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Interested in getting a timeshare but not sure if it's right for us

younme4ever

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1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where? Driving distance for us (Southern CA, AZ, UT, NV)

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? A little bit of both, want to be able to visit home resort but also be able to go to other destinations

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations? Hawaii, Florida, Mexico, California, Arizona

4) How many people do you usually travel with - total, including yourself? 4 to 5

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule? locked into school schedule for next 5 years, then flexible after that

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance? no

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 to 5

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing? $10k or less

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? $1500 to $2500

11) Are you a detail oriented planner? No

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? Yes
 

younme4ever

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I was looking at Marriott Vacation Club but not sure if weeks or points would be better for us
 

geist1223

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If you can not make firm plans 10 to 13 months in advance then probably no Timeshare is good for you. Certainly not any Point System.
 

CalGalTraveler

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Welcome to TUG. As stated previously, you fit all the criteria but the planning. Planning in advance is important to maximizing value. Most successful timeshare owners enjoy planning their next year or two of vacations.

Suggest that you rent timeshares from owners at Redweek, Koala or here on TUG. Renting will give you a feel for the resorts and systems and you can determine if you might be able to plan your vacations in the future or you can continue to rent. The nice thing about renting is that there is no obligation - if it doesn't work for your situation, you don't have to rent anymore.
 
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Passepartout

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Since you seem to be mostly curious and want to 'feel it out', and don't want to be locked in to planning well ahead, why not haunt the TUG Last Minute Rentals forum and simply rent. Those have to be under $800 for a WEEK, and move-in less than 45 days in the future. So they DO rent quickly, and scoring a 5* hotel-branded unit big enough for your entire group isn't a guarantee, but it DOES happen. A major plus on those is that they come with the owners' perks, so there are generally less nickel and dime add-ons like parking or resort fees.

These days, annual fees are escalating to the point that TS is not the bargain that it was 15-20 years ago. This was caused by two things. Contracts built in 5% or so increases , and the last dozen years or so, more people are defaulting on them and not participating in maintenance, so every owner pays more.

Hang around TUG and learn. Timeshare education here is free.

JIm
 

younme4ever

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Since you seem to be mostly curious and want to 'feel it out', and don't want to be locked in to planning well ahead, why not haunt the TUG Last Minute Rentals forum and simply rent. Those have to be under $800 for a WEEK, and move-in less than 45 days in the future. So they DO rent quickly, and scoring a 5* hotel-branded unit big enough for your entire group isn't a guarantee, but it DOES happen. A major plus on those is that they come with the owners' perks, so there are generally less nickel and dime add-ons like parking or resort fees.

These days, annual fees are escalating to the point that TS is not the bargain that it was 15-20 years ago. This was caused by two things. Contracts built in 5% or so increases , and the last dozen years or so, more people are defaulting on them and not participating in maintenance, so every owner pays more.

Hang around TUG and learn. Timeshare education here is free.

JIm
Thank you! I am not ready to buy but interested in learning more about the systems and different types of resorts. So far, it does seem better to just rent. Appreciate the feedback
 

artringwald

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We rented for several years, found a place we really liked, and decided to buy because the rentals there were getting harder to find. I wouldn't recommend buying for anyone unless their source of income was very secure. Timeshares can be very difficult to get rid of. Many end up paying the resort to take it back, or worse, hired a lawyer that may or may not be able to get you out of the commitment. If you ever do decide to buy, look at the resale market, and you may not get all the benefits that a sale from the developer would provide, but resales are available for a fraction of the developer prices. Meanwhile, the suggestion to rent is a good idea.
 

Icc5

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Thank you! I am not ready to buy but interested in learning more about the systems and different types of resorts. So far, it does seem better to just rent. Appreciate the feedback
Some other things to think about are do you have kids? Interested in points or weeks? What size units are you looking for. Do you already own a house or want one.
For most a timeshare will have expenses the rest of your life. Some come with property tax and you always have increasing maintanence fees. Points work best if you will be needing different size units (that's why I ask about kids). If kids you may be limited as when you can go. Spring breaks fill up pretty fast especially in places like Hawaii.
My own take on timeshares (we own 4) is own a house first that you can pay on easily. A timeshare should never become a burden on finances. They are not easy to sell or get out of. One of ours is with Worldmark which is a club with lots of different locations. When buying either plan on coming back to the same place always or pay to exchange or buy from a place that has varied locations you can go to.
Good luck in your search and you are smart asking the questions and educating yourselve.
Bart
 

Sandy VDH

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rent from existing owners for a while. Kick the tires a few times and try a few systems before you commit to any one.
 

younme4ever

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Some other things to think about are do you have kids? Interested in points or weeks? What size units are you looking for. Do you already own a house or want one.
For most a timeshare will have expenses the rest of your life. Some come with property tax and you always have increasing maintanence fees. Points work best if you will be needing different size units (that's why I ask about kids). If kids you may be limited as when you can go. Spring breaks fill up pretty fast especially in places like Hawaii.
My own take on timeshares (we own 4) is own a house first that you can pay on easily. A timeshare should never become a burden on finances. They are not easy to sell or get out of. One of ours is with Worldmark which is a club with lots of different locations. When buying either plan on coming back to the same place always or pay to exchange or buy from a place that has varied locations you can go to.
Good luck in your search and you are smart asking the questions and educating yourselve.
Bart
Thank you for your comments. I am trying to research as much as I can so we make an informed decision. We have two kids: a 14 year old and 16 year old. We already own our home and have no other debt other than our mortgage, which we have no problem paying for each month. For the most part, I wouldn't mind staying at the same location year after year (looking at Marriott Newport Coast Villas) but want to know that if I wanted to try another place one year, would it be difficult to trade and which system would be best to go with. I am not a "planner" and was wondering if I had a week, would I be guaranteed a week every year at my home location? If I had points, would it be easier for me to get a vacation every year since I won't have a home resort? I want to understand the week system and the points system but can't seem to get a better understanding of the "trading" piece of it. So, for example, if I had a week at a home resort during the peak season, how would I go about trading it? Would I only be able to go to another Marriott resort during the week that I was able to book at my home resort? What happens if the resort I want to go to has a different peak season? For example, Newport Coast would be best to go during the summer but I want to go to Palm Springs in the spring? Would that be possible? You mentioned that you own 4 timeshares. Is it all with Worldmark? I read online that Marriott was the most popular timeshare companies. Do you like Worldmark better and why? Sorry for all of the questions.
 

younme4ever

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We rented for several years, found a place we really liked, and decided to buy because the rentals there were getting harder to find. I wouldn't recommend buying for anyone unless their source of income was very secure. Timeshares can be very difficult to get rid of. Many end up paying the resort to take it back, or worse, hired a lawyer that may or may not be able to get you out of the commitment. If you ever do decide to buy, look at the resale market, and you may not get all the benefits that a sale from the developer would provide, but resales are available for a fraction of the developer prices. Meanwhile, the suggestion to rent is a good idea.
Thank you for you input. I have rented from a few properties so far and like the accommodations. That was why I wanted to research about buying a timeshare for myself. I do plan to buy a resale for obvious reasons. If you don't mind me asking, can you tell me which timeshare you went with and why? Curious to see what other companies are good out there.
 

Icc5

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Thank you for your comments. I am trying to research as much as I can so we make an informed decision. We have two kids: a 14 year old and 16 year old. We already own our home and have no other debt other than our mortgage, which we have no problem paying for each month. For the most part, I wouldn't mind staying at the same location year after year (looking at Marriott Newport Coast Villas) but want to know that if I wanted to try another place one year, would it be difficult to trade and which system would be best to go with. I am not a "planner" and was wondering if I had a week, would I be guaranteed a week every year at my home location? If I had points, would it be easier for me to get a vacation every year since I won't have a home resort? I want to understand the week system and the points system but can't seem to get a better understanding of the "trading" piece of it. So, for example, if I had a week at a home resort during the peak season, how would I go about trading it? Would I only be able to go to another Marriott resort during the week that I was able to book at my home resort? What happens if the resort I want to go to has a different peak season? For example, Newport Coast would be best to go during the summer but I want to go to Palm Springs in the spring? Would that be possible? You mentioned that you own 4 timeshares. Is it all with Worldmark? I read online that Marriott was the most popular timeshare companies. Do you like Worldmark better and why? Sorry for all of the questions.
We own at Club Donatello in San Francisco,Orange Lake Florida,Lawrence Welk,Escondido (which is being bought by Marriot to go into their Hyatt holdings and Welk is my favorite) these are all weeks. Worldmark is points.
I have heard from friends that have stayed at a friend's Marriott at Newport and loved it. We trade thru RCI and have stayed all over the country. To trade in RCI it cost us about $70 a year to be members (we join for several years) and about $219 for each trade. RCI takes the weeks and converts each to points to tell you what you can trade to and how many points it will cost you. In Worldmark we have only done internal trades. We own 10,000 points which usually is enough for a week where we like to go. Again it depends on our needs for a studio,one bedroom,two bedroom,or three bedroom. A suggestion in your looking is to also try learning about RCI and II which are the two biggest trading organizations. With kids I'd suggest buying points so that you can have a bigger unit when you need it and smaller when they aren't with you. Our Donatello is only allowed 3 in a unit, orange Lake we own a 2 bedroom so it is a wasted room when we don't have the kids or friends with us and the same with Welk. Now Worldmark being points we use those for whatever size we need.
 

artringwald

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Thank you for you input. I have rented from a few properties so far and like the accommodations. That was why I wanted to research about buying a timeshare for myself. I do plan to buy a resale for obvious reasons. If you don't mind me asking, can you tell me which timeshare you went with and why? Curious to see what other companies are good out there.
We like Diamond Resort's the Point at Poipu in Kauai. Hilton will soon be acquiring Diamond. We didn't buy because we liked the timeshare company, we bought because we really like the Point at Poipu. We have stayed at other Diamond resorts we liked including Kaanapali Beach Club, Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, and Greensprings Vacation Resort in Williamsburg, VA.

Some people may not like the Point at Poipu because it is not directly on a beach, the rooms have basic, but not deluxe furnishing, and the noise from upstairs neighbors travels through the floors. In spite of all that, when we first rented there in 2000, we liked it so much, when we went back in 2004 we decided to buy a timeshare week (from the developer!), and have never regretted it. Here are the top 10 reasons why the resort is our favorite vacation destination.
1. It’s an excellent place to watch whales, sea turtles, and monk seals. Turtle cove always has turtles.
2. Almost all the units are 2 bedroom/2 bathroom, from 1200-1300 square feet. It was originally designed to be condos, so the master has a walk in closet as well as a shower and a tub. Each unit has its own washer/dryer. Kitchens are well equipped, but crowded if two are trying to cook together.
3. If you don’t feel like cooking or going out, you can get cheeseburgers or salads at the pool side bar and grill. They’re even open for breakfast.
4. It’s next door to the Grand Hyatt, and less than a mile from Poipu Beach Park, once voted America's Best Beach. One side is safe for small children, and the other side is great for snorkeling.
5. It has something you won’t find at most resorts: a large pool with swimming lanes, yet it is still very safe for little ones.
6. It has an adult’s only hot tub that is actually hot, and also has a view of the ocean.
7. Even though it’s often booked to capacity, it never feels crowded (except if you’re trying to find a parking spot after 8 PM).
8. Several hiking options are available from the resort. For a short hike, go around the Great Wall of Poipu, a new development that is still undeveloped. For a longer hike, start at the east end of the property, and take the greenway trail over to Poipu Beach Park. For a very scenic costal hike, take the Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail, which also starts at the east end of the property, and goes all the way down to Kawailoa Bay Beach.
9. Poipu hasn’t been over developed… yet. It has a relaxed, laid back atmosphere. There’s plenty of shopping nearby, and a wide variety of excellent restaurants.
10. Best of all, it feels like home. Management treats their employees fairly and we see the same friendly, helpful people year after year. Not that we spend that much time at the bar, but year after year it’s good to see Zada, Michael, and Karen serving up drinks.

If you like looking at pictures, here's plenty from in and around the resort.

 

silentg

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I agree with others who suggest renting at first, check out some rentals on TUG you might find a nice place that you could purchase after renting. Good Luck!
 

TravelTime

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I was looking at Marriott Vacation Club but not sure if weeks or points would be better for us
Points are better for what you described but not at what you are willing to spend in upfront costs and maintence fees.
 

younme4ever

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We like Diamond Resort's the Point at Poipu in Kauai. Hilton will soon be acquiring Diamond. We didn't buy because we liked the timeshare company, we bought because we really like the Point at Poipu. We have stayed at other Diamond resorts we liked including Kaanapali Beach Club, Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort, and Greensprings Vacation Resort in Williamsburg, VA.

Some people may not like the Point at Poipu because it is not directly on a beach, the rooms have basic, but not deluxe furnishing, and the noise from upstairs neighbors travels through the floors. In spite of all that, when we first rented there in 2000, we liked it so much, when we went back in 2004 we decided to buy a timeshare week (from the developer!), and have never regretted it. Here are the top 10 reasons why the resort is our favorite vacation destination.
1. It’s an excellent place to watch whales, sea turtles, and monk seals. Turtle cove always has turtles.
2. Almost all the units are 2 bedroom/2 bathroom, from 1200-1300 square feet. It was originally designed to be condos, so the master has a walk in closet as well as a shower and a tub. Each unit has its own washer/dryer. Kitchens are well equipped, but crowded if two are trying to cook together.
3. If you don’t feel like cooking or going out, you can get cheeseburgers or salads at the pool side bar and grill. They’re even open for breakfast.
4. It’s next door to the Grand Hyatt, and less than a mile from Poipu Beach Park, once voted America's Best Beach. One side is safe for small children, and the other side is great for snorkeling.
5. It has something you won’t find at most resorts: a large pool with swimming lanes, yet it is still very safe for little ones.
6. It has an adult’s only hot tub that is actually hot, and also has a view of the ocean.
7. Even though it’s often booked to capacity, it never feels crowded (except if you’re trying to find a parking spot after 8 PM).
8. Several hiking options are available from the resort. For a short hike, go around the Great Wall of Poipu, a new development that is still undeveloped. For a longer hike, start at the east end of the property, and take the greenway trail over to Poipu Beach Park. For a very scenic costal hike, take the Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail, which also starts at the east end of the property, and goes all the way down to Kawailoa Bay Beach.
9. Poipu hasn’t been over developed… yet. It has a relaxed, laid back atmosphere. There’s plenty of shopping nearby, and a wide variety of excellent restaurants.
10. Best of all, it feels like home. Management treats their employees fairly and we see the same friendly, helpful people year after year. Not that we spend that much time at the bar, but year after year it’s good to see Zada, Michael, and Karen serving up drinks.

If you like looking at pictures, here's plenty from in and around the resort.

Wow! Thank you for the feedback and all of the beautiful pictures! Looks gorgeous!
 

younme4ever

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Has anyone used II to trade their week for a cruise? And if yes, to where? Is it difficult?
 

CPNY

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Thank you
You don’t always need 12 months, that’s the general rule but I book 8 months and last minute. I just keep running searches and availability pops up. For the locations you want I’d suggest vistana. Westin kierland would be great
 

CPNY

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1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where? Driving distance for us (Southern CA, AZ, UT, NV)

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? A little bit of both, want to be able to visit home resort but also be able to go to other destinations

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations? Hawaii, Florida, Mexico, California, Arizona

4) How many people do you usually travel with - total, including yourself? 4 to 5

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule? locked into school schedule for next 5 years, then flexible after that

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance? no

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 to 5

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing? $10k or less

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? $1500 to $2500

11) Are you a detail oriented planner? No

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? Yes
Westin kierland villas 2 bedroom platinum is what you need
 

BJRSanDiego

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Has anyone used II to trade their week for a cruise? And if yes, to where? Is it difficult?
Most people feel that exchanging a week for a cruise doesn't make a lot of sense financially. If you pay $1500 maintenance fee, maybe you'll get $1000 (or less) of value.
 
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BJRSanDiego

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1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where? Driving distance for us (Southern CA, AZ, UT, NV)

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? A little bit of both, want to be able to visit home resort but also be able to go to other destinations

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations? Hawaii, Florida, Mexico, California, Arizona

4) How many people do you usually travel with - total, including yourself? 4 to 5

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule? locked into school schedule for next 5 years, then flexible after that

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance? no

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 to 5

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing? $10k or less

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? $1500 to $2500

11) Are you a detail oriented planner? No

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? Yes
I live in Southern California and I routinely drive to locations such as: Phoenix, Sedona, Tucson, Tahoe, Monterey, Palm Desert, Newport Coast and a few others. There are a lot of "drive-to" locations that we can reach in under 7 or 8 hours. We're staying in 4 and 5 star places (largely Marriott). BUT, I plan a year in advance. BUT, this last year I made a bunch of re-bookings to avoid losing weeks. My nightly cost is a fair amount less than renting at these same places. I own 4 Marriott resale weeks. For all four I paid under $8K in total.

But, I am a planner and typically plan a year in advance.

So, if you cannot plan and are not detail oriented, then perhaps timeshares aren't for you. My personal opinion is that the people who invest the time to learn a timeshare system and who are willing to plan in advance get a lot of value out of their timeshare(s). Those that don't invest the time, effort and planning aren't going to be happy.
 

Icc5

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Has anyone used II to trade their week for a cruise? And if yes, to where? Is it difficult?
Have you looked at Vacations to go. We have taken about a dozen of our cruises with them. Haven't found any place compares as far as savings. Don't waste timeshare points or weeks for a cruise because that cruise is charging you at the top end and not valuing your timeshare.
Bart
 

younme4ever

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Have you looked at Vacations to go. We have taken about a dozen of our cruises with them. Haven't found any place compares as far as savings. Don't waste timeshare points or weeks for a cruise because that cruise is charging you at the top end and not valuing your timeshare.
Bart
Thank you! I will check that out!
 
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