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Thinking of Buying Timeshare

btstaggs89

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First I apologize if this is post is a bit much. I have tried to go through some of the other forums but I am still kind of confused, so I'm hoping you all will help me out.

My kids and myself just got back from a trip to Wyndham's Great Smokies Lodge in Sevierville, Tn. We travel there 1-2 times a year but this was the first time staying at this resort. My kids had so much fun and I doubt we will be staying anywhere else when we visit from now on. The guy at the desk mentioned the timeshare to me but I did not get to speak to him long or do a presentation to find out more.

My confusion is which is better to buy just the points or a deeded contract? or are they the same thing? While we travel to Tennessee frequently, we also travel to other places.

Second is the fees involved. I've seen mention of program fees and maintenance fees. Are those monthly, annually etc.?

I do plan on buying a resale since it does seem to be cheaper than buying straight from Wyndham.
Any other tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

Synergy

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Boy, you don't know how lucky you are that you somehow accidentally avoided a timeshare presentation. The folks here will walk you through what your options are - resale is almost always preferable to overpaying with the developer, and renting may well be the best choice for your family.
 

btstaggs89

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Thanks! After reading comments about presentations, I'm glad I didn't get to go.
Honestly, I don't think they wanted to deal with my 2 boys for 2+ hours. haha
 

CPNY

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Thanks! After reading comments about presentations, I'm glad I didn't get to go.
Honestly, I don't think they wanted to deal with my 2 boys for 2+ hours. haha
Buy resale and also buy in a system you will use. I prefer vistana in a mandatory resort. MVC points are great but you’ll pay premium even on resale.

im not familiar with Wyndham but with vistana in a mandatory resort you get a deeded week that is worth points called star options. You can then book those at the other vistana resorts. Vistana resorts are Westin/Sheraton properties. You also get interval membership with a mandatory resort ownership. Not all vistana resorts are mandatory (mandatory means the unit MUST be enrolled in the network) membership in the network allows for the points to be booked at the other Westin and Sheraton resorts.that benefit transfers on a resale since it must be in network. Other vistana resorts are called voluntary and on resale you can only book at the resort you bought or exchange in interval. Vistana resorts have high trading power in interval as well.
 

Eric B

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Agree with the resale recommendation, but do your due diligence and research what info you can find on TUG. Compare the relative costs of the various options and what is where you want to go, and use that in your decision. It might be worth renting some weeks at different resorts to see if the cost differences are worth it for the various options to you.
 

klam2go

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Lots of great advise on the site. We just "sold" ours (Grandview at Las Vegas, 1 BR, 49,000 RCI points). Kids are gone from the house and parents past the travel stage. We're now focusing on world travels so the timeshare vacation lifestyle is out for the next while. Maybe in 5 or 10 years we'll revisit. Otherwise keeping an eye on rental page.

As to Yes-No to timeshares. We felt is was definitely worth it for the level of accommodation a timeshare offers over a hotel. Having cooking and laundry really, really (and a few more reallies) helps when travelling with a family to help keep the costs reasonable and everyone in clean clothes.

When we entered we did a ton of research and ended up buying ours off of eBay for a really great deal. RCI points with a deeded contract seemed the way to go and Grandview at Las Vegas gave the best points (RCI) for cost.

One of the things you should do is research the RCI (or whatever points program you are interested in) page for transaction fees. This was the one thing we weren't sure of and their fees can add up, especially if you're moving points from one year to another or going outside your home resort/group. Another fee we've seen in the last few years are ever increasing resort fees and are charged at check-in. Used to be $20-$50 for the week. Now some (not all) places are $20-$50 a night!

All this is to say you need to have a good understanding of what type of holidays you want and were. If you always plan to go to Florida, get a home resort there (or where ever you want to vacation). If you plan to travel all over, find a resort that maximizes points for the lowest fees (our method).

In the end expect to pay somewhere between $1000 - $2000 a year on maintenance fees, exchange fees (RCI Wyndham, etc), and resort fees. The bulk of these will be reoccurring each and every year, regardless if you use it. For the 8 years we owned ours we used it at 8 resorts (1 Okanagan, 1 BC Rockies, 1 Lake Tahoe, 1 Orlando, 2 Palm Springs, and 2 Carlsbad, CA) and enjoyed each and every resort.

If you have any questions there is a ton of great advise on this site.
 
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SNA27

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I think Great Smokies Lodge has a higher MF than Smoky mountains. Idk why since the Smokies Lodge is not encumbered by the water park! It's a separate entity based on the Resort information page! ;)
If you loved that resort and 'would go nowhere else', why not help Wyndham to sustain it by buying directly from Wyndham at the lowest price possible if you can afford it and can pay cash.
Why shop at the thrift stores and garage sales, if you can afford to shop at Nordstrom?;)

 

SNA27

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Buying on the dip is prudent! But thinking 'Oh, I love this shining city on a hill! I hope it collapses so I can buy it on the cheap!' is daft!
What a country!:)

 
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littlestar

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The first thing I would do is take a look at the directory (in the sticky under Wyndham Information and Advice Articles) and find the point chart for Wyndham Great Smokies Lodge. That chart will show you how many points it takes to stay in the size unit you want at the time of year you vacation.

I tried to buy Wyndham points resorts with lower maintenance fees. We own resale (154,000 points) at Wyndham Smoky Mountains at Gatlinburg (the non water park location) that I bought for less than $400 in which the seller paid the transfer fee and closing. I also own 105,000 Wyndham Grand Desert points that I purchased for $450 all in. So that gives me 259,000 points each year. My maintenance fees on Grand Desert are $4.87 a point and Wyndham Smoky are $5.70 a point. Wyndham’s program fee rate for resale owners is .62 per 1,000 points so my program fee is $160.58 (which includes an RCI membership). There is a minimum program fee of $160. I pay my maintenance fees monthly on a credit card. My total fees per year are $1,549.73 which is around $129 a month. You can pay your maintenance fees annually if you don’t want to pay them monthly.

Compare the cost to own with some Wyndham rental sites like Vacationupgrades.com or RedWeek to see if it is worth it for your situation. We own another point system with Disney Vacation Club and I like the Wyndham system almost as much as our Disney points. I like the Wyndham resorts and system so much that I am actually adding/buying more resale points. Good luck.
 
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Rich S

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Thanks! After reading comments about presentations, I'm glad I didn't get to go.
Honestly, I don't think they wanted to deal with my 2 boys for 2+ hours. haha

I may be in the minority here, but it has been my experience that it is actually beneficial to attend a presentation or two prior to purchasing a timeshare. I don't necessarily recommend buying from the developer, but I think the more information you gather, the better off you are. There is a running comment on the boards here "How do you know the salesperson is lying? Their lips are moving!"

I think it is good to hear what they are presenting (pushing) and then compare it with what has been experienced here on the boards. For example, I read where a member attended one presentation where the push was for deeded points as the best way to go. Another presentation I personally attended indicated that Club Access was the best thing since sliced bread. It is my belief that they will try to sell you what you don't have, whether it is beneficial for you or not. During my presentation they were telling me how I was missing out on all of the program benefits (I bought resale) and how I could benefit from being Gold, or Silver. The rub was that I had to buy into that level. The reality is that the benefits of Gold or Silver status don't make it worth it for me.

There is some truth mixed in with the misrepresentations of the presentations. I think it is good to hear it and decide for yourself if it can be beneficial for you once you compare it to what others have experienced. Just my two cents.
 

paxsarah

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I may be in the minority here, but it has been my experience that it is actually beneficial to attend a presentation or two prior to purchasing a timeshare.

I don't see how it's beneficial to attend a presentation that we all know is filled with, if not outright lies, exaggerations and half-truths prior to owning, using, and becoming fluent with the product being sold. The only good way to walk into a presentation is confident that you know the product inside and out, and that's going to be tough to achieve prior to owning. I never attended a presentation prior to purchasing resale and still haven't 9 years later - and my timeshare-owning life hasn't suffered a bit for it. Sometimes I briefly consider attending one "for science," but I'm pretty sure I'm not suited to playing the game without getting my blood pressure elevated and it's not worth the stress (or the AMEX card) to me.
 

Eric B

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I don't see how it's beneficial to attend a presentation that we all know is filled with, if not outright lies, exaggerations and half-truths prior to owning, using, and becoming fluent with the product being sold. The only good way to walk into a presentation is confident that you know the product inside and out, and that's going to be tough to achieve prior to owning. I never attended a presentation prior to purchasing resale and still haven't 9 years later - and my timeshare-owning life hasn't suffered a bit for it. Sometimes I briefly consider attending one "for science," but I'm pretty sure I'm not suited to playing the game without getting my blood pressure elevated and it's not worth the stress (or the AMEX card) to me.

Bottom line for me is that if it's not worth the enticement (AMEX card or whatever) for my time, it's probably not worth attending. This is particularly true w/Wyndham where there is more reliable information available in the Directory than I've ever received from any "update." There are some systems out there that don't provide the reference material for you to learn how to use it, but Wyndham has that going for it.
 

dgalati

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I think Great Smokies Lodge has a higher MF than Smoky mountains. Idk why since the Smokies Lodge is not encumbered by the water park! It's a separate entity based on the Resort information page! ;)
If you loved that resort and 'would go nowhere else', why not help Wyndham to sustain it by buying directly from Wyndham at the lowest price possible if you can afford it and can pay cash.
Why shop at the thrift stores and garage sales, if you can afford to shop at Nordstrom?;)

SATIRE?
 

SNA27

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@dgalati,
Just as you're trying to convince people to rent-from-VIP or buy resale, I am trying to make a case for retail purchase, being a VIPP whose points are all retail!
I want Wyndham to survive and my 'investment' to be enjoyed by my progeny! Your approach will eventually doom Wyndham, imo!
A shining city on the hill does not come cheap and neither should it ever become so!

I am allowed to make that case, right? Or is it against the rules?
 
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dgalati

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@dgalati,
Just as you're trying to convince people to rent-from-VIP or buy resale, I am trying to make a case for retail purchase, being a VIPP whose points are all retail!
I want Wyndham to survive and my 'investment' to be enjoyed by my progeny! Your approach will eventually doom Wyndham, imo!
A shining city on the hill does not come cheap and neither should it ever become so!

I am allowed to make that case, right? Or is it against the rules?
I'm good with others opinions. I have learned from listening to others opinions. There are many ways others are using their ownership that I may not of thought of. @cbyrne1174 is one good example with her posting many bargains that are available in the Wyndham system. I have found the Worldmark system has much value also because of her posts.
 

capital city

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@dgalati,
Just as you're trying to convince people to rent-from-VIP or buy resale, I am trying to make a case for retail purchase, being a VIPP whose points are all retail!
I want Wyndham to survive and my 'investment' to be enjoyed by my progeny! Your approach will eventually doom Wyndham, imo!
A shining city on the hill does not come cheap and neither should it ever become so!

I am allowed to make that case, right? Or is it against the rules?

Definitely not against the rules and I dont mind other people buying retail. I've thought about it and might do it myself but I dont think it helps Wyndham survive at all. They make money just running the resorts. If Wyndham didnt have ovations providing free points for them to sell then I would say buy buy buy retail all day so that I can enjoy all the new places they have to buy or develop. Unfortunately I would take a wild guess and say at least 90% of points they sell are recycled and doesnt help current owners one bit. I think Wyndham likes adding dots on the map for sales to point at but not necessarily because they need the inventory.
 

SNA27

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Definitely not against the rules and I dont mind other people buying retail. I've thought about it and might do it myself but I dont think it helps Wyndham survive at all. They make money just running the resorts. If Wyndham didnt have ovations providing free points for them to sell then I would say buy buy buy retail all day so that I can enjoy all the new places they have to buy or develop. Unfortunately I would take a wild guess and say at least 90% of points they sell are recycled and doesnt help current owners one bit. I think Wyndham likes adding dots on the map for sales to point at but not necessarily because they need the inventory.

Wyndham can't make money or grow just by running the resorts. MF paid to the resorts just goes to upkeep, taxes, and reserves! Retail purchases funded new resorts such as Portland and Clearwater. I listened to the interview of CEO Micheal Brown on Jim Cramer's Mad Money. He was very optimistic about the future of WYND and so was Jim Cramer. @Fredflintstone seems to have made good dividend and Capital gains on WYND stock.

1578094646312.png
 

cbyrne1174

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Most of the retail purchasers on here are older. I'm 30 years old and went with resale. You always have the option down the line to buy developer points, but until you have your house and cars paid off, I personally don't think it's a good idea to buy from the developer even if it's "cheaper in the long run". The pattern that I see is all the people who made an educated decision to buy retail were in their 40s and 50s. At 30, I'm finally reaching a point in my life where annual income technically allows me to make a purchase, but I've personally had to deal with my husband being laid off before and juggling 1 income and it's not easy. I'm afraid of it happening again. You never know what the future holds and having any obligations above the bare minimum is not a good idea until you are comfortable.


If you get a Grand Desert deed off Ebay, the maintenance fees are cheap and if problems arise where you can't afford to go on vacation, it's super easy to make reservations and put them on VRBO and Redweek and break to break even on your maintenance fees. That's where I own and I will screen shot my account so you can see how much it actually costs. Both of these contracts are for 84,000 points. There's two HOAs that you can be deed to, but both are low and a Las Vegas tower will always be cheap to maintain because there's no natural disasters and minimal grounds to maintain.


1578095320729.png
 
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dgalati

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Wyndham can't make money or grow just by running the resorts. MF paid to the resorts just goes to upkeep, taxes, and reserves! Retail purchases funded new resorts such as Portland and Clearwater. I listened to the interview of CEO Micheal Brown on Jim Cramer's Mad Money. He was very optimistic about the future of WYND and so was Jim Cramer. @Fredflintstone seems to have made good dividend and Capital gains on WYND stock.

View attachment 16024
@Fredflintstone made a pretty good case on buying Wyndham stock and using the dividend to pay for his rentals. I know the stock price can go down as well as go up. Important difference to consider Is most stocks never go to zero the day they are bought and if bought on margin its much less the the 17% intrest paid on a timeshare.
 

capital city

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Do you honestly think there is 0 profit in running the resorts? If nothing else they pay too much to their head guys to oversee operations. It's like me turning my business into a nonprofit but paying myself 250k a year as CEO. I didnt really change a thing except turn profit into a salary. Wyndham has been making record profits and obviously the current CEO wants to continue and build on that but in reality it's not necessary to keep Wyndham alive.
 

dgalati

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Most of the retail purchasers on here are older. I'm 30 years old and went with resale. You always have the option down the line to buy developer points, but until you have your house and cars paid off, I personally don't think it's a good idea to buy from the developer even if it's "cheaper in the long run". The pattern that I see is all the people who made an education decision to buy retail were in their 40s and 50s. At 30, I'm finally reaching a point in my life where annual income technically allows me to make a purchase, but I've personally had to deal with my husband being laid off before and juggling 1 income and it's not easy. I'm afraid of it happening again. You never know what the future holds and having any obligations above the bare minimum is not a good idea until you are comfortable.


If you get a Grand Desert deed off Ebay, the maintenance fees are cheap and if problems arise where you can't afford to go on vacation, it's super easy to make reservations and put them on VRBO and Redweek and break to break even on your maintenance fees. That's where I own and I will screen shot my account so you can see how much it actually costs. Both of these contracts are for 84,000 points. There's two HOAs that you can be deed to, but both are low and a Las Vegas tower will always be cheap to maintain because there's no natural disasters and minimal grounds to maintain.


View attachment 16025
I always liked the Grand Desert over a Florida resort because of what you stated. My thoughts changed when last time I was in Vegas I felt the earthquake that hit east of LA. This did make me wonder how well most of the buildings were built in Vegas where they are not anticipating any earthquakes.
 

Fredflintstone

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Do you honestly think there is 0 profit in running the resorts? If nothing else they pay too much to their head guys to oversee operations. It's like me turning my business into a nonprofit but paying myself 250k a year as CEO. I didnt really change a thing except turn profit into a salary. Wyndham has been making record profits and obviously the current CEO wants to continue and build on that but in reality it's not necessary to keep Wyndham alive.

You are right. It looks like Wyndham is doing well and I see them doing well in the future. They have 800 k plus guaranteed customers (owners) that pay year in and year out in MF and other fees. The MF pours in in good times or bad. They also have rental income, RCI fees, Membership fees and 800 k plus customers (owners) to convince to buy more points through their “owner update” programs. Profits can be made through Ovations and Foreclosure resales too.

aeb5c0b4603ea1f8e97824dea57f1dec.jpg



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Fredflintstone

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As for MF, I think they make money through their property management services. Frankly, MFs at 1 k a week plus would indicate profits have to be made. How can the maintenance of a condo that is, on average, 600 sq. feet require 52 k plus a year to maintain even factoring in 1unit/x units common area costs?


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cbyrne1174

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Most of their profit does come from sales, but the maintenance fees also are profitable. What SNA27 was saying is that we get new locations mainly from people paying retail, but also the current locations stay profitable and maintained from both retail and resale.

There are just different types of consumers. When my husband goes shopping, he just picks stuff up as he sees it and doesn't think past that level. That would be the majority of people. When I go shopping, I subconsciously have it memorized where things are their cheapest, what items normally go on sale and will only buy that item at that specific store or when it's on sale. I'm just wired that way. The $200-$300 a month that I save by doing that doesn't make it or break it for me, I am just the type of person that will shop at 3 different stores to save that each month because it only adds an hour or two of my time and since I don't make $150/hr, it's better that I do it that way.
 

Fredflintstone

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I agree. Retail timeshare sales are the crux of expansion. Even if you factor in 50 percent of retail cost into marketing, the other 50 percent is substantial. That’s because the real property retail of the unit is 5 to 10 times less if you buy it outright.

More retail sales drives more development which drives more intervals which drives more fees and profits. Domino time!

Although money is not made on resales per se, future income is still guaranteed from the new owners from MF and other fees.

From what I have read, the points system is even more profitable and less risky because it’s the developers created currency. As such, they can reduce its exchange value at their discretion and yet have regular currency that has set fluctuated value and globally accepted.

If the customer (owner) complains that points are not Covering their needs anymore, just tell them to buy more points at retail value. Cha Ching.

It really is a great business model. Steady income, customers and total control. More customers (owners) naturally fuels growth.


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