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First time share, school me

Srieger329

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1) Where do you want your home resort to be?
Either the Bahamas or Orlando area. As long as its transferable to the Caribbean.

2) Do you want to visit your home resort at least half the time, or do you want to trade more than half the time?
Depends. If its a Caribbean resort more than half.

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?
Caribbean, Mexico, south america. Honestly out of US that's it really

4) How many people do you usually travel with?
2 adults, 2 children

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule?
Anytime really. Prefer Sept/Oct/march

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance?
Yes.

7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time?
Yes

8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars?
4 for sure.

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?
1-2000

10) How much can you afford to spend every year for a maintenance fee that will come due right after Christmas, and increase each year?
800-1200

11) Are you a detail oriented planner?
Yes, very detail oriented

12) Do you understand that once you buy a timeshare, it may be very difficult to sell or give away, and you are responsible for all fees, until you do?
I do, we vacation atleast once or twice a year so I don't mind paying something off.

I've looked into starwood ownership already, received pricing and payments. Just fishing with the experts to see what other options might be out there that fit what I'd like.
 

Ty1on

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Just for clarification, do you have young children and expect to be bound by a school calendar in the future?
 

Ty1on

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Yes, well one starts kindergarten this year and one is 5 months old.

So long term, you will be looking at summer, winter holiday and spring break for availability.

So you would either need to find a prime floating or fixed week, or enough points to reserve within prime season in whatever system you choose.
 

Ty1on

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What is a good group/network to invest in? Besides starwood

I don't think Wyndham will be your thing. They have Bonnet Creek in Orlando, and quite a few others around Florida, but their pretty thin in the Carribean, with a couple locations in USVI. I think you can use points for El Cid resorts, too, but I've never looked into it.

It seems easy to trade into Cancun via RCI/II, whatever you get, but be careful you aren't trading into a mandatory all-inclusive that ends up costing you more in AI fees than they rent the whole week with AI included to the general public.

I've seen that Marriott is a popular system for Caribbean lovers, but cost of entry would be higher than your budget.

Here's the thing, though. Even though you will soon be married to the school calendar, you aren't this fall and spring. This gives you ample opportunity to find great rental deals in the off-season and test-drive a system or two before you commit yourself.
 

lizap

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There are some who believe it's ok to take kids out of school to go on vacation (see thread for discussion on this). I'm not in that camp.

Just for clarification, do you have young children and expect to be bound by a school calendar in the future?
 

Ty1on

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There are some who believe it's ok to take kids out of school to go on vacation (see thread for discussion on this). I'm not in that camp.

Yeah, I don't want to reopen that debate. Personally, I would love the idea of pulling my girl out for off-season vacations, but I don't think it would send her the right message about the importance of school.
 

Srieger329

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Oh absolutely, school is priority. Believe it or not my wife prefers the early fall since she's not crazy about the Caribbean summer heat. I guess this will take some careful planning. We have done cruises in the late Sept mid October and the weather was good for her.

Now, i was advised by a broker to buy a home destination in the US that has transfer options to the islands to save on closing fees. Truth to that? I saw you guys recommend setting your home destination to the place you want guaranteed time at.
 

gmarine

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With the ages of your children, your needs are going to change as the children get older so my advice would be to not buy anything. With the way the timeshare market is right now you can pretty much rent anywhere, anytime for at or not much more than the maintenance fees without the committment of ever increasing maintenance fees and exchange fees. The areas and seasons you mention also make it easy for you to rent without buying anything.
 

Ty1on

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Oh absolutely, school is priority. Believe it or not my wife prefers the early fall since she's not crazy about the Caribbean summer heat. I guess this will take some careful planning. We have done cruises in the late Sept mid October and the weather was good for her.

Now, i was advised by a broker to buy a home destination in the US that has transfer options to the islands to save on closing fees. Truth to that? I saw you guys recommend setting your home destination to the place you want guaranteed time at.

Spring break can definitely by an annual Caribbean time for you guys as they get older.

My answer to your question is this: I don't know what the closing cost differential will be, but I wouldn't take a second-choice pick just to save a couple or even few hundred on the purchase. Depending on where you land as far as the system you buy into, home resort can be a very big factor when you decide when you want to use your week. Your vacation time window will narrow as the kids get older and you CAN'T pull them from school for a week with good conscience even if you want to.

Ask a lot of questions of Starwood experts, and then try to rent in one of their resorts for a week or even a mini to get a feel for whether this is you or not. Again, I don't think Wyndham has the inventory in the Carribe to get your motor running, and I know for a fact that Marriott points would be substantially outside your initial investment budget. Maybe some others will chime in with a different competing system that would suit your needs.

You might, in the course of your research, even decide that renting is the thing for you for the foreseeable future. Cancun AIs booked through discount companies can sure be fun and really reasonable in price. The vacation of my life so far was 8 nights at Fiesta Americana Condesa in Cancun, and my wife found it for $2,400 all-in including flights from Las Vegas and all-inclusive for three of us.
 

theo

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Yessa!

With the ages of your children, your needs are going to change as the children get older so my advice would be to not buy anything. With the way the timeshare market is right now you can pretty much rent anywhere, anytime for at or not much more than the maintenance fees without the commitment of ever increasing maintenance fees and exchange fees. The areas and seasons you mention also make it easy for you to rent without buying anything.

Fwiw, I believe this position to represent very good advice and a sound and solid recommendation for the OP's family situation.
 
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Password is taco

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12) Do you understand that once you buy a timeshare, it may be very difficult to sell or give away, and you are responsible for all fees, until you do?
I do, we vacation atleast once or twice a year so I don't mind paying something off.

I'm curious about your response to question 12. What do you mean by "I don't mind paying something off"? If you mean you are comfortable financing the purchase of the timeshare, two things: 1) I don't think many here would recommend you buy one if you don't have the cash, 2) I don't think the question is referring to financing that can be paid off, its referring to the perpetual nature of the maintenance fees that never end for you unless you sell or give away the timeshare which may be difficult. It's a risk that the friendly people here on the forum just want everyone to take seriously and go into timeshare ownership with "eyes wide open". Say you lose your job, you can cancel your cable tv service, but there are a lot of people out there trying to get rid of their timeshares, so you might not be able to. The way to mitigate this risk would be to do as much research as possible and find a timeshare that has resale value.
 
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