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Talk me out of buying Westin Kaanapali (or not)

critterchick

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Does ROFR apply to all units or just those being sold by somebody who bought from the developer? If that question makes sense.

At yesterday's owner update ($150 gift card) the sales rep claimed that there are lots of Hawaii properties in Flex as deeded owners are turning them in all the time. He couldn't see me sneering under my mask.:p
 

daviator

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Does ROFR apply to all units or just those being sold by somebody who bought from the developer? If that question makes sense.
Great question. I am also interested in the answer.

At yesterday's owner update ($150 gift card) the sales rep claimed that there are lots of Hawaii properties in Flex as deeded owners are turning them in all the time. He couldn't see me sneering under my mask.:p
I think most of Nanea is in Westin Flex, right? And I imagine they are right that deeded owners are turning in weeks all the time... that's what they try hard to get people to do (replace deeded weeks with Flex) and it's likely that plenty of owners fall for it. Add to that the weeks they buy back via ROFR and those they accept back in lieu of foreclosure, etc., and I do imagine the number of Hawaii weeks in Flex does keep growing.

And yet another benefit to mask-wearing.... secret sneering! :p
 

critterchick

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Great question. I am also interested in the answer.

I think most of Nanea is in Westin Flex, right? And I imagine they are right that deeded owners are turning in weeks all the time... that's what they try hard to get people to do (replace deeded weeks with Flex) and it's likely that plenty of owners fall for it. Add to that the weeks they buy back via ROFR and those they accept back in lieu of foreclosure, etc., and I do imagine the number of Hawaii weeks in Flex does keep growing.

And yet another benefit to mask-wearing.... secret sneering! :p
In 2019 we got a letter telling us that one building's worth of Nanea units would be deeded into Flex. I suspect that they were overwhelmed with complaints about the lack of availability in Hawaii. The Orange County (Florida, not CA) recorder's office has all of the transfer information, but I neglected to bookmark the page, so can't share a link. Guess that's a Google search for another day!

I found the instructions, go to the Orange County comptroller's website and do a search for "Notice" documents, then put "Flex Collection LLC" in the grantor box. You have to uncheck the box on the right to find document types.
 
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daviator

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In 2019 we got a letter telling us that one building's worth of Nanea units would be deeded into Flex. I suspect that they were overwhelmed with complaints about the lack of availability in Hawaii. The Orange County (Florida, not CA) recorder's office has all of the transfer information, but I neglected to bookmark the page, so can't share a link. Guess that's a Google search for another day!

I found the instructions, go to the Orange County comptroller's website and do a search for "Notice" documents, then put "Flex Collection LLC" in the grantor box. You have to uncheck the box on the right to find document types.
One of the problems with Flex is that it combines a bunch of resorts together into the same pool, and some of them are more popular/desirable than others. So if everyone that bought into Flex did so thinking they were going to use it for Hawaii, they've got a big problem, since probably half the usage weeks in the trust are for Arizona, Palm Springs, and Colorado. They've sold people on a dream they may not be able to deliver on...

Happy to own deeded weeks in Maui so I don't have to compete with the Flex people there...
 
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Great question. I am also interested in the answer.


I think most of Nanea is in Westin Flex, right? And I imagine they are right that deeded owners are turning in weeks all the time... that's what they try hard to get people to do (replace deeded weeks with Flex) and it's likely that plenty of owners fall for it. Add to that the weeks they buy back via ROFR and those they accept back in lieu of foreclosure, etc., and I do imagine the number of Hawaii weeks in Flex does keep growing.

And yet another benefit to mask-wearing.... secret sneering! :p
I would imagine, as all units were originally sold by the developer they have already had their ROFR when the owner sold it on the resale market. The ROFR contract was between the original owner and the developer not between subsequent owners and the developer.

At our owners update a couple of weeks back, when asked the obligatory why we were there, in addition to saying for the free gift I virtually opened with 'I'm not interested in trading our Maui deeds for Flex" and so they didn't even bother trying.
 

vacationtime1

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I would imagine, as all units were originally sold by the developer they have already had their ROFR when the owner sold it on the resale market. The ROFR contract was between the original owner and the developer not between subsequent owners and the developer.

At our owners update a couple of weeks back, when asked the obligatory why we were there, in addition to saying for the free gift I virtually opened with 'I'm not interested in trading our Maui deeds for Flex" and so they didn't even bother trying.
ROFR is a covenant running with the land (it's in the CC&R's), and as such, applies to resale owners as well as to developer purchasers.
 
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ROFR is a covenant running with the land (it's in the CC&R's), and as such, applies to resale owners as well as to developer purchasers.
That's interesting. Can a seller refuse to sell to the developer? If/when I come to sell the last thing I want to do is give them back something for 25% of what I paid them 15+ years ago just so they can make even more profit on it.
 

rickandcindy23

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That's interesting. Can a seller refuse to sell to the developer? If/when I come to sell the last thing I want to do is give them back something for 25% of what I paid them 15+ years ago just so they can make even more profit on it.
It would be better to contact a good reseller for a week on Maui, like advantagevacation.com They are in The Cannery Mall on Maui by Safeway. So if you want to sell, they would know the market well enough to get the price that would pass ROFR. This goes for both buying and selling. The website is down currently.
 

daviator

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That's interesting. Can a seller refuse to sell to the developer? If/when I come to sell the last thing I want to do is give them back something for 25% of what I paid them 15+ years ago just so they can make even more profit on it.
i suppose you could refuse to sell to the developer, but you couldn’t sell to anyone else, either, unless you did so at a price that was higher than what the developer was willing to pay. You agreed to that when you bought the property, whether you read the convenants or not…
 

rickandcindy23

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One of the problems with Flex is that it combines a bunch of resorts together into the same pool, and some of them are more popular/desirable than others. So if everyone that bought into Flex did so thinking they were going to use it for Hawaii, they've got a big problem, since probably half the usage weeks in the trust are for Arizona, Palm Springs, and Colorado. They've sold people on a dream they may not be able to deliver on...

Happy to own deeded weeks in Maui so I don't have to compete with the Flex people there...
Yes, you were wise to buy Maui. That would be the only way to own Westin and get that guarantee for Maui.
 
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It would be better to contact a good reseller for a week on Maui, like advantagevacation.com They are in The Cannery Mall on Maui by Safeway. So if you want to sell, they would know the market well enough to get the price that would pass ROFR. This goes for both buying and selling. The website is down currently.
Thanks. I know of them but unfortunately his fees are too high for what I have as they come in at around 30% of what I'd be selling.
 

wjarcher

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From my experience, you can take the unit back if it gets ROFR'ed. I asked the department (there is a number on the ROFR letter or in the email to call) and was told that you can send an email to vistana to formally take the unit back. I ended up letting vistana exercise it (WKORVN island view) because doing it would mean I have to rent this year out (not planning to go back to Maui this year) which is too much work.

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rcv82

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One of the problems with Flex is that it combines a bunch of resorts together into the same pool, and some of them are more popular/desirable than others. So if everyone that bought into Flex did so thinking they were going to use it for Hawaii, they've got a big problem, since probably half the usage weeks in the trust are for Arizona, Palm Springs, and Colorado. They've sold people on a dream they may not be able to deliver on...

Happy to own deeded weeks in Maui so I don't have to compete with the Flex people there...
I have both deeded weeks at WKORV and some Westin Flex. Nanea and WDW are the two easiest resorts with Flex, as a lot of their original inventory has been sold as Flex. So if Nanea works for you, Flex is fine. The hardest Flex home use is Riverfront during ski season, as there are only 34 kickoff units total, and very few in Flex. WKORV S/N both have some inventory but it is hit and miss at 12 months and there is no view guarantee.


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critterchick

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I would imagine, as all units were originally sold by the developer they have already had their ROFR when the owner sold it on the resale market. The ROFR contract was between the original owner and the developer not between subsequent owners and the developer.

At our owners update a couple of weeks back, when asked the obligatory why we were there, in addition to saying for the free gift I virtually opened with 'I'm not interested in trading our Maui deeds for Flex" and so they didn't even bother trying.
I say that about our Princeville ownership as well. I tell them they can pry it out of our cold dead hands.

I have both deeded weeks at WKORV and some Westin Flex. Nanea and WDW are the two easiest resorts with Flex, as a lot of their original inventory has been sold as Flex. So if Nanea works for you, Flex is fine. The hardest Flex home use is Riverfront during ski season, as there are only 34 kickoff units total, and very few in Flex. WKORV S/N both have some inventory but it is hit and miss at 12 months and there is no view guarantee.
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Nanea is fine if one is willing to spring for a 2BR - 1BR units are few and far between and aren't very nice, anyway (said the spoiled princess). We were able to get WKORV in February for a couple of years but 2022 is another story. Maybe we'll have some luck at the 8 month mark with SOs.
 

Voyageur

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I own at WKORV, both North and the original property (aka South). I love it here.

i would rather buy a resale unit at either property than Nanea. Nanea is a voluntary property and will lose a lot of value if purchased from the developer. Voluntary means that whoever buys it resale can't exchange into resorts that are not part of the Flex program Nanea is in. I've lost track of which resorts are included.

Nanea does not have lock offs. They also have a limited number of 1BR units so you end up either using a 2BR or exchanging into the other properties next door. Might as well own in one of them to begin with.

Maintenance fees for most units in the South property are currently around $2445/yr for every year usage. North costs $2737/yr. it is about half that for EOY ownership. They tend to go up a few percent every year.

Maintenance fees are based on square footage and specific property. There are some corner OF units in the South property that are a bit larger and have larger maintenance fees.

i like both North and South. The advantage of North is that both the Studio and 1BR have la AIS (balconies). The Studios in South only have a railing outside a sliding glass door (a Juliette balcony). This is no big deal when using the 2BR, but using the Studio alone is better in the North property. The South 1BR are slightly larger than at North, and they also have standalone 1BR. North has the Pailolo bar that I like better than Auntie's in the South property. South has better snorkeling right in front of it, and the beaches just south of the park are nicer to bathe in because the reef ends right around the park. North is closer to Dukes and the Times Market.

All in all, both are great. I tend to prefer North these days, but if I had small children, the slide and pool in South might be better. You won't go wrong with either one.
i haven't priced anything lately, but a couple of years ago, OV was somewhere around the mid teens and OF was in the high teens or low $20's for every year ownership. Half of that for EOY.

Rental income depends from the view but is less than $2k for a Studio, a little over for the 1BR for OV. It is a bit under $4k for a 2BR unit. You might be able to find renters for a little more if you work hard at it, but I wouldn't count on it. Look at redweek.com or https://www.denisetravels.com/westinmaui.htm. Prices are pretty depressed near term, because of COVID.
Can you explain the Nanea lack of sale? We have a deed that says 148k points for a Resort View (no Ocean view were available). Can we rent it out?
 

Henry M.

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What do you mean by lack of Nanea sale? Is it hard to find units for sale there? I have no idea what the market is like.

You can rent out a reservation you make at your home resort. The rules are explicit about not being allowed to rent reservations at locations you do not own. For example, if you own at Nanea, you can rent out a reservation that you make there. You cannot rent out an exchange into KOR-N or any other resort.
 

daviator

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What do you mean by lack of Nanea sale? Is it hard to find units for sale there? I have no idea what the market is like.

You can rent out a reservation you make at your home resort. The rules are explicit about not being allowed to rent reservations at locations you do not own. For example, if you own at Nanea, you can rent out a reservation that you make there. You cannot rent out an exchange into KOR-N or any other resort.
How does that work for Flex owners? I assume you can rent out a reservation you make at any of the Westin Flex or Sheraton Flex resorts (depending which trust you own)? Does it matter whether you make the reservation during the 8-12 month Home Resort period or whether you make it within 8 months of stay? Does it matter whether the resort was booked with Home Options or with Star Options?

If I own a deeded week at WKORV, can I rent out a stay there that I reserved using SOs from a different ownership at a different resort? I'm assuming no, but curious if anyone knows for sure. (In other words, does ownership at a resort give you carte blanche to rent out all reservations you make at that resort, or just reservations using that ownership at that resort?)

These are all hypotheticals, I haven't done much renting out (just a couple of times at WDW.) But I'd like to know what's permissible and what's not. And do they police this policy? How does Vistana know if you're renting vs. allowing friends to use your ownership?

I'm sure these questions have all been asked before, I'll go search the archives.
 

Henry M.

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I don't own Flex.

To me the intent of the restriction is pretty clear. You can only rent out a reservation at the home resort where the Staroptions came from. The intent is to allow full use of what you own while not interfering with owner use at a different resort. Owning at multiple resorts doesn't give carte blanche to use Staroptions from one to rent out reservations at another. In the case of Flex, I interpret you could make a reservation at any of the resorts in your particular hone ownership pool.
 

10spro

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Long time multi-week Marriott owner here. Just got out of a sales presentation at WKOVR. I know nothing about Westin except that I really like this resort. For 99K you get 2BR corner OF deluxe unit, plus 353K villa options OR 726K points, plus 6 certificates to buy 270K points for $1875 each. It looks like resale for OF is $40K to $50K. Is there any reason to buy direct from Westin? Is the deluxe unit worth it?
 
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Long time multi-week Marriott owner here. Just got out of a sales presentation at WKOVR. I know nothing about Westin except that I really like this resort. For 99K you get 2BR corner OF deluxe unit, plus 353K villa options OR 726K points, plus 6 certificates to buy 270K points for $1875 each. It looks like resale for OF is $40K to $50K. Is there any reason to buy direct from Westin? Is the deluxe unit worth it?
I think the OFD corner units have higher maintenance fees and have a side lanai for the studio so general opinion is that they are a less attractive proposition than the straight on OF units. Resale prices I see on Redweek are more in the 30-35K range so compared to the developer price of 99K I guess you can say that they are worth it although you don't get the hotel points option when buying resale.
 

rcv82

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I own three weeks of OF deluxe, and love it. Actually using it right now. Like seeing out two sides of the unit. The only downside is the higher maintenance fee than the non deluxe units.

Given WKORV is a “mandatory” property, meaning resale gets to participate in the Vistana Signature Network and exchange under 8 months using StarOptions, there is really no benefit to buying from the developer. (Developer qualified units can convert to Bonvoy points, but that is not a very good deal with how much they have devalued the points.) Possibly there will be some additional benefit to developer purchases as they merge with MVC.

But in any case, the reason to buy OFD is to use it! So not much else really matters.

You might be able to find a price in the 30ks. But supposedly they are getting more aggressive in exercising ROFR.
 

10spro

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@rcv82 Loved meeting up with fellow TUG-ers Randy and Doug at WKORV today. Thanks so much for your hospitality and great conversation. Hope you have a great rest of your stay and maybe we’ll see you back here.
 
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