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How to decide?

Sunshine Wanted

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I'm trying to think of an analytical way to look at this purchase now that we are looking into purchasing a first timeshare, so I thought I would come here to get some ideas from the experts. I've made a spreadsheet with listings, purchase (asking) prices; MF's; price per point; points; etc. It feels like I am missing something though.

So, here are a list of questions?
What else should I be looking at other than what I've described above?

How do you know how many points you will really need? It seems you don't want to many, or too few. How do you decide?

And, finally how would you decide if over a 10-20 year period this would pay off in the long run cost wise? I've always been pretty good at finding "deals" for our travels using websites such as Skyauction; Priceline; Hotwire... I want to make sure this is a wise move for us.

See - I am thinking this over (and on overload where nothing is sinking in anymore.)

Thanks,
Patty
 

FlyerBobcat

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Patty,

Sounds a little stressful.... like you're gonna' need a vacation soon.... :D

Seriously though... Work to get a great deal, but understand that you might end up with the "perfect" deal looking back at it. But you'll enjoy the heck out of it in any case.
 
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AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Analytical Is O. K., But Picking A Timeshare Is More Like Falling In Love.

What else should I be looking at other than what I've described above?
For starters, where do you really like going, & what resort will you love staying at year after year ?

Sure, exchanging your timeshare(s) for other people's is nice now & then, but using your own deeded timeshare(s) is the doughnut cake & timeshare exchanging is the hole icing.

Above all, buy your timeshare(s) resale & save thousands. Following that 1 piece of advice will save you so much money that you can pay years & years of maintenance fees & still be way ahead in the game -- will save you so much money that there will plenty of room for imperfection in your timeshare analysis spreadsheets & you'll still enjoy luxury vacation accommodations for roughly Motel 6 & Super 8 rates.

Good luck & have fun.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

capjak

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1. Pick a home resort you can see yourself going to at least 1 every 3 years
2. Forget the "investment talk versus current vacations" it is a luxury item to give you great vacations in large accomdations year after year
3. Negotiate for a price you are happy with and start enjoying your purchase.
4. For number of points I would go with platinum number of points (7000 for example) to maximize point versus MF
 

UWSurfer

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1) Buy where you like to go. This is important, not only because you may find yourself needing to use it, but because if you like going there, chances are others do too! Identify this place or places!

2) See what the going prices are for that region/system/property/resort. Join tug and read the reviews for the places you are considering. Search the threads here on these and see what people have to say about them.

3) Look at the other fee's involved, beyond the purchase price. At resale pricing you are talking about a price range from $100 - $10,000 depending on the property to buy in. The real price however is the annual maintenance fee's, special assessements, booking fee's, exchange fee's and so on. You want to get a place which keeps their fee's down while still maintaining the place with healthy reserves to fund the predictable major upgrades and replacements, in addition to emergencies.

4) Know what you want. This is different from #1 in that you may like a little, out of the way, funky place...or you may prefer a large timeshare system that you can stay within to visit othe properties in that system. Modest accomodations, fancy accomodations, formal, relaxed, professional staff, warm sunny places, winter vacation places...it helps to know what you are after.

5) Most if not all TS's are NOT any kind of investment, other than a committment to go out and vacation on a regular basis. They can make financial sense on so many levels, but if you are used to staying a budget accomodations or are just one heck of a deal maker and like to bounce around instead of returning to the same place much of the time, a TS might not pay off over the long run. In earlier threads you mentioned going to Hawaii. For us the TS was the vehicle which allowed us to go to Hawaii for our first, second and third times. Not only were the acoomodations less expensive for us, but the kitchen facilities made eating affordable and made for a family experience we frankly wouldn't have otherwise.

6) As Alan said it can be a bit like falling in love. We got bit by the bug and probably own more than we should. It can be very addictive and exciting. Our kids are in their late teens and early 20's. We figured they will be on their own in a few years and would like to have places they could go to on a limited budget that we could offer them. That was our excuse anyways. Be careful and be smart about it. TS are very easy to acquire and quite difficult to sell, especially now...so go slow.

7) My own personal rule likely won't apply to you given you are in Alaska. That is, I try not to own anywhere I can't drive to in a day. (Maui is an exception). You'll have to figure out what your travel limits are, but it's almost always cheaper to drive.

8) Since this is an HGVC board, for a great primer on the HGVC system, review the following thread for a host of info on the system: http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76722
 
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Sandy VDH

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Just remember even though you are learning here at TUG, you are likely already way ahead of the general public.

At the end of the day, only YOU can decide if YOU got a good deal or not. It is you that needs to feel that, no everyone else on this board. Certainly we are all opinionated and would offer our 2 cents, can give advice, can disagree, whatever. But you yourself have to be comfortable with the deal.

That being said, 7000 is a good starting point as that is a 2 BR for a week in all but the very newest of properties. If you don't need a 2 BR every year than a lower point value might be better. Remember you can always deposit a year (say 2009 into 2010)and borrow a future year (2011), so that in a given year (say 2010) you really have access to 3 years worth of points (1 yr past, the current year, and 1 year in the future). Obviously in that scenario you can't vacation every year, but you really have access to triple your annual point allotment. So considering that perhaps a 4800 or 5000 point purchase might work. Again realize you will initially pay less in price, it likely won't be taken at ROFR (for the Gold Season option at least), but over the years your price per point will be higher.

I know people say you should buy where you go and that Hilton does have a lot of Hawaii properties. But unless you really need HOME season advantage for a High High Demand week in Hawaii, I would consider a Vegas or Orlando property as the MFs are 10-15% lower that Hawaii.
 

PigsDad

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With all due respect to the previous posters, "buy where you want to vacation" is not a major consideration when looking to purchase a HGVC property. Unless you need to vacation in Hawaii every year during Christmas, you should look for the best price for the points package you want.

With HGVC, you really need to think about how long you are planning to own as well. Points are points, but the yearly maintenance fees are based on unit size, not number of points. For example, a 2BR 5000 point Gold season week, you would pay much more in maintenance fees than a 1BR 4800 point Platinum season week (roughly the same number of points). The Platinum season week generally cost more up front, so you are only planning to own for a few years, it would not be worth the extra cost.

Other than that, explore the HGVC web site and this forum and see if the system is a good match for your vacation needs. It is a very flexible system, especially if you don't want to be forced into the traditional one-week vacation all the time as w/ most timeshares. To get an idea of how many points will fit your need, you can take a look at this point chart.

Ask lots of questions, and then buy resale (of course)!

Kurt
 

alwysonvac

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Don't put all of your eggs in one basket

How do you know how many points you will really need? It seems you don't want to many, or too few. How do you decide?

And, finally how would you decide if over a 10-20 year period this would pay off in the long run cost wise? I've always been pretty good at finding "deals" for our travels using websites such as Skyauction; Priceline; Hotwire... I want to make sure this is a wise move for us.


From your 1st post - http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showpost.php?p=644126&postcount=1
Hello everyone. I've been reading your forum now for a few weeks, and am interested in HGVC. We just got back from HGVC Waikoloa in a 2bdrm/2ba 3rd floor unit over xmas. Wonderful! Yes, we did go to the presentation. No, we did not buy. I told my hubby the montra for us to keep in mind was, "Do not buy direct, buy resale." We did take advantage of the trial program using the 5000 points (probably shouldn't have done that after reading more of the forum today, but we will enjoy the 7 day vacation to be sure).

We are very new to this topic of timeshare. We do travel quite a bit. Usually taking 3 trips a year. The biggest trip is mid to late June; then a week or so over xmas break and often something over spring break; and IF I can fit it in, a small trip in early August. I'm in the education field - can you tell? So, limited around traditional school vacations... It seems like timeshare would be a good idea for us.

Favorite places: tropical paradise Living in Alaska, we do seek the sunshine!. We also like to sail, and noticed that through RCI you can trade with Festiva and/or Tradewinds Sailing. I read somewhere that Moorings Yacht Charter is affiliated with HGVC as well. The salesman said that they were, but did not have any experience doing that type of trade as he does not like boats. Has anyone done this type of trade before and is it true that Moorings Yacht Charter is affiliated with HGVC? We often will vacation in the same location 3 to 4 years in a row, before moving on to somewhere else. Lately it has been the Southern Caribbean, and about half of those trips have involved sailing. It would be ideal if we could use a timeshare as a vehicle for our love of sailing too!


Finding availability in exchange companies during traditional school holidays have always been hard. I don't know RCI well enough to advise you. Hopefully someone can tell you how hard is it to exchange into tropical places with RCI for XMAS, Spring Break and Summer. Remember exchange availability is based on what is deposited into the exchange companies. Most owners with families are going to travel during traditional school holidays. Normally high demand resorts during peak travel times (any time the kids are out of school) will be used by owners either for stays or for renting.

If you decide to go with HGVC then I suggest starting off small. An every other year platinum one bedroom (4,800 points) or two bedroom (7,000) depending on the size unit you want. This will allow you to take advantage of the travel "deals" when they occur. You can always bank or borrow your HGVC points. Just remember for the years you want to book a Hawaii HGVC developed resort, you would need to reserve exactly at the 9 month mark for XMAS, Spring Break and Summer. Spring Break might be the easiest for Hawaii.

For 5,000 HGVC Club Points you get a $500 travel certificate for the Yacht Charters with Moorings, The other HGVC Club Partner Perks are discussed in the HGVC Membership Guide. I've provided a mini summary of the 2009 changes in this thread under post #23 -http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86921
To get an idea of the RCI cruise exchange, you can go to this website to see how many points you will need - http://hgvcp.cruisesonly.com/

NOTE: If you become a TUG member you have access to TUG reviews and the TUG sighting board.
 
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Sunshine Wanted

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Hi everyone. I am actually a member, and do have access to the resort reviews, etc. I probably need to log out of this guest account and log back in - maybe that would change my status?

I so appreciate everyones thoughts, advice and ideas. I probably need to learn about some of the other systems out there as well, but Hilton seems like it will fit our needs best with flexibility and consistently nice resorts. We (like many) have champagne taste, but try to live on a beer budget. That is why I've gotten quite good at finding "deals" of some sort on hotels/lodging. That, however, is not always guaranteed and usually only happens on our summer Caribbean trips.

One good thing about us traveling in June is that in the Caribbean (our favorite place), June (or anytime in the summer) is low season. Usually hotels are wanting business, and I've never found properties full during the summer (think hurricane season) - most are very willing to negotiate even. That might be different with time shares - I don't know. I'm not too worried about getting into a summer property - I have a little flexibility (not much), but some. My worry is our Christmas travel - I'm sure that could and will be tricky! Our routine has been pretty consistent - Family Travel Christmas every other year (although sometimes it turns into every, but pretty rare). We do love Hawaii, and living on the west coast - that is (usually) a pretty easy trip - a couple planes and you are there. (Unlike the Caribbean where for us it is a 2 day at least 5 plane jaunt. Not easy, and in the winter throw in winter weather and it is a recipe for disaster.) California affiliates could be another Christmas option for us, as my son lives in CA. He could join us for at the condo in whatever area we are in. So, I think Hawaii should be our home resort as that is our most probable location at Christmas (hard week to get into, so we will need the home resort advantage). See - one decision down!

Thank you for posting the cruise planner. I had not run across that before. With cruises, is there any type of fee for food, or is it all done in point value? And, how hard is it to get a cruise at a holiday period?

I have read through the HGVC explanation guide on Tug. (several times now and I have it bookmarked) I also have the 2009 member guide bookmarked (and should just print it out as I have referred to it often already and I'm not even a member...) It was interesting reading the 2009 changes - thanks for listing them out like that.

Oh, one more thing - my spring break is not a traditional spring break. Usually school breaks are on one side or the other of Easter. Ours has absolutely nothing to do with Easter (actually it has to do with a community basketball game). So, I'm thinking spring break should not be too much problem if we chose to go somewhere during that time.

Thanks everyone!
 
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ricoba

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If you want a Hilton at Christmas in Hawaii, you should probably buy a Christmas week then. But be prepared to pay top $$$.

Trading in to HI @ Christmas, with HGVC points while possible is highly unlikely, unless it's the Bay Club, which is an easier trade.

I think Alaska Airlines now has direct flights from Seattle to Kona.

Good luck in your decision.
 

DeniseM

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All good advice above, but I would make a commitment to wait 6 mos. before I bought anything. Hang around with us during that time and read, read, read. It's very likely that what you will finally choose in 6 mos. is completely different than what you would buy now. I think we will continue to see a buyers market in 2009 and I think you will save some $$$ and make the best decision if you wait... If you jump into something now, and then learn a lot more about timesharing over the next few months, you may regret may a quick decision. Good luck! :hi:
 

ricoba

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All good advice above, but I would make a commitment to wait 6 mos. before I bought anything. Hang around with us during that time and read, read, read. It's very likely that what you will finally choose in 6 mos. is completely different than what you would buy now. I think we will continue to see a buyers market in 2009 and I think you will save some $$$ and make the best decision if you wait... If you jump into something now, and then learn a lot more about timesharing over the next few months, you may regret may a quick decision. Good luck! :hi:

I think that this is excellent advice.....after all I think Denise just bought a beachfront week in Kauai for $98!!!;) :D
 

Talent312

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Most folks do a price-per-point analysis and figure that if its under $1.5 or something, they've got a good deal. But I suggest that's not a very helpful for comparing deals. That's because, over time, the amount you'll pay in MF's may well exceed the purchase price, and thus, the true cost of the TS should include the MF's over however long you think it likely you would hold your TS or HGVC-membership, be it 10, 15 or 20 years.

I would add a column to your spreadsheet called "True Cost/Point." Figure the (MF's * '#'yrs), using whatever # you want, add that to the price, and then divide by points. To me, that number gives you a better cost-to-own comparison.
... Just my 2 cents ...
 
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