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Swap Unit Question

BootCampChick

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I have been lurking on these BBS forums for a few years now and am continuously amazed at the wealth of knowledge of the people who post here and their willingness to share. We unfortunately only discovered TUG well after we had purchased from the developer so were not able to rescind. The downside is, of course, that we grossly overpaid, but the upside is that we can go to Maui every year!!

What we are finding is that we only want to go every second year, so we have been banking our StarOptions for the unused year and then trying to book two weeks in the alternate years. Recently, like others we are finding that booking 12 months out is okay, but having to wait until the 8 month window for the banked SOs there is little to no inventory available. When we bought, Starwood sold us two EOY units (that was what they had in inventory at the time, we did not plan it that way) which would seem to now give us an opportunity. We would like to find someone else perhaps in a similar situation to ours and permanently swap the even year for an odd year or vice-versa.

This is NOT an attempt to solicit interest on the BBS. We will follow the rules and list in the Marketplace but I have some questions that I am hoping to get some help with:

  • First, where would we list in the Marketplace? It is not a purchase/sale per se, but it is not exactly a swap either since all of the ads I have seen there are just for one time usage swaps rather than a swap of title.
  • Second, would it make sense to use a real estate broker? We live in Calgary Canada and have no familiarity with U.S. real estate transactions (except for buying from Starwood we have never purchased or sold a property in the U.S. before).
  • Third, where would we find out about legal services and what would be required to complete the transaction(s)?
  • Fourth, presumably we should not have to concern ourselves with Starwood exercising a ROFR since they would have to match the offer (i.e. a unit for a unit) so there would be no value in it for them.
  • Lastly, is there anything else we should concern ourselves with?

Any and all help/comments/suggestions welcomed.

Lorena
 

DeniseM

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Recently, like others we are finding that booking 12 months out is okay, but having to wait until the 8 month window for the banked SOs there is little to no inventory available.

Are you booking online at 12 midnight Eastern, the night BEFORE the phone lines open? That's when inventory becomes available. If you are waiting to call - you are 9 hours late, and that is why you are having a difficult time getting anything. Or perhaps you are only trying for prime holiday weeks - also difficult. If it's not a holiday week, you should be able to get it at 12 midnight.

  • First, where would we list in the Marketplace? It is not a purchase/sale per se, but it is not exactly a swap either since all of the ads I have seen there are just for one time usage swaps rather than a swap of title.


  • That's the right place - in the text box specify that you want a permanent swap.

    [*]Second, would it make sense to use a real estate broker? We live in Calgary Canada and have no familiarity with U.S. real estate transactions (except for buying from Starwood we have never purchased or sold a property in the U.S. before).

    Yes - it would make more sense to sell the week you don't want - here is a list of reputable timeshare brokers who are Tuggers - I'd contact all of them to get 4 different quotes/opinions:

    Syed Sarmad (TUG user name Syed if you want to send him a pm)
    www.advantagevacation.com

    Fred Messreni (TUG user name FredM if you want to send him a pm)
    www.timeshare-gallery.com

    Seth Nock (TUG user name the same if you want to send him a pm)
    www.sellingtimeshares.net

    Judi Kozlowski (TUG user name the same if you want to send her a pm)
    www.timeshareresalepros.com

    [*]Third, where would we find out about legal services and what would be required to complete the transaction(s)?

    You need someone to prepare and file a legal title transfer for about $150 - a little more for Hawaii - this is who I use:

    L.T. Transfers
    Lisa Short and Mary Pless
    http://www.lttransfers.com/
    readylegal@gmail.com
    706.219.2709

    [*]Fourth, presumably we should not have to concern ourselves with Starwood exercising a ROFR since they would have to match the offer (i.e. a unit for a unit) so there would be no value in it for them.

    Starwood could exercise ROFR.

    [*]Lastly, is there anything else we should concern ourselves with?

What you are asking to do will be difficult - it would be far easier to sell the deed you don't want and buy what you want on the resale market. You will pay a fraction of the developer price on the resale market - so it should be pretty close to an even swap if you sell your deed that you don't want, and apply the funds to the one you do.
 
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BootCampChick

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Thanks Denise. Very helpful (as always).

Your suggestion makes sense. I realize that it may well be a long-shot trying to find someone else who has, and would want to trade, one EOY for another so buying and selling may be the better way to go.

And thanks for the recommendations regarding brokers and legal services.

The issue regarding booking is that we would like to go in February or March (like many others from cold climates) and there is no availability even before the 8 month window opens. Not complaining as we understand the high demand and the limitations on banked SOs but we are just looking to find an ownership option that better coincides with our travel plans.

Cheers,
Lorena
 

DeniseM

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The issue regarding booking is that we would like to go in February or March (like many others from cold climates) and there is no availability even before the 8 month window opens. Not complaining as we understand the high demand and the limitations on banked SOs but we are just looking to find an ownership option that better coincides with our travel plans.

Are you reserving online the NIGHT BEFORE the phone lines open?

At the 8 mo. mark, there was Staroption reservation availability in Feb. and March, except for President's week. However, you may have to change your check-in date to Friday, or Sunday to get the week you want, or be flexible about which week you go.

In 2016, only President's week booked solid, before the 8 mo. mark.
 
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BootCampChick

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Are you reserving online the NIGHT BEFORE the phone lines open?

At the 8 mo. mark, there was Staroption reservation availability in Feb. and March, except for President's week. However, you may have to change your check-in date to Friday, or Sunday to get the week you want, or be flexible about which week you go.

In 2016, only President's week booked solid, before the 8 mo. mark.

We were trying to book the night before at exactly midnight Eastern time but the online booking tool was already showing no availability several days before that. We were trying to get Saturday to Saturday (that is the only day that has direct flights both ways from YYC to OGG); admittedly we may have had more luck if we had been flexible with our check-in and check-out days but we were otherwise flexible in the sense that we were looking for any 2 weeks from mid-January to the middle of March.

We did end up getting April 2 - 16 so all is good and we are looking forward to a great time there as always.
 

DeniseM

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Yes - Saturday, is definitely the most difficult.
 

bizaro86

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Just thought I'd chime in here and mention that there are direct flights from Calgary to Maui on other days of the week now. During peak winter season (when you're talking about going) there are direct flights every day except Tuesday and some Wednesdays.

Air Canada flies Wed/Fri/Sun/Mon, and Westjet flies Thur/Fri/Sat/Mon (generally speaking). I know many Calgarians prefer Westjet (and we're flying their direct to Maui from YYC April 2-16 staying at the Westin as well, small world) but the AC flights are usually similar pricing, which if it gets you the reservation you need seems worth it to me.
 

YYJMSP

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Just thought I'd chime in here and mention that there are direct flights from Calgary to Maui on other days of the week now. During peak winter season (when you're talking about going) there are direct flights every day except Tuesday and some Wednesdays.

Air Canada flies Wed/Fri/Sun/Mon, and Westjet flies Thur/Fri/Sat/Mon (generally speaking). I know many Calgarians prefer Westjet (and we're flying their direct to Maui from YYC April 2-16 staying at the Westin as well, small world) but the AC flights are usually similar pricing, which if it gets you the reservation you need seems worth it to me.

Has the YYC-OGG run been Rouge'd by AC yet? [For the non-Canadians, Rouge is Air Canada's discount airline, with extra rows/columns of people in small planes and seats with so little padding you feel the metal frame digging in to you for 6hrs+]

After you've flown it once (many AC flights to popular holiday destinations are pretty much Rouge only), you start to look at alternative ways to get there, even if it means taking twice as long by getting across the border first...
 

BootCampChick

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We are not big fans of Air Canada at the best of times and if Rouge is even worse, well heaven help us Canadian travelers.

I confess that because of that we did not even check AC flights so did not know about the number of direct flights from YYC to OGG. Thanks for pointing that out as we really ought to look at all the possible options before concluding that Saturday to Saturday does not work very well with banked SOs and we need to swap or sell/buy to get two weeks every other year with a 12 month booking window.

We are also considering just buying another EOY week without selling so we have one week/two weeks in alternate years (and we will just have to deal with the week in years we don't want to go).

By the way, does anyone here know how to get in touch with a Starwood salesperson to buy another week? :rofl:
 
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