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Potential Purchaser Looking for Advice

apples23

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Hey There,

I've roaming the forums here for a while, and just decided to sign up.

I'm currently contemplating purchasing a unit at WKORV. I rented a studio unit from a timeshare owner last January, and completely fell in love with both the island and the resort. I'm a new father, and am looking down the road at how costly and difficult hotel room vacations can be with kids, hence my interest in timeshare.

Im leaning towards buying a 1 bedroom even or odd year unit on resale. My reasoning for the 1 bdrm, is obviously the lower cost of both the unit and MF. I'm not looking at an annual unit, as I'm in Canada and the hike to Hawaii is pretty far, and likely not something that ill do on an annual basis.

I also really like the flexibility that the SVO units seem to offer whereby you can book on a float week basis, and there seem to be some great vacation options.

So here's the debate:

1. I will probably not even make it to Maui every 2 years, more likely every 4. My intent is to exchange through Starwood to go elsewhere in those interim years. Does it make more sense to look at the Westin KV? My concern is that the rentability of the units doesnt seem to be as strong at KV in the event that I needed to forfeit a season.

2. I know that it's tough to speculate, but given then state of the US economy, would I be better off on purchasing in the new year, in the event that the market continues to travel in the same direction.

3. Are there any other variables that I should be considering here?

I've been poking around, and seen what seems to be relatively good deals. One unit that I have my eye on can be purchased for under $8k.

I'd love to hear some advice from existing owners. I don't really know anybody who owns a timeshare, and for the most part I've been getting the "stay clear, bad investment" advice from friends and family.

Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long winded post.
 
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DeniseM

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Welcome to TUG! :hi:

1. I will probably not even make it to Maui every 2 years, more likely every 4. My intent is to exchange through Starwood to go elsewhere in those interim years. Does it make more sense to look at the Westin KV? My concern is that the rentability of the units doesnt seem to be as strong at KV in the event that I needed to forfeit a season.
Hawaii has high maintenance fees and we've seen large increases every year (I bought preconstruction.) If you aren't going to Hawaii at least every 4 years, you would save money by buying at WKV and exchanging in. However, if having a great view is important to you, then you should buy ocean view at WKORV for the owner's priority for view.

As far as renting - I would not buy to rent. With the state of our economy and the surplus of rentals on the market, it's just not a good bet right now.

2. I know that it's tough to speculate, but given then state of the US economy, would I be better off on purchasing in the new year, in the event that the market continues to travel in the same direction.
I think so - Owners will be getting MF bills within a month and I bet we will see a lot of units dumped on the market.

3. Are there any other variables that I should be considering here?
You should consider buying a very low cost non-SVN (voluntary) resort and using II to exchange into the high cost resorts for a fraction of the price. Have you read the info. about the 3 day priority that all Starwood resorts have on II for other Starwood resorts? In a nutshell, people have been using inexpensive Starwood weeks they pick up on ebay for a few hundred dollars or less, and exchanging into the Hawaii resorts and Lagunamar, for a fraction of the cost of owning a mandatory resort. If you can vacation off-season, that's the way to go.
 

vacationtime1

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As you have figured out, timesharing is a great way to take high-end beach vacations with kids at a reasonable cost. The question for you is what kind of vacation and how often.

You don't mention view. In Hawaii, you pay for view -- island view, ocean view, ocean front. That is an upfront cost differential when your purchase; the maintenance fee will be the same. But if you don't use your Hawaii TS as an owner (i.e. you exchange via StarOptions or Interval), you get nothing for that extra money. On the other hand, if you exchange in (i.e. such as via a StarOption reservation or via Interval), you probably get an island view.

Unless ocean view is very important to you, I suggest purchasing elsewhere and exchanging into Hawaii rather than out of Hawaii; Hawaii prices and MF's are high. Or you could rent; you can even rent ocean view if you want.
 

apples23

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I know very little about II trading. Is it just that easy, I buy a voluntary Starwood unit, and it will have the same trade value on II as WKORV?

Again, my fundamental interest here really is Hawaii....that is a location that I know that we'll go to every 4 years or so. Is there any advantage in buying KV over a cheaper voluntary for me?

We're looking for flexibility on travel timing...we wont really be using it during Xmas break, but the winter months are when Ill go. Also, view is not hugely important. The $8k 1 bdrm at WKORV was an Oceanview, but it wouldnt be a deal breaker.

Is there a Starwood non-SVO resort that holds solid trade value that you'd recommend? How would this work on II? My big concern with these really inexpensive resort is that it would be tough to get rid of in the event that I needed to unload it down the road. Obviously, I wouldnt expect to make money on the unit, but some of these seem tough to get rid of for free.

Resorts like WKORV seem like theyll always be sellable, even if I had to sell at a loss in 20 years to get out of the MF.

Thanks again.
 
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TomH

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If you love a resort and location, buy there! Trading can save some money but the ease of reservation and lack of stress associated with trading is worth the slight increase in cost. I just recently bought a WKORV 2 bedroom EOY OV for a great price. Deals are to be found. Just another opinion:)
 

DeniseM

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I know very little about II trading. Is it just that easy, I buy a voluntary Starwood unit, and it will have the same trade value on II as WKORV?
Exchanging with II and exchanging with Starwood are two completely different things. To exchange with Starwood you are exchanging Staroptions and you have to own enough Staroptions for the exchanges you want. A 1-bdm. at WKORV has enough Staroptions for any 1 bdm. in Starwood.

Exchanging with II is completely different. Starwood owners have a 3-day priority in II for any other Starwood resort. That means that when Starwood weeks are deposited, only Starwood owners can reserve them for the first 3 days. So a very low cost Starwood TS that you buy on ebay can be used to reserve Hawaii, Cancun, and the other big resorts when they are deposited on II. Since Starwood chooses the weeks that are deposited, they are mostly off-season. (Non-Holiday weeks.) So that means you can buy a $500 timshares on ebay, pay $550 a year MF, and exchange into a resort that costs $15K+ on the resale market with $1,600 in MF. It has nothing to do with how many Staroptions you own. Owners have even been able to exchange 1 bdm. units for 2 bdm. units using this method.

There is tons of info. about exchanging with II here, and a whole article in Owner Resources. You can save yourself over $7K on your purchase price, and $1K a year in MF, by investigating this option before you buy.

To find out what other owners see on II, join TUG so you can access the members only Sightings Board where members list what TS's they can see and reserve on II.

My big concern with these really inexpensive resort is that it would be tough to get rid of in the event that I needed to unload it down the road. Resorts like WKORV seem like theyll always be sellable, even if I had to sell at a loss in 20 years to get out of the MF.
True - but if you have to give away a $500 timeshare - you are only losing $500. If you have to sell your $8,000 timeshare for half what you paid, you are losing $4,000!
 
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DeniseM

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If you love a resort and location, buy there! Trading can save some money but the ease of reservation and lack of stress associated with trading is worth the slight increase in cost. I just recently bought a WKORV 2 bedroom EOY OV for a great price. Deals are to be found. Just another opinion:)
The week he is looking at is $8K on the resale market. He can buy a voluntary resort for less than $500 and also save $1,000 a year on the MF. That is far more than a slight increase in price!
 

califgal

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I'm a new father, and am looking down the road at how costly and difficult hotel room vacations can be with kids, hence my interest in timeshare
We LOVE our WKORV we like many on this board we purchased developer and then learned about TUG. We bought IVEOY. We live in CA and wish we had purchased EYOV.

We have 2 school age kids who were 1st grade and 4th grade when we puchased and now 6th grade and 9th grade. We can't stand to stay in hotel rooms, we are spoiled by our WKORV.

It's hard to believe as a new parent, but before you know it ,your baby will be in school and you will only be able to travel during peak times. So you will need to consider that when you think about where you purchase and trading, especially with an EOY purchase. It's easy to think you'll take the kids out of school to travel, but it's a drag to take the books and homework on vacation, even when they are young.
 

DeniseM

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Califgal - I would agree with you if he was going to Hawaii EY or even EOY - but for 1 out of 4 years or even less often, I can't see paying the extra cost to own at WKORV.
 

LisaRex

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I agree with Denise. The only 2 reasons to buy one of the TSs with costly MFs is if you want the security of being able to get the exact week you want at 12 months out and/or you want to secure a certain view. If you'd be okay trading into an IV WKORV once every 4 years, then I'd recommend buying an EOY WKV and simply trading in every other use year. The savings you'll realize in MFs is substantial and can be used towards activities on the Maui, such as snorkeling trips, horseback riding, etc.

One caveat is that the OPer is a new dad, which means that in a few years he'll be a slave to the school calendar. School break times tend to be the most in-demand weeks. With the third phase of WKORV on the back burner for the time being, once the economy turns it won't be nearly as easy to trade into Hawaii as it is now. However, if he's a planner and can be somewhat flexible, I think he'll be okay.

That being said, if he can pick up a tremendous deal for a better view, then he's going to have to decide whether the extra $$ is worth the security of owning at the resort he's fallen in love with.

Good luck and I hope you find a fantastic bargain no matter where you buy.
 

apples23

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Sorry to revive the thread, but I have a few more questions.

Im considering all of the advice above, and think that Im the most interested in WKV to trade into Maui. I like the ease of trading through Starwood with a manditory unit vs the more involved trades through II.

The unit that Im currently looking at the an EOY 2 Bdrm gold unit at around the $5k mark with 81000 Staroptions. Does this seem like a good buy, or should I be holding out? Ideally, Id like to find a plat annual 1 bdrm w the same point rating in that price range as the MF would be similar, but im not sure if thats realistic.

This may be a stupid question, but even though this is a gold unit, can I trade for any available week in Maui, or am I restricted to my deeded weeks?

Lastly, should I be worried about trading into Maui long term? Will this become more difficult as the economy recovers? I have no experience with Starwood trading, are the avails usually there in the non-holiday weeks? Im mostly interested in Jan, March, and Dec.

Thanks again for the help.
 
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James1975NY

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Sorry to revive the thread, but I have a few more questions.

Im considering all of the advice above, and think that Im the most interested in WKV to trade into Maui. I like the ease of trading through Starwood with a manditory unit vs the more involved trades through II.

The unit that Im currently looking at the an EOY 2 Bdrm gold unit at around the $5k mark with 81000 Staroptions. Does this seem like a good buy, or should I be holding out? Ideally, Id like to find a plat annual 1 bdrm w the same point rating in that price range as the MF would be similar, but im not sure if thats realistic.

This may be a stupid question, but even though this is a gold unit, can I trade for any available week in Maui, or am I restricted to my deeded weeks?

Lastly, should I be worried about trading into Maui long term? Will this become more difficult as the economy recovers? I have no experience with Starwood trading, are the avails usually there in the non-holiday weeks? Im mostly interested in Jan, March, and Dec.

Thanks again for the help.
This is a good buy; however, I would consider purchasing a premium (large) one bedroom at this property for the platinum season. It may cost more on the sales price but you will have less maintenance fees every year. Do you know what your total costs are above the sales price?
 

apples23

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Ideally thats what at like to find, but the only units that Ive seen are annuals, and in the $11k range. Has anyone seen a EOY 1 bdrm prem plat?

It looks like im in for $750 on top of the purchase for closing.
 

susiequeve

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Just my 2 cents here, We paid $13,000 for a EOY 2bdrm Gold Unit at Kierland about 5 years ago. We purchased directly from the developer before we found TUG. OUCH!! I would say $5,000 is an excellent deal for a resort like Kierland. We are booked at Harborside (Atlantis) for May 2009, using an internal trade. :whoopie:
 

LisaRex

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The only location where your season comes into play is your home resort. If you buy a gold season at WKV, then you can book your unit, within the season you bought, at 12 months out.

If you want to use StarOptions to trade to any other resort in SVN, or another unit/season at your home resort, then you have to wait until the SVN float period opens up at 8 months out.

Your 81,000 StarOptions will buy a unit at any other resort in the network with an equal or lesser value. Currently 81k will get you a 1 bdrm any week of the year (except event weeks) at all of the SVN resorts, including Hawaii resorts, WSJ, or Harborside.

See the Owner's Resource sticky above for how many SO's you'll need for other resorts.
 
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