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Definitely have to agree with a studio being too small for a family w/ 2 young kids. We also have 2 young kids and loved the space of a 2bdrm unit. Recently we spent just one night in a 1bdrm T/S and it felt cramped.
I wanted to also mention that some T/S have lockoffs, meaning, it's a 2 or 3 bdrm unit, but there's an extra door and you can lockoff a studio or 1bdrm portion. If that's the case, then both portions would trade, enabling you to get two weeks of vacation as opposed to one.
Also, most T/S have the 'every other year' option instead of annual usage. So, if you can find a T/S that has lockoff capability, and then purchase EOY, you can essentially vacation EVERY year. However, your maintenance fees will be half because you technically own EOY. For example, if the T/S maint fee for annual owners is $800, then for those who own EOY, it's roughly half. Additionally, if your T/S is high demand and you purchase in a high demand (red) season, the exchange company may give you a bonus THIRD week when you deposit. This gives you THREE weeks of vacation instead of one! This is what we have - and it's worked out great for us.
If you want to go to the San Diego area and Hawaii, you will need to buy there. One of the first rules of timesharing is buy where you want to go as no matter what the sales people tell you, you cannot always make exchanges to the places you want to go.
Mexico resorts really do not pull Hawaii resorts - especially a studio unit. I have owned timeshares in Mexico since 1999 and have only been able to get to Hawaii twice (one is next April) and have not gotten Southern California during a prime season yet. Both times that we got Hawaii, we had to book 2 years out to get those. Our first timeshare purchase back in 1990 was in Hawaii, but the maintenance fees kept going up so much, that we decided to sell it. We had to take a loss on the sale but figured we had gotten a lot of good vactions with it . Luckily, we had bought it resale, so we did not lose too much. We would have been better off to rent.
I have purchased only one week from the developer and all the others on eBay. You just have to keep checking in with TUG and watch eBay for a while to see what units where you want to go are selling for. You are off to a good start.
Like the others say - rent for a few vacations to see just what you like. With 2 children, you would not be happy with a studio - think hotel room compared to condo. As the kids get bigger you need more space for when you are in your unit. I've had two kids in a hotel room on a rainy day and in a condo - condo is better! 2-bedroom units are like condos.
But resale where you really want to go all the time. If you can then trade, its gravy. If you want to go different places, rent and then buy a good a place as you can afford resale and hope for the best.
I almost took all of my own advice. I had bought a developer project (still very happy with it) and used it for trades until I had decided where I want to go "permanently". Since then, trades are a once in a very long while.