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I am researching my first timeshare purchase and I am considering Florida (Orlando area). Is this area a good location for exchange value purposes? If so which week provides the greatest exchange value?
Based upon info on this board and also the amount of Orlando area timeshares available for extra vacartions and for exchange, I would say don't buy Orlando for exchange value. I have traded into Orlando for an October week, trading a one bedroom, sleeps six, for a three bedroom, sleeps 8.
If you plan to mostly exchange don't buy a week buy into a good points based, multiresort system like Fairfield, Worrldmark, Sunterra or others. Also think about an RCI Points based resort. But buying a week somewhere now with the idea to trade most of the time is not a good plan. And of course whatever you decide buy resale.
I probably should clarify. I am married with small children and am looking for a timeshare we could enjoy as a family while the children are young, hence the interest in Florida (ie Disney). However, as my children get older my wife and myself would like to exchange to other resorts preferably warm resorts. Hence our desire to have a timeshare with strong exchange value. Is this possible by purchasing a timeshare in Florida? If so which resorts and are there a preferred week(s) that a better throughout the year?
If you want to purchase in the Orlando area, then I would suggest that you purchase one of the branded timeshares such as Marriott or Hilton. Both have very nice resorts in Orlando, and both offer priority exchanging into their other locations when you decide you'd like to go somewhere else. As others have said, buy resale...and platinum season...for the best combination of value and trade power.
If you're willing to consider other areas of Florida besides Orlando, then you might want to look into Sanibel Island, Marco Island or Key West. These areas have stronger trade power than Orlando as the demand is great and there is a limited supply of timeshares.
However, by sticking to a major brand with a variety of locations, like Marriott or Hilton, I think you could purchase in Orlando and enjoy a great home resort as well as decent trade power when you want to exchange.
you can buy one in FL where you will go for a while until your kids old enough then sell that one to buy another one with pure trade power in mind. Exchange is depended on supply and demand. With internet, people can do more on TS, get more educated on TS, so if your time frame is 5 to 10 years from now, you may look at different exchange picture. As long as you buy one you like, enter at a good low value, you will loss nothing.
Or You can buy a point system that has good presents in FL (most do). Or home based is FL, and exchange well today, so you don't need to worry about selling it. However, most of point system will try to seduce you to buy more points so they could grow more, don't buy more that have total MF greater than you are spending today. or even close to 2/3 of you spend today.
The highest demand weeks (those with the best trading power) in the Orlando area are week 52, spring break, and school summer vacation through mid-August only. If you are going to buy a fixed week in Orlando, choose the one that works best with your school system to enjoy while your children are young. Afterwards, it should trade reasonably well. If not well enough, do as Jya-Ning suggests and sell it. You should be able to pick up a week in the Orlando area cheap (join TUG and read the reviews first) but be careful of maintenance fees, which can be high.
We were in the same situation when we purchased our 2BR floating week at Sheraton Vistana Orlando (resale-Fountains II) back in 2000. Our children were younger, now their 9 & 13. We've only stayed at our home resort once and have exchanged to all 2BR Gold Star resorts in Hawaii (2x), San Diego, Las Vegas and exchanged back into Orlando. The key to our exchange (w/RCI) success is to deposit early and conduct an ongoing search. We were thinking about selling our Orlando week to buy an EOY week in Hawaii since we always use it for trading.
If I were looking to get into a good program, at the lowest price point, I'd look to buy a platinum 2BDRM LO week at the Marriott Manor Club in Williamsburg Va. I think you could get one for under $10k, resale, if I'm not mistaken.
First you get into the Marriott program, which I think has the best overall package of quality resorts in the most diverse locations. Secondly, the LO gives you flexibility down the road, and you can definately split now and use your 1bdrm, and perhaps your studio to upgrade into a 2bdrm in Orlando quite easily. Thirdly, its a great resort to go to all by itself. I love the area, with Water Country, and Busch Gardens very close by. Lastly, it is my understanding that it trades very well in II.
We are thinking of buying at the Sheraton Vistana perhaps Cascades/Lakes. Reviews are not too bad for the resort just seems there are some areas which are better than others. It looks very nice, pools, grounds, rooms. Any suggestions?