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Not sure whether to buy Starwood. HELP!!

harzim

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I just came back from the Kierland. We signed the paperwork for a platinum one bedroom and am now deciding whether to pull out. They tout the 3 benefits of their program: (i) trading within II; (ii) the 15 current villas and "2-3 being added every year"; and (iii) conversion to Starpoints for hotel stays.

From reading some postings, it seems impossible to get nice II properties during popular times (even with planning ahead). Is that true? How about the properties within the Starwood Network? I have school age kids, so I want to go to the prime spots during prime time, i.e., Mexico in Winter, Spring break at Harborside, etc. If you plan eight months out, can you get these, or am I stuck going to my home spot every year? I bought the timeshare to visit other places, not go the same place every year at this point in my life. Finally, for me, I guess the Starpoints is a good thing because I would want to stay at hotels sometimes. However, they neglected to tell my that you can only convert the points every other year on a one bedroom.

I'm not interested in resale, because I want to be able to stay everywhere within the SVN network, and I like the hotel point conversion option for years where I may not take the vacation.

Given what I think will be the difficulty in trading into other Starwood locations during prime season, I'm leaning toward cancelling our transaction. I would love some advice from you experts out there. Thanks!!!
 
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Bill4728

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Given what I think will be the difficulty in trading into other Starwood locations during prime season, I'm leaning toward cancelling our transaction. I would love some advice from you experts out there. Thanks!!!
If you are having second thoughts RECIND NOW while you can.

I'm not interested in resale, because I want to be able to stay everywhere within the SVN network, and I like the hotel point conversion option for years where I may not take the vacation.
You're wrong about resales at Kierland. It is a "manaditory resort" which means all owners, resale or developer, are in SVN and can use their points at all starwood locations. The only thing you give up, buying resale is the option of trading your week for hotel points. Many people don't think that trading your week for hotel points is worth an extra $10K. If you can't use your unit one year many people rent it out.


Good Luck
 

DeniseM

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ghbbi said:
I have school age kids, so I want to go to the prime spots during prime time, i.e., Mexico in Winter, Spring break at Harborside, etc. If you plan eight months out, can you get these, or am I stuck going to my home spot every year? I bought the timeshare to visit other places, not go the same place every year at this point in my life.
If you plan ahead and put in your exchange request exactly at 8 mos., and are flexible about which resort you will accept, you should be able to make these exchanges. If you will only accept one particular resort for one particular week, it will be harder. This nice thing about Starwood is that you can reserve your home resort at 12 mos. out, so even if you can't get the exchange you want, you will still have the week you want at your home resort. You don't have to deposit your home resort week until you get the exchange you want.
Finally, for me, I guess the Starpoints is a good thing because I would want to stay at hotels sometimes. However, they neglected to tell my that you can only convert the points every other year on a one bedroom.
When you look at the limited number of Starpoints they give you when you give up your week, converting to Starpoints is not a good value. You'll get more value out of your week by renting it or exchanging it. Some people even exchange for a week at a high demand resort like St. John or Harborside and rent the exchange week for more money than they could get for their home resort.
I'm not interested in resale, because I want to be able to stay everywhere within the SVN network, and I like the hotel point conversion option for years where I may not take the vacation.
You can't convert to Starpoints with a resale at Kierland but you CAN convert to Staroptions and exchange within the SVN system. That is of far more value than converting to points.

Have you read this TUG article about Starwood?
http://www.tug2.net/advice/Starwood_Vacation_Network.htm

My advice - rescind, do your homework, buy resale. (We bought our first Starwood week for big bucks from the developer and then bought our 2nd week at a different Starwood resort for $2K on ebay!)
 

DavidnRobin

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I'll be more direct. RRPP

Rescind-Research-Patience-Purchase

Up to you whether or not to buy resale or from SVO/SVN. I bought resale mandatory SVN. Others like the benefits of StarPoints (you do not get these with resale)

There are likely to be more resale SVN weeks/units later this year since most owners have had to deal with there 2006 units buy now.

Search/Watch eBay if you go for resale.
 

DavidnRobin

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What DM says...
our posts came in at same time. :)
 

Denise L

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Welcome to TUG!

I'm a happy Starwood owner who bought from the developer, BUT, I also did at least 6 weeks research on TUG beforehand and even after all the posts telling me to NOT buy from the developer, we did anyhow :eek: ! We are still happy. At the time, resales were non-existent and we didn't want to wait. We knew that we wanted to go to Maui every year, and we liked the Starpoint incentives at the time. It was also nice to use our credit card and get those FF airline miles...

In your case, it would probably be best to rescind and do some research first. Figure out where you want to go and when. Like DeniseM said, if you are flexible then the 8 month window might work for you. If you aren't, then you probably should buy where you want to go the most, and then look for a private exchange, or rent a week, at a place you want to go during a high demand holiday week.

To book our 2006 week, I set my alarm for 4:55 AM and called at exactly 12 months out at 5:00 AM Pacific time. The day before, I had called at 7:30 AM and our place was already booked up for that check-in day. When I inquired about changing the week last month (9 months out) to a holiday week or a summer week, the agent just laughed (politely). I'm not sure of my strategy for 2007 yet, but I'm sure I'll try and book 12 months out at my home resort.

Good luck with your decision. If you buy resale, you won't have the option to convert to Starpoints, so if that feature is important to you, then you'll have to buy from the developer. Otherwise, buy resale and use the thousands you save to book your hotel rooms for a couple of years.
 

duke

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Buy a Fixed Week or Fixed Unit

If you have the money, you can buy a fixed week or fixed unit for 10% extra each (20% for both). That way you can be sure to get what you want.

If I had to go a certain week....I would sure pay the extra.

All the best.
 

Coocoojay

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The advice of buying where you want to go the most is important whether you buy from a developer or resale. Since you have school age kids it follows that when they have vacation is when you should buy the time share to enjoy and also it would be the location they want to go to. This way you have first priority of going where you want to go. If you expect to trade into the locations where your kids want to go and that is not your home base then you are fooling yourself into thinking the people who paid for this prime location at prime time for their family are going to give it up for you! :confused: Doesn't matter whose hotel based system you choose! :)

With that understood, you can join the game that we Starwood owners do and expect to stay at some very great places, but may not happen the year you wanted. Yes, you have a better chance when you plan ahead. The conversion to hotel is real and very flexible, but it is hotel living not timeshare living. Exchange in II appears to be much more difficult than within Starwood, I have never succeeded in getting II exchange.

The points based hotel systems...Hilton and Hyatt might be a better match. You buy points and almost first come first serve at the various locations.

You did buy a very nice location, but that may not really match your needs. The world does not come to an end if you rescind but do it quickly and exactly like they tell you to do it. Then plan to visit some more places!
 

OCsun

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ghbbi,

All of the above points are right on target. I am a happy Starwood owner for the following reasons:

1). I love my fixed unit, I love my home resort and I want to go every year if I can.
2). I did not buy it resale . . .but I would have if I could have found exactly what I wanted.
3). While I love the starwood points I get for using my AM EX card, I would never trade my unit in for points. I rent or make a direct trade with another owner. Thus, one reason it can be difficult to make trades to other timeshare properties at high demand resorts for specific weeks.

Do yourself a favor and rescind then learn what you can about timesharing before you buy. In the mean time . . .look for rentals while your children are still school age.

Let us know what you decided to do and don't be afraid to ask more questions. . .we are here to help each other learn about timesharing. :) Pam
 

harzim

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Thanks for the great advice on Starwood purchase!

I really appreciate all the honest helpful people out there. You guys really laid out the pros/cons. We've decided to rescind. I have learned a lot and I want to make this decision with my head, not my heart. I really want to think about it. We're starting to think that maybe resale would be a better bet. You give up the Starpoints, but save a lot of $$. Anyway, we'll take some time and consider the options. We don't have to rush into it.

If we decide later to buy from Starwood, I think we probably could still get the "incentives."

When do you think more resales will pop up. I know about eBay and RedWeek. Any other good places to check for resale?

Thanks again. I hope I can return the favor someday!
 

harzim

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SVN Mandatory/Optional?

I've read the TUG article, but I still unclear about the significance of whether a resort is SVN mandatory or SVN optional. How does this affect staying in the SVN network if you buy resale? Thanks.
 

nell

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When you buy a SVN mandatory resale STAROPTIONS (SVN network) transfer with the sale but not STARPOINTS (SPG-hotels). With a non mandatory resale neither STAROPTIONS or STARPOINTS transfer with the sale.
 

harzim

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Mandatory v. Optional

nell said:
When you buy a SVN mandatory resale STAROPTIONS (SVN network) transfer with the sale but not STARPOINTS (SPG-hotels). With a non mandatory resale neither STAROPTIONS or STARPOINTS transfer with the sale.

So, if you buy a resale SVN mandatory, you can use the Staroptions at all of the SVN properties (even the SVN voluntary/optional ones)? Thanks.
 

saluki

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ghbbi said:
So, if you buy a resale SVN mandatory, you can use the Staroptions at all of the SVN properties (even the SVN voluntary/optional ones)? Thanks.
That is correct.
 

Henry M.

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ghbbi said:
So, if you buy a resale SVN mandatory, you can use the Staroptions at all of the SVN properties (even the SVN voluntary/optional ones)? Thanks.
Yes, you can. You will NOT be able to get Starpoints for hotels, though.

I have heard it is possible to buy back into SVN for something like $600 at the voluntary resorts. I don't have any details, but perhaps others have heard about that. I seem to recall someone in sales at Mission Hills telling me this about a year ago.

One thing you don't get with the resales is Elite status when you have more than one unit. There might be some way to get older resales grandfathered in when you buy a new unit from the developer, but that is totally up to the resort and I'm not sure how easy it is to convince them to do it.
 

duke

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emuyshondt said:
I have heard it is possible to buy back into SVN for something like $600 at the voluntary resorts.


There might be some way to get older resales grandfathered in when you buy a new unit from the developer, .

First quote: This is NOT possible.

Second quote: This is easy.

It's in the SVN policy manual. Just call any resort and have them read it to you.
 

grgs

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See this posting from an earlier thread regarding the issue of grandfathering in resales:

http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=140248#poststop

Note: this allows resales to be grandfathered in for the purposes of counting them towards elite status. This would not allow a non-mandatory resale to have StarOptions assigned for the purposes of trading within SVN.

Glorian
 
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