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Thirdhome

Discussion in 'Exchanging Timeshares' started by jssquared, May 30, 2018.

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  1. jssquared

    jssquared TUG Member

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    Hi All,
    We own a Grand Luxxe Residence contract with Vidanta. We are already part of Registry Collection and Elite Alliance and others for exchanges.
    However, I just began to take notice of a site called Thirdhome. It looks like they have a very nice collection of luxury properties.
    Has anyone had experience with Thirdhome? Good, bad, etc.
    Thank you so much for your help.
    Jason
     
  2. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    I have not been impressed with customer service. I do not like people staying in my home but I can also register with them through my various upscale times shares. However, they give you very few keys but it costs a lot of keys to get things. Their sales people are very unresponsive in general.
     
  3. jssquared

    jssquared TUG Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply. Do you recommend Elite Alliance or Registry Collection as a superior product? It seems like Elite Alliance has a similar caliber and type of offering.
    BTW - the 4 bedroom residence garners maximum points on Thirdhome especially if you time the week that you are depositing correctly.
     
  4. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I don't think you can deposit timeshare ownership in to ThirdHome. ThirdHome is a home sharing system where you deposit intervals of time in your high end luxury home or vacation home and in exchange you can travel to other people's luxury homes for which they also deposited time. It works just like RCI or II but for houses. I am curious about the legitimacy of ThirdHome. Are they an exchange company? Are they registered like RCI and II in the states that they do business.
     
  5. Steve Fatula

    Steve Fatula TUG Member

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    MVCI Presidential and above can use points to reserve homes. I was looking at some last night and I saw a number of homes priced similarly to say a Hawaii week, or less. Looked pretty good for what I saw, but was going to re-look when I get back to the states. Thought of possible using for a family reunion.
     
  6. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It looks like ThirdHome also does rentals. I suspect that MVC is doing is converting your DC points to a cash equivalent and then booking through ThirdHome?
     
  7. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  8. Steve Fatula

    Steve Fatula TUG Member

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    Possibly. What I wanted to do was compare a few point costs vs renting the same place. To see if it's like cruises, or not.

    Comparing is not easy, as, not all houses can be rented, some do not show rates, and, not all houses can use dc points. I found one quickie. Dominican Republic La Romana. It's a 4200 sq ft house, rents 'between $375-$925/nt'. So, assume $375 * 7 = $2,625 for a week on the low end. For dc points, it costs 4500 pts in October, hurricane season. So, mf wise, thats say $2,520, close to a wash.

    Brazil, Porto Seguro, March, costs $735/day rental, vs 4500 dc points for a week, vastly cheaper. 7 bedroom house.

    Will have to do more comparisons. Question is, can you get rental discounts.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  9. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    So far, I like Elite Alliance the best but they are smaller and less well known than Third Home. Elite Alliance's customer service is excellent, their employees are personable and responsive, they have really nice properties, I get a good exchange value for my Four Seasons if I book and deposit a holiday week and they have many getaways for no points and they also have a lot of inventory in California esp North Lake Tahoe and Napa. The sales people at Third Home were arrogant and did not follow up with me regarding my questions or they said they would call back and did not. No one responded to my last email at all. I can also enroll in Third Home for free with Four Seasons and those of us in the higher levels of MVC also get use of Third Home. Forget the Registry Collection. I am a member and the inventory is not to my liking. I do not find The Registry to be all that upscale. The Registry is inferior to Elite Alliance by a long shot. It is just an extension of RCI, which I do not like at all. The 4 bedroom GL residence is very expensive so I imagine that you would getting a lot of points or keys for depositing it.
     
  10. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    That was their original model. They used to advertise as the AirBnB for luxury homes. However, I cannot imagine I would ever want to enroll my second home in AirBnB and have strangers potentially ruin it. Also, I question what kind of "wealthy" people would have the need to enroll a home and exchange. Seems like the wrong target market to me.

    In terms of their rental business, some of their homes are beautiful but those rent for a lot. But many are definitely not luxury. Here's an example of what I mean. These are not luxury homes. It looks to me like people are putting homes they don't use into the rental pool and ThirdHome is managing it as a property management company.

    https://rentals.thirdhome.com/properties/13-kissimmee-orlando-florida-reunion-resort-golf-6

    https://rentals.thirdhome.com/properties/100-moab-utah-moab-slick-rock-oasis

    Their rental business might do better than their home swapping business model since people who are renting their "investment" properties on Third Home probably do not use it much personally and they get income from it, rather than swapping, which seems very downscale to me.

    ThirdHome is also expanding into partnering with commercial companies that have high end timeshares and corporate owned villas. This has more potential, IMO, except ThirdHome gives out less keys than it costs to get anything equivalent.

    I would be fine exchanging my high end timeshares in Third Home or using MVC points if they improved their business model because timeshares are not my personal home with my possessions in it. But their business model right now does not make much sense depositing timeshares because it is hard to get a good exchange. But I am sure some people on TUG will figure it out.

    Also, no one pays the entry level membership fee of $2,500. They let everyone enroll for free as long as you make a qualifying timeshare deposit or exchange your home. If you own a luxury timeshare like Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, you can deposit your weeks and get "keys" - their version of points. However, they do not give a lot of keys. You need to deposit more than you would get in return.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  11. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    Brazil is not doing well and has a high crime rate, terrible beaches and vast poverty. So I can imagine that is why you would get a good exchange in places like Brazil. Argentina is in economic trouble so I think you could get good exchanges there too. It is such a shame what has happened in Venezuela. It used to be the crown jewel of South America.
     
  12. Steve Fatula

    Steve Fatula TUG Member

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    We found Argentina to be great, our best trip ever actually. iguazu Falls was our all time favorite.

    There’s no denying the value of a home for a group for 3,000 or even 4,500 dc points. There’s many within the US as well. All the pictures are there, no guessing. If I can take a group of 14 for that few points, I likely would

    I may open a thread in the Mvci area to hear specifically from anyone who may have used points with thirdhome, would be curious to see how it went, etc
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  13. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    Yes I would be curious too regarding the use of DC Points. I would never swap a home or rent a home on ThirdHome but I might consider using DC Points if the trades were worth it. Personally I like staying at resorts with amenities over other people's homes.

    Argentina is great but have you heard that their economy is in big trouble right now? They had stabilized for many years but the economy is having hyperinflation and 40% interest rates.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/business/economy/argentina-economy-interest-rates.html

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/gradua...essure-to-hasten-economic-overhaul-1527586201

    So that is why I imagine you will get great exchanges in Argentina. I have a test account with Elite Exchange and the properties they have in Argentina are easy to get and trade for no points or very little points.
     
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  14. Steve Fatula

    Steve Fatula TUG Member

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    I would never trade my home either! No doubt.
     
  15. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    I was looking through Third Home's website and recent news. It looks like they are expanding into the rental business - they just made a major announcement about this and it is featured on their website. This feels like a more upscale version of AirBnB except they seem to be less picky about the homes they are letting in now than they were when they launched their original luxury home swapping model for the uber rich. It sounds like they are promoting price and cost effectiveness more now. They used to promote themselves as the AirBnB for millionaires and billionaires. Some of their less fancy or less exclusive homes are pretty inexpensive to rent. Their new marketing strategy seems targeted to the upscale mass market i.e. the top 20%, not the 1% like when they started. Perhaps they will be an acquisition target by AirBnB at some point.

    The area that would interest me if we could use DC Points would be exchanging with their affiliates, which are mainly high end residence clubs: https://exchange.thirdhome.com/affiliates. In this line of business, they are becoming more like Elite Alliance.

    I think the rental business and the resident club exchange business have more potential than the home swapping model they started with. The home swapping part is what turned me off.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  16. Steve Fatula

    Steve Fatula TUG Member

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    They are appropriate for groups, like a reunion. Could be fun. Would notvuse for just us.
     
  17. Finsadbel

    Finsadbel Guest

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    We own at an HGVC property and found that you can deposit into ThirdHome. You have to utilize customer support and you will only get around 3 keys tops.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Sandy VDH

    Sandy VDH TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    What HGVC property. Or is this only for higher levels of Elite?
     
  19. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    ThirdHome seems to be trying to expand; they've been negotiating affiliation agreements with a number of larger timeshare developers. There is an affiliation agreement in the works with Vidanta for their higher-level resort hotels, in particular the new Estates one, for which ThirdHome is supposed to be primary exchange service. I get the impression that this will include some of the existing Grand Luxxe levels because availability for the 4 BR Grand Luxxe Residence and 3 BR Grand Luxxe Spa and 2 and 3 BR Loft units are not showing up in the Registry Collection any more.

    I just set up a ThirdHome account and they do have some fairly decent places to exchange into. There are a lot of properties listed as existing on there that don't have available deposits, but that will likely change with the further affiliations; I would expect that they'll get a fair number of the higher-level Vidanta ones once the affiliation is finalized because Vidanta does a lot of bulk developer deposits with the other exchange systems. (There does appear to be a general $42/day resort fee associated with the Grand Luxxe ones that are listed in there now, which may be something that would be associated with bulk developer deposits; as it is set up now, though, anything in there was deposited by an owner after paying the full usage fee (MF) and would be booked by arranging a guest authorization letter through the owner so shouldn't really have the fee per my discussion with ThirdHome and my understanding of how the guest authorization works with Vidanta.) Other availability I've seen in there is for some of the vacation resorts that are also listed in Elite Alliance (e.g., Equity Residences) as well as an occasional boutique hotel through Hotel Swap, which I hadn't heard of before, but allows hotel owners to exchange stays in other hotels for their own travel. There are some very nice looking vacation homes as well; they don't allow swapping of primary residences.

    One other thing of note, the terms and conditions for ThirdHome seem to be evolving. When I set up my account last month, they gave me what appear to be the benefits that are associated with a higher level of membership and indicated that they intend to extend them to new accounts, though it wasn't entirely clear to me whether it was because I set it up using a future affiliate resort. On the down side, they are no longer allowing rental of Vidanta units in anticipation of the affiliation.
     
  20. A.Win

    A.Win TUG Member

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    I have a nice home and I started by using it for the homexchange website. But then I discovered that I would rather exchange my timeshare or my hotel points. I have made some nice exchanges, but it really does require a lot of inquiries to set up. So I used the home for airbnb. I am making good money, but my area near Washington DC (and many other areas) are being restricted by county/city rules. This year, I am required to pay a tax and I am limited to the number of nights and people that can rent my home.

    So I am going to seriously consider ThirdHome. It should allow me to avoid taxes and utilize my home after I have exceeded the annual short term rental limit established by my county.
     
  21. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    Be sure to investigate thoroughly what their restrictions are. If it's your primary home, I was told you can't list it there. No idea how your county would treat an exchange of your home vis-a-vis the short term rental limit, but that might be another speed bump.
     
  22. A.Win

    A.Win TUG Member

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    I learned that my home was not a good candidate for Third Home. I also believe that they will take any high end timeshare. I asked about using Wyndham Avon or Park City over the holidays and I think they will take that. I will likely join one of these days.
     
  23. petenjen

    petenjen Guest

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    My wife and I only just heard about ThirdHome this past December while attending a sales pitch during a stay at the Grand Luxxe RM. Turned out to be a complete scam between the sales guy and some underling at ThirdHome. Long story... Almost cost us $100k. Whew... Dodged an expensive bullet, for sure.
    Anyway we did end up purchasing in The Estates and have been contacted several times by ThirdHome since then. I'm just a little uneasy about dealing with them since one of their folks was completely embedded in this scam.
     
  24. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    Interested in hearing about what the scam was if you feel like sharing; I wound up setting up a ThirdHome account and depositing a GL week with them without a problem and all it cost was the usage fee for the week. They seem to have some decent properties listed, though the availability of the nicest ones isn't terribly high and the transaction fees are fairly steep. There are some quite attractive ones available, though, and the fees are based on the quality of the resort/house you exchange into. In any case, as I mentioned above (at least I think I did), Vidanta is working on completing an affiliation agreement with them and they are supposed to be the principal exchange network for the Estates. I haven't actually used them for a completed exchange yet, though, so I can't give you any feedback on my experience with them in that regard yet, but I've been looking over what they have available now and what has been getting added for the last few weeks and believe I can be quite happy with the places they list as having actual available dates to exchange into.
     
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  25. petenjen

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    So the scam involved the Vida Vacations sales rep up-selling Estates properties with the promise that ThirdHome would pay for three of the six weeks that come with the purchase as "marketing weeks". Of course 2 of the weeks needed to be the most-desirable "red" weeks. The pitch was that the rental rate ThirdHome would pay would pay for the initial (substantial) investment in 3-4 months. Sounded great. Then, the cold feet set in... We contacted ThirdHome the next day to get contract proceedings going as we had been warned that an agreement between Vindanta and ThirdHome was in the works that would do away with this program. Nobody on the exchange or the rental side knew what we were talking about. Gulp.

    We contacted the Vida sales rep and he assured us that the folks we talked to were "idiots" and that this was a deal between him and "Dan", the CEO. Dan sent us an email detailing what we needed to do to get a contract going, but no numbers, no details about the deal as we had requested. We got cold feet in spite of continued reassurances from our sales rep that this was real and we were going to miss out on something huge.

    I tell ya, getting an appt to cancel this before we left the property was a BEATING. I had to get a little ugly with folks that were putting up barriers. Once we finally got an appointment and were able to sit down with the customer service rep, everything chilled. We didn't tell them about the scam at that time. We just wanted out. He ended up making us a sweet deal on a smaller Estates property and we took it.

    We did some more investigating when we got home. Turns out Dan wasn't the CEO. He was an assistant for one of the ladies from ThirdHome I'd talked to on the phone. Imagine that... She said they'd heard about something weird going on like this, but said they didn't know anything about it. Hmmmm. I was planning on writing an email to our customer service rep that helped us to tell him about our experience and to burn that lying sales guy. I figured nothing would be gained by doing that, so why bother.

    Take-home message: if it sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime deal, it probably isn't. Beware.
     
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