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Purchased Kauai - Second Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by talisanman, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. talisanman

    talisanman Guest

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    Greetings TUG!

    I wished I would have found this forum prior to our recent holiday in Kauai. We had been considering vacation ownership for some time, as the kids are getting bigger, and hotel rooms are just not cutting it anymore. Went to a Westin Kauai presentation, and signed documents purchasing two room lockout for two weeks.

    Now that we're back home, have had a chance to read numerous threads from the forum, and are now not sure we made the right choice. Our motivation for purchasing was 1) larger accommodations when traveling; 2) incentives to travel to places would would not otherwise consider (such as St John or Bahamas); 3) the ability to break the week into daily/weekend use (we live in So Cal and the Palm Desert resort is convenient for a weekend getaway); and 4) forcing me to take holidays, as they are very infrequent at the moment.

    StarPoints was not a motivation, as I travel extensively and have been Platinum for 5+ years now, making SPG my hotel choice whenever possible. Nor was the external exchange option. StarOptions seem to be the currency of value, but now concerned that the price paid for the 148,100 StarOptions may be too high. Although Kauai was beautiful, our preference would be Maui, and other participating locations.

    We're still within the rescind period (next Tuesday). While I would not consider any other vacation ownership scheme (Marriott/Hyatt), I believe we may have paid too much for the value and flexibility we are seeking.

    Any and all comments are welcome. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. McFail

    McFail TUG Member

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    Welcome to TUG. I know others will also chime in quickly.

    My quick assessment is that you may have bought exactly what would work for you. The trouble is that you have no idea how much you may have overpaid (or not) and are still unsure of the whole thing.

    That being said you can rescind, hang out here, read the reviews and then go shopping for what will really work for you.

    FYI I am going to the Marriott Waiohai next month.

    The Starwood owners will give you some good support.

    NW
     
  3. LisaRex

    LisaRex TUG Member

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    If you really wanted to own in Kauai, then I'd say the extra $10-20k you paid might be worth the ability to trade in SVN. The only way you can do that in Kauai, a voluntary resort, is to buy from the developer.

    But since you said you might want to own in Maui, then I'd strongly advise rescinding now. Maui is a mandatory resort and the ability to trade within SVN transfers with resales. So you can save a lot of money by buying from a prior owner.

    There are literally hundreds of resales on the market to Westin Kaanapali. For the price you paid for Kauai, you'll be able to find an ocean front villa in Maui.

    If you can find a OF center unit at WKORV, that would be very sweet. The MFs are the same as everyone else, but you have a much bigger, ocean front lanai. If not OF at either location is great, though I'd offer $5k less for the north property because Starwood's coding of their OF villas on the north side is far looser than the south property. But make a few offers and see what you can get. $45k is the lowest I've seen for OF and $24k is about the lowest I've seen for island view to give you an idea. (Others can chime in here if they don't agree). MyResortNetwork, Redweek and SellMyTimeshareNow are some places to start looking.

    Happy hunting!! And welcome to TUG!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  4. clsmit

    clsmit Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    The chorus of "rescind" should start any moment now. And it's a good thing to do. Since you're already Platinum, buy resale at a mandatory resort like Kierland (Scottsdale) and use that to trade into other places. Or buy Maui resale and just go there and rent or buy resale into other locations. Getting into the Bahamas or St John is not as easy as the salespeople say, so keep that in mind. You can always go back to Starwood and buy from them if you want, after doing some more research. They will always have inventory.

    And I bought from a Starwood first and didn't rescind. But I know that if we hadn't bought, we never would have done it. And I wouldn't have ever gotten into the fun of trying to figure out what to do with all the timeshares my DH has acquired in the past year! Or "met" all the cool people on this site!

    So send them the paperwork this afternoon, breathe a sigh of relief, and start thinking your options. And SDKath lives in San Diego, so take her to lunch if you want more advice!
     
  5. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    Hi, I'm glad you found us! Please read the article at the top of the board about rescinding - Rescinding FAQ - it will tell you everything you need to know to make a valid rescission.

    Then Rescind!

    Then you can take your time, do your homework, and research buying a timeshare with no pressure.

    A couple of personal examples:

    I bought at the Starwood Maui Resort (from the developer) and paid $45,000 :eek: Now the exact same unit can be bought resale for less than $30,000. :(

    Recently - I bought 2 ocean front weeks on Kauai on ebay at another resort. They are full ocean front - 180ยบ ocean views - and I paid $1,500 for one unit and $1,300 for the other!

    There are some great deals on the resale market - rescind and then do it your way!

    BTW - If I was you - I would consider an ocean front unit at WKORV. We have seen them on the resale Mkt. for as low as $50,000 and you could offer less. I would not buy OF at WKORV-N, because many of their units are not true OF. At WKORV, all of the OF units are true beach front and have awesome views! But - it wouldn't make any sense to exchange ocean front on Maui, for a couple weekends in Palm Springs. You are better off renting or using Starpoints in Palm Springs.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  6. tomandrobin

    tomandrobin TUG Member

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    Your post speaks volumes.

    You prefer Muai, but you bought Princeville. Recind ASAP and buy Maui resale, since that is truly what you want.
     
  7. talisanman

    talisanman Guest

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    Thanks for all of your comments. We're placing the Rescind letter into an overnight package as we speak.

    Now that we're back to square one, I'm not clear of the best approach to securing our holiday investment for the future.

    One of the continuous themes is that purchasing into a Mandatory resort, for the most part, is better than a Volumtary resort, especially if one is looking to exchange locations from the owned property via SVN. Correct?

    Another clarification is that the Kauai developer mentioned that the StarOptions could be banked for up to two years; and points for 6. However, other threads indicate that StarOptions are only good for a year. Is this a developer incentive?

    Finally, our initial purchase was for a two bedroom for 2 weeks per year. Given the excellent information for your responses and other threads, seems like purchasing a resale week on Maui, and then perhaps a developer week at, say, Kierland, and using the retro-ing process to capitalize on the developer purchase, would be the best of many worlds, and significantly less expensive.

    I think I'm catching on to this VO game. Thoughts/strategies?

    Cheers!
     
  8. tomandrobin

    tomandrobin TUG Member

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    Ok, you are getting the hang of it.

    Kierland is a sold out resort. So if you want to requalify Maui, it would have to be at one of the current resorts for sale.
     
  9. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    Yes, BUT some Starwood resorts are so expensive - upfront + yearly maintenance fee, that they may be to valuable too exchange. For instance, I would never exchange my Maui Resort, because I can rent it for $3,500 a week. For an exchanger, I would buy something cheaper. So if you think you only want to go to Maui every other year, then buy an EOY deed.

    Nope - it's a big old fib! Staroptions have to be used by the end of the calendar year. If you can't use your week, you can deposit it with an exchange company and that deposit is good for 2 years - but it has nothing to do with Staroptions. Once you deposit with II, you are out of the Starwood system and Staroptions are only used in the SVN.

    You are catching on...but take your time... It isn't necessary to Requalify everything, unless you intend to become 5 Star Elite (spend a lot of money and buy a lot of timeshares.)

    Be sure you read the Starwood FAQ at the top of the board for a good introduction to how Starwood works.

    If I was you, I would consider:

    1) starting out with a Maui resale and
    2) then buying a cheap (less than $2,000) voluntary resort for II exchanges - taking advantage of the Starwood priority in II.

    I would try that out for awhile before I bought anything else or requalified anything.

    Did you follow the rescinding instructions exactly? Even HOW you mail it, counts.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  10. Henry M.

    Henry M. TUG Member

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    You can't bank StarOptions. You have to use them the year you get them. What the salesperson was saying is that you could deposit the week into Interval International, a timeshare exchange company, and you would have up to two years to pick up an exchange. You could pick an exchange in the same location as your unit, if available (difficult for Hawaii), but your not really banking what you own. You are depositing into the exchange company. They may or may not have inventory in Kauai when you actually want to use your week.

    You plan of buying resale in Maui and then from the developer in Kierland sounds good. However, you really only need the developer week if you want to reach some sort of Elite status and then only if you plan to go all the way to 5 Star, otherwise the perks aren't that great. It is not too important for the first one or two weeks that they be from the developer.

    I like Maui and want to be guaranteed my time there so I would buy there for myself, if I could afford it. I don't want to wait until 8 months out to trade in during the summer when I usually go. Also, exchangers don't always get the best views and are the bottom of the list for upgrades. I've heard a few disgruntled mainland owners at WKORV complain about their room assignment.
     
  11. LisaRex

    LisaRex TUG Member

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    If you buy just one unit on the resale market the ONLY way to exchange to other SVN properties is to buy a mandatory resort, as SVN membership transfers to the new owner.

    If you want to buy two weeks, then you can buy any unit (including Kauai) on the resale market, and then when you buy the second unit, you ask the salesperson to bring your initial purchase into SVN as part of the deal. This is called requalifying. However, see below.

    StarOptions cannot be banked. You have to use them within the use year or you forfeit them. If you convert to StarPoints, you have 6 years to use them.

    The most recent wisdom WAS that you could only qualify a Hawaii resale with a >$40k Starwood purchase from the developer. Another poster has just posted today that Starwood offered to requalify his Hawaii unit with $20k Orlando purchase. So who knows?

    However, I'm not sure why you'd try to requalify your Hawaii unit in the first place. It's already in SVN because it's a mandatory resort. And now Starwood has said that you could combine StarOptions with all mandatory resorts, even those purchased on the resale market. So you could buy both on the resale market and save tons of money.

    Another point: If you don't care about your view in Hawaii, inventory is pretty good for trading. If you'd be willing to call at exactly 8 months out, when non-owners are allowed to trade in, you have a very good chance of getting into Hawaii. So if you really wanted to save a lot of money, you could 2 weeks at the cheapest mandatory property with sufficent StarOptions (2 bdrm in Hawaii is 148,100 StarOptons) to get you into Hawaii and just do internal SVN trades.

    The only downside to this is: as a trader, you're at their mercy in terms of view. And hot weeks MAY be sold out. However, I was just at WKORV-N and there was plenty of units available.
     
  12. DavidnRobin

    DavidnRobin TUG Member

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    Simply put - Rescind and consider buying WKORV (either N or S) resale if you want Maui. Both WKORV resorts have their pros/cons and much has been written here. If OF is important to you (as is true for us), then spend the extra premium (~$20 per VOI) and buy OF at WKORV. The price you paid at WPORV is probably around what you can buy OF WKORV on the resale market.

    If you are buying with the intention of exchanging then a non-OF WKORV may be more for you. [even consider buying WKV for a lot less - incl MFs] It would be an exchange downward to trade an OF unit for almost any other resort (except perhaps WSJ and HRA - not easy) - all the others will likley be easy to exchange into (incl WPORV).
     
  13. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Great decision! :whoopie:

    Since you have almost no reason to become an Elite owner (as you are already Platinum), I'd consider a single Maui week (so you can reserve 12 months out for the hard-to-get weeks / school vacation, etc at Maui) and a Kierland week for trading within SVN. No need to requal.

    Check eBay as well as resellers - there have been some crazy low prices on eBay lately...
     
  14. stevens397

    stevens397 TUG Member

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    Not sure I agree with the last point. OP is Starwood Platinum and it sounds like it's from work related travel. Some day that will end and Platinum status will disappear shortly thereafter. So securing Platinum-for-life is certainly a good thing.

    BUT..... I agree the cart is WAY in front of the horse. I completely agree with the others about the major TUG maxim - buy where you want to go - at least three out of every four years. Spend a week there next summer (Maui oceanfront is as good as it gets - truly magnificent and EVERYONE will be jealous!). The if it is as good as you are hoping, develop your own personal strategy according to what matters to you. As you have seen - you'll get loads of free advice!
     
  15. Ken555

    Ken555 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    The OP seems to want two weeks, which isn't enough for 5-star Elite status (and Platinum). I'd suggest the obvious need for 4 weeks (or so) of qualified ownership would be a necessity before even considering this option.
     
  16. LisaRex

    LisaRex TUG Member

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    If he wants to pursue PFL (or, more precisely PFALAYOTT: Platinum for as along as you own the timeshares), then he can requalify his 2 resale purchases with 2 developer purchases anytime in the future. He might as well get them as cheaply as he can now, enjoy them, and then if he decides to go down the platinum road, he can consider buying from Starwood sometime down the road.
     
  17. stevens397

    stevens397 TUG Member

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    Maybe I was obtuse. I was simply saying that:

    1. PFL has value and that he may not always have Platinum status and,

    2. WAY too early to think about it before buying his first timeshare. Put your foot in the water, make sure you like it and like Starwood, and then decide if more weeks and Elite status is worth is for you. I think we all agree here.
     
  18. talisanman

    talisanman Guest

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    Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions. I'm soooo glad I found this forum, as it has taken much of the mystery and confusion out of the sales pitch and put it into real terms. Thanks to all that have responded.

    Our goal will be to monitor the resale sites and look for an Maui OF as our first purchase at the right price. I can't thank you all enough. Cheers!, and hope that our paths might cross some day on the beach in Maui.
     

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