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My Survey

tmmabey

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(Maybe it makes sense to move this post to Marriott Vacation Club forum?)

Intro: For about 15 years, we have been owners of a week at Marriott's Shadow Ridge I in Palm Desert, CA. Our experience has been mixed. We have had some great vacations with 4 kids, but in general we have been disappointed at our trading power and the quality of units we were able to get through Interval. We have been slow to do so, but last year we enrolled our week. (The cost to us was the purchase of a $695 Encore package for a stay at Shadow Ridge.) It is worth 1825 points. That many points does not really go very far in many places, so we are considering the purchase of an additional 2250 trust points to get us up above to 4075 points. In fact, we have a contract in hand and are still in the recission period. (We spent a week at Marriott Grande Vista). I want to find out if we are making the right move, or if we should go a different route. I will give answers to the survey questions to help in the assessment.

I should note that my wife and I do not have exactly the same likes and dislikes when it comes to travel. For me, in general, the accommodation is not the destination. My focus is more on the historical sights, the natural wonders, the outdoor activities, etc. in the region, spending less on accommodations and having the flexibility for shorter stays or moving to multiple locations on a single trip. My wife really likes to stay at nice resort properties, and she hopes that our ownership in the future will help facilitate some nice family get-togethers on occasion (possibly by banking and borrowing to get a couple units to accommodate the growing family.) We have the ability to travel a few times a year, so I expect that we can have a combination of both types of experiences in a given year.


1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where?

We like to move around and see new areas. We do like to spend time in Hawaii once in while.

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?

Definitely trade more than half the time. Does this question even make sense for Marriott trust points? Is there any assocation with a "home" resort?

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?

Hard to nail that down, but anywhere in Hawaii, occasionally Orlando, we would like to explore Hilton Head, and more resorts in Florida. Park City is an interest. Would love to try some of the Caribbean resorts. also Thailand/Phuket.

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

Now it is just 2. We are empty nesters, but hope to use our MVC membership to allow us to have a family reunion once in a while. Our idea would be to every few years or so, to bank or borrrow (or rent?) points to be able to book 2 full units. Our total family numbers are now 8 adults and 2 kids, and growing.

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule?

Any time. Very flexible.

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance?

Yes

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?

I am not sure how that is exactly defined, but in general, I am good with 2-3 stars and my wife is more of a 4-5 star person. In reality, we will have a mixture of both types of experiences in a given year as we take different styles of trips, but the MVC membership is supposed to provide the "nicer" trips hopefully in the 4+ region.

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?

If it is the right move, we can pay cash up front. (Let's say up to 30K)

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?

With our current week ownership, and the additional 2250 points we are considering, we would be paying about $3300 (including fees and property taxes). We CAN do that, however it still seems like a large annual expense given the initial investment also required (2250 points cost about $26K). I am not an accountant, but at $3300 per year, that is $471 per night for 7 nights. How can this make financial sense? Help me understand this, and also maybe you will tell me there is a better way by not buying retail, but buying on the resell market. I don't really understand the pros and cons of that approach. I am sure you can point me to some threads that discuss this is in detail.

11) Are you a detail oriented planner?

Yes

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.
 

vacationtime1

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
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IF you decide that the best answer for your family is to buy points, buy them resale (for approx $2/point + $3/point for Marriott's "education fee") rather than whatever retail price you are being quoted. Once you pay the "education fee", resale points are treated exactly the same as points purchased from Marriott.

But why buy at all? Now that you are an enrolled owner, you can rent points from other owners for about what you would pay in MF's for owned points (see www.vacationpointexchange.com).

Finally, Hawaii is very expensive using points. Others report getting good Hawaii exchanges via Interval -- and Shadow Ridge is a reasonably good trader.
 

HudsHut

TUG Review Crew
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1. Please rescind.
2. From the 1825, I see that you own Silver Season at Shadow Ridge, weeks 28 - 35. Because you are awarded such few points, your maintenance fee per point ratio is quite high. At a recent presentation we were told that the Trust Point maintenance fees are .61/point. I believe you can rent in the exact number of points you need from other Marriott owners at same or lower cost than that, without the huge initial cash outlay. See above post: <<But why buy at all? Now that you are an enrolled owner, you can rent points from other owners for about what you would pay in MF's for owned points (see www.vacationpointexchange.com). >>

3. The Silver Palm Desert weeks are typically available on Interval with an Accommodation Certificate. (Supply exceeds demand.) That is why you have lower than average trade power, and need to take alternate measures to get the better resorts via II.

The good news is you do have Marriott priority in II, so limit your ongoing search to Marriott/Westin/Sheraton resorts. Know that your best shot at high demand areas would be to exchange within the 59 day window, when trade power requirements are reduced.

Based on II's Travel Demand Index (TDI) you should reserve week 30, for a trade power of 90. It's not strong, but it's the highest of weeks 28-35. Know the demand of the areas to which you wish to exchange. If you're exchanging to high-demand, deposit the entire 2br. If you are exchanging to a low demand area or, if you're willing to gamble at the 59 - 30 day mark, you may lock off to get two weeks of vacation out of the one week you own.

4. Do you currently have your 2021 week reserved in II? If you can travel between now and June, you could easily get Marriott's Ko Olina (excess inventory due to COVID.)
 

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CO skier

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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?
The question for you here is, "Do you want to visit your home system (Marriott) at least half the time?"

If so, then buying more Marriott to exchange makes sense for the Marriott preference in Interval International. If not, then there is definitely a better deal that will save you thousands and give you more flexibility and trading power --WorldMark by Wyndham.

With a week in Marriott, you can put in an ongoing search for a ONE week exchange in II. With WorldMark, you can put in as many ongoing searches as you want to prepay the exchange fee. Put in 20 if you want and are willing to pay (cannot do that with Marriott, unless you have 20 weeks to exchange). You have 24 hours to opt-out of a match, if you want, and the exchange fee is refunded. Be very careful to manage multiple requests, or you may be stuck with something you do not want. If a request does not match, the exchange fee is automatically refunded.

If you deposit a 1 bedroom Marriott into II, you will be able to search with only that 1 bedroom trading power. With WorldMark, you can search with the trading power of a 3 bedroom. If you find a match for a 1 bedroom exchange, you only have to pay the exchange credits for a 1 bedroom, not a 3 bedroom.

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?

Hard to nail that down, but anywhere in Hawaii, occasionally Orlando, we would like to explore Hilton Head, and more resorts in Florida. Park City is an interest. Would love to try some of the Caribbean resorts. also Thailand/Phuket.
WorldMark has an excellent location at WM Reunion in Orlando. All 3 bedroom units that you could reserve directly using WM credits with no exchange fee. And you could guarantee exactly the dates you want up to 13 months in advance. WM Reunion is also available for most of the year using cash options, which would save your credits for another reservation or exchange.

A 20,000 credit WorldMark account would give you 5 weeks in a 1 bedroom II exchange every two years. Buy-in cost would be about $3,000 - $4,000.
 
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