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Please Help, No Idea What I'm Doing!

Corsy

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I really need help. I've been viewing posts here for 2 days and it's been very helpful but I still don't know what to do. I just returned from Orlando where my husband and I previewed the Vistana presentation and bought but after doing the research, are going to cancel. We were intrigued because we do go to Disney nearly every year and it seemed to make sense, and both my father and sister used to own DVC and were very happy. The thing is that we won't want to go to Disney EVERY year and I'm frightened by everyone now trying to unload theirs...and the other issue is that we NEVER vacation for a week at a time...my husband and I travel alone for usually a 4 night vacation each year and with our 3 kids (ages 9,6,3) for another 4 nights, with school and our jobs we cannot get away for an entire week at a time. Also, I've never heard any other system's presentation so I have no idea if Starwood is the best for us as the salesman said especially if we are buying resale. And in about 10 years, Orlando will no longer be appealing and that's why people are giving them away! Please help direct me which system and which resort I am supposed to choose! My husband and I are in a position where we can afford to do this now but expect that we both could potentially lose our jobs in 2012 so we wanted to do this now to ensure that we will continue to be able to vacation as we are used to! Help, I'm lost!
 

ronparise

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I really need help. I've been viewing posts here for 2 days and it's been very helpful but I still don't know what to do. I just returned from Orlando where my husband and I previewed the Vistana presentation and bought but after doing the research, are going to cancel. We were intrigued because we do go to Disney nearly every year and it seemed to make sense, and both my father and sister used to own DVC and were very happy. The thing is that we won't want to go to Disney EVERY year and I'm frightened by everyone now trying to unload theirs...and the other issue is that we NEVER vacation for a week at a time...my husband and I travel alone for usually a 4 night vacation each year and with our 3 kids (ages 9,6,3) for another 4 nights, with school and our jobs we cannot get away for an entire week at a time. Also, I've never heard any other system's presentation so I have no idea if Starwood is the best for us as the salesman said especially if we are buying resale. And in about 10 years, Orlando will no longer be appealing and that's why people are giving them away! Please help direct me which system and which resort I am supposed to choose! My husband and I are in a position where we can afford to do this now but expect that we both could potentially lose our jobs in 2012 so we wanted to do this now to ensure that we will continue to be able to vacation as we are used to! Help, I'm lost!

Let me be the first to advise you to rescind. There will be a paragraph in your contract that spells out that right and tells you how to do it...Do it!!

You can do your research, find a system that works for you then do that on the resale market
 

DeniseM

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vacationtime1

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Owing a timeshare does not work well for everyone. The fact that you generally travel in four day increments rather than week increments (and like it that way) is a strong indication that a week based system is not for you.

Nothing wrong with that, but you should therefore absolutely rescind your week based contract.

Others will probably give you workable ideas on point based systems, but your first step is to get out of the week based system you purchased.
 

Passepartout

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There are other timeshare systems that allow partial week stays. Rescind ASAP. If you DO choose to buy, buy resale. And if, as you say, you fear losing your employment, you have no business buying such a luxury good as a timeshare and taking on it's never-ending commitment of paying Maintenance fee bills that always come due with the Christmas bills.

Sorry, but that's the way I see it.

Oh, and Welcome to TUG! We really are helpful, friendly people.

Jim Ricks
 

Corsy

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Clarify

Let me clarify a few things. First, I wasn't questioning whether or not to rescind, it is my full intention to do so...we put down the deposit knowing we had the opportunity to cancel and wanted to do the research so thanks for the advice, but that decision has already been made. Second, while we may lose our jobs we are reasonably debt free and have other income sources so that is why I am considering doing this, because we can pay for it now and I'm not concerned to be able to pay later for the Maintenance fees, although it's ashame that I feel so judged so quickly here. My question is that since clearly a week system doesn't work for me, does someone have a suggestion of a system that would work for me, I would appreciate the recommendation since I know nothing about any of the systems! Part of the reason we considered buying direct was because we were able to split it up!
 

Ridewithme38

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Let me clarify a few things. First, I wasn't questioning whether or not to rescind, it is my full intention to do so...we put down the deposit knowing we had the opportunity to cancel and wanted to do the research so thanks for the advice, but that decision has already been made. Second, while we may lose our jobs we are reasonably debt free and have other income sources so that is why I am considering doing this, because we can pay for it now and I'm not concerned to be able to pay later for the Maintenance fees, although it's ashame that I feel so judged so quickly here. My question is that since clearly a week system doesn't work for me, does someone have a suggestion of a system that would work for me, I would appreciate the recommendation since I know nothing about any of the systems! Part of the reason we considered buying direct was because we were able to split it up!

RCI points or Wyndham would be my two recommendations, but it depends on where you like to travel and how fancy the places are you like to stay in...its really hard to nail down since everyone has different locations they love and different work/school schedules
 

Corsy

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We like to stay in relatively nice places, hence why we wanted to do this. We do go to Orlando quite often which was why we were looking there but that will change in a matter of 5-10 years so I want something that will trade easily especially because for the vacations my husband and I take alone, they certainly won't be to Disney! We also have to stay in hotels several times a year for work so thought this could help with that too...and the salesman told use that we could split the week so I guess that was a lie. Tell me more about Wyndham and RCI? Anyone else have a suggestion? Thanks for the help!
 

puppymommo

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Hi, Corsy, welcome!

There are many points based systems out there which allow less than 7 day stays. The one I'm most familiar with is Wyndham, which I have owned for about a dozen years and am for the most part quite happy with it.

Part of it depends on where you want to travel. Some systems have resorts in one area of the country and not another. Wyndham is good in the east (Northeast, East coast, Florida) and Midwest/Midsouth (Missouri, Tennessee). They have a number in California but not much on the coast, nothing in the pacific northwest.

Folks on this discussion board usually advise to buy a timeshare or a system that has resorts within driving distance of where you live. That way, if finances are tight and you can't afford to fly to a vacation spot, you can still enjoy a vacation closer to home.

If your job situation might be up in the air for the next year or so, you might consider renting from other owners to test the waters with a few resort chains to get an idea of which is the right one for you.

Agagin, welcome! :hi:
 

DeniseM

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Let me clarify a few things. First, I wasn't questioning whether or not to rescind, it is my full intention to do so...we put down the deposit knowing we had the opportunity to cancel and wanted to do the research so thanks for the advice, but that decision has already been made. Second, while we may lose our jobs we are reasonably debt free and have other income sources so that is why I am considering doing this, because we can pay for it now and I'm not concerned to be able to pay later for the Maintenance fees, although it's ashame that I feel so judged so quickly here. My question is that since clearly a week system doesn't work for me, does someone have a suggestion of a system that would work for me, I would appreciate the recommendation since I know nothing about any of the systems! Part of the reason we considered buying direct was because we were able to split it up!

First of all, you didn't say you were going to rescind in your original post, so the advice you got was spot on. But no one is judging you - in fact most of us have been in your shoes. We are just very frank about $$$ here.

As far as buying, I recommend that you hang around TUG for 6 mos. and do a lot of reading. There really isn't any "one-size-fits-all" answer. Wyndham might be a good fit, and we have a Wyndham forum on TUG.

Please reconsider buying a timeshare in your financial situation. It is easy to buy a timeshare and very difficult to sell it - and sometimes even impossible to give it away.

You should be concerned about the maintenance fee. If you can't pay it, they will turn you over to collections and it will ruin your credit. Do you know that a 2 bdm. Vistana maintenance fee is going to be in the $1,000+ range and come due right after Christmas every year?
 
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puppymommo

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We also have to stay in hotels several times a year for work so thought this could help with that too...and the salesman told use that we could split the week so I guess that was a lie.

It was not necessarily a lie that you could split the week. Some systems/resort chains do allow it. What is likely to have been a lie, or at best misdirection, is any suggestion that ONLY a developer (retail) purchase is worthwhile. Most benefits of timesharing apply to both retail and resale purchasers, although generally there are some benefits reserved solely for retail purchasers, these are usually (perhaps never) worth the thousands of dollars more for the retail purchase.

Also, in systems that include the possiblilty of using some of your points for hotel stays, this does not generally provide the best use of your points.
 

DeniseM

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Here are some questions you can answer if you like to clarify your needs:

1) Where do you want your home resort to be?
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?
3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?
4) How many people do you usually travel with?
5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule?
6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance?
7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time?
8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars?
9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?
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?
11) Are you a detail oriented planner?
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?
 

ronparise

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Several factors led me to Wyndham.

1) There are several resorts close to my home Daytona, Pompano and Orlando within a 4 hour drive. Several resorts in the Florida panhandle, Georgia Tenn, and New Orleans, and the Carolina's are within a days drive. The added expense (plane fare) and the advance planning necessary for resorts further away would mean I wouldnt be able to go as often or on short notice

2) Wyndham is a points system so a 3 day getaway is possible

3) Although quite nice, the properties are not 5 star quality which is good, because Im not a 5 star kind of guy, by budget or personality.

4) Financially Wyndham works for me. The buy in was next to nothing and the maintenance fees reasonable (not cheap) and I am able to pay monthly

5) Wyndham has properties in San Francisco where my daughter and grandkids live, and in Washington DC where My wife and I both have family. When I found out that the only 2 timeshares in the DC area are Wyndham, that sealed the deal

Wyndham works for me. It might for you too

I think most of us Wyndham owners would agree we are happy with the resorts, the staff at the resorts and on the phone, the computer system, even the maintenance fees.....in fact everything but the sales staff


By the way; usually when someone says they might lose their job the assumption is that that's a bad thing and they will have less disposable income...Given that assumption, the advice you got was reasonable. Now that I know what you meant; (no job means you will have the time to vacation and spend all that money you have) Ill change my advice and say...Go for it

Seriously, the thing I like least about TUG, is all the unsolicited advice thats given here. (and Im one of the biggest offenders) Be assured however all that advice is well intentioned and not judgmental (well not too judgmental)
 

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Thanks!

Thank you for all of that info. In my original posting I did in fact say that we were going to now cancel and I am not waivering from that decision. I guess all of the information is really confusing. The only reason I mentioned the job situation is that NOW is when we have the money to put up front to guarantee that we'll still be able to vacation later...I assure you that maintenance fees are NOT a problem, we can afford the $1000 a year or whatever it ends up being. I'm just trying to figure out where is best. Denyse asks where we will likely go at least half of the time and that would be Orlando at least for the upcoming 5-10 years, but then that will change. I guess my question then is that if the Starwood salesman said that I can split the week and resale has the same benefits as retail, could I not then split it if I bought resale? Sorry to sound like an idiot, this is all new to me! And if Wyndham is what is recommended, should I do an Orlando one and if so, what does anyone recommend?
 

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I would look at Hilton. It's very easy to book 3 and 4 day vacations and they have 3 very nice Orlando resorts.

They don't have as many locations as the other hotel systems, but you can easily trade through RCI for years you don't want to go to Orlando. And, a resale unit gets all the same perks as a developer unit (except it doesn't count toward elite status -- not a big deal for most people), including the ability to convert to hotel points if you're not using your week (there's even an ability to use some of the points and convert others).

The quality of their resorts is very similar to Starwood but they run a tighter ship as far as expenses are concerned (much lower maintenance fees than your average Starwood resort).
 

LisaRex

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First of all, you didn't say you were going to rescind in your original post, so the advice you got was spot on.

See the third sentence of the OP. :)

I agree with everyone that rescinding is a great decision. First and foremost because your travel patterns (4-5 nights at a time) are not well suited for Starwood's system. Yes, you can book 4-5 nights at a time in SVN, but only at 90 days out -- even at your home resort! So if you need to travel during popular weeks, then you may well be shut out of the dates you need. And if you have to fly to Orlando, not being allowed to book until 90 days out really limits your ability to lock in airfare sales.

I also agree with the posters who questioned the wisdom of purchasing a timeshare at this time. With tons on inventory in Orlando, rental prices are outstanding; There is absolutely no need to lock yourself into a contract! For instance, you can rent a 2 bdrm at Sheraton Vistana Villages for $190/night, all-in, through Dreams Unlimited, most weeks of the year. That is just slightly more than owners pay in MFs per night, and you don't have to book in weekly increments.

http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/Sheraton/Villages/svv-res.cfm
 

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Thank you so much for that info!! I will reiterate that we do have an income source and are looking to buy now because we have the up front money to do so! I had no idea about not being able to do Starwood less than a week only 90 days out, I'm so glad you told me that! Is that the same for Hilton and Wyndham? Do people agree that Hilton would be a good way? Do their points transfer also to hotels, does such a thing exist in ts where I could use the points any way I want, sometimes for 3 or 4 night vacations and sometimes to stay in hotels? Maybe I just don't realize that what I'm looking for isn't possible? Thanks again!!
 

ronparise

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Wyndham allows 3 and 4 day stays reserved 10 months out, or more

your original post said you had decided to rescind, but didnt say you had done it yet...have you?...It dosent make sense to me that you are planning your next move before writing and sending that rescind letter

By the way, being able to afford the purchase price is not a big deal...I have a dollar, under the pillows of my sofa too....The maintenance fees are another story. as is the air fare to get to where you are going...You really do need to think about the ongoing expense

You start off a thread with a title like "help I dont know what Im doing" and ask for advice....You're going to get it...Sorry, but most here dont tiptoe around an issue.
 

Passepartout

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Corsy, apologies for perhaps coming on a bit strongly about your needing to rescind, and rethink timeshares in general at this time. Only you know your economic situation and it was presumptive of me to put my values on you.

I have found that owning at least one resort week that is linked to RCI Points gives me the flexibility to book some stays shorter than a week. I don't do it, but I suppose it's some comfort to know that it's an available option. I also own in a mini-system that allows booking nightly stays very reasonably based on availability. Wyndham has more resorts in the Eastern US and also allows short stays. I don't own Wyndham, one reason of which is some confusion on my part about the need to pay for housekeeping when you book short stays. You only get a limited number of housekeeping credits per year, and I just think of this as weird. But that's just me and ymmv.

Denise's checklist of timeshare selection is very helpful in selecting what will give you the best bang for your vacation buck. If you answer those questions honestly for yourself, it will help.

Hang here for a while- others have said months, but give it 2-3 weeks of looking through the sub forums, find one that seems to fit and ask owners of those systems. They will help you get value and usability rather than bills that are impossible to get rid of for a timeshare that isn't a good fit for you to use.

Jim
 

Corsy

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There's no need to apologize...being new to this I probably gave too much information and I did ask for advice. What I simply should have posted was that I'm looking for a resale (yes we have rescinded) that will allow us either multiple 3 or 4 night vacations or hotel stays. We go to Orlando right now every 12-18 months right now but that won't be forever so we need to be able to exchange. Does it make the most sense to do it in Orlando? Better to buy on eBay or here? My only concern about Wyndham is that I never stay there nor see them...I see Hilton's everywhere. And I didn't know about the housekeeping credits not sure I'm about that either! I so appreciate the input and apologize if my original posting had too much info... We can afford it and want to do it...the advice I need is where and what because I'm clueless so I'm counting on experts for guidance! How do I find things out like the housekeeping credits, length of stay required, ability to transfer, ability to use at hotels, etc...?!
 

Ridewithme38

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Hang here for a while- others have said months, but give it 2-3 weeks of looking through the sub forums, find one that seems to fit and ask owners of those systems. They will help you get value and usability rather than bills that are impossible to get rid of for a timeshare that isn't a good fit for you to use.

Jim

I think it took me over a year of posting on here constantly with dumb questions before i finally bite the bullet and bought
 

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You start off a thread with a title like "help I dont know what Im doing" and ask for advice....You're going to get it...Sorry, but most here dont tiptoe around an issue.

This is the truth, it happened to me? I was pissed but i got over it :doh:
 

Passepartout

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Corsy, another thing you might consider is to use the TUG (or Redweek) classifieds to rent a week here and there while you decide. You can often rent for less than the cost of MFs so if you want to just stay for 4 days or so out of the week, it is not a big financial hit. You also get to experience what it is about TSs that we all like. The separate bedrooms, the kitchen and in suite laundry. The ability to live almost like a resident in resort-y areas of the country where we could never afford a permanent second home. You also learn about the various systems by attending their 'updates'. Just don't buy from a developer! But you seem to have gotten that memo.

Jim
 

DeniseM

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How do I find things out like the housekeeping credits, length of stay required, ability to transfer, ability to use at hotels, etc...?!

Congrats on rescinding! I did not understand from your first post that you had already done so.
:clap: :clap: :clap:

If you would like to answer the questions I posted above, that would help us, help you, and it will clarify your goals in your own mind. If you can't answer all of the questions yet, that's OK. That just means you need to do more research.

Secondly, TUG has dedicated forums for each of the major timeshare systems. Based on what you have posted so far, it sounds like Wyndham would be a good match for you. So I recommend that you start your research by:
1. visiting the Wyndham forum
2. read all of the info. posted at the top of that forum
3. browse through the posts on the forum and do a lot of reading
4. then - ask some questions

If what you learn doesn't interest you, move on to one of the other forums.

Whatever you do:
1. Take your time - there is a lot of info. to digest
2. Buy resale
 

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It's been said before. If you don't know what you are doing why are you throwing tens of thousands of dollars at it? You do that with a fiver or tenner, not serious money. No developer is going to offer you a deal on timeshares today that you can't get tomorrow. Rescind, sit back, read and study and if it's still for you then you can get the same deal later.
 
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