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Thinking about HGVC resale purchase -- Looking for go / no-go advice and Point recommendation

Discussion in 'New to Timesharing? Look Here!' started by anderik1, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. anderik1

    anderik1 TUG Member

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    Hi new TUG family,

    Thank you all for your expertise and information that you’ve already shared through the rest of the post here in the forums. I’ve learned a lot over the last few weeks by reading the different info here.

    I’ve been on ~10 timeshare pitches, and have seen several different programs (and have read up several).


    I’m leaning towards HGVC (resale of course), but would love to hear your thoughts based on my responses below… as well as input with respect to how many points you would recommend.


    For some bonus info:

    My wife is in education and I have a 9-5 job, but have some flexibility to work remotely and have 4 weeks of vacation. We’re definitely cost conscious / careful with our money, but travel is one of the places we do like to invest. This year was a bit ridiculous, but we went on a cruise (family), went to dominican republic (B&B with just adults), and got back from Hawaii (Hilton Hawaiian Village with Hilton points).


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


    We live in Texas and we like traveling all over, but given our location and love for beaches, we do go to Mexico quite often. We also base a lot of vacation destinations on what is available at a good value. For example, we went to Hawaii because we found cheap flights about 2-3 months out.


    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?

    I would expect that we’d trade more than half.


    3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?
    • Mexico (Usually Cancun)
    • Florida (we like beaches)
    • Vegas
    • Wherever we can find cheap flights
    • Colorado / skiing

    4) How many people do you usually travel with?

    • 2 adults two kids (Most often)
    • 2 adults (occasionally)
    • 4 adults, two kids (occasionally)

    We typically stay in hotel rooms (studio), but a 1 bedroom would be preferred (especially for the bigger kitchen facilities). I could see us getting a two bedroom and inviting friends or grandparents.


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

    • Some flexibility, somewhat locked
    • School breaks are preferred, but not required


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

    • We likely could, but typically have not based on how we’ve traveled to date. Without timesharing, we usually book 2-6 months in advance.
    • I understand that we may change that behavior to get preferred destinations

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

    • Can we, yes, but more often than not we book 5-6 day trips

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

    • When traveling with kids typically at least 4 stars
    • When traveling alone, we are willing to go off the beaten path

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

    Prefer to stay under 5k because we're frugal and think that much more than that we would be better off not owning


    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?

    Lower is better. We typically aim to spend less than $1k for a week stay in a hotel so that’s the comparison we would be aiming to stay under


    11) Are you a detail oriented planner?

    Yes, we both certainly can be.. especially when finding booking travel or finding deals


    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, we’ve been on numerous timeshare presentations for discount vacations over the last 5-6 years, and know that this is not booking a hotel
     
  2. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Congrats on researching a timeshare and avoiding the sales pitches. You can save a lot of money on resale.

    IMO...Your budget is at the very bottom for HGVC. Maintenance fees in Vegas and FL are typically $1100 for a 2 bedroom and increase about 2 - 3% per year. You would need 7000 points for a 2 bdrm during platinum season and they typically sell for $1 a point plus closing fees. You might be able to get by with a 1 bdrm 4800 - 5000 points (at $1 per point) for that purchase budget, but you are limited to 4 ppl. These units typically do not allow rollaways so if you have a boy and a girl a 1 bdrm can be a problem.

    You may be able to find a distress sale on Ebay or a Flamingo unit if you are patient.

    Las Vegas Blvd, Paradise and Elara will not sell for $5k or less because they are subject to ROFR. You might look at Florida HGVC too but I believe it might be the same situation unless you find a distress sale.

    If you don't want to increase your budget you might want to consider other systems which are less expensive and have 3.5 star quality such as WorldMark or Vacation Village/Grandview which can trade via RCI into Mexico. However I am not sure if these have the locations/amenities you desire. I will leave it to other more knowledgeable tuggers to discuss other options since I don't own these.

    Alternatively, you tend to visit timeshare heavy locations so renting a timeshare make be your best option. However rentals tend to be for a full week instead of 5-6 days. You can check out early but won't get a prorata refund on the unused days. Check out Redweek and Tug rental listings.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    Anne&Jim and anderik1 like this.
  3. anderik1

    anderik1 TUG Member

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    Thanks @CalGalTraveler!

    I’m curious what amount of points / size unit were you assuming or recommending. I was originally leaning towards ~3500 platinum points which appear to have plenty of availability at some of the Vegas resorts for under $2k.

    Should I be looking for more points than that? Or are you thinking that even the lower number of points will not pass ROFR?

    I did give some consideration to the 7000 options, but it seems that it’s better to underbuy and borrow than to have more than you need... maybe I’m wrong there though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  4. dayooper

    dayooper TUG Member

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    3500 points is a two bedroom silver season. It’s not a good value in terms of what you can book and your points per maintenance fees. Platinum units would give you 7000 points. With kids, you will want a two bedroom. I am a teacher and you will have a hard time finding 2 bedrooms during your your wife’s vacations. If you have to always borrow to get that 2 bedroom where and when you need it, you will only get one vacation for every two years of maintenance fees. The other issue if you have to get rid of it. Silver season units are very hard to get rid of.

    With your requirements, I would suggest looking for a Flamingo 2 bedroom platinum. They have been selling occasionally for around $4500 and have maintenance fees a little over $1000. Since there is no ROFR on Flamingo units, they do come on the market occasionally for that low (I’ve see at least four between $3900 and $4500 since May). You have to be pretty quick when you see it come up.

    Check out the HGVC forum here on Tug. Great members who are very happy to get advice.

    https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?forums/hilton-grand-vacations-club-hgvc.52/
     
  5. anderik1

    anderik1 TUG Member

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    Thanks @dayooper as well! I had been looking at Platinum Studio Plus options which was where the 3500 came from. I definitely understand on avoiding Silver from a maintenance perspective. I'm a bit embarrassed to say I've read the last ~100 or so posts in the HGVC forum.

    I perhaps should have posted this in that forum instead. :(

    If we were willing to stay in mostly 1 bedrooms or studios do you think the 3500 would be enough? We could afford to buy the 7000 points, but I'm more worried that I'll have too many.
     
  6. dayooper

    dayooper TUG Member

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    Do you plan on taking a vacation using your points every year? As your kids get older, you will want a 2 bedroom. If you are bent on getting around 3500 points, I would go up to a platinum 1 bedroom in Vegas. 4800 points with MF’s per point at a very good level.

    I would take this question over to the HGVC forum.
     
    anderik1 likes this.
  7. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    3500 would only get you a vacation every other year. Personally I would only go for 7000 or no less than 4800 Pts annual. As your kids become teens and college age you (and they) will want the extra space.

    You will always find use for extra 7000 points. If you have a platinum season in a decent resort you can rent out your home week. You can save points to the next year and stay in a really nice upgraded penthouse or 3 bedroom or take multiple vacations. You can convert to RCI and get two more years, or convert to Hilton Hhonors. (not a terrific use but still has value.)


    If you cannot afford that it might be better to wait and save up more money until you can, or consider a non-hotel branded system.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
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  8. anderik1

    anderik1 TUG Member

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    Thank you both again! I was really thinking that 7000 may be too many, but I'll certainly factor your advice into our decision.

    All of the talk of "be a borrower, not a saver" perhaps scared me a bit too much.
     
  9. dayooper

    dayooper TUG Member

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    If you have to save, it’s not a huge deal. With kids, you will want a two bedroom at some point. Many resorts have 2 queens in the 2nd bedroom and that will be great for when your kids are older.
     
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  10. Chop999

    Chop999 TUG Member

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    Your situation sounds similar to mine. My wife is a teacher and I have 2 elementary age kids. I have 4 weeks as well and can work away. Adult only DR vacation recently and family Disney cruise but typically we find family beach vacations deals on VRBO and I'm always game for a 2 hour sales pitch commitment for a discount.

    I fell in the trap (still not sure why after so many no's over the years) and rescinded my purchase after finding Tug during that midnight buyer's remorse Google search most here have probably experienced.

    While I planned on buying at SeaWorld or Vegas, I ended up very quickly finding an eBay auction and picked up a 2 bedroom 7000 platinum points at MarBrisa (Carlsbad, CA, affiliate so no ROFR) for $1,850. The MFs are a little more at $1,368. It didn't take me long, but I think with some patience and caution not be bitten by the competitive eBay bug to overbid, you could pick up one for much less than $1 per point. I only wanted HGVC, my kids love SeaWorld and the resort there is nice. But I do have a friend in the Marriott system and he likes it too. I don't know the specifics but it sounded similar other than the ability to use II.

    I don't know the age of your kids but assuming they're young, I think you'll want the 2BR as they get older. We typically get a 1BR suite now and they use the pull out queen sleeper sofa but considering this is an investment for the long haul they'll want/need a better bed as they get older. After they're out of the house, we can use the extra points to travel during her breaks and after retirement.

    Good luck!
     
    anderik1 likes this.
  11. anderik1

    anderik1 TUG Member

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    Thanks @Chop999! I think we might secretly be friends or seperated at birth. My wife and I literally laughed out loud about the 2 hour sales pitch for discount comment. We resemble that remark! :)

    I'll start scoping out eBay, the marketplace here, and Judi Koz's site. We already have our next All-Inclusive / discount pitch booked in Mexico for Spring Break, so other than fighting the urge to buy something once I decided I wanted to do it, we really are in no hurry.
     
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  12. Chop999

    Chop999 TUG Member

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    We very well could be! Mexico for Spring Break sounds great. My kids hate the 2 hours in the kid room but I look at it as a free breakfast and a chance to observe another salesman for a big discount and a free gift of some sort.

    One point of advice on eBay, they’ll sit at a low amount like $0.01 to $15 until the last 30 minutes or so. If you have time to sit and watch at work like I did you can play it out but if not, bid what you’re comfortable in spending and trust the system to stop at your limit. I actually set a max bid for $2251 and got it for $1850.

    You’ll need to research affiliates if you haven’t already in order to get one without ROFR. Mine was a little over $0.26 per point versus the $1 everyone assumes as a guideline. While my MF is higher the math tells me it’ll take a while to level out. Not taking into account any difference in % of annual MF increase, 2018 SeaWorld MF for a 7000 2BD platinum was reported as $1100 on here and MarBrisa is $1368. My math...($7000-$1850)/($1368-$1110)=19.96 years. Even at $0.85 per point it would be 15.89 years to make a difference. So if I hold onto this for that long, I overpaid. Until then I’ll feel like I got a deal. All that to say, be patient and don’t be afraid to PM people on here. I’ve found the search function to be very helpful and the members to be very responsive.

    Best of luck to you!
     
    anderik1 likes this.
  13. Panina

    Panina TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    With patience you can find up to 4800 points for free. If you get one for free and when the time comes are willing to give it away for free, paying closing costs and transfer fee you will find a new home for it.

    My first hgvc I just paid closing costs of $399 and got it for free at Miami Beach Mcalpin. It was a one bedroom worth 3400 points with mfs higher then average. I was happy to take it and never had regrets. It gave me the opportunity to try the system without spending much up front. I love Miami. My intent was to use it more then 1/2 the time. Unfortunately my other half prefers other areas so I passed it on, like it was to me, to someone else who wanted to try the system.

    Another reason owning a week that is not platinum is if you can find a fixed week at a location that you can see yourself using at least 1/2 the time. One of the weeks I got for free from a fellow tugger was a hgvc affiliate silver week 2 bedroom worth 3500 points on Marco Island. The week works for me and I can use it, it is hard to trade into, I can trade it thru the hgvc RCI portal or trade it in Interval which only some affiliates can.

    Being you have to work around a schools schedule the find would be a needle in a haystack but not impossible. For example on eBay I got for free was a prime holiday week at another affiliate Plantation Beach Club at Indian River, worth 4800 points. The mfs average higher but with no cost it was a find.

    Being you said you like traveling between 5-6 days, if you can travel Monday thru Friday and not book over the weekend you will be able to stretch you points as weekends cost the most.

    Where platinum getting the most points for the least money and least maintenance fee is what many tuggers strive for, as my examples show sometimes something different can work well.
     
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  14. GT75

    GT75 Moderator

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    I agree that you don't want to buy more points than you are planning on using, but from your answer to Q4, I also think that you are looking at more than 3500 points. As you stated, that will only get you a studio. To me the real benefit of having a TS is to NOT stay in a hotel room type place. I think that you will need at least 7000 points. Remember, that there are two cost to a TS purchase, the initial cost and the yearly MFs. If you only purchase 3500 points now and wanted to add another 3500 points, this will require another purchase (plus significant purchase fees to and second yearly MFs. JMO anyway.

    btw, all of the users who have responded to you in this thread are regular HGVC forum posters.
     
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  15. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    I am too poor to buy cheap things. Generally you can buy cheaper now with high MF or more expensive with lower MF per point.

    Because you buy a timeshare for the long run it may suit you to take a longer view. The MF are kind of forever, so you can use a perpetuity calculator to find out the present value of that extra annual fee you have to pay.

    How do you compare 2 timeshares with an identical number of points, one with $900, anther one with $1300 MF?

    The calculator helps you.

    http://www.ultimatecalculators.com/present_value_perpetuity_calculator.html

    $400 dollars extra per year at 2.5% rate means you will bury $16,000 dollars in time with those extra costs. At 4% rate you will lose in time $10,000 in present value. Since you have to use a guaranteed rate, you should probably not go over 3% with this calculator.

    One may argue that nothing is forever, why calculate a cost in perpetuity when you may sell your TS after 7-10 years? True, but your low maintenance TS will most likely retain some if not all of the value and you will get back your initial investment, but you may have a hard time unloading a high MF week and you may end up paying some of the transfer costs.


    Many times, high MF also mean a higher percentage of owners having trouble paying the annual fees so a higher % of foreclosures. Except high demand places like Hawaii where owners can rent out above MF. This may mean other issues for the resort in the long run and even higher MF since the owners in good standing may bear all the costs. Think 15 years from now not what happens in 2 years.

    upload_2018-10-14_20-38-49.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
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  16. anderik1

    anderik1 TUG Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. I had been factoring the additional costs straight away, but @DannyTS -- I didn't consider the additional 2.5% growth on that delta. You also got me thinking that if I really were to do it right, I should factor in the investment returns on the money for lower purchase cost as well. That may balance some of that out as well. ie: If I could acquire one for $3k vs $7, what would that $4k grow to if it were invested at 6-8%?

    I do also think that factoring in resale ability and value -- as well as the piece you mention about owners having trouble paying -- are all great points.

    My gut tells me I am going to go for the higher number of points, and lean towards lower long term costs because this is something I hope to have for a long time.

    It's certainly a lot to think about and really do appreciate all the advice!
     
  17. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    1) how much is going to grow that "saved" 4k once you subtract the additional MF you pay?
    2) The rate is the key indeed. It also depends on the personal situation and stomach for risk. IMO somebody with debt should put the highest interest rate he/she is paying. Provided that the debt cannot be paid off in the near future. Is that a mortgage or a line of credit? God forbid a credit card? You see my point.
    For somebody without debt a 6-8 percent (after tax?) may sound attainable in the long run in general (with the normal ups and downs). But go ask around how many people predict that is going to be the average return in the next 10 years.

    In any case, you should insert your number there, i just wanted you to have that perspective.
     
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  18. Panina

    Panina TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I will add one more thought into the mix. Within the last few years I have seen resale hgvc weeks go down in price. Will they go down more or up? We really don’t know. When I purchased hgvc versus getting for free my hgvc weeks I keep in my mind when the time comes they might have no value and what I paid I will not be able to get back. Unlikely but always possible. In timesharing you should always be ok that there can be no resell value when you go to sell even if you paid significant money.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
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  19. dayooper

    dayooper TUG Member

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    I think this is one of the most important pieces. It's why I believe you should purchase the best unit you can. A platinum 2 bedroom from a place that has low MF's or in a desirable place are the way to go. If you look at the different marketplaces (Tug, Redweek, myresortnetwork.com) or the broker sites, they are littered with high priced undesirable timeshares. If priced right, the desirable ones will go pretty quickly. Mine is pretty desirable (low MF's with no ROFR), but I am still prepared to give it away if I ever have to. Would I accept a gold week for free or a very reduced price? Yup, I would do that as long as its a low MF or in a place I want to go (Marco Island, Sanibel Island, etc.). Otherwise, I would steer clear of anything under platinum, even if it was free.
     
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  20. Panina

    Panina TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Agree, My fixed week lower points weeks in Marco Island is hard to trade into. My higher mf fixed week Indian river holiday week is also hard to trade into. Neither are high points but have high value to me.
     
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