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SenorBlanco

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Hello, all!

My wife and I just got back from the Big Island, i.e. the land of timeshares, and absolutely LOVED it! Our circumstance seems promising for timeshare consideration but that said, I refuse to make a rash decision on a timeshare purchase and in doing my research came across this site (yay!). Obviously, there is a ton of information, and misinformation, about timeshares so selfishly I was hoping to solicit some help from the grizzled timeshare veteran community! Would appreciate any and all input and thoughts.

Age: 40
Location: NC, easy access to fly
Travelers: 2
Ideal travel locations: Caribbean, Hawaii, FL, Europe, pretty wide open honestly
Amount of travel: 1 full week/year without question, would like flexibility for an additional and then possibly 3-day getaways until retirement

What I’ve gathered thus far...resale, resale, resale! Simple math makes this seem simple and I haven’t seen many “legit” perks in buying directly from the companies.

Info gathered thus far as I’ve mainly looked at the big companies given the scope of flexibility above:
HGVC
- Seems pretty straightforward in ability to be flexible outside of your deeded resort (like that)
- Resale can not get you to Elite, although doesn’t seem like that’s a big deal given the true benefits vs. the cost to get there
- Doesn’t appear to be as flexible for stays outside the full 7-day norms
Marriott Vacation Club
- Great flexibility as well
- Seems more flexible around ability to do shorter getaways
- Maintenance fees seem pretty high for amount of points you need (I heard $0.58/per point)

Leaning more towards HGVC thus far but have some questions:
HGVC
- Is this more flexible on the shorter stays than I’ve gathered?
- Say I buy 10,000 points and use 5,000 on one stay. Can I then use the other 5,000 for a stay at a different resort in same calendar year? Are there restrictions? Is it easy to do relatively last minute or do you really need to plan in advance?
- Is there a “trick” to buying points at multiple properties in order to increase your point balance?
- Should I try to buy as many points at one destination to avoid multiple maintenance fees or am I missing something on how that works if you do one multiple deeds?

That’s it for now because I realize that’s a few questions. Would again welcome info around the above, other timeshare companies to consider or just general feedback and insight!
 

goaliedave

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If you can stand 4 star resorts, i recommend Diamond Resorts. 400 resorts, usually location over luxury and for my needs 50% cheaper than the hotel chain resorts.

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Passepartout

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I would strongly suggest that you don't rush into a purchase. Rent in several 'systems' using the TUG Last Minute Rentals or the Marketplace or Redweek. You can often rent for less than the owner is paying in underlying annual fees. One reason I'm saying this is to give you the experience of comparison, AND annual fees are increasing at something like 5% a year. So now what used to be cheap to own now is just about on par with the rent that the market will bear- and with renting, there is no buy-in cost or worry about having an exit strategy.

Jim
 

SenorBlanco

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I would strongly suggest that you don't rush into a purchase. Rent in several 'systems' using the TUG Last Minute Rentals or the Marketplace or Redweek. You can often rent for less than the owner is paying in underlying annual fees. One reason I'm saying this is to give you the experience of comparison, AND annual fees are increasing at something like 5% a year. So now what used to be cheap to own now is just about on par with the rent that the market will bear- and with renting, there is no buy-in cost or worry about having an exit strategy.

Jim
Something we’re considering as well given we have flexibility at times to book in advance and the rates are relatively reasonable when compared to normal hotel rates. The good thing is that we’ve done a lot of travel so have general ideas, but definitely considering all avenues/discussions.
 

CPNY

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Hello, all!

My wife and I just got back from the Big Island, i.e. the land of timeshares, and absolutely LOVED it! Our circumstance seems promising for timeshare consideration but that said, I refuse to make a rash decision on a timeshare purchase and in doing my research came across this site (yay!). Obviously, there is a ton of information, and misinformation, about timeshares so selfishly I was hoping to solicit some help from the grizzled timeshare veteran community! Would appreciate any and all input and thoughts.

Age: 40
Location: NC, easy access to fly
Travelers: 2
Ideal travel locations: Caribbean, Hawaii, FL, Europe, pretty wide open honestly
Amount of travel: 1 full week/year without question, would like flexibility for an additional and then possibly 3-day getaways until retirement

What I’ve gathered thus far...resale, resale, resale! Simple math makes this seem simple and I haven’t seen many “legit” perks in buying directly from the companies.

Info gathered thus far as I’ve mainly looked at the big companies given the scope of flexibility above:
HGVC
- Seems pretty straightforward in ability to be flexible outside of your deeded resort (like that)
- Resale can not get you to Elite, although doesn’t seem like that’s a big deal given the true benefits vs. the cost to get there
- Doesn’t appear to be as flexible for stays outside the full 7-day norms
Marriott Vacation Club
- Great flexibility as well
- Seems more flexible around ability to do shorter getaways
- Maintenance fees seem pretty high for amount of points you need (I heard $0.58/per point)

Leaning more towards HGVC thus far but have some questions:
HGVC
- Is this more flexible on the shorter stays than I’ve gathered?
- Say I buy 10,000 points and use 5,000 on one stay. Can I then use the other 5,000 for a stay at a different resort in same calendar year? Are there restrictions? Is it easy to do relatively last minute or do you really need to plan in advance?
- Is there a “trick” to buying points at multiple properties in order to increase your point balance?
- Should I try to buy as many points at one destination to avoid multiple maintenance fees or am I missing something on how that works if you do one multiple deeds?

That’s it for now because I realize that’s a few questions. Would again welcome info around the above, other timeshare companies to consider or just general feedback and insight!
You should also add Vistana Mandatory deeds, they will have more options for Caribbean with Cancun, st John and the Bahamas. Plus priority exchange into MVC in interval. Forget timesharing in Europe.... use airbnb there.

I travel a ton from Asia,Europe,Australia Caribbean etc. I use my TS for specific locations. I don’t mind staying airbnb in most places. But a proper vacation the resort life is nice.
 

SenorBlanco

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

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?
50/50, not committed either way

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?
Pretty open

4) How many people do you usually travel with - total, including yourself?
2

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

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?
4-5

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?
$25,000 max, but likely won’t go near that high

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?
$3-$4K as of now

11) Are you a detail oriented planner?
Average

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
 
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SenorBlanco

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You should also add Vistana Mandatory deeds, they will have more options for Caribbean with Cancun, st John and the Bahamas. Plus priority exchange into MVC in interval. Forget timesharing in Europe.... use airbnb there.

I travel a ton from Asia,Europe,Australia Caribbean etc. I use my TS for specific locations. I don’t mind staying airbnb in most places. But a proper vacation the resort life is nice.
Will definitely be checking out Vistana, which I wouldn’t have known about without this site. I have a hard time trusting airbnb, although I’ve heard it’s much better overseas than the states.
 

CPNY

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Will definitely be checking out Vistana, which I wouldn’t have known about without this site. I have a hard time trusting airbnb, although I’ve heard it’s much better overseas than the states.
It’s the best overseas. It’s where is stay in Europe only. I stayed in airbnb in Australia and it was amazing. Walked everywhere. One thing to note with vistana is you want mandatory properties. Those will have star option usage that transfers on resale. Then you can book any resort in network or exchange the week in interval. Best of both worlds. But not all ownerships transfer star options. Only a few. Westin St John except for one phase, Sheraton vistana villages key west or Bella phases only, harborside resort at Atlantis (extremely high maint fees), Westin kierland villas (BEST star option to maint fee ratio with highest buy in on resale), Westin kaanapali resort villas.

a two bedroom platinum Westin kierland villas is probably the best option.
 

SenorBlanco

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It’s the best overseas. It’s where is stay in Europe only. I stayed in airbnb in Australia and it was amazing. Walked everywhere. One thing to note with vistana is you want mandatory properties. Those will have star option usage that transfers on resale. Then you can book any resort in network or exchange the week in interval. Best of both worlds. But not all ownerships transfer star options. Only a few. Westin St John except for one phase, Sheraton vistana villages key west or Bella phases only, harborside resort at Atlantis (extremely high maint fees), Westin kierland villas (BEST star option to maint fee ratio with highest buy in on resale), Westin kaanapali resort villas.

a two bedroom platinum Westin kierland villas is probably the best option.
How do you determine “mandatory” properties? I was on RedWeek’s but unless I’m overlooking it, not sure where that is listed.
 

vacationtime1

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WKV x2 (Scottsdale)
Will definitely be checking out Vistana, which I wouldn’t have known about without this site. I have a hard time trusting airbnb, although I’ve heard it’s much better overseas than the states.

We are partial to Vistana (we own five of their weeks) and find the system flexible and the maintenance fees "reasonable". This thread https://tugbbs.com/forums/threads/vistana-starwood-owner-resources.73314/ will tell you about mandatory vs voluntary properties (only buy the former).

HGVC has a good reputation for treating resale owners fairly (resale units are treated essentially the same as developer purchases). My understanding is that resale points sell for about $1/, so enough points for a 2bd unit will cost about $7-10K. Buy high season only (the MF/point ratio is better).

Marriott's Destination Club is flexible and expen$ive. To buy enough points for a Maui 2bd ocean front unit (for one week/year) will cost >$100K if purchased from Marriott and about half that if purchased resale (Marriott demands $3/point to make resale points usable). MF's would be >$4.5K/yr. One can buy resale weeks (rather than points) for far less, but all exchanges are then via Interval which is far more complicated than booking with points.

I always suggest renting before purchasing. It will allow you to determine what you like, what you don't like, and what level of amenity you're willing to pay for.
 
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CPNY

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How do you determine “mandatory” properties? I was on RedWeek’s but unless I’m overlooking it, not sure where that is listed.
Check the link above. I went with the less expensive buy in and purchased vistana villages key west phase for under 1000 for my one bedrooms and 1000 for my lockout back in 2016. I sold it two days ago for 2000. Within an hour on redweek. They are aggressively trying to get owners into the new flex plan so buying back mandatory deeds to “trade in”. It seems like the platinum weeks are getting hard and harder to come by but they are around. Westin kierland villas is the best. High buy in but great maint fee
 

SenorBlanco

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We are partial to Vistana (we own five of their weeks) and find the system flexible and the maintenance fees "reasonable". This thread https://tugbbs.com/forums/threads/vistana-starwood-owner-resources.73314/ will tell you about mandatory vs voluntary properties (only buy the former).

HGVC has a good reputation for treating resale owners fairly (resale units are treated essentially the same as developer purchases). My understanding is that resale points sell for about $1/, so enough points for a 2bd unit will cost about $7-10K. Buy high season only (the MF/point ratio is better).

Marriott's Destination Club is flexible and expen$ive. To buy enough points for a Maui 2bd ocean front unit (for one week/year) will cost >$100K if purchased from Marriott and about half that if purchased resale (Marriott demands $3/point to make resale points usable). MF's would be >$4.5K/yr. One can buy resale weeks (rather than points) for far less, but all exchanges are then via Interval which is far more complicated than booking with points.

I always suggest renting before purchasing. It will allow you to determine what you like, what you don't like, and what level of amenity you're willing to pay for.
Very helpful! Thanks!!
 

SteelerGal

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Definitely read the various stickies for the different time shares. Rent and then see which System would work best for you. We happen to own in the MVC family, HGVC affiliate and an Independent. I have sold and purchased my ever changing portfolio because TS is addictive.
 

CPNY

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Definitely read the various stickies for the different time shares. Rent and then see which System would work best for you. We happen to own in the MVC family, HGVC affiliate and an Independent. I have sold and purchased my ever changing portfolio because TS is addictive.
Hahah me too. Changing ever still
 

SenorBlanco

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I’m seeing that already—who doesn’t like a good deal?!? Haha.
Question though from my initial observations, HGVC seems to have the “cheaper” options on resale than MVC given you have to pay the $3/per point in transfers—which can add up fast! In the whole spirit of getting a good deal, am I missing something on why MVC may be a good option? To do a buy-in for an HGVC at 8000 points you could expect to pay $5000 maybe, for those same 8000 MVC points that’s $24,000 right there (ouch).
 

goaliedave

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Will definitely be checking out Vistana, which I wouldn’t have known about without this site. I have a hard time trusting airbnb, although I’ve heard it’s much better overseas than the states.
Airbnb is awesome... 2 weeks ago i stayed in boca raton for $22 per night. Kitchen for cooking, lots of hot water, parking, sweetheart hostess. Loosen up and save money :)

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SteelerGal

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I’m seeing that already—who doesn’t like a good deal?!? Haha.
Question though from my initial observations, HGVC seems to have the “cheaper” options on resale than MVC given you have to pay the $3/per point in transfers—which can add up fast! In the whole spirit of getting a good deal, am I missing something on why MVC may be a good option? To do a buy-in for an HGVC at 8000 points you could expect to pay $5000 maybe, for those same 8000 MVC points that’s $24,000 right there (ouch).
It’s due to the difference in Systems. HGVC allows you to use your deeded week or use the points connected to the week. Marriott requires for a deeded week to be enrolled in their point system or you can purchase points out right. Vistana and Hyatt have a similar system as HGVC however weeks do not covert until 8mo. Hyatt and Vistana both have points systems that you can buy in or convert your deeded week.
Many of us own in multiple Systems. Do your research before diving in. I actually owned HGVC but sold due to a bad buy. I had to take a loss however now better understanding our needs, I hope to pass ROFR. If it doesn’t, there’s always other opportunities. So take your time and study.
 

echino

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If you are only 2 people, I would say you will not benefit much from timeshares. You have a lot of options besides timeshares, like hotels, etc. Timeshares are a great benefit for families which need a lot of space, like a two bedroom unit or larger. Those large units would be crazy expensive in hotels, so here come timeshares. With only two people thought you don't really need that.
 

CPNY

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If you are only 2 people, I would say you will not benefit much from timeshares. You have a lot of options besides timeshares, like hotels, etc. Timeshares are a great benefit for families which need a lot of space, like a two bedroom unit or larger. Those large units would be crazy expensive in hotels, so here come timeshares. With only two people thought you don't really need that.
That’s a personal preference. When i travel solo I stay in timeshares or one bedroom apartments. I’m staying on my own in Bahamas and I made sure I got myself the premium one bedroom. Two people or even one person can enjoy space. I hate hotel rooms.
 

CPNY

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I’m seeing that already—who doesn’t like a good deal?!? Haha.
Question though from my initial observations, HGVC seems to have the “cheaper” options on resale than MVC given you have to pay the $3/per point in transfers—which can add up fast! In the whole spirit of getting a good deal, am I missing something on why MVC may be a good option? To do a buy-in for an HGVC at 8000 points you could expect to pay $5000 maybe, for those same 8000 MVC points that’s $24,000 right there (ouch).
Yeah. Westin kierland villas 2 bedroom platinum lol. Or Westin kaanapali. You’ll get great trades in interval and still use star options.
 

goaliedave

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If you are only 2 people, I would say you will not benefit much from timeshares. You have a lot of options besides timeshares, like hotels, etc. Timeshares are a great benefit for families which need a lot of space, like a two bedroom unit or larger. Those large units would be crazy expensive in hotels, so here come timeshares. With only two people thought you don't really need that.
Ignorant post as cpny said. I just stayed 3 months in a 4 star Orlando timeshare for points costing MF $2500. Cheaper and better than a hotel or living at home.

Last year i stayed a month in my ts on Big Island Hawaii for points costing MF $1000.

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SenorBlanco

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If you are only 2 people, I would say you will not benefit much from timeshares. You have a lot of options besides timeshares, like hotels, etc. Timeshares are a great benefit for families which need a lot of space, like a two bedroom unit or larger. Those large units would be crazy expensive in hotels, so here come timeshares. With only two people thought you don't really need that.
Interesting and thanks for the perspective. I could be wrong but I imagined the majority of timeshare owners to be couples or at least around 50/50. If you pay 400/night at some of these nicer hotels (we like nicer properties), which may or may not have kitchens, seems like a nice timeshare unit with MF under $2000 would be better financially. Eating out at a lot of these destinations is what kills you so I love the notion of a kitchen. Now, the reason I do have pause is with what I’ve seen at MVC those MF seem to be climbing so yes, it may be more cost effective to do hotels separately (8000 points would be $4640 MF). But that’s why I’m here—to learn! :)
 

JohnB3

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I've got a marriott week that works well for trading I don't mind the interval thing and you can get good MVC week for reasonable prices. I'd agree that MVC DC program is hard to get a deal on resale since Marriott tacks on their "Tax" and is aggressive on Right of First refusal if the sale price is too low. Careful this can be addictive :)
 
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