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Advice please! Buy a vacation home or buy a timeshare

godzilabob

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So here is my situation.

I spend ALOT of time in Lake Tahoe. Last year I spent over 40 nights during the winter and maybe about the same during the summer. So much that I am considering purchasing a small second home there.

However, after going to a timeshare presentation in maui today I'm wondering if buying a 'home' timeshare in tahoe might not be a bad way to go...

Most of the nights I spend there are in 1-3 night 'bunches'.
Do some timeshares have 'last minute' or 'home' resort discounts????

This would be the way i'd spend the majority of my time there...My friend said his timeshare was an ok deal...but what made it gold was the EXTRA time he could use on last minute deals and trips to his home resort.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? purchase a home (as an investment and for lots of usage) or try for a resale timeshare and use bonus days/time??
thanks in advance.
 

rickandcindy23

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I would buy a timeshare in the points system. Look into Wyndham/ Fairfield.
 

vacationhopeful

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Buy the vacation home.

Your usage is too high and at prime time for a simple timeshare or 5 timeshares. If you decide to go elsewhere, you can sell the vacation home or rent it out. With the vacation home, you will go to someplace you love and have your stuff and space there at the drop of a hat (or ski).

I have both - the vacation house is different as it is a second home. If you get a condo, your outside maintenance is done for you and will will have other "resort like" stuff like pools, exercise room, tennis, etc.
 

rickandcindy23

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Reasons to buy timeshare:

No worries when you aren't there

Free housekeeping

Less maintenance issues to deal with

Much cheaper, buy on eBay
 

sernow

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With your amount of usage, I believe full ownership is the way to go. You are guaranteed last minute usage (especially around holidays) by owning, something a timeshare just can't guarantee. You also mentioned investment, and a second home often can prove to be a good investment. A timeshare can't be considered an investment.
 

sernow

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Reasons to buy timeshare:

No worries when you aren't there

Free housekeeping

Less maintenance issues to deal with

Much cheaper, buy on eBay
Seriously Cindy, free housekeeping? That's very generous of those housekeepers to work for nothing! I need you to contact the board at my resort and share your secret to getting the housekeeping staff to work for free and bring their own supplies too. Our board is foolishly paying for housekeeping and they have the nerve to put it in the budget and include those costs in our maintenance fees.
 

rickandcindy23

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Seriously Cindy, free housekeeping? That's very generous of those housekeepers to work for nothing! I need you to contact the board at my resort and share your secret to getting the housekeeping staff to work for free and bring their own supplies too. Our board is foolishly paying for housekeeping and they have the nerve to put it in the budget and include those costs in our maintenance fees.
I don't pay housekeeping fees. I can stay in a two-bedroom during ski season for a total cost of $999, before my VIP discount, and there is lots of inventory for ski season right now at the Wyndham resort.

Owning a week at Eagle Point is very different from a points system. I know because we have owned weeks for 28 years. Points are better.

But I do get your point. I pay for upkeep of the resort I own that were converted to points. I wouldn't want to worry about hiring a maid for my stays, and I wouldn't rent out a wholly-owned unit, either, for fear of damage.
 
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AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Satisfactory Substitute(s) For A Vacation Home.

Do some timeshares have 'last minute' or 'home' resort discounts?
Our Florida timeshare resorts offer discounted rentals to owners, but even the special discounted rate isn't all that much of a bargain. We get lots better deals on last-minute timeshare reservations via RCI Last Call & Instant Exchange -- including sometimes at our own Florida timeshares. Who'd a-thunk ?

We actually owned a nice 3BR-2BA vacation home for a while, but sold it off after just a few years because nice as it was we weren't using it nearly enough to justify the expense. Not only did we have the purchase money tied up in it, we also had to pay for utilities & lawn mowing & taxes, etc., year round whether we went there or not.

Later we satisfied our craving for nice vacation home(s) by springing for some (resale) timeshares and by buying a dinky 35-foot travel trailer that never travels but just sits there on a postage-stamp-size a lot in an extremely nice small recreational trailer park not far from where we briefly owned the nice 3BR-2BA vacation home.

Wherever we go we have a nice time.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

tombo

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You stay in one location for about 80 nights a year, so without question you are better off buying your own place. If you decide last minute to go for 2 or 3 days (especially weekends) with a timeshare, good luck on availability during peak times. If you like to spend Christmas, New Years, and 4th of July at Tahoe you will rarely (if ever) get those dates as a timeshare owner. If you buy and decide you don't like it you will have an assett to sell which might actually increase in value.

I like timeshares, but in your situation full ownership is the only way to go.
 
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rickandcindy23

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Planning ahead is the only way for a points system to work well. If you want Christmas and New Year's, you need to take advantage of home resort preference periods. I suppose it depends on the price of real estate in Lake Tahoe and depends on what you can afford. I equate what I can do with what I can afford. I like timeshare for the "no worries" aspect of the ownership. We own rental properties, and what a pain! Plus, we were planning to build a cabin in the mountains, but our six Colorado weeks are just fine for us.

There are many people who actually live in timeshares. I met one in person this summer who plans to live in timeshares her entire life.
 
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Floridaski

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Depends on how much $$$ you want to spend-invest

We own both, several weeks of timeshare and a vacation home in Summit County Colorado.

The condo in Colorado is an investment that we enjoy and we are thankful that we made this decision. We just purchased the condo in July 2008. We purchased it for what the owners paid for it 10 years ago - basically it was a "steal." It was still a VERY large investment, but we will make a profit in 8-10 years and the condo should pay for it's self with rentals. We have the unit with a property management company that rents the unit when we are not using it - so it produces income to pay for it's holding costs. We may even make some money on the unit - but if it pay's for it's holding costs we are happy. But based on a 3 year rental history against expenses, it did make the prior owners about 5 % per year after taxes on the income - this will vary on your tax bracket. If you are within a certain income bracket, the second home provides some great tax breaks. Not everyone gets to enjoy these deductions. In fact most second home buyers do not get these deductions, but it is worth finding out if you can take these deductions. This is without any mortgage expense added to the calculations. Also we use the condo when we want, for as long as we want and there are not any rules to when or how we use it!

Now the timeshares are not an INVESTMENT, but rather a luxury and we will never make any money on these. They do provide value and we do get use for them, but they will never make us any money.

So, based on your needs you should think about what you goals are for the cash that you will spend. A second home is an investment and in today's market deals abound. If you have the funds, it is a great time to purchase that second home. You will just need to find a great agent that can help you with the calcuations to see if it is the right thing for your family. Based on the number of days you want to spend in one location - it would seem that a second home might make more sense for your situation.

The timeshare scenario will cost much less initially, but the MF add up over time. Our condo holding expenses are around $ 11,000 per year. This includes Keystone resort fees, taxes, gas, electric, cable, telephone - everything excluding the broken dishwasher or other repairs that are needed on occasion.

We have 3 weeks of timeshare and the MF are adding up to around $ 2400.00per year. We do own all 2 bedrooms in Hurricane prone areas, so that is one reason the MF are so high. You can get TS with much lower MF - but when we purchased the timeshares the MF were about half this current cost. The timeshare model requires the MF to increase over time.

I know our condo costs will also increase over time, but we control the rental rates and as costs go up - rental rates go up. Therefore offsetting the increase in costs. Anyway it is a very complex question and you should just go out and look at both. Run the numbers and do not make a quick decision. I suspect this year might be tough for everyone, we have bookings for the condo and currently we have around $ 7200.00 in advance bookings. This is running about 5 % behind last year. So we just reduced our rental rates about 5 %, but I am sure the condo will produce enough income to cover it's holding costs.

We have been following the condo market in Summit County Colorado for about 5 years. We wish we had purchased in Breck about 5 years ago - but we are very happy with our Keystone purchase. We got lucky and were able to find someone who needed out. There are many folks out there like that, it is just a matter of finding one. I do not know about Lake Tahoe, but in Summit County the property that is within the ski areas hold their value very well. You get out away from the mountains and they get softer - but we wanted income, so we needed to stay within the mountain areas.

Anyway - good luck and feel free to send me a PM if you have any other questions.
 
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jschmidt

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If you purchase property, YOU will be in control of your destiny! :D

If you buy a timeshare, you will be a FOLLOWER! :mad:

Here’s where we go when we want and stay for as long as we want: http://progressivefarmer.com/farmer/bestplaces/articles/07fayette.html. That’s our house with the star on the roof.

We have owned this ranch for 11 years. The price per acre has increase approximately 5 times over my original purchase price. :)

Our timeshare may be worth 1/5 of what we originally paid for it. :eek:
 
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rhonda

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After a few years of owning and enjoying timeshare in our favorite place -- we bought a vacation home there. We love it. Only a 90-minute drive from our primary residence we are able to use ours as a weekend home ... every weekend we aren't somewhere else (read: timeshare and camping).

For perspective, our primary residence is a condo I purchased 20+ years ago as a single person. Once married, my husband and I looked together for a home -- but couldn't find anything w/in our price range that matched the condo on location, convenience, sense of safety (neighborhood), etc. So we stayed, shoe-horned ourselves into the condo and did lots of vacationing outside the condo. Periodically we'd go house hunting -- but nothing really ever "fit" as well as the condo for daily life. Ten years later we finally found a place we could both agree on -- the weekend home.

Below is a reshash of thoughts I posted elsewhere last year:

The Vacation Home - PROs
  • The house is always ready for our arrival. No competition for scheduling. No blackout dates.
  • Our house. Our rules. (18 over for Easter Brunch? Family wants to visit in a caravan of motorhomes? No problem.)
  • Bring the pets! We have parrots ... and the house is furnished with large cages for each.
  • All our stuff -- exactly as we left it. Everything we need is already there, no need to "pack" just to go to the vacation home.
  • Wonderful neighbors and plenty of community participation. (I feel I'm finally developing roots. This place is "home" to me as no other place has since leaving NJ as a youth.)
  • The joy of decorating the weekend home. Finally, a place to show off things handed down from our grandparents.
  • Always having an excuse to visit Home Depot. (Condo-life has restrictions ... the weekend home has a "free pass" for DIY projects.)
The Vacation Home - CONs
  • Every visit has a "to do" list. We are always fixing stuff. (Not always a bad thing -- much of the work is both relaxing and rewarding. Again, repair work means a trip to Home Depot!)
  • 3 hours cleaning on Sunday afternoon before returning to the real world.
  • Mortgage + Insurance + Property Taxes + repairs/reserve. (Sure, tax advantages soften the impact.)
  • Add to the above Pest Control + 2nd set of phone and utility bills, etc.
  • The difficulty of justifying vacations elsewhere. (LOL - this was a puzzle for us early on ... I think we are well past it now.)
  • Only one location. (No big deal - we still have timeshare for the other locations.)
  • Increased personal exposure. (Um, we and many around us are being sued by a larger landowner over water rights. Seems this other landowner may have Federal rights dating back to the late 1700's that were not identified in our title search ... didn't see this one coming!)
Timeshare - PROs
  • We show up, enjoy the place, leave. (No repairs, no lawn to mow, no irrigation leaks, the plants always look nice, etc.)
  • Someone else does the housekeeping!
  • A variety of vacation destinations.
  • Adjustable "right size" contracts. Buy what you plan to use; rent extra time when the right deals and dates line up.
  • Share costs across a large group of owners.
  • Enjoy on-site amenities of full service spa, pools, restaurants, etc.
  • Friendships across a large virtual community here.
Timeshare - CONs
  • Risk of not getting the reservation you wish exactly where and when you want it.
  • No pets.
  • Pack, lug, unpack ... <vacation> ... pack, lug, unpack.
  • Not my rules ... but we'll abide by them. Goes hand-in hand with, "Not in my control ... but I'll do as told," as related to special assessments, changes to the rules/fees, etc.
  • Every visit is wrapped in planning. Scheduled arrival, scheduled departure. Makes it more difficult to accept last minute invitations or to roll with the changes in life.
Both have their joys, risks and rewards. The vacation home is a huge responsibility -- even if you chose to use a property manager to address maintenance, rentals, etc. We'll hope for a corresponding payoff years down the road. Comparatively, timeshare is sorta "wash'n'wear" if you know what I mean.
 

rhonda

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Most of the nights I spend there are in 1-3 night 'bunches'.
Do some timeshares have 'last minute' or 'home' resort discounts????
Watch for hidden costs related to multiple, short stays. Timeshare is generally setup for week-long stays. Breaking up your time over shorter visits increases the the workload of the resort's housekeeping, reservations, and front-desk staff. You may be asked to pay housekeeping fees and/or reservation fees after consuming your "fair share" of these services.
 

rickandcindy23

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Rhonda, what a great and comprehensive list of pros and cons. You are a very detailed person, and you put a lot of thought into that, which is obvious that you have thought about this situation before. :D
 

CatLovers

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As a recent entrant (and fan) into the vacation home arena, I'm going to add on to Rhonda's extensive comments. We agree with all her pros, but not all her cons apply to us.

Every visit has a "to do" list. We are always fixing stuff. (Not always a bad thing -- much of the work is both relaxing and rewarding. Again, repair work means a trip to Home Depot!)
Not for us ... we bought into a planned community with it's own HOA, so everything in terms of maintenance is looked after.

3 hours cleaning on Sunday afternoon before returning to the real world.
Definitely not for us! :D We have a weekly maid service that comes in every week, whether or not we are there. Since this is a secure community, the management company looks after this for us. Because our home is ocean-front on the beach, sea spray and salt is an issue, so I feel better having a maid there weekly to clean windows and walls, and to air out our villa.

The difficulty of justifying vacations elsewhere. (LOL - this was a puzzle for us early on ... I think we are well past it now.)
Yup, this is a biggie for us. We're not past it yet ... maybe it's too early :) !

We do not plan to rent out our villa (other than make it available to friends) so the issues that come with rentals do not apply to us either.

Btw, we plan to still hold on to a couple of weeks of timeshare points just to be able to go to different destinations. Plus, at some point in the future, I envision us doing a "home swap" with other vacation home owners using the several websites that are out there.

Bottom-line, for us, purchasing a vacation home was our dream decision, and we have no regrets whatsoever in terms of giving up (most of our) timeshares for a vacation home.
 

Bill4728

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What about a fractional??

Trendwest ( before Wyndham took it over) had a fractional in Tahoe. So you'd get 1/4 time and the HOA would take care of everthing. You could even deposit some of your time into Worldmark and get WM resort weeks.

Hope that helps
 

pianodinosaur

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Another option might be the so-called interval ownership. Depending on how much you spend, you can stay at the resort from 1/8 of the year to all year round. I think that Marriott has a facilty with such a plan in South Lake Tahoe.
 

godzilabob

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Wow. Thanks for your replies!!

Obviously alot of time and thought went into your replies...
I guess just an addendum to my original post.

I rarely travel during holidays/weekends. I hate crowds and traffic.
But like i said...my trips are rarely planned out...especially during snow season... I like to follow the storms...

It seems the consensus is to go full ownership rather than timeshare in my case, which is what I had assumed...

Now for you home/condo owners...sounds like some of you rent your places out...in my situation would you use a property management company? do the costs make it worth it?

Just quick replies are fine ;o) i know you're all busy...
 

Floridaski

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Property managers - some good or bad

I initial thought I would manage our Colorado condo myself and rent out via a internet. But, it is very competitive now with property managers - we found a company that will do everything for 28%. They have a good web site and have a good history of rentals. They also catch damage to the unit - for example a few weeks ago a renter was in the unit. They "spilled beer" in the unit and it required a carpet and furniture cleaning. They notified us and then went after the renter - we did not incur the cost.

This is an independent management company and not Vail/Keystone Resort management. I am sure Vail/Keystone property management does a great job, but they get a 50% commission. We compared the numbers and we should net more income with fewer nights rented - which will result in less wear and tear on the unit.

A good property manager will be your eyes and ears when you are not there. First you need to figure out exactly where you want to be, then you can research the options in the local area. With the internet today it makes the independent property management companies very competitive with the big boys in the industry. Good luck, half the adventure is figuring out what you will do!
 

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Based on your usage, I would say buy a points based timeshare. Just an opinion and many will disagree.

If you buy a vacation home strictly for investment purposes, then it will be rented most often in times when you would like to use it. It sounds as though you like to plan last minute, so what happens if you would like to go and someone is staying in your condo? You either stay home, or have to rent. Which is what I am guessing you are doing now. We do not own a vacation home, but we do own a boat. We stay on it probably 15-20 nights a year. When I want to go, I want to go, I don't want to have to call someone and ask if it's available. If I want to leave my shampoo, I don't want someone else using it. If that is the case, then it becomes the same as a timeshare. And we enjoy our timeshare vacations. But they are not the same thing as having a second place to call "home".

Good luck to you in whatever you decide.

JMHO,
Cindy
 

Floridaski

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you can use when you want

If you own the condo and you have a property management company you decide when to use the condo. If perhaps it is rented out, most management companies will try to place the renters in another unit. Also, if you know during a certain time of year you will be using last minute - you just put an "owners block" on the time. Let's face it, the management companies are making money on your investment - they are normally very responsive to owner requests. You can hopefully find one that also has a very liberal cancellation clause. Our contract can be canceled at any time with a one week notice. About as open as any contract can be written - they of course do a very good job because we could cancel the contract at the drop of a hat. We deciced to use our condo over Thanksgiving - they moved the renters to another unit. Not a problem, they were great about it and did not complain.

Most units will have owners storage right in the unit or perhaps even several owners lockers - you do leave your stuff in the unit. You will need to put that bottle of shampoo in the closet - but you do not have to lug stuff around like you do on vacation.
 
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