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Pay for StarOptions?

lordnorth

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I am a new member contemplating my first purchase and really need some opinions here:

First the background:
My parents own Starwood properties in Vistana Villages and in Colorado that my wife and I will eventually inherit. We are considering buying in as well so that we don't have to depend on their kindness for vacations all the time. Of course we would like to buy Starwood.

We live in Pennsylvania and our two most popular resorts are Broadway in Myrtle Beach and Vistana Villages in Florida. We can drive to Myrtle Beach (10 hours) or fly to Orlando for about $150 round-trip. Myrtle Beach and Orlando are our two most-popular vacations at this point. We have two daughters age 6 and 3.

Now the advice question:
I am currently comparing two types of purchase (both resale!).

The one is at Broadway Plantation. It is a giveaway 2 bedroom during the summer. Maintenance fees of about $1000. Obviously I wouldn't have StarOptions, but I could forsee using this almost every year and doing II when I don't.

The other is at Vistana Villages Key West, which would mean I have StarOptions available. The asking price is around $4000 and for this I would get a 2 bedroom lock-off worth 95700 StarOptions. The maintenance fees would be about $1400.

Considering that we are within driving distance of Broadway and taking into consideration that my parents own at Vistana and the purchase price and the maintenance fees and the ability to use StarOptions and everthing else, what would you suggest?

Certainly StarOptions are inviting, but the lower costs, both for initial purchase as well as annually are tempting as well. On the other hand, I don't want to get locked into feeling like I HAVE to go to Myrtle Beach every year whether I want to or not (even though most of the time I WILL want to...)

Any help you could give would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Chris
 

scootr5

TUG Review Crew: Veteran
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Marriott Grande Vista, Wyndham (points and Avenue Plaza Mardi Gras week)
If you take the unit with StarOptions, you are then committing yourself to 2 to 4 round trip plane tickets to Colorado/Arizona/Hawaii for the other Starwood resorts when you want to trade to them with SOs. That's the downside to Starwood and the lack of East Coast resorts.

If you know you are going to eventually end up with the Starwood units, maybe you want to look at something like Wyndham points, since they have a lot more resorts in that area of the country and would be drivable. Granted, they are not as luxurious for the most part, but still very nice.
 
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vacationtime1

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WKV x2 (Scottsdale)
I see the SBP as a no-brainer from your perspective: the price is right, you say you will use it most summers, and you can drive there. I can add that I own that exact unit and have done multiple Hawaii trades with mine through Interval.

Start with the easy decision and do nothing else for a year or two, other than rent if you want more vacations. You may eventually inherit more timeshares, you may decide you like timesharing and want to buy more, and you may decide one is plenty.
 

lordnorth

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Okay, can anyone tell me then... If I was to get the Broadway Plantation, since I don't have StarOptions, can I move it to a different week than the deeded one? How do I do this and does it cost extra?

We like to come down during our daughters' vacations from school, but they might not always be the same week.

If I am locked into ONLY the deeded week because I don't have StarOptions then it pretty much rules out this option.

Thanks again.
Chris
 

DeniseM

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Okay, can anyone tell me then... If I was to get the Broadway Plantation, since I don't have StarOptions, can I move it to a different week than the deeded one? How do I do this and does it cost extra?

The single week listed on the deed is just for recording purposes - you actually have a season, or range of dates that you can reserve.

We like to come down during our daughters' vacations from school, but they might not always be the same week.

If I am locked into ONLY the deeded week because I don't have StarOptions then it pretty much rules out this option.

You can also use your week and trade it through an outside exchange company (primarily Interval and RCI) for other resorts, or your own resort.
 
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scootr5

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If you would go for an SBP unit, look for a gold plus week - it floats from week 9 to week 43, so you can reserve 1 year in advance of any of those weeks.
 

Captron

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Tampa, FL
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SVRx3 SBP Worldmark
You can check, but I believe all these weeks were sold as floating weeks. This means you could book any week within that "season". If the season (range of week numbers you have access to as defined in the governing documents) covers all the weeks you believe you will need then I think you have a winner.

The range of weeks/season is also different between the two phases at SBP so you need to know which you are getting. I have had people fax/scan a copy of the page(s) in the contract that specify this with their personal information omitted to make sure.

(Remember all weeks are subject to availability - which is usually good more than 8 months ahead - book as early as you are permitted to help ensure you get the week you want, especially for school vacation weeks. You should be able to book at least 12 months ahead. Some units here were originally sold allowing booking 24 months out, so again, this is something to confirm.)
 
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esk444

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I see the SBP as a no-brainer from your perspective: the price is right, you say you will use it most summers, and you can drive there.

I don't think it is a no-brainer. Mainly because I really don't believe that they'll want to use SBP most summers.

That inland location will grate over time. Driving 10 hours for a beach vacation at a nice reasonably priced resort is cool, but to drive 10 hours to mostly hang out at an inland resort with a nice pool complex is not. You can do that anywhere (i.e. Williamsburg, Shawnee, Massanutten) and not drive 10 hours.

After the fifth year of having to pack up all your gear, fight for parking, and trek to the beach with limited amenities nearby (it's near a residential area), you'll probably regret not buying into a decent beachfront property. Especially since there are dozens of beachfront Myrtle Beach timeshares nearby, a lot in OBX, and some in Hilton Head Island.

SBP is one of those places I thought would be cool to visit, but not a place I'd like to go back year after year. I'm pretty sure most owners here have bought it as a trading vehicle into other SVO locations, but it won't give you easy access to summer east coast beach weeks.
 
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Captron

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Tampa, FL
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SVRx3 SBP Worldmark
esk raises some good points.

It comes down to the first rule....buy where you know you want to go.

I bought at SBP pre-construction pre-starwood because I knew what a zoo Ocean Blvd can be during peak times. It can be VERY noisy and busy - like the strip in Vegas - and I want no part of that for a beach vacation, especially the noise and traffic involved until all hours of the night. I also don't want t be in the middle of the throngs of teen agers staying at the flea bag motels during school breaks either. (I guess I am a "young fuddy duddy")

I don't mind being a 5 minute drive away from the beach and I figure when this area gets hit by a big storm SBP will be one of the first back up and running. (I would bet insurance rates are less here than on the beach too.) With Broadway at the Beach beside the resort I feel I have good access to food and entertainment and I get the best of both worlds. I can always go down to Ocean Blvd central if I want but usually I avoid it like the plague.

That is me though. If you need to be right on the beach then SBP may not be for you.
 
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