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Five Reasons Why We Bought a Timeshare

LannyPC

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After reviewing the concept again I am still not sold on it.

The lifetime & beyond annual maintenance and occasional special assessment commitment + club fees are a lot even when a timeshare is (near) free.

Our travel is mostly to Vegas and AC. Two locations with excessive hotel room capacity and a lot of special offers and casino comps.

8 nights (2X 4 nights) in AC in a flagship hotel on the Boardwalk will set us back $200. Hard to justify a $1100 annual maintenance fee for 14 nights.

Although it would be really fun to have a timeshare.
I agree with you and our situation is much like yours although we never travel to LV or AC. But that's the key. It's for our situation and preferences. For others as have been so eloquently pointed out on this thread, owning a TS makes sense for their situation and preferences. To them I say, "Enjoy your timeshares and vacations."
 

Sugarcubesea

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Would just add you are guaranteed the resort, unit size, time and view if you buy a fixed week. You get exactly what you want.
For me, this is what I like best about my fixed week, the knowledge and peace of mind that I have the same week and unit year after year...its awesome...
 

AndySamuels

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In my line of work there is no stability so that is another thing that comes into play. I have worked at five companies and lived in three states since 2015. Stability is something I always yearn for but is nearly impossible unfortunately. That feeds into the timeshare equation as well. In case we were to move cross country in the future flying becomes an issue. Flying has become prohibitively expensive for families. As has life in general (medical, education costs) but that is another matter entirely.
 

AndySamuels

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For $1100 maintenance fee (or less) you can get 7000 points if you buy platinum season. You can stretch the points for 6.5 weeks silver season or 4.5 weeks gold season in a studio at Flamingo. I am not sure what hotel, unit size, season you are referring to, the differences can be huge within the same city.View attachment 9225
Hilton Grand Vacation MFs are all over the place from what I see on eBay. Weird. But $1100 for 7000 points seems very reasonable. Curious whether that includes club membership as well.

The only eBay listing for 7800 points with $1059 MF is even years so I assume that means really $2100 in total for 7800 points. Plus $5600 asking price. That is a lot of $. For $7800 one can buy lots of hotel rooms in Vegas for a decade +. @ $78 a night approximately 100 nights. That does not even include the additional MF + club fees over those years.

I used to frequent TS presentations in 2010 - 2012 and they could never make it work arithmetically for me in Vegas or AC. The TS salespeople would get infuriated. One lady was escorted out by security after she got so upset she wanted to punch me in the face. All I did was basic calculus to show her the sales pitch made absolutely no sense financially.
 
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CalGalTraveler

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We own HGVC Paradise Vegas but we use the points for Hawaii which give us a multiplier in value. Check out the HGVC Forum stickies for the latest MF's. Ours is around $954 for a 7k point 2 bedroom plus club fees, so a little over a $1100 a year. When we travel to Vegas we don't use our TS but usually trade via RCI, or pay cash to use HGVC open season for shorter stays, or RCI or II getaways for < $800 a week. This stretches our ownership.

You didn't mention the unit size you need. If you only need a studio or 1 bedroom you may not need a 7k unit. 5k or less would work. However, hard to make the math work with studios. Timeshares work best when you want a 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom and avoid all of the resort and parking fees.
 

DannyTS

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Hilton Grand Vacation MFs are all over the place from what I see on eBay. Weird. But $1100 for 7000 points seems very reasonable. Curious whether that includes club membership as well.

The only eBay listing for 7800 points with $1059 MF is even years so I assume that means really $2100 in total for 7800 points. Plus $5600 asking price. That is a lot of $. For $7800 one can buy lots of hotel rooms in Vegas for a decade +. @ $78 a night approximately 100 nights. That does not even include the additional MF + club fees over those years.

I used to frequent TS presentations in 2010 - 2012 and they could never make it work arithmetically for me in Vegas or AC. The TS salespeople would get infuriated. One lady was escorted out by security after she got so upset she wanted to punch me in the face. All I did was basic calculus to show her the sales pitch made absolutely no sense financially.
As others said, maybe a timeshare is not for you. Many places in LV and AC have a very simple model (although things are changing a bit) : attract the guests with a great deal knowing that they will spend a lot while there. So your math may be right for your situation.

Try the same calculations though for Hawaii, Barbados or a ski week in Colorado! Besides, i think the timeshares cater more to people with kids or to those that like to stay in larger condos. We have kids and we would need 2 hotel rooms so a 1 bedroom condo suits us better. A condo also has a kitchen and a washer/drier that may not be important to you but are very valuable to us because they add comfort and we save money by not eating all four 3 meals a day at the restaurant.

One more thing, like hotels, timeshares are all over the place in terms of quality. However, i believe the average TS is a step up from the average hotel because they can maintain them properly since the maintenance fees are paid regardless of the occupancy rate and the season. If you buy one of the top timeshares: Hilton, Marriott, Westin, Sheraton, Hyatt, Disney you are virtually guaranteed a good quality and this is also important for us.
 

AndySamuels

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Those are very fair arguments. Each person's situation is unique. We have no desire/plans to travel to Hawaii, Barbados and/or Colorado. We like Vegas because a) it is Vegas and b) my in-laws live there. We like AC because it is like a mini-AC and within driving distance. Food in Vegas can also be very economical with all the coupons and special offers. Same in AC to an extent.

I will build a spreadsheet to calculate all costs and do some more comparisons.
 

AndySamuels

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Looks like Grandview would be the best choice. Lowest rate per room for the MF. Plus close to Southpoint and in-laws. Downside is the distance to the strip.

Property Chain ROOMS MFs Per Night Close To Strip In Laws Proximity
Polo Towers Diamond 2BED/2BATH $1,275.00 $ 91.07 100 0
Grandview Wyndham 2BED/2BATH $ 803.00 $ 57.36 25 100
Tahiti Village 2BED/2BATH $ 982.25 $ 70.16 25 50
Cliffs Peace Canyon 2BED/2BATH $ 764.00 $ 54.57 0 0
Club de Soleil 2BED/2BATH $632.00 $45.00 10 10

Polo Towers is very expensive. Cliffs @ Peace Canyon / Club de Soleil is way out there. Once there are more listings for other properties I will add those as well.
 
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CalGalTraveler

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You might want to compare the reviews and room types for each property. IMO Grandview is nice but huge (feels a bit stark/institutional in entry, landscaping and hallways) and a half-star to 1 star lower in quality from HGVC.

Tahiti room types vary in layout and size but more landscaping and lazy river.

Depends what you want and how much you want to pay.
 

AndySamuels

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Yep. I am always cost conscious though: you can typically only spend a buck once. ;)
 

AndySamuels

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Time is an interesting concept. I typically do not remember much of an experience after a few months have passed. :)

Plus I have stayed at Ritz Carlton / Wynn / Palazzo down to Red Roof Inn / Hooters and I am pretty agnostic.
 

Sugarcubesea

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I really love the timeshares I own. Each was purchased with a specific intent. I’ve been able to make awesome memories and spending quality time with my family is ever so precious to me.

I have lost many loved ones in the last 3 years and life is so very precious and I want to stay in places that are comfy and cozy like home.

I own at two independents and my third timeshare is my SDO / Vistana that is the very best trader and has allowed me to go to Maui, Key West, Wine Country, and the list goes on and on.

I have a very stressful job and my timeshares allow me to unwind and recharge.
 
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dayooper

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Where do you want to stay in Vegas? If you wNt to be right in the center of the strip, HGVC has two properties right in the middle: HGVC at the Flamingo and Elara. If that’s not as important, than Grandview should be your best bet as far as MF’s and even trading power if you ever want to exchange.
 

AndySamuels

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Excellent! I agree with you wholeheartedly.

My job is extremely boring unfortunately and typically not stressful.

We all deserve to treat ourselves. Before time runs out.

Grandview would be the most convenient since my inlaws live five minutes away from it. Plus Southpoint is next door: great casino ($5 steak & eggs @ midnight).
 

macmanrider

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I wrote this post on my personal blog, but thought it may help other folks here on the TUG since so much of what I learned about my situation came from advise here on the forums.

I’d love any feedback you have, but more than anything, I hope this helps someone else. The original post follows:



My wife and I have gone to more than our fair share of timeshare presentations. I’d imagine that we’re somewhere in the neighborhood of ten different pitches. Most of the recent ones have been through Book VIP. The deal is always that you can get a significant discount on accommodations (and often they include All-Inclusive packages) in return for selling your soul for a few hours ( aka the obligation of sitting through a timeshare pitch.)

Having been through as many as we have, I’ve actually gained quite a bit of knowledge of not only how the sales pitches work and how to combat the tactics used by the parade of sales people, but I’ve also learned about the different timeshare systems themselves. And when you look past the sales info, there’s no doubt in my mind that there is at least some truth behind the story that you can either save money on travel or travel with nicer accomodations — ASSUMING that you are able to pay a reasonable amount of money to acquire your week.

It’s also no secret that we like to travel, which is why I’ve always given the idea about buying a timeshare some thought. But like many of you, I’ve often heard horror stories about them. You can’t book when you want. Maintenance fees are expensive. And you can’t get rid of them. Any of the ones that are worth owning are ridiculously expensive to purchase. Other than that, sounds great, right?

Based on the things that I’ve read, a lot of that can be true.

However, if you do your research and know what you’re getting into, owning a timeshare can improve the way you vacation… or at least that’s my theory and hope going into this. I’ve done quite a bit of research so I do feel good about it going into this.

Here are five reasons why I believe buying a timeshare is the right move for us:

1. We travel most years. Who am I kidding, we travel every year. Quite often a few times a year. We buy “things” on occasion, but we are definitely of the mindset that experiences and memories are more important than accumulating stuff or always driving a new car. Because we know that we like to travel, we include money to cover those expenses in our monthly budget, so that it’s covered when the time comes.

Knowing that we are going to prioritize travel means that I’m ok with the commitment to pay a maintenance fee every year.

2. We like going to places where there are timeshare locations. Well, perhaps more accurately, we like to go a lot of different places, and a lot of those locations also have timeshares. If you’re going to buy into a timeshare system, you should either really want to go back to that same location or the other locations that are operated by the same or partner companies. If your vacation destinations don’t line up with where there is resort availability, owning a timeshare isn’t likely for you.


3. We’d enjoy having a bit more space when we travel. This one is probably a bit more subjective to us right now. With the kids being the ages that they are, we’re all really ok piling into a single standard hotel room with two queen beds. Half the time, we end up splitting up the adult and kids anyway. When we were in Hawaii, we only had an adult bed and a kid bed for one night.

That being said, the kids are starting to get older, and it would be nice (not required, but nice) to have some more private space. We also bought enough HGVC points for a two bedroom unit, which would also give us the flexibility to have grandparents or friends potentially travel with us. We also don’t have to eat out every meal — especially breakfast — so having a working kitchen will be nice.

4. We’re getting a high quality unit at a low price. If you go out to timeshare sales sites, you can quite often find units for sale for $1 — or in some cases, I’ve even seen where people are paying all of others closing costs just to get them to take them. Quite often, those locations are with questionable companies with high maintenance fees. I have no idea what the prices of timeshares will do in the future, but I feel confident that in the worst case scenario, I won’t be out too much capital — and could easily pass on the unit to someone else. However, my expectation is that we’ll hold on to this for a long time.

The high quality unit also means that we should have good trading power if we wanted to go outside the Hilton Grand Vacation Club system. The location we’re buying into trades into both RCI and II — the two major players.

There’s one additional benefit from a high quality unit which takes me to my final point.

5. The week at the location that we’re buying rents for more than double the maintenance fees. Owning a high demand week in a high demand location also means that if we wanted to, we could reserve the week and rent it out and more than cover the maintenance fees for the year. If we actually did rent it out every other year, it would essentially pay for a free vacation for us every other year as well. I don’t know how often that we would consider renting it out, but I love having that as a fallback option if we don’t need it for one reason or another.

We’re definitely still early in our journey, but I’ve done enough research that I feel very comfortable with our decidsion. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out and thank you to the friendly folks at the TUG (Timeshare User Group) forums. They not only helped by answering a few of my specific questions, but just reading through others’ posts was exteremely beneficial.

Stay tuned for more updates as we actually begin to use our new timeshare. Do you have a good or bad timeshare experience to share? Let me know @TalkToErik.
We love our fixed weeks 4&5 at Costa Sur in PV Mexico . The reason why is everyone shows up from all over. But they are friends now. Some don't show . But new people show up too. We play games in and out of the pool have happy hour together . Go out to dinner together. Make crafts together. And just have a good time. Now sure 2030 our deed will be up . If we don't renew for another 30 yrs.its a very easy vacation to plan you know you have week 4&5 so air fare is easy getting pesos from the bank before you go is easy. You don't have to rent a car cabs are cheap. And the bus is 80 pesos so thats 40 cents.
 

bogey21

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A couple of years before I retired (divorced and traveling alone) I built a portfolio of six Fixed Week/Fixed Units at places I would go every year. I bought them cheap. I think the most expensive was $1,000. The cheapest was $0. [Note this was 20 years ago. I could do it for less today] I also made sure the MFs were reasonable. My recollection is that they were all in the $500-$600 range except for one that was about $800. Three reasons for this (1) relatively low initial and annual cost; (2) certainty that I would have the same Week/Unit every year; and (3) it made it easier to plan and minimize my cost of travel...

George
 

andymul

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I wrote this post on my personal blog, but thought it may help other folks here on the TUG since so much of what I learned about my situation came from advise here on the forums.

I’d love any feedback you have, but more than anything, I hope this helps someone else. The original post follows:



My wife and I have gone to more than our fair share of timeshare presentations. I’d imagine that we’re somewhere in the neighborhood of ten different pitches. Most of the recent ones have been through Book VIP. The deal is always that you can get a significant discount on accommodations (and often they include All-Inclusive packages) in return for selling your soul for a few hours ( aka the obligation of sitting through a timeshare pitch.)

Having been through as many as we have, I’ve actually gained quite a bit of knowledge of not only how the sales pitches work and how to combat the tactics used by the parade of sales people, but I’ve also learned about the different timeshare systems themselves. And when you look past the sales info, there’s no doubt in my mind that there is at least some truth behind the story that you can either save money on travel or travel with nicer accomodations — ASSUMING that you are able to pay a reasonable amount of money to acquire your week.

It’s also no secret that we like to travel, which is why I’ve always given the idea about buying a timeshare some thought. But like many of you, I’ve often heard horror stories about them. You can’t book when you want. Maintenance fees are expensive. And you can’t get rid of them. Any of the ones that are worth owning are ridiculously expensive to purchase. Other than that, sounds great, right?

Based on the things that I’ve read, a lot of that can be true.

However, if you do your research and know what you’re getting into, owning a timeshare can improve the way you vacation… or at least that’s my theory and hope going into this. I’ve done quite a bit of research so I do feel good about it going into this.

Here are five reasons why I believe buying a timeshare is the right move for us:

1. We travel most years. Who am I kidding, we travel every year. Quite often a few times a year. We buy “things” on occasion, but we are definitely of the mindset that experiences and memories are more important than accumulating stuff or always driving a new car. Because we know that we like to travel, we include money to cover those expenses in our monthly budget, so that it’s covered when the time comes.

Knowing that we are going to prioritize travel means that I’m ok with the commitment to pay a maintenance fee every year.

2. We like going to places where there are timeshare locations. Well, perhaps more accurately, we like to go a lot of different places, and a lot of those locations also have timeshares. If you’re going to buy into a timeshare system, you should either really want to go back to that same location or the other locations that are operated by the same or partner companies. If your vacation destinations don’t line up with where there is resort availability, owning a timeshare isn’t likely for you.


3. We’d enjoy having a bit more space when we travel. This one is probably a bit more subjective to us right now. With the kids being the ages that they are, we’re all really ok piling into a single standard hotel room with two queen beds. Half the time, we end up splitting up the adult and kids anyway. When we were in Hawaii, we only had an adult bed and a kid bed for one night.

That being said, the kids are starting to get older, and it would be nice (not required, but nice) to have some more private space. We also bought enough HGVC points for a two bedroom unit, which would also give us the flexibility to have grandparents or friends potentially travel with us. We also don’t have to eat out every meal — especially breakfast — so having a working kitchen will be nice.

4. We’re getting a high quality unit at a low price. If you go out to timeshare sales sites, you can quite often find units for sale for $1 — or in some cases, I’ve even seen where people are paying all of others closing costs just to get them to take them. Quite often, those locations are with questionable companies with high maintenance fees. I have no idea what the prices of timeshares will do in the future, but I feel confident that in the worst case scenario, I won’t be out too much capital — and could easily pass on the unit to someone else. However, my expectation is that we’ll hold on to this for a long time.

The high quality unit also means that we should have good trading power if we wanted to go outside the Hilton Grand Vacation Club system. The location we’re buying into trades into both RCI and II — the two major players.

There’s one additional benefit from a high quality unit which takes me to my final point.

5. The week at the location that we’re buying rents for more than double the maintenance fees. Owning a high demand week in a high demand location also means that if we wanted to, we could reserve the week and rent it out and more than cover the maintenance fees for the year. If we actually did rent it out every other year, it would essentially pay for a free vacation for us every other year as well. I don’t know how often that we would consider renting it out, but I love having that as a fallback option if we don’t need it for one reason or another.

We’re definitely still early in our journey, but I’ve done enough research that I feel very comfortable with our decidsion. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out and thank you to the friendly folks at the TUG (Timeshare User Group) forums. They not only helped by answering a few of my specific questions, but just reading through others’ posts was exteremely beneficial.

Stay tuned for more updates as we actually begin to use our new timeshare. Do you have a good or bad timeshare experience to share? Let me know @TalkToErik.
Have you rented any weeks out yet? Just curious how your experience has been so far with your research/travel/sales?
 

macmanrider

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Have you rented any weeks out yet? Just curious how your experience has been so far with your research/travel/sales?
I did rent both weeks last year to family super easy pay m/f first then give the names of who is going to be there plus we book another room for more family. Fixed week is the way to go. At least in Mexico it is . I don't know about others we have not banked any weeks yet. We just enjoy going to much great people. Great friends . Good prices.
 

macmanrider

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A couple of years before I retired (divorced and traveling alone) I built a portfolio of six Fixed Week/Fixed Units at places I would go every year. I bought them cheap. I think the most expensive was $1,000. The cheapest was $0. [Note this was 20 years ago. I could do it for less today] I also made sure the MFs were reasonable. My recollection is that they were all in the $500-$600 range except for one that was about $800. Three reasons for this (1) relatively low initial and annual cost; (2) certainty that I would have the same Week/Unit every year; and (3) it made it easier to plan and minimize my cost of travel...

George
Do you still use your timeshare. Yes ours were inexpensive $500 a week in Mexico and $20 for lake Tahoe. So $1050 for 2 1/2 weeks. And the M/F are still cheaper than travel. Some people in our resort stay for up to 8 weeks. And some stay for 8 weeks and move to different resorts. We like PV Mexico because there is so much to see. We do something different every year.
 

bogey21

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Do you still use your timeshare...
Don't have them anymore. When I saw the writing on the wall that I would have to stop traveling (age and health) I slowly divested them. It took about 3 years and I used them during the process. In the end I netted about $1,000 for the bunch (3 were Deeded Back to Resort). I figure a loss of approximately $5,000 over a 10 year or so period was not a bad deal. Kind of like adding $16 per year to each of my MFs...

George
 
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