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What's involved if I "buy" a free Timeshare?

Discussion in 'Buying, Selling & Renting Timeshares' started by AnnieBannie, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. AnnieBannie

    AnnieBannie Guest

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    Can someone walk me through the buying process in a simple manner? Also, what things should I consider before I take the plunge? Would love some advice from those who have taken over a Timeshare - the good and the bad? Thanks!
     
    TUGBrian likes this.
  2. montygz

    montygz TUG Member

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    The bad is you will have to pay maintenance fees on your timeshare until it is your turn to try to give it away.

    I would do a lot of research and know exactly what you want before doing anything. Sometimes it might be paying a little extra to get what works for you. Or it might be better to rent.
     
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  3. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    That's a very, VERY broad question, and there is no one right answer. Have you researched timeshares of various types, to get a feel for what works for your budget and available time schedule? Can you plan well in advance, or do you do things at the last minute? Are you interested in a Fixed or Floating Week, or a Points ownership? Do you want to own in a major system, like Wyndham or WorldMark, or a hotel chain system, like Hilton or Marriott? They each have their own particulars when it comes to buying.

    Once you've made some decisions, the general process is this: You find the timeshare you want to own. Once you and the Seller agree on a price (whether through a Broker or someplace like Tug or eBay), you sign a Purchase Agreement document, which states that you are committing to purchasing the timeshare. Once you've provided the payment and information to be recorded on the deed (if it's a deeded timeshare), the Seller (or a third party closing company) processes the paperwork, records it with the State of registration for the timeshare, the Resort (if there is one) is notified of the new ownership, they then transfer the title/registration to the names on the new deed, and everyone is notified that the ownership has transferred. This process can take a few weeks to several months, depending on all the details of what's what on the purchase. (Again, no simple answer.)

    That is best-case scenario. But if you buy frivolously, without doing your due diligence, there might be outstanding debt or contract fees against the deed, which someone (probably you) will have to pay. Timeshares are a dime a dozen, and it's very easy to get into one, but can be very difficult to get out of one. So you owe it to yourself to do some research ahead of time, figure out what you want to own, find out the best way to buy that one, and THEN start your purchase process. Being cautious to buy is a very good place to start.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Dave
     
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  4. brianfox

    brianfox TUG Member

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    Marriott Waiohai x3
    Welcome, Annie!
    I would start by reading the pinned topics here: https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?forums/new-to-timesharing-look-here.17/

    There is a lot to understand, and you should be well informed before taking the plunge. The same free TS will be there in a week or two.
    One thing you need to consider: Why is someone giving away their timeshare? It's probably because it is a financial burden to them and even though they paid a good deal for it, they want it off their hands at any cost. That doesn't mean you should reject it; just know that you will now be owner of the Monkey's Paw (Google that if you don't get the reference).
    And should the day come when you want to unload it, you will probably need to pay someone to take it off your hands.

    Let us know what property (or at least which system i.e. Marriott, Hyatt, etc) this is and I'm sure people will offer advice. They may help you understand how easily you can exchange this property for another.

    The buying process is fairly simple, but know that there is money involved with the transfer, closing costs, etc. If a seller is trying to unload a property they should be paying those fees (which can amount to $500+), meaning your out of pocket for the transaction (not just the sales price) should really be $0.
    Know that you will have to pay maintenance fees every year and they will only increase over time. If there is a natural disaster you may have to pay a special assessment (in the thousands). This happened to a number of Florida property owners due to recent hurricanes.

    I'm not trying to scare you - just trying to make you aware that it's a bigger deal than you may think; there is homework to be done.

    My personal advice for a newbie is always to visit the property first. Rent it for a week. You will probably find that at the end of the day, rent price is about the same as your Maintenance Fee, so ownership may simply be a burden not worth having.
     
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  5. TUGBrian

    TUGBrian Administrator

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    welcome to TUG...congrats on being well ahead of the game in discovering the resale market before you buy your first Timeshare!

    most do not!
     
  6. tombanjo

    tombanjo TUG Member

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    work through exactly how you will use it, making sure you know the limits of each step. If very easy to imagine "oooo I get 2000 points in Orlando for $600 and all I have to do is use those points to book a week in Hawaii !!" You may not be able to book Hawaii very far out, and only after people who own there have first crack at it. The short window to book means you have to scramble for airfare. Then if the smallest off season room is 2200 points, you have to borrow points from next year to use this year, making the points you have for next year even less. If you plan on taking a family of four during school holiday season, you may find it very difficult to even find a studio facing the dumpster.

    Obviously, people find all sorts of great bargains they make work. One real draw back is it really hard to understand the system until you have an account. Its a bit of a catch 22, until you own, it's hard to really get a feel for how it works. The reading posts and asking questions bit is cheap. So force yourself to wait until you really have a good grasp on a system. What fees to book ? Do you have to pay for housekeeping, resort fees, etc, that add to total cost ? Can you book less than a week or only weeks starting on what day ? Are you limited to certain resorts to trade into, based on what you purchased? Scare yourself by reading the fees westgate charges for resale owners.

    Buying is actually pretty simple, most ads list the fees the seller and resort will charge. It is the maintenance fees that are your ongoing expense and making sure you buy something that you understand how to use that are the difficult bits.
     
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  7. bluehende

    bluehende TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    You have received very good advice. The best is make sure this timeshare works for you. Most timeshares are free to buy so do not make that the focal point of why you want it. If it is fixed week make sure you want to go back over and over again. If it is points make sure you can book what you want. The right timeshare is great. The wrong one can turn sour quick.
     
    mpumilia likes this.
  8. NHpauls

    NHpauls TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I’m not sure anyone answered the question of “how” to buy a free one. I bought one for free a couple years ago thru Timeshare Nation. They did all the work. I had to give them one dollar for some legal thing which of course I didn’t mind. And no other charges. It wasn’t a trick. I actually didn’t believe I was getting this place for free until the whole transaction was done. But no tricks, no problems. Timeshare Nation has many timeshares where the Maint Fee’s are already paid for 2019 so you get to go the first year for free. You would start paying the Fee’s in 2020. The most important advice is make sure the Fee’s are something you are willing to pay each year. I personally think it’s important that you really like the timeshare you get and that it’s easy to get to. I think being able to drive there is best since your financial situation might change or adding a kid or two would change the number of plane tickets you need, etc etc. Some people never go to their timeshare and only use it to exchange but again, the Fee’s each year should be worth it. We are thrilled with our “free” timeshare. We had researched it before I saw it was free and almost paid big bucks for it. I am soooo lucky!
     
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  9. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Where is the timeshare and what time of year? Fixed? floating points?
    Lots of free timeshares, are you paying transfer fee? Using a company to help you?LT Transfers has handled most of our timeshare transactions. They are TUG members too!
    Good Luck
    Silentg
     
  10. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Not too tough. You sign a contract with the seller- and arrange payment. Then the seller sends your payment info to the county along with the payment and fees. it gets registered and sent to the resort (along with their fees). Once registered, you'll get it in the mail.
     
  11. Moxie847

    Moxie847 Guest

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    Some timeshares only require you to pay a maintenance fee when you use the unit. This is the way Grand Mayan works.
     
  12. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    This is a useful benefit of most Vidanta TS brands developer sold since 2006 . Unfortunately this does not transfer upon resale to new owners (FYI - it does transfer to family for free)
     
  13. AnnieBannie

    AnnieBannie Guest

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    I have been really looking at Grandview Las Vegas as I have learned from this site that it provides good value. Also, Vegas is a quick 2 hour flight for us. We retire in 7 years and currently
    travel once in the winter (Feb or March) and once in the fall - usually a cruise. I really like the Elara location in Vegas and would have preferred there but the cost is more than I am willing to pay right now for dipping my toes in the timeshare world. Thanks for all the input. Every time I think I understand this, I read something else and learn something new! I am being more cautious and still wondering if Grandview is best for us.
     

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