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London UK - Timeshare dearth. And, for that matter, no real fractionals either

martinus_scriblerus

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Hi:

Been a while since I've posted here. I've shifted gears and now have little interest in skiing or the beach. What I am interested in doing is going to London. Again, and again, and again. I've probably been 35 times over the past 40 years, and lived there for a semester in the early 80's when I was attending University.

There really is nothing in London in the timeshare area. The Allen House is long gone. It's my opinion that Marriott's 47 Park St. is not much of a value proposition. I had a good look at the property in person and it really didn't suit us (read it didn't suit my wife).

I looked at buying a fraction. Extensive googling led me to London Fractions. I met with the people there but I don't really see that they have anything for sale now.

So I am considering just buying a flat. BUT I only really want it for two or three months a year (and in the winter when most people don't want to be there).

So this is my question: is it practical to try some sort of co-ownership, say with three or four other families? Has anyone here done that (ie. without the involvement of a management company). The benefits are straight forward. But the devil is in the details.

I'd be happy to spend $300k for a quarter share and expect to pay proportionate operating costs, management costs, and reserves for a really high standard of maintenance. Has anyone gone down this road?

Thanks.
 

bizaro86

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I think the problem with timeshares and fractional in London is that the cost of the underlying real estate is so high. For a developer to make timeshare margins the sales price would have to be stratospheric.

If you could find some like minded people your idea would likely offer big savings. But it would also come with some management (at least managing the manager) and the problem of getting a group to agree on things.
 

sharewhereMiMi

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Presidential Resorts Wilderness VA, Wyndham Myrtle Beach SC,
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Hi:

Been a while since I've posted here. I've shifted gears and now have little interest in skiing or the beach. What I am interested in doing is going to London. Again, and again, and again. I've probably been 35 times over the past 40 years, and lived there for a semester in the early 80's when I was attending University.

There really is nothing in London in the timeshare area. The Allen House is long gone. It's my opinion that Marriott's 47 Park St. is not much of a value proposition. I had a good look at the property in person and it really didn't suit us (read it didn't suit my wife).

I looked at buying a fraction. Extensive googling led me to London Fractions. I met with the people there but I don't really see that they have anything for sale now.

So I am considering just buying a flat. BUT I only really want it for two or three months a year (and in the winter when most people don't want to be there).

So this is my question: is it practical to try some sort of co-ownership, say with three or four other families? Has anyone here done that (ie. without the involvement of a management company). The benefits are straight forward. But the devil is in the details.

I'd be happy to spend $300k for a quarter share and expect to pay proportionate operating costs, management costs, and reserves for a really high standard of maintenance. Has anyone gone down this road?

Thanks.
Following. We too were considering purchasing a flat in London, and/or an apartment in Scotland.
Our Intl travel schedules pivot on possible airfare/flights. Both hubby and I are retired military and in the past had been flying overseas utilizing SpaceA flights. We would hop flights back and forth via Mildenhall/Ramsteinback to East Coast USA (BWI/Andrews/Dover/McGuire) Of course we would hop during non peak flying season.

..wondering, as well, if and how other TUG members considered buying real estate overseas for seasonal retirement getaways.
Looking forward to reading your post’s replies.
R/G
 

mpizza

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I am a happy owner of a membership in Hapimag.

Hapimag owns 57 resorts with vacation apartments in several European locations (London is scheduled to reopen on March 19th after an extensive renovation).

It is a customer-friendly ownership - points free weeks, long-term stays every 4th week free, can book for friends and family with no guest certificate fee, the company even facilitates transfer of points between members on its website!

Check out the website - www.hapimag.com - I am happy to answer any questions.

Maria
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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One of the UK Canal Boat harbour locations is within Greater London. I have seen shoulder seasons exchanges listed on RCI .
 

x3 skier

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Raintree and, formerly, The Allen House
I am a happy owner of a membership in Hapimag.

Hapimag owns 57 resorts with vacation apartments in several European locations (London is scheduled to reopen on March 19th after an extensive renovation).

It is a customer-friendly ownership - points free weeks, long-term stays every 4th week free, can book for friends and family with no guest certificate fee, the company even facilitates transfer of points between members on its website!

Check out the website - www.hapimag.com - I am happy to answer any questions.

Maria
This looks very interesting to me. I looked at the booking calendars and some months don’t show any color for a. “Season”. Does this mean they aren’t available at all or are they fully booked for that month? The information doesn’t explain this situation.

TIA
 

martinus_scriblerus

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Thanks for the heads up about Hapimag. That's a new one on me.

I am interested in going beyond a week or two though. A couple of months tends not to be very practical for time share.

I'd be curious if anyone here is a co-owner (of whatever fraction) of a vacation property with no external manager in place.
 

mpizza

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This looks very interesting to me. I looked at the booking calendars and some months don’t show any color for a. “Season”. Does this mean they aren’t available at all or are they fully booked for that month? The information doesn’t explain this situation.

TIA
The “seasonal” locations close “off-season” to minimize operating costs.

The city locations in Paris, London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Lisbon, etc., usually (pre-COVID) remain open year-round.

Maria
 

mpizza

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Thanks for the heads up about Hapimag. That's a new one on me.

I am interested in going beyond a week or two though. A couple of months tends not to be very practical for time share.

I'd be curious if anyone here is a co-owner (of whatever fraction) of a vacation property with no external manager in place.
I have met Hapimag owners while at resorts that were on holiday for extended time (6+) weeks, but do not have personal experience (yet) !

An alternative option would be to look into corporate relocation companies. Due to the lack of employees working in London at this time, there may be an opportunity to negotiate a deal for a couple months’ rental.

Maria
 

Ken555

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I have met Hapimag owners while at resorts that were on holiday for extended time (6+) weeks, but do not have personal experience (yet) !

An alternative option would be to look into corporate relocation companies. Due to the lack of employees working in London at this time, there may be an opportunity to negotiate a deal for a couple months’ rental.

Maria
So you haven’t yet stayed at one of their properties yourself?

They have locations I visit, though at first glance the pricing seems high. For instance, it costs ~$4000 to join and ~$375 per year (3, or perhaps 4 (the site is unclear) years paid up front) for 60 points per year. I viewed a few properties and as an example one in Berlin costs 14-17 points per night for a one room unit plus ~$50 in fees per stay...and it looks quite basic. Considering the cost for a similar hotel in Berlin is often ~$80-100 per night, I don’t see much value here. I’ll look at other locations, as it’s likely only those with category D rates may offer greater value (and depending on how many they have and when they’re offered...not to mention availability).


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

mpizza

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So you haven’t yet stayed at one of their properties yourself?

They have locations I visit, though at first glance the pricing seems high. For instance, it costs ~$4000 to join and ~$375 per year (3, or perhaps 4 (the site is unclear) years paid up front) for 60 points per year. I viewed a few properties and as an example one in Berlin costs 14-17 points per night for a one room unit plus ~$50 in fees per stay...and it looks quite basic. Considering the cost for a similar hotel in Berlin is often ~$80-100 per night, I don’t see much value here. I’ll look at other locations, as it’s likely only those with category D rates may offer greater value (and depending on how many they have and when they’re offered...not to mention availability).


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Apologies for being unclear, I have stayed in several Hapimag properties - just not for extended (6+ week) periods.

I acquired my share on the secondary market with several years of unused points transferred to me.

The monetary value does vary, but I have had great experiences at all resorts - super clean with friendly, English-speaking staff that genuinely want you to have a good experience. I like having a mini-kitchen and laundry on site so that brings value to me. Also important to me is the convenience of Hapimag arranging transportation to and from airports, trains, vetted tour operators, etc..

My favorite experience was a Hapimag organized week-long hiking tour from one of their resorts in Tuscany.

My favorite resort was Lisbon, unexpectedly glamorous!

My favorite location was in Amsterdam right on the canal.

I had to cancelled Athens in 2020 and Sicily in May 2021 - no charge, no hassle. For any shareholder with points expiring in 2020, use was automatically extended.

I feel it is a very owner-friendly European vacation option.

Maria
 
Last edited:

dioxide45

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Thanks for the heads up about Hapimag. That's a new one on me.

I am interested in going beyond a week or two though. A couple of months tends not to be very practical for time share.

I'd be curious if anyone here is a co-owner (of whatever fraction) of a vacation property with no external manager in place.
I think with any kind of co-ownership disputes will arise. How are those disputes handled. You may show up for your 6 week stay only to find one of the other owners lost their house and decided to move in there instead. Someone doesn't want to go the weeks they agreed to and get mad when you won't swap your weeks with them instead. Even co-ownership of a timeshare with family members (other than a spouse) is never recommended on TUG.
 

bizaro86

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I think with any kind of co-ownership disputes will arise. How are those disputes handled. You may show up for your 6 week stay only to find one of the other owners lost their house and decided to move in there instead. Someone doesn't want to go the weeks they agreed to and get mad when you won't swap your weeks with them instead. Even co-ownership of a timeshare with family members (other than a spouse) is never recommended on TUG.
Yeah, I think an extensive list of rules that everyone agrees to in advance, is written up by a lawyer and signed would be the bare minimum. Having a dispute resolution mechanism that is inexpensive and final would be important as well, for the inevitable unforeseen issues.
 

bizaro86

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Apologies for being unclear, I have stayed in several Hapimag properties - just not for extended (6+ week) periods.

I acquired my share on the secondary market with several years of unused points transferred to me.

The monetary value does vary, but I have had great experiences at all resorts - super clean with friendly, English-speaking staff that genuinely want you to have a good experience. I like having a mini-kitchen and laundry on site so that brings value to me. Also important to me is the convenience of Hapimag arranging transportation to and from airports, trains, vetted tour operators, etc..

My favorite experience was a Hapimag organized week-long hiking tour from one of their resorts in Tuscany.

My favorite resort was Lisbon, unexpectedly glamorous!

My favorite location was in Amsterdam right on the canal.

I had to cancelled Athens in 2020 and Sicily in May 2021 - no charge, no hassle. For any shareholder with points expiring in 2020, use was automatically extended.

I feel it is a very owner-friendly European vacation option.

Maria
Thanks! That is a super-interesting option I wasn't aware of. In your experience how was the availability of the city options (eg Lisbon, Amsterdam, London, etc) pre-covid? How far in advance can you book?
 

martinus_scriblerus

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I think with any kind of co-ownership disputes will arise. How are those disputes handled. You may show up for your 6 week stay only to find one of the other owners lost their house and decided to move in there instead. Someone doesn't want to go the weeks they agreed to and get mad when you won't swap your weeks with them instead. Even co-ownership of a timeshare with family members (other than a spouse) is never recommended on TUG.
There are indeed other (for instance) quarter share fractions out there and those agreements are readily available to see. And, yes, a binding arbitration clause for dispute resolution makes sense. And London based (in the UK in my example) property management would be a necessity. In "real life" I'm a property manager and my wife is a lawyer so between us we probably have 75 years of real estate experience. I think the documentation part would be, if not easy, at least approachable.

I think the real trick is to find a group of like minded individuals. That is the valuable part a developer plays: we all pay Pandar for bringing together Troilus and Cressida so to speak.

At the risk of being bold, if there is anyone out there with cash and desire to be in London annually for at least a month or two every year for the next ten or fifteen years I'd be pleased to have a conversation. I have both those things (cash and desire to be in London). Nothing about London will be cheap, but then again, is any place that you really want to be?
 

Ken555

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I acquired my share on the secondary market with several years of unused points transferred to me.
This could definitely influence my opinion. Thanks for the details, I'll look into this and their resorts more closely.
 
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