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Grandview at Las Vegas: Deedback, Give away or stop paying MF ?

Jan M.

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I remember ten years ago when the economy was hurting and people were losing their homes to foreclosures. The fallout meant a lot of resorts were adversely affected. Maintenance fees at many resorts went up because of all the unpaid maintenance fees and foreclosures. It takes time to take something back through foreclosure and during that time no maintenance fees are coming in. To keep the maintenance fees from skyrocketing and leading more people to walk away it wasn't unusual for the boards put off updating the units and doing anything that wasn't a critical repair. By the time the resorts had recovered enough to be able to start doing the things that had been put off some resorts had gotten shabby and people who stayed at them complained about it. Some of you probably remember getting the resort report with the annual budget and how the board would proudly announce what was scheduled to be done in the coming year.

For those of you who are longer time Wyndham owners you may remember that Pagosa was a resort that was particularly hard hit. Fairfield Bay and the other legacy resorts also suffered.

It isn't the developer or the sales agent who gets hurt when people walk away from what they own. The foreclosures become a problem for the resorts and ultimately affects all the owners at the resort.. However I think it might actually be Wyndham who would be hurt when owners walk away from Club Wyndham Access. If you have Club Wyndham Access you don't own anything; instead you have a contract with Wyndham for the use of x number of points each year. Wyndham retains the ownership of all those deeds the points in Club Wyndham Access are based on. That means Wyndham is ultimately responsible for the maintenance fees on those points. I've never seen a breakdown of how the maintenance fees are established for CWA to know if Wyndham builds their losses when someone walks away from their CWA contract into the maintenance fees. Times like this are when I really miss Ron P. because he would know. He read through all that stuff where most of us don't even glance at it.
 
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bogey21

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Hi George. Be careful encouraging others not to pay MF. @Braindead will accuse you of being solely responsible for thousands of TS owners not paying MF. Check out the screenshot.
In no way was my post intended to encourage anyone not to pay their MFs. I was only opining on the effect not paying would have on other Owners...

George
 

Grammarhero

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I remember ten years ago when the economy was hurting and people were losing their homes to foreclosures. The fallout meant a lot of resorts were adversely affected. Maintenance fees at many resorts went up because of all the unpaid maintenance fees and foreclosures. It takes time to take something back through foreclosure and during that time no maintenance fees are coming in. To keep the maintenance fees from skyrocketing and leading more people to walk away it wasn't unusual for the boards put off updating the units and doing anything that wasn't a critical repair. By the time the resorts had recovered enough to be able to start doing the things that had been put off some resorts had gotten shabby and people who stayed at them complained about it. Some of you probably remember getting the resort report with the annual budget and how the board would proudly announce what was scheduled to be done in the coming year.

For those of you who are longer time Wyndham owners you may remember that Pagosa was a resort that was particularly hard hit. Fairfield Bay and the other legacy resorts also suffered.

It isn't the developer or the sales agent who gets hurt when people walk away from what they own. The foreclosures become a problem for the resorts and ultimately affects all the owners at the resort.. However I think it might actually be Wyndham who would be hurt when owners walk away from Club Wyndham Access. If you have Club Wyndham Access you don't own anything; instead you have a contract with Wyndham for the use of x number of points each year. Wyndham retains the ownership of all those deeds the points in Club Wyndham Access are based on. That means Wyndham is ultimately responsible for the maintenance fees on those points. I've never seen a breakdown of how the maintenance fees are established for CWA to know if Wyndham builds their losses when someone walks away from their CWA contract into the maintenance fees. Times like this are when I really miss Ron P. because he would know. He read through all that stuff where most of us don't even glance at it.
Astute analysis.
 

Grammarhero

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In no way was my post intended to encourage anyone not to pay their MFs. I was only opining on the effect not paying would have on other Owners...

George
Understood.
 

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What I really like about TUG is that it is one added tool that allows people an option to get out. The bargain bin has been a great resource for many. Even though I don’t own any timeshares and probably never will again is because they can be so hard to get rid of. My experiences have driven me to try to change that through my two cent advocacy. If you read my posts, they always advocate deed backs, sell for a dollar and pay transfer, etc. and yes, use state laws if needed as a last resort. Let’s face it. Life changes. For example, folks who enjoyed their timeshare for many years and now have health challenges and are unable to use it anymore. Many of these folks are on fixed incomes and find the costs seriously harming their budgets. They shouldn’t need to buck up and pay forever and forget to put groceries in the fridge. What they need are kind ways to move on.

On a positive note, I am finally seeing developers understanding the problem and instituting deed back programs. In my mind, they can recover costs through resales and renting out the unit. I am assuming their rental recovery and resale money should offshoot any costs to other owners. Everyone can win with deed backs.

I am hopeful that through changing legislation and developers realizing a sales market developed on their end will increase their reputation holistically, increase timeshare resale values resulting in more folks taking a second look at timeshare.


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Grammarhero

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What I really like about TUG is that it is one added tool that allows people an option to get out. The bargain bin has been a great resource for many. Even though I don’t own any timeshares and probably never will again is because they can be so hard to get rid of. My experiences have driven me to try to change that through my two cent advocacy. If you read my posts, they always advocate deed backs, sell for a dollar and pay transfer, etc. and yes, use state laws if needed as a last resort. Let’s face it. Life changes. For example, folks who enjoyed their timeshare for many years and now have health challenges and are unable to use it anymore. Many of these folks are on fixed incomes and find the costs seriously harming their budgets. They shouldn’t need to buck up and pay forever and forget to put groceries in the fridge. What they need are kind ways to move on.

On a positive note, I am finally seeing developers understanding the problem and instituting deed back programs. In my mind, they can recover costs through resales and renting out the unit. I am assuming their rental recovery and resale money should offshoot any costs to other owners. Everyone can win with deed backs.

I am hopeful that through changing legislation and developers realizing a sales market developed on their end will increase their reputation holistically, increase timeshare resale values resulting in more folks taking a second look at timeshare.


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Eloquently written.
 

CalGalTraveler

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So my question remains based on a Law Firms opinion that specializes in Timeshare Law is why are owners billed bad debt in the first place if the developer/resort is cashing in on resales? I would at least expect owners to be reimbursed on their bad debt expense when money is made by reselling.

As for @Grammarhero, he has, in my view, simply helped folks with legal information sharing. He has, in no way, promoted the idea that people stop paying MF. As I have said, based on reading many @Grammarhero posts, he is an upstanding person who deserves to be treated that way. Him being labelled and accused is frankly uncalled for, possibly tortious, harmful and inappropriate in my view. Disagree is ok. Pointing fingers and labelling is not.

Perhaps, instead of labelling and accusing people as scammers or implied liars (false information), you should focus on expressing your own views. I think your points would garner more respect.

Sadly, timeshares are one of few items that are very difficult to get rid of properly. I think that needs to change. That’s why we advocate for deed backs, selling on eBay, TUG and others. No one, in my view, should be left with desperate choices to move on.

Just my thoughts.


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+1 On what planet is calling people who make consumers aware of their legal rights a scam or a lie? These laws were created because of greed and abuses by the developer. @Grammarhero is a hero. Shame on you @Braindead. Are you a troll for the developer?
 
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What I really like about TUG is that it is one added tool that allows people an option to get out. The bargain bin has been a great resource for many. Even though I don’t own any timeshares and probably never will again is because they can be so hard to get rid of. My experiences have driven me to try to change that through my two cent advocacy. If you read my posts, they always advocate deed backs, sell for a dollar and pay transfer, etc. and yes, use state laws if needed as a last resort. Let’s face it. Life changes. For example, folks who enjoyed their timeshare for many years and now have health challenges and are unable to use it anymore. Many of these folks are on fixed incomes and find the costs seriously harming their budgets. They shouldn’t need to buck up and pay forever and forget to put groceries in the fridge. What they need are kind ways to move on.

On a positive note, I am finally seeing developers understanding the problem and instituting deed back programs. In my mind, they can recover costs through resales and renting out the unit. I am assuming their rental recovery and resale money should offshoot any costs to other owners. Everyone can win with deed backs.

I am hopeful that through changing legislation and developers realizing a sales market developed on their end will increase their reputation holistically, increase timeshare resale values resulting in more folks taking a second look at timeshare.


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I'm 71 years old. So is my wife. We DO NOT own a timeshare. I have prostate cancer and am receiving chemo after a difficult surgery for colon cancer. My wife has mmn. Look it up. It is only in her hands, but can get worse. We travel by car. Not by plane. (at the moment). If I owned a timeshare at the moment, I would NOT hesitate to dump the maintenance fees back on the resort. A mortgage loan, I believe is an obligation that has merit and should be paid. I don't believe that running around and spending money on bribing people to take my interval is a constructive pursuit. Follow my example:

An elderly man and his wife own at Beachplace Towers in Ft. Lauderdale. They were lied to at the presentation about refinancing their mortgage when they bought it. To keep costs down, they took a HELOC on their house and reduced the loan rate from 14.99% to 6.00%. They have had a hard time booking 6 months in advance, and were never counseled on how to get the maximum benefit from their purchase. The wife fractured her hip in a fall and can't travel. What to do?

First idea is to pay the next years maintenance fee and offer to pay the closing costs. That is about $1300 (gold contract) and about $300. (use your own numbers if you want). The other option is to call the resort (which isn't helping) and tell them that the owners will do a deed in lieu. The resort says, "No way." There are 206 units at Beachplace Towers. (call it 200) There are 52 weeks in a year (call it 50). That makes a potential number of 10,000 weeks of vacation available to the public. With occupancy never being 100%, let's say there is 80% or 8,000 weeks sold and paid for. If this man and his wife default on their obligation for maintenance fees (on their paid-for timeshare), they are screwing their fellow owners out of less than $.17 each per year. $1300/8000.

(NOTE: I used Beachplace Towers because of it's size, and I could look up their maintenance fees. I realize that many timeshares have residual value and this place does. I am not trying to besmirch the developer. I am trying to make a point about how one owner affects others. It take A LOT of defaults to affect any one timeshare.)
 

Grammarhero

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I'm 71 years old. So is my wife. We DO NOT own a timeshare. I have prostate cancer and am receiving chemo after a difficult surgery for colon cancer. My wife has mmn. Look it up. It is only in her hands, but can get worse. We travel by car. Not by plane. (at the moment). If I owned a timeshare at the moment, I would NOT hesitate to dump the maintenance fees back on the resort. A mortgage loan, I believe is an obligation that has merit and should be paid. I don't believe that running around and spending money on bribing people to take my interval is a constructive pursuit. Follow my example:

An elderly man and his wife own at Beachplace Towers in Ft. Lauderdale. They were lied to at the presentation about refinancing their mortgage when they bought it. To keep costs down, they took a HELOC on their house and reduced the loan rate from 14.99% to 6.00%. They have had a hard time booking 6 months in advance, and were never counseled on how to get the maximum benefit from their purchase. The wife fractured her hip in a fall and can't travel. What to do?

First idea is to pay the next years maintenance fee and offer to pay the closing costs. That is about $1300 (gold contract) and about $300. (use your own numbers if you want). The other option is to call the resort (which isn't helping) and tell them that the owners will do a deed in lieu. The resort says, "No way." There are 206 units at Beachplace Towers. (call it 200) There are 52 weeks in a year (call it 50). That makes a potential number of 10,000 weeks of vacation available to the public. With occupancy never being 100%, let's say there is 80% or 8,000 weeks sold and paid for. If this man and his wife default on their obligation for maintenance fees (on their paid-for timeshare), they are screwing their fellow owners out of less than $.17 each per year. $1300/8000.

(NOTE: I used Beachplace Towers because of it's size, and I could look up their maintenance fees. I realize that many timeshares have residual value and this place does. I am not trying to besmirch the developer. I am trying to make a point about how one owner affects others. It take A LOT of defaults to affect any one timeshare.)
I'm sorry to hear about you and your wife. I hope you and your wife get well.

Everyone is dealing with a struggle, some financially. That is why I try not to judge any of my clients with financial difficulties, even if they foreclosed on their houses, took a short sale, filed for bankruptcy, or otherwise not honored their debts. You don't know what struggles people go through.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about you and your wife. I hope you and your wife get well.

Everyone is dealing with a struggle, some financially. That is why I try not to judge any of my clients with financial difficulties, even if they foreclosed on their houses, took a short sale, filed for bankruptcy, or otherwise not honored their debts. You don't know what struggles people go through.
Cry no tears for me. My wife's condition has been with her for 6 years. She is functional. My chemo is precautionary as the lymph nodes came up negative and the CT scan at one month was negative. My point was that people have circumstances change, and resorts that don't help people with those changes deserve what they get. One person's default will not bring the system down. I would rather keep $1600 in my pocket than save everybody $.17/year. That may seem selfish, but that is my personal view.
 
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The one friend I have with a resort HOA has told me when a default occurs and they shut off the owners use privileges, they rent out (what he calls) the non performing inventory. I understand they have a high need for rentals. During the trustee driven foreclosure auction, they are usually the only bidders so they get it cheap. He says they have a team on site who sells them and all lost funds are recovered and then some. He says most times the resales earnings is pure gravy as they received rental income. The timeshare is in a non judicial, anti deficiency state and the resort does not provide in-house loans. The loan (if there is one) is with a third party who will receive the proceeds of the auction which is usually a dollar.

I asked him what happens to the money? He says, “I don’t want to know.”

I didn’t pry.

Hmmmmmm.




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Grammarhero

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The one friend I have with a resort HOA has told me when a default occurs and they shut off the owners use privileges, they rent out (what he calls) the non performing inventory. I understand they have a high need for rentals. During the trustee driven foreclosure auction, they are usually the only bidders so they get it cheap. He says they have a team on site who sells them and all lost funds are recovered and then some. He says most times the resales earnings is pure gravy as they received rental income. The timeshare is in a non judicial, anti deficiency state and the resort does not provide in-house loans. The loan (if there is one) is with a third party who will receive the proceeds of the auction which is usually a dollar.

I asked him what happens to the money? He says, “I don’t want to know.”

I didn’t pry.

Hmmmmmm.




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Is the resort or HOA pocketing the rental money?
 

Fredflintstone

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Is the resort or HOA pocketing the rental money?
Yes, he said the rental earnings are applied to lost MF. However, he said they charge more per night than what the MF cost was. I am assuming they take the excess as late fees and penalties? Or, perhaps to pay the title company?

He clammed up on where the resale money goes.


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Yet, they charge each owner around 5 percent of MF for “bad debt expense”. It’s beyond me as to why....


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That’s why I shared the finnlaw blog. Are these resorts REALLY getting screwed if they have rental and resale income? I don’t know but I think it should be legislated that all resorts must send a full accounting in GAAP format and be audited by a reputable auditor to the owners along with the invoice.


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Frankly, I had more questions than answers but he’s a friend so I didn’t pry.


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bnoble

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Now I have 3 options and would like your advice

Deedback : Saw another post that said it was about $250
Sell (for $0) : Will I still have to pay any transfer fees or anything ?
Stop paying maintenance fees.
Of these three, given what you've written, I would pursue a deedback. It should be a painless process, and if $250 is accurate, that's a pretty reasonable price to pay to not have to wonder what any consequences might be for not paying MFs, even if they end up being trivial. The peace of mind itself would be worth something to me.
 

Fredflintstone

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Of these three, given what you've written, I would pursue a deedback. It should be a painless process, and if $250 is accurate, that's a pretty reasonable price to pay to not have to wonder what any consequences might be for not paying MFs, even if they end up being trivial. The peace of mind itself would be worth something to me.
I agree. Deed backs are the way to go. Again, I applaud those resorts accepting deedbacks and 250 is quite reasonable.


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Let's not forget that a key tool the developers use is to jack up maintenance fees so that the resale prices dive, which enables developers to get a free source of deedback or foreclosed inventory. This way they can cost effectively acquire units instead of investing in expensive capital build projects. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The house holds all the cards when it comes to timeshares. Nothing wrong or scammy about arming consumers to play well against the house.
 

Fredflintstone

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Let's not forget that a key tool the developers use is to jack up maintenance fees so that the resale prices dive, which enables developers to get a free source of deedback or foreclosed inventory. This way they can cost effectively acquire units instead of investing in expensive capital build projects. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The house holds all the cards when it comes to timeshares. Nothing wrong or scammy about arming consumers to play well against the house.
Interesting point about MF. I never thought of it that way. I just could never get around the idea that a 600 sf plus condo costs 1 k or more a week to maintain. Even factoring in your share of the common areas (1/52 of 1 unit/all units). I know resorts cost money to maintain the pool and front of house but still can’t believe it’s 1K a week or more.

I suppose I can’t get around the term “maintenance” fee. When I think maintenance, I think painting, cleaning, repairing and sometimes replacing. I don’t think profits. Whenever I go to a timeshare, I just don’t see 50 k a year plus per unit in work.

I have had many folks disagree with me on that.

Perhaps, they should call it for what it is being a prepaid resort fee. That way, I can better understand the charges.

The MF that really has my head spinning are some resorts in Maui charging 3 k a week “maintenance”. Some argue that’s cheap compared to what the cost would be renting. I’m thinking, why the hell would I pay more than 200 bucks a night? And I can get a nice condo in Maui for that with no problem.

I suppose as long as my head spins on MF, I will probably stay renting. Those nightly numbers just make sense to me I suppose.


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Fredflintstone

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Let's not forget that a key tool the developers use is to jack up maintenance fees so that the resale prices dive, which enables developers to get a free source of deedback or foreclosed inventory. This way they can cost effectively acquire units instead of investing in expensive capital build projects. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The house holds all the cards when it comes to timeshares. Nothing wrong or scammy about arming consumers to play well against the house.
And I also see your point on recycling units as much better than new builds. As Mike Finn from Finn Law said, “foreclosure units are a gift that just keeps giving and giving and giving.”

Or not playing with the house at all and just rent


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On top of that, when I think HOA, I envision a group of volunteer board members, helping out a NON PROFIT resort. I see the money made from retail at sometimes 10 times the real property value. This front end cost in my mind makes me think the money is well made. Thus, the back end, being the HOA is there to simply keep the place up.

Well, I have learned a lot on TUG. Again, crafting different language would provide a clearer illusion of what is really happening.

I know from my work language is everything. Each word crafted changes the meaning and its interpretation. That’s why sometimes I craft my language to match what should be perceived.

I will never forget Homers phrase.

Perception leads to attitude which leads to reality.

So, change the language, change the perception and the intended actions follows.




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CalGalTraveler

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On top of that, when I think HOA, I envision a group of volunteer board members, helping out a NON PROFIT resort. I see the money made from retail at sometimes 10 times the real property value. This front end cost in my mind makes me think the money is well made. Thus, the back end, being the HOA is there to simply keep the place up.

Well, I have learned a lot on TUG. Again, crafting different language would provide a clearer illusion of what is really happening.

I know from my work language is everything. Each word crafted changes the meaning and its interpretation. That’s why sometimes I craft my language to match what should be perceived.

I will never forget Homers phrase.

Perception leads to attitude which leads to reality.

So, change the language, change the perception and the intended actions follows.




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There are state regulations for HOAs and our HOAs from the major hotel groups provide audited P&L statements so there is something to "maintenance." However there appears to be some funny games in some HOAs. Most of it self-dealing by stacking the HOAs with corporate pawns. For example Diamond resorts in which corporate hoovers up the profits and consequently the MFs for such resorts have gone through the roof.

I am surprised government regulators have not gone after such conflicts of interests by board members in which people employed by the corporation also pay the management company which is their corporate boss. Perhaps it is too complicated for most government regulators. This is also a luxury item so not the highest priority comparing to primary housing and health care issues.
 

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And I also see your point on recycling units as much better than new builds. As Mike Finn from Finn Law said, “foreclosure units are a gift that just keeps giving and giving and giving.”

Or not playing with the house at all and just rent


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Renting is not risk free. Read all the AirBnB stories. I had a rental that was not as it appeared in the photos - it was a dump. Other renters have been left high and dry after being scammed. Some were spied upon.

Renting timeshares adds more certainty but can often cost more in peak season at top resorts. Maybe you can find a deal on rental in Maui during summer vacation but we want oceanfront at the Westin, Marriott or Hyatt. We want certainty because we don't get much vacation. I am happy to pay $2,800 a year for our week because I know to rent would cost $5k or more (BTW...it can be locked off into 2 weeks making it $1400/week. Try doing OF at the Westin on a rental for that price - doesn't exist unless it is a last minute rental - but you would be paying a fortune in last minute airfare and jerking your family's plans around. Planning for a crowd is like steering a ship. You can't change course quickly to get that rental deal. It can also be a hassle to find the right rental. That's why people are happy to pay $3k a year - the economics compared to renting support it.

There is no free lunch. But the minute the economics go upside down on the TS relative to renting, or our life changes we will dispose of it and move onto the next hack.
 
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Fredflintstone

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Renting is not risk free. Read all the AirBnB stories. I had a rental that was not as it appeared in the photos - it was a dump. Other renters have been left high and dry after being scammed. Some were spied upon.

Renting timeshares adds more certainty but can often cost more in peak season at top resorts. Maybe you can find a deal on rental in Maui during summer vacation but we want oceanfront at the Westin, Marriott or Hyatt. We want certainty because we don't get much vacation. I am happy to pay $2,800 a year for our week because I know to rent would cost $5k or more (BTW...it can be locked off into 2 weeks making it $1400/week. Try doing OF at the Westin on a rental for that price - doesn't exist unless it is a last minute rental - but you would be paying a fortune in last minute airfare and jerking your family's plans around. Planning for a crowd is like steering a ship. You can't change course quickly to get that rental deal. It can also be a hassle to find the right rental.

There is no free lunch. For now we are riding this horse. But the minute the economics go upside down relative to renting, or our life changes we will dispose of it and move onto the next hack.
You are right. Renting has its down sides too and yes there is no free lunch.

I have always respected those who choose timeshare ownership. Different strokes for different folks. Your views are shared by many. I guess in my case I just hate contracts and Long term commitments.

And yes, any economy change will tilt factors quite a bit. I saw that in 2009.




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