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Sunterra base & maintenance fee

wrhead

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We bought Desert Paradise from Epic in 1999 and have seen our fees increase from $225 ($.045 per point) to $530 ($270 base plus $.065 per point) since the bankruptcy and takeover by Sunterra. It seems to me that the base fee penalizes those with smaller holdings.
While I could justify my initial purchase, it no longer makes any sense to me and I need to explore my options. Has anyone else had a similar experience?
 

BocaBum99

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wrhead said:
We bought Desert Paradise from Epic in 1999 and have seen our fees increase from $225 ($.045 per point) to $530 ($270 base plus $.065 per point) since the bankruptcy and takeover by Sunterra. It seems to me that the base fee penalizes those with smaller holdings.
While I could justify my initial purchase, it no longer makes any sense to me and I need to explore my options. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

OUCH! You just got hosed. The value of your resale unit also decreased by more than 50%. That really is too bad. I would complain vociferously and ask them if you could bring in other weeks so that you can have more points and do it without a developer purchase.
 

Spence

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wrhead said:
We bought Desert Paradise from Epic in 1999 and have seen our fees increase from $225 ($.045 per point) to $530 ($270 base plus $.065 per point) since the bankruptcy and takeover by Sunterra. It seems to me that the base fee penalizes those with smaller holdings.
While I could justify my initial purchase, it no longer makes any sense to me and I need to explore my options. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

You are right, the base fee does 'penalize' those with smaller holdings.

EPIC went bankrupt, I don't know why, but part of the reason may have been that they were holding MFs unreasonably low to entice sales. I have heard that many of their resorts were in poor shape when Sunterra took them over. Now MFs reflect what Sunterra thinks are the cost of maintaining your resort, ask your HOA board what's going on.

As an aside.... can you tell us what the process was as an EPIC owner when Sunterra/Club Sunterra came in??? Did you have points before and now you have a different number of SunOptions(points)??? Did you have to pay any other fees to Sunterra???
 

Spence

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wrhead said:
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
Powhatan was going downhill with MFs of ~$450 for a 4BR lockoff with four full baths and two full kitchens and a hot tub. Now after ~$200 in special assessments and a hike in MFs to $779, the place is getting some of the attention that was needed. Why were MFs held unreasonably LOW, I'm not sure. When you own as many as I do, this hits hard in the wallet.
 

wrhead

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The original 5000 floating points became 4000 Sunoption points -not really enough to do anything with other than off-season travel. I don't recall paying anything extra to Sunterra at time of conversion. I think the base fee includes membership in II, but we still pay the exchange fee to use it.
 

KarenAG

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Hello. Great minds think alike. I came on here to ask if anyone had the same problem with Sunterra maintenance fees and I saw your posting. We have the same problem. I'm going to call and complain to see what they can do. 4000 points is barely a week usage a year.

The worst is that we had gotten hoodwinked into purchaseing 15,000 points-long story- and got our money back as the whole pitch was a scam by a shady salesman. However, with nearly 20,000 points at that time, the mf was about $1200. I can't see how they justify nearly half the yearly fee for not even even third the points.

Today's my birthday so I'll wait until tomorrow to call. I think I will have no leg to stand on, so no need to get upset today, right? I'll be back when I speak to them.
 

Spence

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wrhead said:
The original 5000 floating points became 4000 Sunoption points -not really enough to do anything with other than off-season travel. I don't recall paying anything extra to Sunterra at time of conversion. I think the base fee includes membership in II, but we still pay the exchange fee to use it.
Thanks, I take it you don't have a separate $149 Club Sunterra fee, or do you?
 

Spence

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KarenAG said:
I'm going to call and complain to see what they can do. 4000 points is barely a week usage a year.

However, with nearly 20,000 points at that time, the mf was about $1200. I can't see how they justify nearly half the yearly fee for not even even third the points.
I think your call should go to the Homeowners Assn Board not Sunterra (although that board may well be controlled by Sunterra employees.)

$1200/20,000 SunOptions = .06, that was a very good MF.
 

wrhead

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Spence said:
Thanks, I take it you don't have a separate $149 Club Sunterra fee, or do you?
No, just the $530. I think it's enough. There's a listing on ebay for Desert Paradise that mirrors my circumstance, even down to the year of purchase. I will commiserate with the seller directly by email.
 

Lynn

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wrhead said:
We bought Desert Paradise from Epic in 1999 and have seen our fees increase from $225 ($.045 per point) to $530 ($270 base plus $.065 per point) since the bankruptcy and takeover by Sunterra. It seems to me that the base fee penalizes those with smaller holdings.
While I could justify my initial purchase, it no longer makes any sense to me and I need to explore my options. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

I had a similar experience with Epic/Sunterra. About a year ago I bought an Epic resale on Ebay. The sale was for 6,500 Sunterra points; Scottsdale Links was the home resort; and the maintenance fee was to be $218. The auction description said I could use only the six Epic resorts and also have the ability to exchange through II. Additionally, I would have the option to pay $2995 to join Club Sunterra and have the use of all their resorts. I liked the locations of 5 of the 6 Epic resorts, so I was content to use only them and have what I thought was a low maintenance fee.

I ran into trouble trying to close the sale. Sunterra transferred the contract from the old owner, but said I could not use any of the resorts without joining Club Sunterra. (and paying the $2995) Every time I talked to someone at either Las Vegas or Scottsdale Links I would get a different answer. Eventually the resale broker that sold me the points got Sunterra to grant me a Club Sunterra membership without the payment, as I understand they offered to do for all Epic members.

With the Club Sunterra membership came the higher maintenance fee ($645), but I also got the use of their full group of resorts. I am trying to make it work for us, but only time will tell. I tend to look at non-peak times, or resorts that are on the quarterly e mail specials that Sunterra puts out. Also I may save Sun Options from one year to the next, allowing a better vacation every other year.

Good luck as you sort out your options of selling, buying more through resale (which I believe is possible), or just trying to be as efficient as possible in using/saving your SunOptions for decent vacations.
 

Spence

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Lynn said:
Eventually the resale broker that sold me the points got Sunterra to grant me a Club Sunterra membership without the payment, as I understand they offered to do for all Epic members.

From what I have seen, former Epic owners are now part of the Trust and would have use of the 19 resorts in the Trust and I have heard that that have II, too. To get the ~100 resorts of Club Sunterra, the $2995 would be due. So you did well if they gave you Full Club privileges.
 

fnewman

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One point that is often overlooked and conveniently omitted during sales presentations is that they generally quote only 'maintenance fees' and leave out 'taxes' and 'special assessments' which most owner would consider to be a part of "Maintenance Fees". In the 'heat of battle' is easy to forget to make certain that various terms means the same to both parties. Unfortunately, only experience will solve that and most people who buy timeshares from developers have none!
 
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