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potential svn purchse@ lagunamar Mex

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by poma, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. poma

    poma Guest

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    Newbeis are condsidering purchsing 2 bd platinum floating week here and really only want to trade it for Scottsdale Keirland, or palm springs. No interest in going to Mex.Looking for pitfalls and advice as to availability issues for trade in high season through SVN and any other things we should be aware of. Still in 10 day cooling off period. Thanks in advance
     
  2. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    Hi and welcome to TUG! :hi:

    You should rescind ASAP
    - you can buy the same resort on the resale market for less than 50% of what you paid.

    But, since you never want to go to Mexico, I would recommend that you buy a resale in one of your desired locations, instead - for a lot less money. Westin Kierland Villas would suit you nicely AND it has Staroptions. even with a resale.

    The locations you mentioned are relatively easy trades. If you can travel off-season, buying a cheap ($500) resale and trading with Interval International is also very doable.

    Here's everything you need to know about rescinding.

    Rescind, and then come back and talk to us about your (much cheaper) options.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  3. poma

    poma Guest

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    thanjs for the quick reply. We really wanted to buy in Kierland but of course trhe develpoer was sold out. He said it didnt matter where you bought because it was trading within SVN that mattered and you were just using your points. We were told that reslaes didn't qualify for trading within SVN and that the extra cost that we were paying was more than offset by the larege number of Starwood Points that we were getting, and we did get a lot. we like the concept and Starwood seems upscale but its hard to assimilate all the information and the nuances. Our plan would be to use the timeshare mostly in Kierland.
     
  4. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    The salesman lied to you. Resales at Lagunamar do not have Staroptions. Resales at Westin Kierland Villas do have Staroptions. Plus, you can buy a resale at WKV for much less than what you paid the developer.

    It makes no sense to buy at Lagunamar, when you want to go to WKV, and WKV will cost you less. Plus, as a WKV owner you can make your reservation at 12 mos. out and have priority to request the view of your choice. As an exchanger, you have to wait until 8 mos. out, at which time you are in competition with everyone else who wants to exchange.

    How much did you pay?

    Here's a 2 bdm. Plat week at WKV that recently sold for $17,000 - and we've seen them for less. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220557088925

    It's really a no brainer - rescind and then come back and find out how to buy a resale at WKV for far less money!
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  5. poma

    poma Guest

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    We paid $32,000 and then bought an additional sudio for $10,900 to qualify for Elite status so we could have the option of banking starwood points yearly if we didn't use all our alloted time.what enticed us was the apparent felxibilty but we started out looking for a resale and seem to get convinced that we made the difference in price back by stqarpoints. If we buy resale can we use the points to trade in the svn network? Also , if we recind, will this somehow affect us negatively in our furture dealings with SVN.
     
  6. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    You don't use points to exchange in the SVN network - you use Staroptions and a resale at WKV has Staroptions.

    Resales don't have Starpoints, but converting your week to Starpoints is not a good value and it gets worse every year, because every year Starwood raises the number of points necessary to get into the hotels and they have NEVER raised the number of points they give TS owners who convert their TS to points. I own 3 weeks with Starwood and I would never consider converting to points, because the number of points they give you is so pitiful.

    If you can't use your timeshare one year, you have other options that are more valuable - like renting your week and pocketing the cash, or depositing it with an exchange company and having 30 mos. to use it for an exchange.

    You have a legal right to rescind, and it would have no bearing on your future purchase or use of a resale. Resale owners are treated exactly like developer owners, except you can't convert to Starpoints.

    So you paid $43K for a resort you never want to visit - and you can buy exactly what you want at WKV for less than $20K. What else is there to say?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  7. DavidnRobin

    DavidnRobin TUG Member

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    DeniseM is correct - rescind - and dont let husband/wife talk you out of it. If you want WKV - buy it resale - I own two 1Bd WKV (Platinum/Premium) worth 81K SOs each on the resale market - and would even buy another is I can find a bargain, and it comes with the ability to do an exchange via SVN (and of course II) - or even rental - AND it is a great resort on its own

    rescind - research, then decide if resale works for you - there are alot of bargains out there IF TSing works for you.
     
  8. levatino

    levatino TUG Member

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    For your sake, listen to what they are saying....
     
  9. poma

    poma Guest

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    Thank you for all of your input. you all make a strong case. The starpoints are nice but as their value decreases they aren't so nice. I suspect the analysys is that we could just spend the extra monies on hotels whenever we use them as it seems we would have alot of cash left over. so just so i"m clear,as I;m doing this from a hospital bed after being sedated for a proceedureearleir today, which may be obvious by my typing, the starwood options go with the resale and can be used to trade within the SVN system?
     
  10. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    Not at all resorts, but at WKV - definitely.

    Here is our Starwood FAQ for more info. about how Starwood works.

    Rescind! :D
     
  11. poma

    poma Guest

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    got it. definitley glad we connected and we will recind tomorrow. we will join tug and look forward to keeping eveyone posted.
     
  12. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    Yeah! :clap: :clap: :clap:

    Review the rescinding FAQ and get it done ASAP - then come back and see us when you are feeling better.

    Get well! :hi:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  13. jarta

    jarta TUG Member

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    "We paid $32,000 and then bought an additional sudio for $10,900 to qualify for Elite status so we could have the option of banking starwood points yearly if we didn't use all our alloted time."

    Please rescind. Learn a little more on TUG before buying any TS.

    You say you want to go to WKV or Palm Springs. If that's the case, why are you buying at Lagunamar? Buy where you want to go in the season you want to be there. (And, I say that owning 3 weeks of Lagunamar 2-br TS in Platinum season.)

    Your ability to bank Staroptions is very limited at Starwood Elite Level 3. You can convert annually only until July 1 of each year. That flexibility is not worth the $11K you have spent.

    Of all your options of buying in Scottsdale or Palm Springs, probably the best would buying a true Platinum resale at SDO. You would be limited to going there in season or trading in II. You will have to be attentive to what you are doing in II, but you should be able to make good trades in II that get you to Starwood or Marriott in Palm Springs in Platinum Season.

    The next best option is a Platinum resale WKV. These units do not come up often on eBay. When they do, a 2-br Platinum at WKV sells at $17-20K on eBay. You would have to spend more with a TS broker, but they are available for much less than the $32K you paid for Lagunamar. The Staroptions transfer with a resale purchase at WKV, there is no ROFR and all you lose is the ability to convert to Starpoints. (That's not much because, if you can't visit, you can drop either or both units into II where they will trade well. You will always lose less of your Starwood investment by buying a mandatory resale unit.) Because the Staroptions transfer at WKV, you will be able to trade into WDW or WMH in Palm Springs at 8 months before arrival - assuming availabilty exists.

    It is also never a good economic decision to buy your first TS directly from Starwood. If, at some later date, you decide to get to a truly usable Elite Starwood level (like 4 or 5 Star), you can cut your investment getting there by having a resale unit somewhere to retro when you make a purchase of $20K or more in the mainland US or Mexico. Right now you don't have that unit to retro back into Starwood's SVN to re-acquire the tradeable Staroptions and ability to convert the week into Starpoints and have the retro also count for Elite status. That's another reason for rescinding this purchase. And, Starwood will always be ready to sell you a TS!

    I am 5 Star Elite. It's great. But, you have to have the time to take the vacations, the money to invest, the money to pay the MF and the money to get to the TSs and the money to spend while you are on all those vacations. It's expensive. Elite is not worth it for most people. Probably the worst thing you can do with TS is to overbuy.

    There is a lot to learn on TUG. Rescind and learn how best to use the SVN system to your advantage before buying an expensive week (or two) from the developer. ... eom
     
  14. grgs

    grgs TUG Member

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    You've received excellent advice from the prior posters. One thing to consider is when you'd like to go to Scottsdale or Phoenix. It is relatively easy to trade into those locations with the exception of March Spring Training/Spring Break weeks. I think Thanksgiving and New Years might also be popular weeks. If you think you'll want to go during March, definitely buy at the resort/season you want. In Scottsdale/Phoenix, there are two Starwood resorts: Kierland (WKV) & Sheraton Desert Oasis (SDO). WKV is mandatory & SDO is not, so there is a huge price difference. You might want to review this thread regarding differences between them:

    http://tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118789

    Best wishes,

    Glorian
     
  15. DanCali

    DanCali TUG Member

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    Apart from the excellent advice given, you should not forget that the $43K you spend upfront has an opportunity cost. While interest rates are very low now, that will not last forever. Most of the time that money can be invested at low risk and generate a 4%-5% return. So in addition to MFs, you are also "paying" about $2000 a year in foregone income. Of course if you financed the purchase with Starwood you are paying 15% interest which is over $6K a year! And let's not forget the immediate loss in equity since your purchases are worth 90%-95% less on the resale market (thats mostly to the "voluntary" designation of the resort which perits you to resell a product much inferior to the one you bought)...

    Rescinding is the best financial decision you can make!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  16. aytug

    aytug Guest

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    if you want to go to Kierland, why buy Lagunamar and not Kierland? You can buy a Kierland resale at a reasonable price, especially now. Besides, Lagunamar is voluntary while WKV is mandatory and you can trade within SVN.

    The other thing - buying in Mexico for a domestic exchange looks like a very risky proposition. Dealing with many uncertainties and risks of a foreign country when you don't even want to travel there to enjoy your property does not sound wise, even if you were saving some money vs. Kierland (which I doubt). Besides, if Starwood took away the SVN exchange privileges tomorrow, would you still be happy to own at Lagunamar? The drug cartels seem to be running parts of the country over there, tourists are shot on the streets ... maybe it is just me, but I would not even consider buying there for this reason alone.
     
  17. jarta

    jarta TUG Member

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    aytug, ... "The drug cartels seem to be running parts of the country over there, tourists are shot on the streets ... maybe it is just me, but I would not even consider buying there for this reason alone."

    Tourists are not being shot in Cancun. You are safe in the Hotel Zone. I spent 2 weeks at Lagunamar this February. I always realized I was in Mexico and acted accordingly. But, I felt as safe at Lagunamar this February as I felt at WKV this March.

    The parts of Mexico where the drug wars have been active are the border towns, like Ciudad Juarez or Tijuana. But, you, in Denver, are closer to those places than Cancun is. Cancun is about as close to Tijuana as you are to Miami.

    Mexico outside the Cancun Hotel Zone is certainly not as safe as the US. Is there corruption in Cancun? Absolutely. Are drugs available on the beach? Sure, if you are looking for them. If you are looking for drugs you can find them in Miami or Phoenix or LA - or almost any vacation location in the US or Caribbean.

    Here are a 2009 article and 2010 blog information about safety in Mexico and Cancun.

    2009 - http://www.latimes.com/news/nationw...exico-cancun-drugs2-2009mar02,0,5465698.story

    2010 - http://gomexico.about.com/b/2010/02/25/safety-in-cancun.htm

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1895175

    Here's last month's US State Department advisory. Nothing in it specific to Cancun at all.

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_4755.html ... eom
     
  18. LisaRex

    LisaRex TUG Member

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    Congratulations on finding Tug before wasting a bunch of money. As far as the StarPoint conversion goes, you can buy them off SPG.com for 3.5 cents apiece. The MFs are so high at some Starwood properties that you can literally buy them off SPG.com for less than you'll pay for them by converting your villa into SPs. So please don't romanticize the ability to convert.

    If you haven't already signed up for the Starwood Amex, that's a very cheap way to earn SPs. First, you'll get a nice bonus just for signing up (and don't forget to have your spouse do the same in his/her name). Then use the card to pay your everyday bills (e.g. groceries, cell phone, cable, etc) and you'll earn 1 point for every dollar charged and double points at Starwood properties (including paying your Starwood MFs.) Of course, you have to be disciplined and pay it off every month to make the benefit worthwhile, but this is a much easier and more economical way to earn SPs than buying and converting a villa.

    Also note that MFs at many Starwood properties have or may soon outpace rental prices, especially rentals during shoulder/low season. If/when that happens, whatever equity you have in your villa will deteriorate immensely. I bought at WKORV-N RESALE (40-60% less than the going developer rate) and I have seen the sales prices diminish from $50k to $25k in 3 short years. If MFs continue to rise, WKORV owners won't be able to give these villas away because it'll cost more to own than to rent. Ask the folks who own at SVV/SVR, as they are are now paying MFs that are more expensive than what Starwood itself is renting these properties for (depending on the week) and far more expensive than anyone can get via II Getaways. And the folks who rent get daily cleaning, the flexibility to check-in on any day, and (in some cases) StarPoints!

    Proceed with caution, my friend. Do your homework and commit only when you're comfortable with the program. FWIW, Westin Kierland platinum is one of the few Starwood properties I'd actually still recommend buying (because the MFs are reasonable, the II trading power is high, and it comes with a sufficient # of StarOptions to trade like for like (e.g. studio for studio) at any of the SVN properties.
     
  19. Twinkstarr

    Twinkstarr TUG Member

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    Well while people like us Jarta that understand this, there's a thread on the MX forum, about someone trying to convince family that it's okay to go to Cancun.

    Our family doctor cancelled his Cancun vacation for the 2nd yr in a row. Last year H1N1 during spring break and this year the shootings. I told him last spring, when in with one of the kids to get alllergy meds, that if I could grab a good week at the Royals we'd go. He looked at me like I was nuts.
     
  20. okwiater

    okwiater TUG Member

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    Although I agree that you are LIKELY safe in the hotel zone, Cancun is still in an unsafe country. Proceed with caution. Here is the story of Zeke Rucker from 2 days ago, who was vacationing in Cancun: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20001662-504083.html
     
  21. jarta

    jarta TUG Member

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    okwiater, ... That's a horrible story. I hope they find out what really happened.

    Your link says that the others went back to their rooms but Zeke decided to hang out by the pool, thus implying he never returned to his room after being out celebrating.

    Another article says that the hotel has videotape of him staggering from his room.

    "According to family members, the hotel has interior surveillance video showing Rucker “staggering” from his room. But there is no exterior video to shed light on what happened once he exited the hotel or when and how exactly he sustained his grave head injuries. His wallet and ID were left intact inside his hotel room."

    http://article.nationalreview.com/430182/an-american-familys-cancun-horror/michelle-malkin

    Whatever happened, whoever did it and where, the story is tragic. ... eom
     
  22. aytug

    aytug Guest

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    Jarta, so the drug cartels are allowed to wage war in the middle of Acapulco but they are not allowed into Cancun? Is that a rule of some kind that they must follow?

    Let me rephrase my statement: I am not comfortable buying a timeshare in a country whose border towns are run by drug cartels. For me the two are an odd combination. :whoopie:
     
  23. jarta

    jarta TUG Member

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    aytug, ... I was not criticizing your decision not to buy in or visit Mexico. It's your decision. There are gang wars going on. Gang on gang and gang on Mexican police. People are getting killed - lots of them.

    I was responding to your statement that tourists are shot in the streets. They aren't. It was an overstatement.

    You can stay away from Mexico. You can buy where you want. You can talk about the gang wars all you want. They are real. Just try to keep the statements factual.

    Gangs are everywhere. On March 5 of this year, the History Channel aired a documentary called: "Gangland: Mile High Killers."

    http://www.streetgangs.com/news/030510_denver_gang_life

    Your avatar says you live in Denver. I don't feel that I should not visit Denver any more because of that TV program. I wouldn't make a statement after watching it that tourists are being shot in Denver's streets. I don't think it would be fair to Denver - an otherwise vibrant and spectacular city. I try to keep things in perspective. ... eom
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  24. James1975NY

    James1975NY TUG Member

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    You will find out that there are 5 locations that you can purchase within SVO that will provide you with StarOptions on the resale market. Check out the owner resources here on the SVO board.

    Your two best options for cost on the resale market are going to be:

    Sheraton Vistana Villages (Bella or Key West phase) - Lower cost than Kierland but higher maintenance fees per StarOption.

    Westin Kierland Villas - Higher cost to purchase but the best maintenance fees per StarOption provided that you purchase platinum season.
     
  25. aytug

    aytug Guest

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    I probably should not post this, but will take my last chance to clarify my point, which does not have to be factual but rather an opinion. Let me state the obvious - yes there are gangs in Denver, but the difference is that they don't rival the government here. I can buy property here without fear that in the near future the country may be run by a drug lord - something tells me it would be kind of hard to enjoy the beach.
     

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