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WDW Owner’s Update: Bought Westin Flex. Need advice!

Discussion in 'Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood)' started by Gatorlaw230, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Gatorlaw230

    Gatorlaw230 TUG Member

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    Hi fellow Tuggers,

    I just bought Westin Flex (which covers 7 resorts in West coast including 3 Hawaiis and WKV) while I attended WDW owner’s update 2 days ago. I have 8 more days to rescind, so I am seeking veterans’ advice before it is too late.

    I DID read thread regarding Westin Flex here before owner’s update but I still bought it...eek!

    Summary for what I bought:
    Three sets of 81,000 Westin Flex Points: 243,000 FOs/SOs (with one time 70,000 SPG points)
    Price: about $87,500 (Annual MF: about $4,600)
    Trade-in credits: about $70K (see below)
    Out of pocket cost: $18K

    Below is my timeshares they bought back from me for $70K
    -SVR 2BR annual
    -SVV St. Augustine 2BR LO annual
    -SDO 2BR LO 1-52 float EOY
    -SMV 1BR Ski season EOY
    -WKV 2BR LO Gold Plus EOY (81,000 SOs)

    Reasons to buy Flex:
    - 81,000 SOs EOY was not enough for us. I need more SOs. (Then buy SVV mandatory, right?)
    - Total cost to acquire above timeshares was less than $4K for me via resale. As you see, it is all voluntary resorts except WKV. They made me feel good that I made money by selling back to them. Also, SVR and SVV (non-mandatory) are hard to unload it.
    - Total MFs for these 5 timeshares is similar to Flex I bought. (which about $4500 per year)
    I normally rent out for all except WKV and recover more than MFs. But I am tired of managing it.
    - We seldom stay at resort for entire week. It has been always 3,4,5 days. Westin Flex seems very flexible. (However, I can use my SOs at 8 mos mark for short stay as well. So, still buying SVV mandatory wins..)
    - I was not be able to secure Hawaii at 8 mos mark with my SOs. With Flex, I can do it at 12 mos mark. (However, it depends on availability…!)
    - Westin Flex let me transfer unused points to SPG/Marriott. Get me 3 star Elite (although not much benefit to me), Gold for SPG/Marriott/Ritz (again it is not a big deal to me)
    -They showed me that the rental value for one-week peak season at Hawaii being close to $5000 for 1BR. (turned out it is not true after I researched afterwards. It seems that only around $1500-2000 for 1BR) Also, they showed us that rental value for 3 days Coachella weekend exceeds $4,000. (for 3 days!) It seems that this is not true either. (read from other thread here)
    They said that by using only one 81,000 Flex, I can recoup the MFs already and I still have 2 more 81K to use. (I found that this is not realistic at all.)

    Reasons to cancel this:
    -243,000 FOs/SOs is too much for us (I asked less amount FOs like 162,000 FOs, but then they said that I cannot trade-in all of my 5 timeshares in that case because credits exceed purchase price.)
    - Based on research here, it will be the best to buy SVV Mandatory 2BR or 2BR LO for under $2,000 which will come with 81,000 SOs or 95,700 SOs.

    -----
    I challenged salespersons that I rather will buy SVV mandatory resort for $1500 for 81,000 SOs. So, if I buy 3 of those, I will spend less than $5K vs $18K.

    They said that it is illegal to rent it (in case I need to rent) if I own SVV but rent other resorts after securing it by using SOs. (true?) But I will most likely use all SOs if I buy SVV. (no need to rent out. But for 243,000 SOs, I need to rent out sometimes.)

    They also said that it is nearly impossible to book Hawaii with SVV mandatory because I can only do it at 8 months out while I can do it at 12 months out with Flex.

    I then challenged them that pool is separate from week deeded ownership and maybe there is very limited availability for Flex owners at this point. They said that they are heavily selling Flex now, so it shouldn't be an issue after 2019. Basically, they admitted that it has limited availability as of now, so I might not be able to get peak season (when schools break) for Hawaii at 12 mos mark with Flex.

    I again challenged them by saying that Sheraton Flex already doesn't hold the value and it is almost free now at resale market. (because Buyer will not get SOs.) They said that having 3 Hawaii properties and WKV, Westin flex will hold the value even if buyers don't get SOs. (because they still have 7 home resorts.)

    QUESTION:
    Should I definitely rescind this or is this not too bad deal? I was looking to buy Hawaii timeshare, but it seems that it is over $10K anyway and MF is very expensive. (in fact, more expensive than Flex)

    Any advice would be really appreciated. Thanks for your time!
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  2. lizap

    lizap TUG Member

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    I would definitely rescind. No one knows what Marriott is going to do; they may very well modify it - there's a good chance it is likely to be devalued as Marriott is likely to offer us a chance to buy into a points system at a much lower cost, as they did with Marriott owners. . Hyatt has a similar program, PPP, and it is believed by most on the Hyatt forum that it is a flop/not selling well. BTW, just returned from Hawaii (2 weeks) using SOs, booked 8 months out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
    Gatorlaw230 likes this.
  3. okwiater

    okwiater TUG Member

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    If you're not sure, I would definitely rescind. There will be an opportunity to buy something later if you still want to.

    That said, your situation is unique in that you have five oddball ownerships and they were giving you a (relatively) inexpensive way to trade all of them in for what may be a more useful product. You are correct that it has little to no resale value, but if you want the options, you want to travel to (or rent) Hawaii, etc. and you have the $18K to spend without financing or impacting your other financial needs/goals, then this transaction could be a much easier way to change out your ownerships than selling or giving them all away and then finding and purchasing a few cheap mandatory's.

    But again, if you're not certain it's what you want, rescind now while you still have time, and make the decision without the pressure of a rescission deadline weighing on you.
     
    Gatorlaw230, Ken555 and TravelTime like this.
  4. duke

    duke TUG Member

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    If they will give you $70k for that "basket" of Maintenance Fees you currently own and you are willing to pay an additional $18k then your best option is to get out of the Flex deal and purchase from the Developer the Hawaii week you want. You seem to have $88k to spend and if you do this you would get rid of the $4,500 Maint fees and take on just one $2,800 Maint fee for Hawaii. WKORV and WKORVN are mandatory and probably sell for about that price now from the Developer.

    Of course, you could just keep what you own and purchase Hawaii for less than $18k resale but you would just be adding to your annual fees.

    So, dump the Flex .... purchase Hawaii from the Developer and you get what you want. You can make reservations at 12 months and reduce your Maint fees in about half.
     
    Gatorlaw230 likes this.
  5. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    They may not be willing to give them the $70K credit to take back what they own to purchase a Hawaii week. It seems that they are pretty aggressive in trying to buy back inventory to sell someone flex. They made us a similar offer at SVV last weekend. We could have walked away with 114K Flex Options for $17,000 all while giving them back our two mandatory SVV weeks. We declined.
     
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  6. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    Frankly, I think you are getting a great deal and I would probably have bought too given the trade in value they gave you. I would probably have some buyer’s remorse too and check it out on TUG, like you are doing. I am not as experienced as other Tuggers but on the surface, I think being able to book all those desireable resorts at 12 months would be worth $18,000. IMO, it would depend on whether you are using the 5 resorts you have now or if you would prefer to be able to travel to The 7 home resorts you are getting in exchange, esp Hawaii which is hard to book at 8 months in peak season. I paid $12,000 for an EOY WKOVR-N oceanfront 2 bedroom lockoff that comes with approx 176K points EOY (about 88K points annually), with MFs of $2600 (half due annually). Purchasing a mandatory Westin in Hawaii with 176K annual points is between $20K - $40K depending on which Westin resort it is and the unit size and view type. It seems like the deal you are getting for that many points well exceeds the cost if you buy resale, and you are getting more points to use annually. I do not think the salesperson was too wrong about how much it costs to rent in Hawaii during peak season. It is very expensive to stay in Hawaii in the summer and during holidays. I doubt everything the salesperson said was accurate. For example, I am not sure it is true that you can’t rent reservations you make using Flex Points. As mentioned in other threads, all timeshares allow rentals as long as it is not for commercial use, which is not usually clearly defined.
     
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  7. TravelTime

    TravelTime TUG Member

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    Caution about what MVC might do is a good point. However, I suspect the 235K SOs will have more value in the new MVC program than 5 unenrolled weeks esp the ones the OP has that come with no SOs. But who knows?
     
  8. Gatorlaw230

    Gatorlaw230 TUG Member

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    Thank you for all your inputs so far. I really appreciate it.

    TravelTime: It is absolutely okay to rent out for resorts booked by using Flex Options. (for 7 home resorts) But they said that it is "illegal" to rent out for resorts booked by using SOs if the resorts are not your home resorts. In other words, they said that I cannot rent out Hawaii resort even if I am lucky enough to secure it by using SOs I got from SVV mandatory resort.
     
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  9. duke

    duke TUG Member

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    Illegal, the Federal Timeshare Police are watching you now.
     
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  10. canesfan

    canesfan TUG Member

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    Yes, it’s against the ownership agreement. You can only rent your home resort.

    In the past, you haven’t had luck reserving Maui at 8 months with SOs?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. blondietink

    blondietink Guest

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    From your explanation, I think you are getting a petty good deal. Unloading all of those weeks and their associated member fees and trying to keep track of all of it is probably worth the price of admission. While I am not a fan of the Flex product, I think in your case it works to both simplify your life and get you into Hawaii which is ultimately where you want to go. We have 3 timeshare total and it is difficult to manage some times. As others have said, you could buy direct at one of the other resorts in Hawaii that are mandatory for less, but they probably will not get you a better deal in turning the weeks you already own. The fact is that they might not even take any of them back and you would still be stuck trying to manage all the weeks that you have.
     
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  12. Gatorlaw230

    Gatorlaw230 TUG Member

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    No to any of Vistana Hawaii resorts so far because we were not flexible.

    Since me & my wife are both in corporate world with kids go to school, all the weeks we wanted were very high demand weeks.

    So this deal attracted us because we can book Hawaii resorts at 12 months out. However, as they admitted, availability could be an issue since inventory pools are different for Flex...

    Thanks for sharing it though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  13. Gatorlaw230

    Gatorlaw230 TUG Member

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    That is exactly why we signed the contract. (with intention to cancel it later after get more advice from here) I have never had an intention to buy timeshare from developer and did not do it from several past owner's updates. As dioxide45 mentioned, they were very aggressive to push Flex now to make it happen.

    My only concern is resale value for this new Westin Flex. Although Hawaii deeded week (mandatory) is expensive, it seems that it holds the value as well as WKV Plat week. For Flex, I don't know how much it will hold the value if I want to unload it later. Sheraton Flex's resale value scared me a lot, but I thought that having 3 Hawaiis with WKV would be a little different. But who knows...
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  14. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I do think that Westin Flex may retain a little more resale value than Sheraton Flex. It does have access to a better collection of properties at 12 months. I think your resale value is probably better now than it was with what you had previously.
     
  15. canesfan

    canesfan TUG Member

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    I’ll be honest I don’t think Westin Flex is going to hold much resale. You only have $18k (plus $4k of your initial resale’s) invested vs. others will have more. It won’t be useless but won’t be the mandatory resale value. Just look at the difference between WKORV and WPORV. As the salesman said to me, Westin Flex is cabbage soup and they threw some steak in there. Remember it’s all Island view inventory too.

    I agree with the others that the only thing better would be to try buying a deeded week at WKORV/N. In March they offered us a deed when we said we weren’t interested in any points products, only deeded. I’m sure they want your WKV deed for Flex. They were hot for my WLR deed for Adventuras. You need to weigh whether it’s worth it to you to go back to the drawing board negotiating. They may not give as much $ for trade in for a deeded property.

    In the end, I think you are better off having a product you will use and can get a reservation at a time you desire.


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  16. pacman777

    pacman777 TUG Member

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    seems like an okay deal given the credits. The only mistake I see is that you should’ve requalified 3 voluntary ownership weeks worth 148k staroptions each along with your purchase of 3 packaged 81k flex options. Was that even an option or consideration?
     
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  17. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I don't think they would have received the credit for those weeks when they re-qualified, so the buy-in cost would have been much higher?
     
  18. lizap

    lizap TUG Member

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    Completely agree.
     
  19. Gatorlaw230

    Gatorlaw230 TUG Member

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    Great point. I totally forgot about requal/retro when I was there. But I don't think they will retro/requal for weeks I trade-in. I have one more week for SDO Plat (1BR) which I didn't want to include for trade-in.

    I just asked my salesperson for possibility to retro/requal for that SDO week at this point before I consider to cancel the deal. He just called me and gave me detail information how to cancel the contract. (Basically, director told him that let buyer cancel this deal if buyer is not happy for this "great" deal.) Is this new sales tactic? BTW, salespersons at WDW were very nice and professional.
     
  20. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Westin Flex certainly has a lot more utility than WPORV. I don't think that is really a fair comparison. Of the main Hawaiian islands, Kauai sees the fewest visitors. There simply isn't as much demand for Kauai. THe fact that a voluntary resale at WPORV can only be used at WPORV will certainly drive down its price. However, Westin Flex can be used at any of the three Maui properties as well as the mainland properties as well at the 12 month mark. While it perhaps won't have the best resale value, I suspect it will be better than Sheraton Flex and WPORV.
     
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  21. LobsterHunter

    LobsterHunter TUG Member

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    I didn't know if I should post it here or on the retro thread, but I posted it on the retro thread. Feel free to look at what our purchase of WF was w/a couple retro units. Mod can re-post it here if they think it belongs here too.
     
  22. darius

    darius TUG Member

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    To the OP, I think that's a great developer deal. Also, all the work is done for you (vs. selling individual weeks with minimal to no value). If it were me, for what it is worth, I would keep this offer and enjoy it.
     
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  23. canesfan

    canesfan TUG Member

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    I agree it will have better than Sheraton Flex but it’s not going to have the same resale value as a Maui Mandatory resale. BTW, it only has 2 Maui properties. Nanea is its own pool unless I’m mistaken. And you are making my point that it has only a couple good properties and some less desirable. Which is why the resale will not be Nanea comparable either.
    I think the OP did well on the deal though and in the end shouldn’t worry so much about resale but usage.


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  24. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    I agree. It's not a bad deal as long as you use it each year. And yes, the only Maui properties in Westin Flex are the two KORV properties.
     
  25. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    You are right, Nanea is on a different plan and not in Flex. I agree it won't have resale value anywhere close to WKORV north or south. I would put it significantly less. But I suspect it will fall between where Nanea Home Options and comparable resale value of Princeville.
     
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