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Relative Newbie- Experts, Analyze my Purchases and My Future Purchasing Thoughts

alexadeparis

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First, let me say that I have learned a lot from lurking on these boards, and I thank everyone for posting all the valuable info that I have gotten from these forums. :clap:

I found TUG after I made my first purchase. :eek: Fortunately, I have always been cheap, so at least I had the sense to purchase them all at resale. Feel free to be critical as needed, I would like to know what you think.

I have been lurking for a long time, and reading all of the wonderful advice on TUG, so I thought I would finally post. Please feel free to comment on any or all of the purchases - I am just looking for feedback. I am open to suggestions for tweaking my TS portfolio.

My husband and I are going to go stay at each timeshare (when available for use) and then, if we decide we don't like it, we will dump immediately upon return (unless someone tells me a reason why I shouldn't). I will try to be as thorough as possible in the description so you can give the best Feedback possible. Any price listed here is the total price, including transfer fee, closing, as well as sale price, etc. I have never paid back maintenance fees as of yet in buying. Here goes.

Part I - Purchases:

Purchase #1:
Causeway on Gull, Nisswa, MN - old section, 2 bedroom, RCI Silver Crown, Fixed Week 15, Blue Season, Annual, MF $660 - Total Price - $102.50
Purchased for hubby and cousin strictly to go fishing, but don't know if that is too early for fishing season or ?? - this might be one of the potential "visit-and-dump" TS's. Bought this one off ebay before finding TUG.

Purchase #2:
Riverpointe Napa, Napa, CA- EVEN Biennial - 2 Bedroom, Float 1-52, 13,500 CVC points, II 5 Star Resort, MF - every year $425 ($850 per use) = Total Ebay Price $676
Purchased even though it is a trailer(!), because we love wine country and $850 (MF per stay) will not get you a very good hotel in Wine country, so figured at least we could know where we are staying each time even if quality is less than posh. In wine country, focus is not on accomodations, at least for us. We don't need to go every year, every other is enough. Also, apparently there are two internal exchange systems, California Vacation Club, with no exchange fee, and Grand Pacific Resorts, with a $150 or so exchange fee. Also, I bought this because I wanted an II unit for possible exchanging (all others are RCI), but after researching, think this is probably not a good trader in II(?)

Purchase #3 - Vacances Vaugrenier, Villeneuve-Loubet, France (Cote D'Azur) Annual Fixed Week #43, One Bedroom, White Season, RCI, MF $430 Euros, guessing about $700 US per year. Total price was $200 Euros, with exchange rate and wire transfer, all in price was $353.88. My only non-Ebay purchase, bought resale direct from resort.
Purchased because this is where we have always wanted to go - most likely will use one year and either rent or exchange the other year because airfare is high to France (even in this slow time of year). The resort rents the units for you for more than MF, or you can go through RCI to exchange. Also thinking about combining with an II exchange (see purchase #2) into Marriott Ile De France for a week before or after (Paris is about 6 hours away from here by train.)

Purchase #4:
Wyndham Palm Aire, Pompano Beach, FL, 154K Biennial ODD, Total Ebay Price $644. MF:$721.44 per use year, (paid half each year).
Again, following TUG rationale, I bought this one because my cousin lives in Ft Lauderdale, figured we could visit him as a default if we couldn't get other Wyndham ressies. I am not a big beachgoer, so I didn't go for the other two in Pompano.


Part II - Future TS Purchases:
Pondering my next purchases- please advise - it will be only ONE of these options, then I think I am done buying timeshares (unless I sell some of the above):

a) Marriott - not sure yet since finding out they may pull out of II and get their own internal ressie system. It seems based on what I have read that you have to go through II to exchange Marriott to Marriott - seems like a hassle - plus ROFR keeps everyone guessing. If I bought here, I know to buy platinum week, possibly lockoff, and not in Vegas or Orlando, - but unsure where I should buy.

b) Hilton HGVC - 5000 point package, seems points based like Wyndham, with internal reservations, but better quality (correct me if I'm wrong here). ROFR is also a factor, too, I think. Like the locations in this system. Can you rent points if you need more?

c) Worldmark - 6000 points package -again, based on what I have read, flexible in that you can rent points if needed up to the amount you already own. Confused about HK fee account v. no HK fee account. Seems to be a good quality system and from what I have read, a good II trader. Again, correct me if I am misunderstanding.

d) Royal Holiday Club - love the destinations - but confused as there seem to be older weeks and newer points - need to know whether resale weeks can be converted to points or not before buying - couldn't seem to nail this info down. Love to go to Europe - hoping this would get me there either directly or indirectly through an exchange. Don't know much about this one at all.

e) ???? - open to suggestions- Feel free to advise me. I know my next purchase will probably cost more than my 4 purchases listed above combined. I want to have a "luxury" timeshare - like the four mentioned above - but really not sure which one. Want the best bang for my buck that will allow me the trading power flexibility to trade into at least Europe and Canada, if not most of the world.


Thoughts? Comments?
 
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vacationhopeful

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Welcome to TUG.

Have you ever stayed at a timeshare resort yet?

IMHO, you are buying stuff thinking if I don't like it, I will sell it. These units were CHEAP for a reason. You may be paying multiple MFs for places you truly dislike and are poor traders ==> because no one will buy them from you, esp. when airfares are high and unemployment is rising.

Suggest you rent for your next "short term" purchase - many for several years, clean out any clutter in your TS portfolio, then rent at several locations before signing back on to eBay.

Just one TUGGER's opinion -
 
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alexadeparis

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I have only stayed at one TS, during a presentation that I did not buy (Marriott). I did do a bit of research before buying these, but I have not stayed at any of these as of yet. I understand why they may have been cheap, but I guess what I am saying is that I am willing to take a chance on the ones I have bought so far because they are all places that I have visited frequently in the past without a timeshare. I go to MN every year, wine country at least every two or three, and FL yearly.

So even if not a good exchanger, I would be willing to stay there myself, provided I like the resort. Even if I had to get rid of any of the above timeshares, I feel like I haven't really spent enough on them to regret having to give away for $1, or donate. If I lose the entire purchase price, so be it. That is not so much of a concern, the concern would be wasting my precious vacation time somewhere I don't want to stay. So if we don't like it, we would rather cut our losses sooner rather than later. Time is money as they say. I don't really expect any of these to sell for what I paid for them, as long as I can get out if I need to, but of course, that would be nice if they did sell for what I paid.
 

DeniseM

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vacationhopeful

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As a fellow Wyndham Points owner, you brought into a nice system. Getting on the online reservation system is a candy store of vacations. At 90 days before checkin, you can "rent" points from Wyndham for $5.00 per 1,000 points. The limit on number of points is equal to the number you own. I don't know if you can rent in your non-use year; but the online reservation is programmed to process this function, asking for the credit card number.

At the time you make your standard reservation for your vacation (10 months to 91 days before checkin), you can ONLY rent points to complete the 7th night of your desired reservation. These points are $10 for 1,000 pts.

When I first got my online account, I booked a weekend trip to experiment with the both the computer system and Wyndham. I had been a guest at several Wyndham resorts before and onsite visited several other Wyndhams.
And if you mess up the reservation, call the 1-800 number like immediately - the VC can usually correct your goof. Done that several times.:ignore:

I brought a resale resort sight unseen because I liked the mapquest location. Just was NOT prepared for the PINK - pink walls, pink cabinets, pink kitchen countertops, pink end tables, pink everything. My family still laughs whenever we see pink - as the look on my face when opening the door, was PRICELESS. My 2 DS (one BIL) were at a lost for words - until the politically correct DS said "It looks clean". I was about to start crying. Turns out that was one of the better looking units.:eek:

I hope your purchases are diamonds that you enjoy with your family. :cheer:
 

lprstn

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I'd add a Starwood to your list...heck why not...

If you hubby loves boating/fishing also consider a Tradewinds purchase...
 

alexadeparis

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hadn't heard of Tradewinds - did a quick search but most threads only mentioned it tangentally - is there somewhere on TUG that has info on this?
 

BocaBum99

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I would have recommended against making any of these purchases.

1) The Blue week purchase in Minnesota is not a good idea. That's because you can probably rent one for less than $300 per year or less with no future obligations. If you are going to buy a Blue week, buy a point system where you pay less maintenance fees than a red week owner. You are subsidizing summer weeks usage for other owners. For that, they thank you.

2) I wouldn't pay $850 to rent a trailer. I would have researched Grand Pacific Resorts and CPC and found a resort with lower maintenance fees and higher trading power. I would have only bought this if you fell in love with the trailer and wanted to stay in it most of the time.

3) I would never buy a timeshare for a single year unless I knew I was going to turn it for a profit. You have no idea what the trading power or rental value is. Had you done that analysis and found that it was a strong trader for how much MF you paid or gave you a really high return on invested capital, then it would be more interesting.

4) Palm Aire has a higher maintenance fee and tax rate than it would cost to rent the points from another owner. That's a bad purchase. I would have spent the same amount of money on a resort with a much lower maintenance fee and just booked Palm Aire whenever you wanted to use it and pay less maintenance fees.

I am much more positive about your future purchase ideas. Those are much stronger than your initial ones.
 

linsj

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b) Hilton HGVC - 5000 point package, seems points based like Wyndham, with internal reservations, but better quality (correct me if I'm wrong here). ROFR is also a factor, too, I think. Like the locations in this system. Can you rent points if you need more?

From what I've read here, Hilton is better quality than most Wyndhams.

No, you can't rent more points; but you may borrow next year's.
 

alexadeparis

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BocaBum,

Any alternative suggestions? As I said, I am open to switching these around and selling if I find I don't care for them. Is there any specific resort, for example, in the Napa area that you were thinking of?
 
J

JoeMid

Purchase #1:
brrrrrrr, I guess if you are a snowmobiler but no other reason

Purchase #2:
you might start focusing on accomodations, very much a part of the vacation experience, don't know what 13,500 really gets you but if it's a week for $850 that's not good

Purchase #3
off season, if you believe the resort will successfully rent your unit bully for you, they will rent all theirs that they haven't sold to people like you first

Purchase #4:
77K a year isn't much and MFs & taxes are high here

You probably should have done more posting and less lurking, good luck. It gets hard to manage when you have so many different resorts/systems. If you haven't lurked here, you should.
 
J

JoeMid

Royal Holiday Club - love the destinations - but confused as there seem to be older weeks and newer points - need to know whether resale weeks can be converted to points or not before buying - couldn't seem to nail this info down. Love to go to Europe - hoping this would get me there either directly or indirectly through an exchange. Don't know much about this one at all.
If you don't know much you can read the recent succinct article in TST or just go here. A resale week can be much more valuable than points as explained at TS4Ms, but if you want to pay for an upgrade/more points, RHC will convert it.
 

Cathyb

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Answer to your Worldmark Housekeeping question: After your first stop at a WM property where housekeeping fees are free, the rest of your visits that year will entail housekeeping fees that vary according to size of unit.

There are a few Housekeeping packages (much more expensive to buy) that Housekeeping is free with no limit.

We like WM--went to Figi, stopping at 5 WM resorts from Victoria to Depoe Bay next summer, taking 3 nights in St. George on way to Colorado family visit, stayed in the one in Wine Country for a night. Lots of flexibility. We bought a 10,000 credit pkg and use it every other year making it 20,000 usage. It is NOT the quality of Westin or Marriott -- more like Marriott Courtyard :)
 

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I am not an expert on timeshares as the above posters are but I love to read posts such as yours about your portfolio of timeshares and the reasons you own them. I am more positive than some of the above people. I have stayed at Riverpointe Napa Valley in one of the trailers and was actually pleasantly surprised and think you may be too if your focus is not on accommodations, as you say. I thought the trailers were cute and comfortable enough and located in a pretty spot by the river. The river flooded and they pulled the trailers to higher ground earlier in the year, however, just so you know that can happen. But Riverpointe had some good winetasting activities that we enjoyed and it is located, as you know, in an area with all kinds of things to do. I would happily go back, especially every other year.

I read the reviews on your third purchase, Vaugrenier, and it sounds fantastic. The problem is the expense and effort to travel that far. I own at Allen House in London and have been able to bank a week internally, then use it and the next year's week together to warrant the trip so maybe you can see if you can do that. We wouldn't have gone to England so often without the timeshare -- it kind of forces us to make that kind of ambitious trip but it has been worth it.

I am wowed by how little you spent to purchase your portfolio -- well less than $2,000. Your annual maintenance fees are more -- $2,146 which is something to consider. However, over a two year period it works out to $4,292 for six weeks of vacation or a little over $100 a night. If you get into RCI or II, then figure in the membership and exchange fees. I can't help doing some calculations like that since I was an accountant, but I don't think money is the most important thing when it comes to timeshares. Travel, adventure and fun are and I think you will have a lot of fun going to your new places.
 

yumdrey

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Like other tuggers said, if you use your TS, they are great! If you bought some of them for rental purpose, it's not a good idea. I would get rid of the "rental purpose" TS asap, then will buy more TS.
I have HGVC 5000 points package, it has great flexibility and wonderful resorts, but they are not many. Worldmark is a good trader through II, and most of the resales are NOT "No HKT needed".
If I were you, I would get rid of your CA TS, France TS and MN TS, and then purchase Worldmark with higher than 6000 credits (10000 - 20000), or buy Marriott. Trading through II, worldmark can get Marriott france location easily. Worldmark has many resorts in CA including winery area.
I have no wyndham points, so I cannot tell you about it.
 

mamiecarter

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Why do you think it will be so east to sell them?

Timeshares are hard to sell. Undesirable weeks are hard or even impossible to sell. Do not assume that you can sell your timeshares.

If you can exchange what you don't use yourself you will do OK.
 

alexadeparis

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Thanks to all who have posted so far. I will look into the magazine and the RHC articles.

As I had stated earlier, I am open to suggestions as to what to change or give away, etc. I am sure I am not the only person on this board who has had to adjust their portfolio.

I understand that I would not likely get my purchase price back for these,and don't really care about it. Let me be clear, I am not trying to make money off these TS's, I simply want to take at least 3 weeks of vacation a year for approx. $100 a night or so. I bought where I wanted to stay, but naturally, like anyone else, I will want to exchange elsewhere from time to time.

The way that these timeshares are set up, I have a vacation week in Mid-April (so I am not sure about the snowmobiling comment), a week at the end of October, and two biennials that float, hopefully so I can take a summer week and vacation every 16-17 weeks or so in the course of a year. I certainly am not saying that I think these are top notch resorts or prime weeks or anything like that.

It seems like the responses are mostly based on monetary value, or profit taking, and that was not what I was necessarily asking. I would however, be interested to know everyone's thoughts on my future possibilities, so that I can get one of these done right going forward.

I want to have a balance of 1) decent trading power if I want to exchange, 2) reasonable MF's and 3) moderate to nice quality of room and amenities. However, when I go on vacation, I certainly don't spend a hell of a lot of time in the rooms, so a clean bathroom and a soft bed would be sufficient if push came to shove - provided the destination was a good one.
 

e.bram

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Your desires are not unique. However to get a prime season unit in a desirable location, it will cost(no free lunch)
 

alexadeparis

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meaning? :confused:
I assume you are saying get rid of what I have, but then do what? What do you suggest? Any system in particular?
 

Jennie

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"I understand that I would not likely get my purchase price back for these, and don't really care about it".

The problem is that many people who own mediocre or poor weeks are unable to get rid of them at all--not even for $1.00 on Ebay. And charities that once accepted any timeshare week as a donation, will no longer take a week unless they are sure they can sell it easily.

There are large numbers of people who are "stuck" with weeks they no longer want nor use, and cannot unload. They have to pay never-ending annual maintenance fees (and sometimes Special Assessments) or risk having judgments, liens, and/or serious damage done to their credit rating. I personally know people this has happened to. There was an article at smartmoney.com entitled "How to escape from Timeshare Hell" which painted a bleak picture of the subject.

Do a search here on the BBS forums for "postcard companies" to learn about groups of vultures who convince timeshare owners to pay them $3495.to take an unwanted timeshare off their hands.

Sorry to sound so negative but IMHO you have really not done enough homework to fully comprehend the serious pitfalls of what you are doing. Please stop buying timeshares until you obtain more knowledge.

I currently own 18 timeshare weeks and Points products, including Wyndham-Fairfield fixed weeks and Points, and RCI Points. One of the first weeks I acquired cannot be "unloaded." Fortunately I received it free. I've learned how to obtain decent trades but it took me years to figure it all out, and hours of searching each year to derive any benefit from it.

I tried to walk away from another timeshare I owned after it fell into the hands of "crooks" who doubled the maintenance fees over a 4 year period, levied bogus Special Assessments, refused to hold open annual meetings or provide the owners with any financial statements, and let the "resort" fall into a serious state of disrepair. Then they started charging owners and exchangers a $20. per person per day "resort and utility fee", even for children over the age of 11. (This was in the late 1990's when extra fees were unheard of). What had initially been a great trader, and nice place to stay, became an albatross. Trading power became nil because no one wanted to pay an RCI exchange fee plus the $20. pp per day fees, especially to stay at a rundown place.

A group of unhappy owners, myself included, joined together and tried to fight back. They left us alone for years and we thought we were "home free." That's until 4 years later when I received a notice from my bank ststing that thousands of dollars had been taken from my account to satisfy a judgment the resort had obtained for the unpaid maintenance fees and Special assessments. None of us had been properly served. Those who travelled hundreds or thousands of miles to have the judgment set aside were told they would have to return for a "trial" in 6-8 weeks. Most wound up allowing the resort to keep the money in return for cancelling the judgment and letting them terminate their ownership.

My advice to you is to read reviews in the members-only section of TUG and www.tripadvisor.com and possibly Timesharing Today Magazine. If a resort sounds promising, rent a week (or a few nights) there or at least visit the resort to make sure that you like it and would like to stay there every year or two.

Exchanging is tricky and often times frustrating and/or unsuccessful, especially if you do not have a "tiger trader" i.e. a high demand week and a larger size unit (e.g. 2 bedroom/2bath) at a very niceresort. None of your current weeks appear to fall into that category.

If you expect to rent out your unit, make sure that you buy the right week or season and that historical figures show that comparable weeks rent well at (or preferably above) your annual fees.

Keep lurking and asking questions. But also spend mucho hours reading past posts, as the type of information you need is discussed over and over.
 
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Patri

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Don't make any more purchases for a year. Use the timeshares you have to decide if you want to keep them. If you want other vacations, rent for the week. By scanning reputable rental sites, you should be able to find what you want without the purchase investment.
And then start the enjoyable search for the right timeshares to meet your needs. That could take another year or two. Patience pays off.
 

Zac495

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Marriott is high end and it doesn't sound as though that is important to you. That said, you get great trades and often an accommodation certificate when you deposit with II. Read the Marriott boards- I don't really think they'll pull out of II, but who knows for sure... Also, Marriott has so many locations - that's why I love it.

Hilton is a great deal for the price. But they don't have near as many areas - it's perfect if you love Orlando, Las Vegas, and Hawaii. I own 5K points with Hilton and use it every other year (I borrow points so I can get a 2 bedroom).

Worldmark - I almost bought it, but I live on the East Coast. I stayed at Windsor Worldmark for our Napa trip - awesome - not luxury like Marriott, but just delightful.

I agree with other posters - I would not want to own a timeshare that I couldn't give away (let alone sell) because of the maintenance fees - you're stuck with them forever if you can't unload it.
 

freewheelin01

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I got into timesharing in the same manner as you...bought a few weeks off of Ebay for next to nothing (under $300 total for 4 weeks) - even though I had not been to the resorts. Two weeks were off season and I now realize that they may not have been the best purchases in terms of resale or trades - but I do plan on using them, so I am happy for now.

I have done lots of research here on TUG since then. My last Ebay purchase was wiser, although not expensive either. If you are a good shopper and are patient, you can get great weeks for cheap. However, if I were you, I would do more research before getting in any deeper....MF's don't go away easily!

Glad you are happy with your purchases and, as long as you can use them, have a great time!!
 

Bill4728

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We own muliple week in 3 seperate TS systems. Club Intrawest, Monarch Grand Vacations & Mountainside lodge- Shell Vacations. We have stayed in muliple other TS mostly in Marriott, WM & Hilton.

Here what my DW thinks; She like the high quality resort sytems. { right now our Club Intrawest is the only system which my DW loves to stay in ( the others are OK but not as "love"-able)} Personally, I much easier to please but need to keep DW happy! So when we buy more TS we'll be buying into Marriott, HGVC or Starwood.


Of all the point based TS systems, HGVC has IMHO, the "top of the line" resorts, and would be my first choice to buy but their limited locations are a concern. My DW doesn't want Worldmark because she doesn't find their resorts to be nice enough. And since wyndham is most the east coast ( yes I know they have resorts all over) and about the same quality as WM, they out too.

Right now we're looking at Marriott (maybe williamsburg), but will be waiting for a year or two while we help our DD get into her first house.

PS IMHO, Buying in Napa is always a good idea. But if you want something nicer, Shell has just built a very nice TS there.
 
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