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Is accumulating timeshares really worth it?

Talk2Rosie2

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My husband and I have really enjoyed the timeshares we own, so as we move closer to retirement, we're weighing the costs/benefits of purchasing more off the resale market. I know some are almost giveaways, but there's always the MF and taxes that continue on year-after-year and then there's the issue of what happens to them when we pass (if kids aren't willing to pay annual MFs on them). Some MFs are quite costly. Will someone explain their rationale behind accumulating multiple timeshares at different locations and paying the associated annual fees rather than booking hotels and airbnbs for their travel which gives a lot more flexibility without commitment. Your insights are appreciated. Thanks.
 

montygz

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The only reason to own a timeshare is to use it and to find value in using it. This can be accomplished by owning one timeshare or 100.

For many, there is no reason to buy at all. There are many avenues for people to rent the larger accommodations that timeshares feature.

The rational thought in multiple ownership is that some people want specific weeks in specific places and want to guarantee that by owning. A snowbird may want enough weeks or points to stay in Florida over the winter. It may be cheaper to do this via timesharing than buying second home or renting.

There is also a psychological aspect to timesharing. For some, it forces them to go on vacation. Others get "caught up" in them and start collecting them like cars or baseball cards. Some people buy them to rent, turning into mini-vacation bookers. I think many DVC owners just want to be "part of the magic." It makes them feel good.

What timeshare ownership comes down to is if it is worth it to you right now. That's it.
 

DeniseM

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It's worthwhile if:

-At the resorts where you buy, it's cheaper to own than to rent. In overbuilt locations, renting as needed may be cheaper.
-You don't have to finance any part of your ownership - that eliminates any value of ownership.
-You buy resale and get a good price.
-The maintenance fees aren't a burden for you.
-You are an advanced planner and enjoy the multitude of details involved in timeshare planning and booking - some people find it tedious.
-You can use all of the weeks you buy, whether you use all your home weeks for personal use, trade them, or rent them
 

DonnaD

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Raintree Vacation Club
My husband and I have really enjoyed the timeshares we own, so as we move closer to retirement, we're weighing the costs/benefits of purchasing more off the resale market. I know some are almost giveaways, but there's always the MF and taxes that continue on year-after-year and then there's the issue of what happens to them when we pass (if kids aren't willing to pay annual MFs on them). Some MFs are quite costly. Will someone explain their rationale behind accumulating multiple timeshares at different locations and paying the associated annual fees rather than booking hotels and airbnbs for their travel which gives a lot more flexibility without commitment. Your insights are appreciated. Thanks.

I have two memberships at Raintree Vacation Club that enable me to stay for 3 months of winter in Puerto Vallarta at a beautiful resort among wonderful snowbird friends and family-like staff there. It is like a second home that I do not have to worry about and I get out of Ohio winter. By having all points in one family of resorts, I can travel to many places owned or affiliated with Raintree. With high point level memberships, I pay lower Maint. fees per point and get the better location for units within resorts. I would suggest renting at resorts where you might want to assume memberships before you assume someone else's membership so that you know whether you really want to spend the time and money for that system.

One of my memberships expires in 2030 and the other in 2046, but I can accelerate the longer term membership if I want extra time there. Also, I get a 30% discount on food and beverages at resort restaurants because of my higher level membership. There are other perks too. Wherever you buy/assume a membership, learn the system so you can take full advantage of opportunities.

For example. RVC just offered all members free points equal to number of points you own. I have an extra 450,000 points this year. Then they offered a voucher for a free week in a 1 bedroom unit for a guest to come during the time that I am also there. I got 2 because of 2 memberships. It takes 50,000 points for a 1 bedroom unit for prime week. I have rented out some of the extra points and I am hosting a girls trip for relatives so I have 3 units reserved for a week in early February. The ladies are all very excited about our time together. It will be awesome. My husband died 4 years ago but I am very comfortable among my snowbird friends and invite other widows to join me for a week at a time for about half of my time away. I call my timeshare the "gift of time" because Tim and I enjoyed about 18 years of vacations that we would not have taken if not for our memberships.

Learn the system of memberships before you buy or commit to assume any. Ask people on TUG about their experiences with their system. If you want to know more about Raintree system, I will be happy to coach you. I have gladly helped other members who have wanted to assume or surrender their memberships.
 

Eric B

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The only reason to own a timeshare is to use it and to find value in using it. This can be accomplished by owning one timeshare or 100.
...

IMHO, 100 would be pushing it a bit too far unless a lot of them were EOY or triennial. I would stick with less than 52....
 

TravelTime

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I own at Marriott, Vistana, Hyatt, Disney and Four Seasons. It is too much for me to keep track of. It is more weeks and points than I can use in a year. I am starting to lose weeks and points because I own too much.

I am selling Disney because we had a failed adoption and I bought it for the kids. I no longer will visit Disney. I have sold 5 of my 7 contracts post Covid for close to asking price. I am getting less than I would have pre Covid but I want to get out before 2021 MFs come due. Also I want to get my upfront investment back. I spent about $70K resale including a few small developer purchases when I thought the kids were coming. I want my money back. With resale, I should get about $70K back even post Covid. I am selling most for at or slightly above what I paid. One location Grand Floridian has lost value post Covid. I am surprised by this given it is a very desirable resort in the Disney system. I am getting more for Aulani than what paid, believe it or not. Aulani was my favorite resort in the Disney System. Great for adults. I am going to miss it but I also own at Marriott Ko Olina so I can get my Ko Olina fix.

I bought Four Seasons Aviara because it is in California in driving distance and it is the only dog friendly resort in California. It is a long drive from Northern California so pre-Covid I was ready to sell. I did not put it on the market post Covid because resales slowed down. Now I am keeping it to use in 2021. Post Covid, being able to drive with the dogs is a plus. I own two EOY odd weeks at FSA so 2021 is my next time to visit. I did not go in 2019 because I won the lottery and ended up in Four Seasons Costa Rica. For that reason alone, I have gotten my full value out of owning Four Seasons. Four Seasons Costa Rica is the best resort or hotel I have ever visited.

I am selling Hyatt through their deedback program. I got an email from Hyatt saying the closing is on hold until July due to Covid. I am worried that they will rescind. I am selling because I could not figure out the Hyatt points program. It is the only points program I had trouble with.

Now I am consolidating into the new integrated MVC program because MVC has the most locations and consistent quality, I can visit Ritz Carlton St Thomas and I like that they will have so many destinations in the new integrated program, assuming it ever happens. I am holding my Vistana week in the hope that MVC will integrate Vistana into the new MVC program for a low enrollment fee. Otherwise, my favorite points system is Vistana. I love Vistana the most.

Looking back, I would not buy into so many systems. I would research them all and pick the one best suited to my needs now and possibly longer term. For that, the new MVC/Vistana integrated program wins. That is why I am selling to consolidate into MVC. Luckily I bought resale so I can afford to sell and not lose much money. Thanks to TUG I have learned a lot and I think I am a savvy resale buyer. Not perfect, I have made mistakes and learned along the way. No one could predict Covid so I am not kicking myself for losing anything this year. I will course correct and see what I can do in 2021 and beyond.

P.S. I chose to buy timeshares over renting because I want consistent quality and control. Airbnb is hit or miss. I have never used AirBNB. I guess I could rent timeshare weeks from an owner. The negative to that is I do not like renting from owners. I prefer to own and learn the systems and book directly myself.
 
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Eric B

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Looking forward to trying out Vistana myself. I just picked up a couple of platinum plus WSJ weeks in VGV to use and a platinum SVV for the points. Have my fingers crossed on the integration, but I'll get over it if it doesn't happen.
 

TravelTime

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Looking forward to trying out Vistana myself. I just picked up a couple of platinum plus WSJ weeks in VGV to use and a platinum SVV for the points. Have my fingers crossed on the integration, but I'll get over it if it doesn't happen.

That is awesome. I love the Star Options program. I have been able to reserve anything I ever wanted with it, but we are flexible travelers and travel off season. I heard WSJ is fabulous. I hope to get a week at Ritz Carlton St Thomas and a week at WSJ some day for a 2 week visit. Timing it is tricky though.

If MVC integrates Vistana into MVC and allows low fee enrollment , you will be a winner. You will be happy with the new integrated program. I am very happy with MVC and I have DPs and enrolled weeks now. I only ever use the DP program. I elect my weeks for DPs every year. Given Covid, I am even happier with DPs over weeks. I know everyone says DPs are expensive but I like the flexibility.

Are you still traveling to Vidanta every year? I love Grand Luxxe but do not get me started on the sales people. For that reason alone, I do not visit as much as I could. Are you retired to have enough time to travel? We are still working so getting away for enough time is challenging right now. Also we have 4 pets so traveling for more than 1-2 weeks at a time is costly and causes me stress to be away from home for too long.
 

Eric B

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...

Are you still traveling to Vidanta every year? I love Grand Luxxe but do not get me started on the sales people. For that reason alone, I do not visit as much as I could. Are you retired to have enough time to travel? We are still working so getting away for enough time is challenging right now. Also we have 4 pets so traveling for more than 1-2 weeks at a time is costly and causes me stress to be away from home for too long.

Getting down there as much as we can, but wondering how things are going with the COVID situation. I had booked 3 or 4 trips for next year, but those might not happen. I've got a few years left before retiring, but have been squeezing as much vacation in as possible; we'll have an overabundance of TS weeks next year as I also picked up a resale Captain Morgan's 1 BR that wound up having two banked weeks in the account - made the value of the account higher than what I paid for it so I'm happy with that (and they aren't selling any more, so there's no sales presentation to get sucked into).
 

TravelTime

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Getting down there as much as we can, but wondering how things are going with the COVID situation. I had booked 3 or 4 trips for next year, but those might not happen. I've got a few years left before retiring, but have been squeezing as much vacation in as possible; we'll have an overabundance of TS weeks next year as I also picked up a resale Captain Morgan's 1 BR that wound up having two banked weeks in the account - made the value of the account higher than what I paid for it so I'm happy with that (and they aren't selling any more, so there's no sales presentation to get sucked into).

Okay, share your travel and trading secrets. How do you get to use so many weeks and still work? Are you able to rent out the weeks you don’t use? I was a failure as a timeshare landlord and could not even rent out my Disney points, which everyone says is easy to do with David’s. It was a failure for me, hence I am selling my DVC contracts. I lost about $3500 in Disney points since they did not rent out. I ended depositing them into RCI but I am selling my DVC contracts before I can use the points in RCI. This loss is what really convinced me to downsize. If I can’t rent out Disney, then of course I would have trouble with all the other brands.

I have not liked II and RCI but have gotten some good II exchanges when all else fails. I exchanged into Garza Blanca this last February using Disney/RCI points. I think that was a good trade. I would not own there though. It’s too isolated and not enough to do. Plus my DH got sick the entire week so we could not enjoy it. It was our last vacation pre Covid so it is memorable nonetheless.

I prefer Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta over Garza Blanca. We did do the sales presentation at Garza Blanca and it was low stress. For that reason, I would recommend visiting if you can. However, the perks of the presentation were not worth it. Garza Blanca does have a small useable beach to swim and kayak. Vidanta’s beach is too close to the river to be swimmable, IMO. The service at Garza Blanca is overall better than Vidanta but not as amazing as the reputation so it disappointed me a bit. Since you own at the top level at Vidanta, you might be disappointed at Garza Blanca. For me, it was a nice escape and I like trying a little bit of everything so I know where I would return. Nothing like a first hand experience. TUG reviews are from a personal point of view and very helpful.
 
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Conan

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My strategy was to buy cheap, low maintenance weeks via Ebay that would trade well in RCI. Summer fixed weeks in Cape Cod and Myrtle Beach, Spring weeks in Fort Myers and Naples, Florida. I started in 2001 and by 2007 I owned about ten weeks, most bought for under $1,000 including closing costs. Maintenance originally averaged about $600 per week, currently about $900.

A couple of these could be rented profitably, but mostly I traded them in RCI. I would do the exchanges 18 months ahead, and the forced vacations worked well for us. Hawaii, Scotland, England, Caribbean, Arizona, Crete, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Canaries, Madeira and many more, about 120 trips to date. With RCI's trading power system we could trade 8 ownerships for 12 vacation weeks, costing out to about $100/night (including exchange fee) for one- and two-bedroom suites.

We've been winding down for the last few years, and the pandemic has been the final straw. I don't know when we'll be comfortable flying again, so my goal is to get our ownerships down to three or fewer.
 
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Eric B

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Okay, share your travel and trading secrets. How do you get to use so many weeks and still work? Are you able to rent out the weeks you don’t use? I was a failure as a timeshare landlord and could not even rent out my Disney points, which everyone says is easy to do with David’s. It was a failure for me, hence I am selling my DVC contracts. I lost about $3500 in Disney points since they did not rent out. I ended depositing them into RCI but I am selling my DVC contracts before I can use the points in RCI. This loss is what really convinced me to downsize. If I can’t rent out Disney, then of course I would have trouble with all the other brands.

I have not liked II and RCI but have gotten some good II exchanges when all else fails. I exchanged into Garza Blanca this last February using Disney/RCI points. I think that was a good trade. I would not own there though. It’s too isolated and not enough to do. Plus my DH got sick the entire week so we could not enjoy it. It was our last vacation pre Covid so it is memorable nonetheless.

I prefer Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta over Garza Blanca. We did do the sales presentation at Garza Blanca and it was low stress. For that reason, I would recommend visiting if you can. However, the perks of the presentation were not worth it. Garza Blanca does have a small useable beach to swim and kayak. Vidanta’s beach is too close to the river to be swimmable, IMO. The service at Garza Blanca is overall better than Vidanta bit not as amazing as the reputation so it disappointed me a bit. Since you own at the top level at Vidanta, you might be disappointed at Garza Blanca. For me, it was a nice escape and I like trying a little bit of everything so I know where I would return. Nothing like a first hand experience. TUG reviews are from a personal point of view and very helpful.

I've rented out a few, particularly at Vidanta. Mostly just getting ready for retirement and spending a lot of time now where it's cold. I probably shouldn't have picked up the new ones, but it was too good a deal to skip. I'm limited to 5 or 6 weeks of vacation per year, but can do some work on the road and get another week or two out of that. Right now, I'm just working on stretching out the usefulness of the weeks I have so that I'll be able to take advantage of them post-retirement.
 

TravelTime

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I've rented out a few, particularly at Vidanta. Mostly just getting ready for retirement and spending a lot of time now where it's cold. I probably shouldn't have picked up the new ones, but it was too good a deal to skip. I'm limited to 5 or 6 weeks of vacation per year, but can do some work on the road and get another week or two out of that. Right now, I'm just working on stretching out the usefulness of the weeks I have so that I'll be able to take advantage of them post-retirement.

We are 10 years from retirement. I will probably regret selling some once we are retired. But once retired, we will not visit Disney so it is better that I sell those now. I guess consolidating into MVC/Vistana is a good retirement goal for us. I can‘t use everything we own right now but we could use them when retirement comes along. 10 years is a long time for us. How long until you retire?
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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My husband and I have really enjoyed the timeshares we own, so as we move closer to retirement, we're weighing the costs/benefits of purchasing more off the resale market. I know some are almost giveaways, but there's always the MF and taxes that continue on year-after-year and then there's the issue of what happens to them when we pass (if kids aren't willing to pay annual MFs on them). Some MFs are quite costly. Will someone explain their rationale behind accumulating multiple timeshares at different locations and paying the associated annual fees rather than booking hotels and airbnbs for their travel which gives a lot more flexibility without commitment. Your insights are appreciated. Thanks.

Welcome to TUG .

You have received some good information and insights.
What works for someone else may not work for you BUT reading about it can help your retirement planning.

Please keep visiting TUG to ask more questions or gain more knowledge.
 

TravelTime

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I am grateful for the wisdom everyone has shared. Very, very helpful. Thank you my traveling friends. :)

I did not realize you are new to TUG. Welcome to the family. I bet reading all the Covid threads almost discouraged you from joining. Luckily now that travel is slowing re-opening, we are now talking about timeshares and traveling again. It is a fresh breath of air.
 

andysnovel

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We own several Vistana programs, total every year is 184,000 star options. Enjoy their system tremendously, but with the Corona Virus impacting air travel for a while, decided to expand into a more home based, easy car travel system, we live south of Raleigh, NC. I found a 8,000 Blue Green listing on Ebay, 8,000 Annual Points, home resort located in Charleston, SC about 5 hour drive from my NC Home, Closing and Transfer Fees paid by seller, plus 2020 usage of points or can bank them to 2021. I paid a grand total of $6.50. BlueGreen has plenty of places along the East Coast, within driving distance, so our timeshare addition was predicated upon risky air travel and ease of getting there to enjoy properties by car and the low cost of buying into system. When things go back to normal, BlueGreen also has other locations across the country and international as well. I am also hoping Marriott eventually allow Vistana Owners to trade into their vacation system....we shall see....
 

andysnovel

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We are 10 years from retirement. I will probably regret selling some once we are retired. But once retired, we will not visit Disney so it is better that I sell those now. I guess consolidating into MVC/Vistana is a good retirement goal for us. I can‘t use everything we own right now but we could use them when retirement comes along. 10 years is a long time for us. How long until you retire?
It is a great retirement goal, I have been retired a few years now and have been enjoying Harborside and Orlando and Myrtle Beach properties with family and friends.
 

SteelerGal

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We currently have 10 TS split btwn the MVC/ HGVC families as well as 2 Independents. We are considered older parents w/ 5 littles under 10. Hubs and I have at least 5wks of vacation annually and utilize thanks to school schedule. Add I also come from a large family w/ several siblings who have large families. And we love to travel together. It’s easier and cheaper for us to own resale TS than rent hotels. And AirBnB isn’t an option for us after Covid due to my cleaning requirements.(I do bring or buy cleaning supplies).
My only regret is 2 Hawaii contracts. I am hoping to give them away but we will see.
 

bogey21

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After retirement I was divorced so I bought 6 Fixed Weeks/Fixed Units at 6 different HOA controlled Independent Resorts around the US. I spaced them roughly two months apart. Why? One reason was cost. The 6 Weeks cost a total of about $8,000 and all had very reasonable MFs. A second reason was the Fixed Unit aspect. I selected the Units carefully and thus knew what I would have when I showed up. A third reason was knowing where and when I would be going every 2 months made it easier to minimize travel expenses. And finally because it was easy to deal with Management at my Resorts. When necessary they made it easy whenever I wanted to swap my Week for another with a different arrival date...

George
 

haras

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P.S. I chose to buy timeshares over renting because I want consistent quality and control. Airbnb is hit or miss. I have never used AirBNB. I guess I could rent timeshare weeks from an owner. The negative to that is I do not like renting from owners. I prefer to own and learn the systems and book directly myself.
[/QUOTE]


This is me, also. I can't learn from someone telling me how a system works. I truly have to be an owner and fiddle with the booking system and lose some money be it through booking something to rent and it not working out to really understand. I own Marriott, hgvc, vistana, dvc, and in escrow with worldmark. All via resale. Some I paid some money, a few I got for the cost to transfer ownership in my name. So I figure the lesson wasn't too exensive. I recently sold two carlsbad seapointe units. The MF were too high compared to some of the others I own and this has enabled me to pick up a worldmark. I have no idea how worldmark works but i've done some reading and I think I'll be able to use it to my benefit.
 

bbodb1

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@haras - Similar to you, I am a recent purchaser of Worldmark and I am in the process of learning its in's and out's as well.
My rationale in picking up Worldmark was access to resorts in the western U.S. without having to use my Wyndham assets. I currently have a very small (5K / year) account which has served me well in that I will have visited Bear Lake and Depoe Bay (assuming travel conditions permit) in the summer of 2021. One to-do with respect to my current portfolio is to assess the longer term usefulness of what I own and (perhaps) drop some of what I own. The reasons I thought we purchased specific times shares have not always come to match how we have used them.

I suggest a time share portfolio is much like a garden - in need of periodic attention, weeding, and replanning. At least that is what i am finding.
 

JohnPaul

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As many have pointed out, the trick is matching your values, desires, skills and approach to the right strategy.

- Do you enjoy planning and devising a travel plan?

Personally, that is half my fun so I don't have big issues about being able to book time when and where I want because I'm ready to book early on. We have friends that hate that and ask me to help out. We don't own any fixed weeks (which is it's own unique conversation). I like having hundreds of places to go to (without exchanging) by being in a variety of systems. If you don't like the planning, hotels and AirBnB are much more flexible.

- Is it super important to you to get the absolute best deal?

If so, then dollars and cents may be a primary driver for you and you will focus on bargains to be found in hotels or AirBnB. We have bought lots of resale and some developer. Our most expensive purchase is HGVC W 57th St in New York City. From a dollars and cents perspective I'm pretty sure it wasn't the cheapest way to go, however I don't regret it. We love feeling like we are coming back to our home. We love the staff and the location and the whole experience of staying there.

- What does travel mean to you and what is it likely to mean in the future? (For example, a lot of our travel was around skiing but we can't do that any more.)

Travel has been our favorite recreation for the 40 years my husband and I have been together - not just since retirement. Even if we just hang out and don't do a lot of "activities" in our travel location (which is happening more now as my husband is slowing down) we love being there and experiencing other views, other weather, other sights on the drive and other physical condos. Obviously, if you aren't into a lot of travel, there is no need for a lot of timeshare ownership.

- Are you a go go go person that is mostly out doing things or do you like to hang out on a deck and enjoy the view and cook meals in?

The more you lean to the later the better fit a timeshare will be vs a hotel room.

- Do you have children or others that understand and would make use of your timeshares once you no longer can.

For us, that's a big question mark as we don't have any kids or obvious recipients. However, we based our decisions on that knowledge. If there are people in your world that would want your timeshare then you can plan on longer value for them.

- Is travel variety important to you or would you be happy spending most of your time at the same place.

Variety favors timeshares. Lot of time in the same place - maybe buy a vacation home and get appreciation.

Lastly, a bit about us and why lots of timeshare works for us.

We own a TON of stuff and spend 6 to 8 months of the year on the road - mostly in timeshares. Our Maintenance Fees for all of our ownership runs about $1000 per month which we can afford.

The average person would probably not want to own that much but it works for us.

Every place we come is spic and span clean. When we leave, we take out the trash, run the dishwasher and let somebody else make it spic and span for the next person.

Most places we stay have kitchens and washers and dryers making food costs and laundry cost similar to staying at home.

We get to enjoy beautiful mountains with gorgeous weather while it's 100 degrees at home.

It's easy to return to the resorts in our systems that we really love and we know exactly what we are getting.

If you have flexibility, you can really stretch your timeshare $$. A few examples:

- Caught a low season Monday (week days are cheaper) at WM Running Y last December and only paid $35 for a one bedroom condo for the night using FAX time which has no minimum nightly charge.

- Just spent 6 days in Sun Valley in a beautifully redone two bedroom two bath condo looking over a golf course on the last days before summer season (the week before the 3rd Friday in June) and paid a total of $312.02 in MF and booking fee - that' s $52 per night because off season points required were low.

- We spend several weeks each spring and fall in a beautiful two bedroom cabin on the Sun River. They are cheap due to a quirk in their point system (probably before the units were as nice as they are now). There are only 3 of these cabins so it's tricky to get them booked. MF and booking fee for a two week stay is $542 or $39 per night.

- I book week days in timeshares and use weekends for travel/hotels as weekdays are much cheaper. In a number of systems, Monday to Wednesday nights cost half as much as Friday or Saturday.

- We love WM Park City. It is across the street from the Waldorf Astoria where similar accommodations would run $1500 - $3000 per night during February when we usually go. My gorgeous two bedroom, three bath, two fireplace unit costs me about $1000 in MF for the week. It's true that a maid will come in daily at the Waldorf and they will transport my skis to the bottom of the lift but I'm not sure it's worth the difference in cost.

So, whatever you decide, make sure it fits and enjoy your travels.
 
Last edited:

BagsArePacked

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As many have pointed out, the trick is matching your values, desires, skills and approach to the right strategy.

- Do you enjoy planning and devising a travel plan?

Personally, that is half my fun so I don't have big issues about being able to book time when and where I want because I'm ready to book early on. We have friends that hate that and ask me to help out. We don't own any fixed weeks (which is it's own unique conversation). I like having hundreds of places to go to (without exchanging) by being in a variety of systems. If you don't like the planning, hotels and AirBnB are much more flexible.

- Is it super important to you to get the absolute best deal?

If so, then dollars and cents may be a primary driver for you and you will focus on bargains to be found in hotels or AirBnB. We have bought lots of resale and some developer. Our most expensive purchase is HGVC W 57th St in New York City. From a dollars and cents perspective I'm pretty sure it wasn't the cheapest way to go, however I don't regret it. We love feeling like we are coming back to our home. We love the staff and the location and the whole experience of staying there.

- What does travel mean to you and what is it likely to mean in the future? (For example, a lot of our travel was around skiing but we can't do that any more.)

Travel has been our favorite recreation for the 40 years my husband and I have been together - not just since retirement. Even if we just hang out and don't do a lot of "activities" in our travel location (which is happening more now as my husband is slowing down) we love being there and experiencing other views, other weather, other sights on the drive and other physical condos. Obviously, if you aren't into a lot of travel, there is no need for a lot of timeshare ownership.

- Are you a go go go person that is mostly out doing things or do you like to hang out on a deck and enjoy the view and cook melas in?

The more you lean to the later the better fit a room timeshare will be vs a hotel room.

- Do you have children or others that understand and would make use of your timeshares once you no longer can.

For us, that's a big question mark as we don't have any kids or obvious recipients. However, we based our decisions on that knowledge. If there are people in your world that would want your timeshare then you can plan on longer value for them.

- Is travel variety important to you or would you be happy spending most of your time at the same place.

Variety favors timeshares. Lot of time in the same place - maybe buy a vacation home and get appreciation.

Lastly, a bit about us and why lots of timeshare works for us.

We own a TON of stuff and spend 6 to 8 months of the year on the road - mostly in timeshares. Our Maintenance Fees for all of our ownership runs about $1000 per month which we can afford.

The average person would probably not want to own that much but it works for us.

Every place we come is spic and span clean. When we leave, we take out the trash, run the dishwasher and let somebody else make it spic and span for the next person.

Most places we stay have kitchens and washers and dryers making food costs and laundry cost similar to staying at home.

We get to enjoy beautiful mountains with gorgeous weather while it's 100 degrees at home.

It's easy to return to the resorts in our systems that we really love and we know exactly what we are getting.

If you have flexibility, you can really stretch your timeshare $$. A few examples:

- Caught a low season Monday (week days are cheaper) at WM Running Y last December and only paid $35 for a one bedroom condo for the night using FAX time which has no minimum nightly charge.

- Just spent 6 days in Sun Valley in a beautifully redone two bedroom two bath condo looking over a golf course on the last days before summer season (the week before the 3rd Friday in June) and paid a total of $312.02 in MF and booking fee - that' s $52 per night because off season points required were low.

- We spend several weeks each spring and fall in a beautiful two bedroom cabin on the Sun River. They are cheap due to a quirk in their point system (probably before the units were as nice as they are now). There are only 3 of these cabins so it's tricky to get them booked. MF and booking fee for a two week stay is $542 or $39 per night.

- I book week days in timeshares and use weekends for travel/hotels as weekdays are much cheaper. In a number of systems, Monday to Wednesday nights cost half as much as Friday or Saturday.

- We love WM Park City. It is across the street from the Waldorf Astoria where similar accommodations would run $1500 - $3000 per night during February when we usually go. My gorgeous two bedroom, three bath, two fireplace unit costs me about $1000 in MF for the week. It's true that a maid will come in daily at the Waldorf and they will transport my skis to the bottom of the lift but I'm not sure it's worth the difference in cost.

So, whatever you decide, make sure it fits and enjoy your travels.
Great advice, thanks. Sounds like excellent timeshare management, but also work. Good for you!

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

aandmrun

TUG Review Crew: Expert
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Messages
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Los Angeles
I'll tell you our experience. We purchased a 2 bedroom Marriott lock off about 10 years prior to our retirement. We always split it and took two weeks vacations a year. Well, when we retired, we looked for very cheap (even free) timeshares that were the exact week and places where we want to vacation. During retirement you have much more time to travel and you also have more time for planning if you want exchanges. We bought fixed weeks in locations that we love and will be able to travel to even as we age. We can always trade for out of the country by planning at least a year in advance, otherwise, we always know when and where we will be. It is really like having your own vacation home in 4 different locations. We bought in Palm Dessert, CA, Park City, Utah, Ruidoso, New Mexico and New Orleans, LA. By having two two bedroom and two one bedroom units, we can get in as much as 6 weeks or more of travel. It is much more economical to pay the maintenance fees than to pay the hotel nightly charges (in our opinion) because we like to stay the whole week. These are all like our second homes. We have been retired for 16 years now and are loving it.
 
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