeks.

    I wish you luck.....be fully aware of the ongoing, rising costs of owning a timeshare..and the costs of exchanges as well.
    Timeshares are great, but they are luxury items and should be low on your budget priorities IMHO.

    Cheers.
     
  18. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I would only want a week in II, and I would want something that is two bedroom to guarantee a 2 bedroom, so I would think a good resort would be MF's of about $900-$1,100. You are way under that. You maybe need to re-think it.

    We have friends, several friends, who have asked me advice on what to buy, and I have only two resorts I recommend for starters, and both are ones I own and use regularly. One is Sheraton Broadway Plantation (fees about $1K), and the other is Marriott's Willow Ridge Lodge (fees of $1,179 this year).

    The thing with the SBP is there is no upfront purchase price (free), you get to trade into other Vistana resorts in places that are popular travel destinations for $144 through II. Same for Willow Ridge into Marriott resorts. Marriott fees are quite high, so I tell people to start with SBP and then add Marriott later on. You can also get a 1 bed SBP for free on ebay with low fees, and those one bedrooms trade well into one bedrooms. That would be your $750 cost.

    I would never recommend RCI to anyone I care about. I don't like RCI anymore. I have RCI points that are not used much. I paid for a platinum RCI membership, just so I could use half of my annual point allotment for car rentals. That is sad. At least RCI travel has a good price on car rentals.

    I did recently find one resort to trade into that I LOVE, and it's cheap in RCI Points, and it's oceanfront Maui. I feel like I found a true gem, but it's hard to get.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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  19. taterhed

    taterhed TUG Member

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    @rickandcindy23 Great advice.

    Again though, remember that these are ongoing fees....that will increase year after year.
    Think this one thru.

    Plan for low entry cost (easy to do) and higher annual fees. At least $1000 a year. Plus travel expenses.
    I love timeshares....but they must be budgeted for.
     
  20. Ddee555

    Ddee555 TUG Member

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    I prefer to exchange through Interval International. I find RCI too expensive for what you receive (quality) in exchange. However, I exchange mostly through Hawaii Timeshare Exchange, Trading Places International, and Platinum Interchange, because I prefer the older, smaller, non-chain resorts. However, when I want to stay at a Marriott (off-season), I use Interval International.

    I suggest that when the OP finally purchases, s/he buys a timeshare within driving distance of home or California. The first because as one has children, it gets more difficult to travel further from home. Or California -- in a good location resort -- because it can also be a good trader. However, I am not the expert at the point exchange thing, I just know what has worked for me. But, the OP needs to adjust upward his expectations of the cost of the annual maintenance fees (like $1000).

    Finally, I do not know where the OP lives, but I've always liked the Worldmark system, although I do not own in it.
     
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