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My Timeshare Nightmare..Please share your story

bvogel7475

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To all future and current Marriott Timeshare Owners:

On May 1st, 2008 I purchased a one week, [Week details deleted.] I purchased this timeshare directly from the Marriott Vacation Club. The purchase price of the timeshare was $25,625. We financed the timeshare through Marriott. We received a 10 year loan at 13.99% for the total purchase price. Our annual maintenance fee has been running about $875 per year. I realize that I was naïve in accepting the 13.99% interest rate but I figured that the timeshare would at least hold 2/3 of its value even if there was a real estate market crash. Marriott made a lot of verbal representations about how the timeshare was an investment that would hold its value as the price of vacations would continue to rise while our week was secured at the price we paid for the timeshare plus annual maintenance fees. As of 11/1/16 I have made loan payments to Marriott that currently total almost $37,000 for this timeshare and still have 19 payments of $365.64 remaining. My current principal balance is $5,859.69.

On October 31st, 2016 I requested a quote from Marriott to sell my timeshare back to them. Here is the e-mail response I received from them on November 1st, 2016.

From: MVCI Resale Operations <resale.operations@vacationclub.com>
To: [email address deleted]
Sent: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 5:46 AM
Subject: Customer : [ID information deleted]

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Vogel:

Thank you for contacting Resale Operations at Marriott Vacation Club regarding your desire to sell your ownership at Marriott’s Timber Lodge. We are pleased to provide you with a team of real estate professionals to assist and educate owners on their viable selling options. Your desired timeframe for sale will often determine which option will work best for you.

Sell through Marriott Vacation Club:

• Repurchase Program: Periodically; Marriott Vacation Club will offer a direct purchase of inventory from an Owner. At this time, Marriott Vacation Club International (MVC) is extending an offer to purchase your [Week details deleted.] for $4,100 less $500 administrative and processing fees. At closing, your approximate net proceeds will be $3,600*. The first year occupancy to MVC will be 2018; therefore, you will retain usage for 2017 and you are responsible for payment of the 2017 maintenance fee. Should you decide to accept this offer, you are agreeing to relinquish any rights to usage of the timeshare in 2018 and future years. Any reservations you have placed for 2018 will be cancelled. The closing timeframe is anticipated to be within 90-120 days of your acceptance. In order to qualify for this offer, any applicable loan, maintenance fee balance and/or taxes must be current. This offer is valid through November 8, 2016. If you desire to accept this offer, you must contact the Resale Operations department no later than 5:00 pm ET. Please contact our office directly at 866-682-4547 if you would like to discuss this offer further.

• Brokerage Listing Program: Marriott Vacation Club will assist with procuring a purchaser and then broker the transaction. Inventory is sold at the current list price. At closing, commission, marketing and administrative costs are deducted and you will receive 60%* of the sale price. The current list price for your inventory type is $7,500. If sold at today's list price your proceeds would be approximately $4,500 after Marriott takes the commission of $3,000 at closing. We are currently accepting listing agreements for your inventory type. Please let us know if you would like a listing agreement created and sent out to you.

Sell on the Open Market:

This option affords you the opportunity to set your own price and to begin the resale process at any time. To obtain helpful resale guidelines, visit the consumer website from American Resort Development Association: www.arda-roc.org/resales. We recommend that you avoid companies that require upfront fees. A website that you may find to be helpful is for the Licensed Timeshare Resale Broker Association. www.LTRBA.com To narrow your search, once you open the website, go to the Member Directory and search for Club location, city or state and this will get you just the brokers who can assist you with your inventory and you won’t have to read about all 50 or 60 brokers on the site.

As stated in the governing documents for eligible resorts, Marriott Vacation Club has the Right of First Refusal. As such, owners selling on the open market are required to notify Marriott Vacation Club once a purchaser has been identified and a price agreed upon. Notification can be sent via email at MVCIROFR@vacationclub.com or fax 407-903-5995. Be advised that when inventory is sold on the open market, the purchaser will not have the option to exchange the week for Marriott Rewards points or enroll in the new Marriott Vacation Club Destinations™ Exchange Program.

We hope that this information has been helpful. Please advise if we can assist further.

*As applicable, net proceeds will be applied to any outstanding loan. Maintenance fees must be current prior to initiation of repurchase process. Foreign owners are subject to a 15% tax withholding. For more information, visit www.irs.gov. If the week being purchased is at a resort in Hawaii and you are not a Hawaii resident, 5% will be withheld from your contract price and paid to the State of Hawaii pursuant to the Hawaii Real Property Tax Act. For more information, or to request a refund, you may visit the website www.hawaii.gov/tax.

Regards,

Mary Dickinson
Resale Manager, Resale Operations
Marriott Vacation Club International
6649 Westwood Blvd, Suite 500
Orlando, FL 32821
866-682-4547 Toll Free
407-903-5995 Fax
resale.operations@vacationclub.com
Hablamos Español: reventas@vacationclub.com



So, Marriott has essentially told me that I could get $3,600 for the timeshare if I sold it directly to them or I might get $4,500 if it sold for $7,500 on the open market and they deducted their 40%!! commission of $3,000. Either way this computes to a reduction in value of over 82%!! This is absurd. My personal residence in Yorba Linda, CA declined 21% shortly after the real estate crash of 2008. However, it has recovered 10% of that loss as of October 31st, 2016. I would accept a sale price of $7,500 less a standard real estate commission of 6%. Applying this 6% standard commission would provide net proceeds of $7,050 to me. Now that seems reasonable. Why do they think that a 40% brokerage commission is reasonable? This seems like another chance for them to pocket more money at my expense. Remember, As of 11/1/16 I have paid Marriott almost $37,000 for this timeshare and still have 19 payments of $365.64 remaining.This is just my story. Imagine how many thousands of other stories like mine are out there as Marriott has sold tens of thousands of timeshares. Please run from any Marriott timeshare offers. Please do not accept a free weekend or week and have to sit through the high pressure sales pitch and outright lies. I am currently working with an attorney for a class action lawsuit against Marriott if they do not provide a reasonable offer for my timeshare. You may contact me at ...my e-mail account......


Mary,

The ball is in your court. Please contact me with an offer that at least lets me walk away with the Market Price ($7,500 or above) less a 6% real estate commission, not the ridiculous 40% rate that you are proposing. Also, I don't believe I should be responsible for any future maintenance fees. I don't think what I am asking for is unreasonable. In fact what you initially proposed to me is highly unreasonable and usurious as well.



Truly Yours,


Brett Vogel
Yorba Linda, California
 
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DeniseM

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but their statement is essentially correct.

Even the top timeshares do not hold their original retail value, and many fall to zero, or can't even be given away.

Tahoe has not completely recovered from the recession, and there have been many bad snow years, depressing ski tourism, and there are a lot of timeshares in the area, so I am not surprised to hear this price at all.

Also - verbal promises from a sales presentation are not binding, and if you search your purchase documents, you will find that statement in the contract.
 
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TheTimeTraveler

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I agree with Denise. Additionally, your carrying costs have been substantially higher because of the high interest rate loan (13.99%); which doesn't make a lot of sense when there is no inflation. You'd be lucky if the banks would pay you one quarter of one percent on a savings account so it makes no sense borrowing money at 13.99%. But that's an entirely another discussion.

Marriott is in business to generate revenue/profits and they are good at it. The salesperson has a job to do and in retrospect made the offer too tempting for you to pass up. Hopefully you've had some great skiing while there over the years!

That said, you need to make a plan to deal with what you've been dealt. I would recommend you examine avenues to rid yourself of this timeshare and consider selling it yourself via TUG, Redweek or even eBay for a quick sale.

Best of luck with your sale.





.
 

SueDonJ

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First, welcome to TUG! I know you've been a member since 2010 but with your first posts just today it's still appropriate to welcome you. I've moved your post to the Marriott forum so that you can get expert help from other Marriott owners who may not read the other TUG forums. :)

Sadly you've learned what most of us who participate on TUG already know, that there isn't and really never has been a timeshare resale market that comes anywhere near to how a real estate resale market operates. As unbelievable as it may sound based on the offers you've received, Marriott is one of the more generous companies when it comes to buying back/brokering resale Weeks. Some Weeks have no resale value at all and can only be given away, many many others are sold for $1.

What you own does actually have some value on the external resale market, although the outstanding loan balance will definitely be an impediment. Because the TUG Posting Rules do not allow advertising in the public forums your post has been edited to remove the specifics of what you own, but I'm fairly confident that TUGgers who are familiar with the external market and selling high-demand Weeks will be happy to work with you through Private Messages/email.

Good luck! If we can't help you with getting out from under your timeshare commitment, there's no doubt that we can help you get the absolute best usage value out of it.
 

Karen G

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Once owned these: FirstFairway@Walden X 2; Lawai Beach; ManhattanClub; PuebloBonitoRose; 4 South Africa--now timeshare-free
Another sad part about all this is that you won't be able to transfer your timeshare to anyone else until you have paid off the balance due.


As of 11/1/16 I have made loan payments to Marriott that currently total almost $37,000 for this timeshare and still have 19 payments of $365.64 remaining. My current principal balance is $5,859.69.
This is a great example of why it's not a good idea to finance the purchase of a timeshare. Hopefully, others can benefit from this story if they are considering such a purchase.
 
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Passepartout

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Too bad that the OP registered here 6 years ago, but clearly hadn't taken advantage of the group wisdom. What he found out last week wouldn't have surprises him so much.

1) Timeshare is NOT an investment.
2) NEVER finance a timeshare.
3) Timeshares value is 10% or less the value of original cost.
4) There IS NO practical resale market.
5) The value of timeshare is in the family memories they can enable. Not in any financial benefit.
6) EVERY timeshare owner gets old, and stops traveling. When this happens, the timeshare is a liability, not an asset.

Jim
 

jancurious

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Although I'm not disagreeing with anything my fellow tuggers have said, you don't have to sell via Marriott. There are reputable resale brokers out there that may be able to handle your closing in a way to pay off your loan simultaneously with the sale that do not charge 40% in commissions.

I bought most of my resale weeks, and so did several of my friends, from a very reputable lady in Utah. I'm not sure if I'm permitted to post her name but I'm happy to send you her link if you privately email me.

Jan
 

Mr. Vker

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Not sure if this violates TUG T & C, but providing the OP a data point. We own a week at SC bought from MVCI in 2005 in the mid $20's. Today, they are selling the same week for more (although via destination points.) On the secondary market, that week can be purchased for under $5k.

I am not criticizing you. We bought the same way. But never expected to cash in. We use it and like it. I hope you find a buyer that helps you get some additional $$.
 

Steve A

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Why not get a home equity loan for the amount owed, and then sell the ts using the money you receive to pay off most of the home equity loan?

The last ts I bought from Marriott I put on my Marriott black credit card getting MR points for the sale plus times five for using the card. Several months later I refinanced it using a home equity loan at a substantially lower interest rate and paid off the loan from Marriott. The lower rate allowed me to borrow for less years and I received a tax deduction on the interest paid.
 
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ronparise

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The unasked question in the ops post is "why are timeshares so cheap on the resale market?"

But that's the wrong question. The question that should be asked is " why are developer prices so high?" At $25000 per week Marriott sold that condo for $1,300,000. My question for the op is; did you think that condo was really worth over a million dollars?


Real estate investors know that you make your money (or lose it) when you buy a property, not when you sell it. The op lost his money when he agreed to pay $25000 at 13% for something that was only worth a fifth of that.

timeshares are lousy investments as the op is learning but it is possible to make money with them. The secret is to buy low and sell high, not the other way around
 
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Saintsfanfl

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The question that should be asked is " why are developer prices so high?" At $25000 per week Marriott sold that condo for $1,300,000. My question for the op is; did you think that condo was really worth over a million dollars?
It is a combination of the two but you have to pay a premium for not wholly owned or nobody would develop and sell them that way. The other half is the low resale market which is driven by the flood of unwanted timeshares due to 1) the lack of "quality" buyers, 2) the maintenance fee liability, 3) and the lack of an "easy-to-use" resale market. Developers obviously don't want an easy resale market because it would hinder new sales. Sad but true.
 

Saintsfanfl

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To the OP. Unfortunately Marriott's prices are almost always the best you will get anywhere. Sometimes 2-3x as much as you can get elsewhere.
 

JIMinNC

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The ball is in your court. Please contact me with an offer that at least lets me walk away with the Market Price ($7,500 or above) less a 6% real estate commission, not the ridiculous 40% rate that you are proposing. Also, I don't believe I should be responsible for any future maintenance fees. I don't think what I am asking for is unreasonable. In fact what you initially proposed to me is highly unreasonable and usurious as well.
Timeshares cannot be viewed like traditional real estate. When you sell a regular house or condo, the sales price can be $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 - whatever. A 6% real estate commission on those sales net the broker $6,000 to $30,000. Selling a $7,500 timeshare for 6% would net the broker only $450. If that was the market commission rate for timeshare, there would be no way a broker could stay in business at those revenue levels. The commission has to be a larger percentage because of the low selling price of each timeshare. I think you will find most all timeshare brokers charge a much higher commission that what you see in standard real estate for that reason - they have to keep the doors open and the lights on.

On the maintenance fee, you will retain 2017 usage, so you should pay the 2017 fee. I'm not 100% sure why Marriott doesn't want the 2017 usage with their buy-back offer, but it probably has something to do with the fact that we're only a few months from 2017 and many of the prime weeks are already booked by owners, limiting their ability to get value out of assuming the fee liability to the Timber Lodge HOA.

But that's the wrong question. The question that should be asked is " why are developer prices so high?" At $25000 per week Marriott sold that condo for $1,300,000. My question for the op is; did you think that condo was really worth over a million dollars?
Similar to my answer above to the OP, you can't compare timeshares to regular real estate like whole ownership condos. It costs a lot more to sell a condo in 52 pieces than it does to sell the entire condo in one transaction. A realtor can market and sell a house or condo for 6%, cover their marketing costs, and still make money. Marriott and other timeshare developers have to cover the costs of their preview packages - including the many that don't result in sales.

If you look at Marriott Vacations Worldwide's financials, you will see that in 2015, they booked about $675 million in revenue from the sale of vacation ownership products. The direct cost of those sales (i.e. the value of the underlying real estate) was $204 million. Marketing and sales costs were $330 million. On top of that you have other corporate overhead costs, but its hard to break those out just against sales because they also support other revenue streams like Resort Management, Rental, etc.

So if you just look at the cost of the real estate sold, on average, that represents about 30% of the revenue earned from sales. So your theoretical $1,300,000 condo only cost $390,000 to build, but there was another $635,000 of marketing cost, plus $275,000 to cover other overhead, plus profit. For a whole ownership condo, the marketing costs would be no where close to $635,000. That's why developer prices are so high - to cover the marketing and sales costs.

I'll note that these 2015 numbers for Marriott are mainly for sales of Trust points rather than traditional weeks, but the underlying ratio of real estate cost to sales revenue should be consistent with that of traditional weeks since the Trust is still backed by the underlying real estate.
 
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davidvel

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So if you just look at the cost of the real estate sold, that represents about 30% of the revenue earned from sales. So your $1,300,000 condo, really is only a $390,000 condo - the rest is marketing/sales (which as I said is MUCH greater than for a whole ownership unit) and other overhead, plus profit.
I understand your logic, but think its a bit off base. First, we don't know if the percentages you cite apply to Timber Lodge. I presume they are for all Marriott properties.

In any event, I don't agree that the value of a condo, or other real estate, is the amount it cost to build/develop it. A 2BR condo at the base of Heavenly is certainly "worth" much more than $390,000.
 

l0410z

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This is a big difference between real estate and selling timeshares and it has nothing to do with resale value. It has to do with the amount of integrity and honesty you get from the sales person you are working with. In most areas you must be licensed to sell real estate. With timeshares you can say just about anything during the selling process. I am not saying everyone does this but I am saying that it happens enough that Marriott doesn't do anything to change it. It reminds me of the line from My Cousin Vinny where after the prosecutor gives his opening statement and Pesci says "everything that guy just said is bullshit". When you sign a Marriott contract it covers them from "everything that guy just said is bullshit"

If you are told the truth at time of purchase and can use the timeshare the way it is is described you are more likely to be happy with that purchase even with the drop in price.
 

tschwa2

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The OP had a one bedroom. About 2/3's were sold as platinum or platinum plus (fixed holidays) and 1/3 was sold as gold for less. The total was closer to $1.0 million for 52 weeks per unit. The 2 BR platinum units (both ski and summer) have held their value a little better but still are only worth 25-30% of original cost. Since there are so few platinum plus 2 br units available it is hard to say but those seem to be closer to 35-50% of original selling price on the open market and through Marriott resales.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Ups & Downs In Our Timeshare Story -- But So Far, So Good.

My Timeshare Nightmare..Please share your story
We are mostly OK with our timeshare situation, even though it has taken some semi-odd turns since we took the timeshare plunge back in 2002.

Then again, nearly everything about timeshares & timesharing is semi-odd, no ?

Click here for a condensed & updated version of our timeshare story.

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

gblotter

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I sympathize with bvogel7475. Like many owners here, we bought directly from Marriott before becoming fully educated about the realities timeshare ownership and the resale market. Marriott is very good at selling a dream and they got us (twice). We now own 5 Marriott weeks (2 developer weeks purchased directly from Marriott and 3 resale weeks purchased at ridiculous discounts during the depths of the recession). The cheap price of the resale purchases helps remove the sting of the inflated price of the developer purchases and it all averages out to a figure that let's us sleep at night (it helps that we didn't do Marriott financing).

We were smart enough to buy in locations where we like to visit, so trading is fairly rare for us. Although our two enrolled weeks give us Executive Level membership in the DC points program, we have only made a few reservations via DC points. We can never seem to find the inventory we want and the process is anything but transparent when reserving with DC points (shell game comes to mind). For us, weeks is still the way to go.

So back to bvogel7475 ...

Given the amount you paid and the amount you could sell it for, I would encourage you to just hold on to your Timber Lodge week and continue using it for great vacations. We have visited there many times and it is a beautiful resort in a beautiful location. Building some sweet vacation memories there will help eliminate the nightmare feeling.

Maybe you just need a change of perspective. Instead of thinking of your timeshare purchase as a real estate investment that has lost its value, I encourage you instead to think of it more like a RV purchase which will inevitably depreciate and incur maintenance costs, but will also give you some great family vacation memories for your money spent.
 
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MOXJO7282

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Why not get a home equity loan for the amount owed, and then sell the ts using the money you receive to pay off most of the home equity loan?

The last ts I bought from Marriott I put on my Marriott black credit card getting MR points for the sale plus times five for using the card. Several months later I refinanced it using a home equity loan at a substantially lower interest rate and paid off the loan from Marriott. The lower rate allowed me to borrow for less years and I received a tax deduction on the interest paid.
Better yet sign up for a 0% credit card. A few have a 2% balance transfer fee for 15 months of 0% interest. This would save the OP quite a lot and they wouldn't have to go through the trouble of doing a HELOC.
 

JIMinNC

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I understand your logic, but think its a bit off base. First, we don't know if the percentages you cite apply to Timber Lodge. I presume they are for all Marriott properties.

In any event, I don't agree that the value of a condo, or other real estate, is the amount it cost to build/develop it. A 2BR condo at the base of Heavenly is certainly "worth" much more than $390,000.
Oh, I agree 100% with that. I was just using the overall averages to illustrate that you can't just multiply the cost of a timeshare by 52 to equate to what it would cost if it were sold as a full ownership condo. There are lots of other costs that factor into the price of a timeshare that don't factor into the price of a whole ownership unit. In his post, ronparise commented that:

"why are developer prices so high?" At $25000 per week Marriott sold that condo for $1,300,000. My question for the op is; did you think that condo was really worth over a million dollars?
My point was simply that the cost of the real estate, plus the marketing costs must be factored into the cost of a timeshare. The marketing costs for timeshare eat up almost 50% of the revenue from sales, whereas for a whole ownership condo, marketing costs are a tiny fraction of that (not sure what that total is, but 6% realtor commission plus other marketing overhead). So for that $1.3 million that might have been earned by selling 52 intervals, almost $650,000 was for marketing, so you can't say the value of that full timeshare condo was $1.3 million.

I agree my previous post didn't clarify all of that, so I will edit the previous post to make that all clear.
 

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Thanks for all the comments. I didn't see anything I don't already know. However, it's my fault for not researching timeshares in 2008 to see that they are only worth 10% of their value after you purchase them. I don't think that's an accurate fact for timeshares in desireable locations like Hawaii, St Thomas or even Lake Tahoe. Why would anyone buy a timeshare in that case. I've lost all respect for Marriott while I have gone through this process. I am going to pay the timeshare off in a few months as I will have the money to do so in March of 2017. Then, I will sell it and never have anything to do with timeshare's again. Learned my lesson the hard way. It still doesn't make Marriott an ethical company to do business this way. I will continue to persuade anyone I know to never buy a timeshare.
 
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DeniseM

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In your post you stated that you didn't do your research, then you ask why anyone buys a timeshare - that's why. The retail process is designed to push you into buying on impulse, so most developer purchases are done without any research. But you are in good company. Most Tuggers bought retail the first time, (including me) and may have regretted it later, but then they learned the ropes and made it work.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for all the comments. I didn't see anything I don't already know. However, it's my fault for not researching timeshares in 2008 to see that they are only worth 10% of their value after you purchase them. I don't think that's an accurate fact for timeshares in desireable locations like Hawaii, St Thomas or even Lake Tahoe. Why would anyone buy a timeshare in that case. I've lost all respect for Marriott while I have gone through this process. I am going to pay the timeshare off in a few months as I will have the money to do so in March of 2017. Then, I will sell it and never have anything to do with timeshare's again. Learned my lesson the hard way. It still doesn't make Marriott an ethical company to do business this way. I will continue to persuade anyone I know to never buy a timeshare.

I am a former owner of a timeshare week at Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort in Hawaii. I bought my floating biennial week in 2001 from the developer, for $10,500 when the resort was still being built.

Now, the week is worth ZERO! I tried to give it away free on TUG and Craigslist but no one wanted it. I gave the week back to Wyndham via their Ovation Program. There were no transfer fees or any fees to do this. I started the process on 9-1-16 and just received confirmation today, 11-3-16, that it was completed and my confirmation letter is being mailed to me.

I did enjoy the timeshare week and the resort, but it was not worth the maintenance fees. I can rent this week on the timeshare market for the same price or at times lower, than the maintenance fees paid.

Timeshares are not an investment at all! They are a liability for lifelong maintenance fees. Also, selling a timeshare on the resale market takes time and is more trouble and hassle than I would like to go through.
 

rickandcindy23

TUG Review Crew: Expert
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Wyndham Plat,RCI pts,Shell,WorldMark,OKW,SSR pts; Marriott's Willow Ridge;Val Chatelle; Hono Koa; SBP; SDO; Blue Ridge Village
Knowledge Is Power.

The entire developer purchase is always fraught with pitfalls and remorse: high interest, high purchase price, sales' lies, and regrets for falling for the pitch.

I am sorry you are unhappy with your Marriott, but using your week is one way of recovering some of the loss.

I just sold an annual and an every-other-year Marriott's Custom House through the Marriott Resale Department. It all went smoothly, and I am happy with the price I got for my weeks (minus 40% commission). The difference between mine and yours was substantial, because I paid resale to start.

I was very unhappy with the ongoing fees increasing each year, so a burden was lifted, but I have to admit to getting some amazing exchanges with the weeks.

Timeshares are definitely expensive, unless you buy resale.
 

davidvel

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No. Cty. San Diego
Resorts Owned
Marriott Shadow Ridge (Villages)
Oh, I agree 100% with that. I was just using the overall averages to illustrate that you can't just multiply the cost of a timeshare by 52 to equate to what it would cost if it were sold as a full ownership condo. There are lots of other costs that factor into the price of a timeshare that don't factor into the price of a whole ownership unit. In his post, ronparise commented that:
[... CONDENSED]
I agree as well. Certainly the marketing/sales commission costs are HUUUUGE.

I wish the new home tracts around us would offer $175 to come tour the homes. :D (We do it for free!)
 
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