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[Noobie] Just finished a timeshare presentation, have lots of questions

cbtexan04

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First and foremost, this is my first time exploring the timeshare market. I had previously done just a tad of research from the NTHC and TUG, so I had a bit of knowledge going into the presentation.

Full disclosure, the resort is roughly 30 minutes from our home. While we like it, we wouldn't want that to be our home resort, because of how close it is to us already (granted, no airplane tickets to get there, but I would feel weird taking a vacation so close to our home).

The tour itself went quite well, felt very little pressure, and we walked out without buying (after mentioning the resale market, TUG, etc). The salesman did make a few comments that I'm not sure I quite understand, and was hoping to get some clarification.

The resort we toured was Massanutten (which I think is part of Wyndham). We of course told the salesman we wouldn't purchase a timeshare there, because of the proximity to us already. He said not a problem, we can exchange at other resorts through RCI, and the real money saving comes from when the resort is paid off. He broke down the math like this (excluding the monthly payment for the unit; assume we bought resale, so this is 0):
~$220 exchange fee to use our week at another resort (he said the exchange fee also allows us to pick a week WHENEVER, regardless of which week we bought. Unsure if this is the case?).
~$100 for RCI membership
~$400 for maintenance fees

So in total, looking at around $720 for a week's vacation at any other resort. He said he personally uses it at Sandals, which is an all inclusive resort, and it costs him nothing. I just nodded and said that sounds great, but surely that can't be the case, right?

I guess my questions are about if the above is actually correct, or if there's something else he's leaving out (which is what I'm leaning to). Additionally, he said RCI has great discounts on airfare, so it's completely worth it to sign up with them and get airfare through them; is this also true? Are resold units even eligible for the RCI membership?

1) Where do you want your home resort to be?
Florida, probably near Orlando or Kissimmee.

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?
If we would be able to do what the salesman said above, we would totally rather trade our use for a week at an all inclusive resort. Assuming there's a catch to that, we would most likely use our home resort half the time. Main gain for us is to have somewhere near Disney we can go to, with decent accommodations and a low price. Given 6 nights at $150/night, anything under $900/yr total would be a gain for us.

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?
<Unknown> We would primarily use this for Disney, though if we could use our trade for something in the Caribbean, we would be happy.

4) How many people do you usually travel with?
This is tough; we have 3 of us, though my in-laws like to come to Disney with us. So if it's just us, 3-5 (assuming expansion in family), but up to 11 if we include the in-laws.

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule?
Can travel pretty much any time of the year. I like planning out my vacations though, so not having to plan within 30 days of travel (eg. the bonus weeks) would be great.

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance?
Yes, but would prefer to make them 3-6 months ahead of time.

7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time?
Absolutely.

8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars?
3-4 (my wife would want close to 4 :))

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?
Prefer under $500. I don't know if that's a stupid low or stupid high answer, given that some people are basically giving away their timeshares. Obviously the closer to $0, while matching our desires would be awesome.

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?
$400-600. As detailed above, we'd be looking at ~$900 for a 6 night stay near Disney, so I *think* that should be the range I'm looking for.

11) Are you a detail oriented planner?
Mostly. I like to know what's happening before we get there, and not have to worry about availability.

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. I do have a question about this though; the salesman indicated we could just "give back" the timeshare. I sniffed BS, as I've never heard of that, but didn't question him further. Maybe I just misunderstood?
__________________

Thanks for bearing with me, hopefully these questions aren't too stupid. The ultimate goal for us is to have the most enjoyable vacation, for as little as possible.
 

ronparise

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its not Wyndham

I just reviewed someones documents from a recent purchase they made there. I though the $400 maintenance fee seemed low.. It is because its only for an every other year ownership. That may not be a big deal if you bought a lockoff like they did>

Im guessing they want 10000 from you for the purchase if its an every other year ownership or $20000 if an annual. and You are right the savings come after its paid off. But boy are they expensive vacations until them


Why not buy on the secondary market for a couple of dollars or better yet buy someplace you want to visit
 

vacationhopeful

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Ron has given you several good suggestions.

I own where I want to stay .. for the most part.

And I STAY AWAY from the sales staff ... I can find much cheaper options here on TUG or on eBay.

I know someone who owns at a resort near their vacation home ... except the resort has an indoor pool and a large recreation center with many activities ... plus 2 outdoor summer pools ... and OWNERS get free day usage. They use it as their swimming pools year round ... and trade that week within RCI. So under $900 yearly for the pools plus $300 in exchange costs is $1200. Put a good exchange week's value is at least $875 ($125 per night) .. so the pool and gym cost is just $27 monthly (less than takeout pizza for 1 meal).
 

cbtexan04

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its not Wyndham

I just reviewed someones documents from a recent purchase they made there. I though the $400 maintenance fee seemed low.. It is because its only for an every other year ownership. That may not be a big deal if you bought a lockoff like they did>

Im guessing they want 10000 from you for the purchase if its an every other year ownership or $20000 if an annual. and You are right the savings come after its paid off. But boy are they expensive vacations until them


Why not buy on the secondary market for a couple of dollars or better yet buy someplace you want to visit


Oh yeah, I'm with you that doesn't make financial sense. Thanks for pointing out the every other week ownership, that was not made known to us during the presentation.

I'm absolutely happy to purchase a resale timeshare elsewhere. The goal for us is to find a solid resort that isn't expensive, that will allow us to take vacations for cheaper than we do now. I was hoping his whole All Inclusive resort exchange speal was somewhat true, because that would be an excellent value.

My wife and I try to take at least one vacation a year, mostly to Disney, but I know we also want to go to other places, and not pay out the wahoo for exchanging. A bit of the uncertainty comes from whether it's better (read:cheaper) to pay out of pocket for vacations, or purchase a resale unit and exchange for a week elsewhere.
 

TUGBrian

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grats on doing your research on resale first! youll be so happy when you own or rent your first timeshare and have saved thousands!

welcome to TUG!
 

tschwa2

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I own currently own 3 weeks at Massanutten, plus a Sandals rtu membership and about a dozen others. I think I can answer most of your questions but I have to get out and grab some things from the store because my husband is warning me that if I wait to dark the salted snow melt might refreeze and the roads will be too icy. I will send you a PM.
 

cbtexan04

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grats on doing your research on resale first! youll be so happy when you own or rent your first timeshare and have saved thousands!

welcome to TUG!
Thanks!

I'm still confused on how/why the salesman claimed he was able to trade his week in for the $209 exchange fee and go to an all inclusive resort. Is that even possible, or is there an upgrade he had to pay to do that?! Sounds like it would be a no brainier to buy a resale unit, pay the $500 or whatever MF + the exchange fee (so a total of ~$700), then trade it in for a $3.5k sandals stay. Surely that can't be the case?!
 

TUGBrian

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probably very easy to do...especially when the all inclusive fee isnt included and would be collected separately =)

its generally quite hard to sell you something for a 10,000% markup and tell you the truth about it.
 

tschwa2

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Sandals Ochi is one of the more reasonable all inclusive but it doesn' t pop up all the time. He still has to pay the AI fee which when through RCI has an AI fee of about $1000 for 2 people for the week.
 

tschwa2

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Do you currently stay in hotels for your disney vacations or do you rent timeshares or condo's. If you already rent then you may want to stick with that for now. If you book hotels you should look into renting timeshares and condos. While buying and exchanging might save you a little it isn't going to save you more than $100 or so a year and some years you may end up paying more through a timeshare than renting.
 

Ty1on

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Thanks!

I'm still confused on how/why the salesman claimed he was able to trade his week in for the $209 exchange fee and go to an all inclusive resort. Is that even possible, or is there an upgrade he had to pay to do that?! Sounds like it would be a no brainier to buy a resale unit, pay the $500 or whatever MF + the exchange fee (so a total of ~$700), then trade it in for a $3.5k sandals stay. Surely that can't be the case?!

He's lying, plain and simple. I haven't been able to find a single AI that is included without a major fee payable separately to the resort, and in most cases, that fee is mandatory on exchanges--in other words, even at resorts where owners can opt out and go their own for meals and drinks, an exchanger can't. AI fees range from $70 per day per person to over $200. In most cases, one is better off renting from the resort, with AI included, than exchanging.
 

silentg

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Sent you a Pm
 
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