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Thoughts on eBay Diamond/Sunterra purchase?

ace2000

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AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Non-Expert Viewpoint.

There are lots of DRI & SunTerra experts out there. I'm not among them. And I am not even a member of T. H. E. Club (formerly Club SunTerra).

However, I have managed to pick up a viewpoint on Diamond-SunTerra from the perspective of a (resale) owner at 2 Diamond-SunTerra timeshares where the timeshare sellers like to give owners high-pressure sales pitches under the guise of Owner Updates.

From what I have come to understand, resale Diamond-SunTerra "options" are good only at the timeshare where they are owned -- i.e., not good for any Diamond-SunTerra exchange reservations -- unless they are used as part of a membership in T. H. E. Club.

The timeshare company sells memberships in T. H. E. Club for big bux -- memberships are not available resale. Under some circumstances, the timeshare company may allow owners of resale "options" & resale Diamond timeshare weeks to bring those into their club system & start using them for exchanges. Those circumstances typically involving paying big bux for a club membership or buying a "new" timeshare week for big bux or both.

Back in the old SunTerra days, some clever & knowledgeable people -- at least 1 whom I know of personally -- negotiated advantageous deals with SunTerra, folding in with just 1 "new" purchase the "club" conversion of lots of previously owned SunTerra resale properties, plus a virtual blank check for bringing lots more future resales into the "club" after the fact. Not many folks have the smarts & moxie for that.


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gorevs9

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Another non-expert viewpoint

Can someone please look at this eBay item and tell me their thoughts about it? I'm having trouble searching through the old threads on TUG and finding exactly what it is.
It appears to have 7500 SunOption points associated with it. What info do I need to call the resort and check it out? What questions do I need to ask?

Thanks for your help.
My guess is the 7500 points (Sun Options?) are only for exchanging within the Flordia Trust of 19-20 Sunterra resorts. Full membership with Sunterra (now Diamond) usually requires purchase through the developer.
As Alan has stated there were periods where owners of Sunterra Resorts could convert those "SunOption" points for a fee. I'm not sure if that "deal" is still available.
 

Bill4728

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It doesn't appear to me to be associated with any of the 3 DRI Trusts. Therefore you're buying a week at the one branson resort.

PS the florida trust is now called the "US collection"

PSS there is no DRI resort in Branson called the Plantation at Fall Creek. There is a DRI resort called The Suites at Fall Creek. The Suites at Fall Creek are part of the US collection and therefore this week may be a part of the trust but who knows??
 
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ace2000

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It doesn't appear to me to be associated with any of the 3 DRI Trusts. Therefore you're buying a week at the one branson resort.

PS the florida trust is now called the "US collection"
Bill, what do you think the 7500 points mean? Are you saying they're only good at that resort only?

Thanks for the information so far, everyone.
 

Bill4728

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My reading of ad is that the seller isn't quite sure of what they are selling. The 7500 pts is within the "DRI club" that the week would be worth 7500 pts. But again since "club" memberships don't transfer with a resale week that is moot.

The fact that the deed says week 40 unit 1242 would seem to tell me that it is a fixed week/fixed room but that isn't always true. It may just the resorts way of accounting for the weeks being sold. ( almost all floating week resorts have a week & unit on the deed even though it is a floating week) You need to find out from the resort is this really a fixed week, But I would guess there is a even chance that it is a floating week at the resort.

PS there is no DRI resort in Branson called the Plantation at Fall Creek. There is a DRI resort called The Suites at Fall Creek.
 
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T_R_Oglodyte

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Bill, what do you think the 7500 points mean? Are you saying they're only good at that resort only?

Thanks for the information so far, everyone.
What you need to do is call the resort. With the exception that this will not have 7500 points DRI's THE Club, everything you get here is simply speculation. Our comments may be helpful background, but only the resort can advise what the ownership really is.

And the resort might not be willing to confirm anything unless the seller is on the line with you.
 

ace2000

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My reading of ad is that the seller isn't quite sure of what they are selling. The 7500 pts and the UDI would seem to tell me that it isn't a fixed week/fixed room but that is just the resorts way of accounting for the week being sold. So I would guess that it is a floating week at the resort.

But within the "DRI club" that the week would be worth 7500 pts. But again since "club" memberships don't transfer with a resale week that is moot.
Ok, which gets us back to the original questions:

1. How can I verify whether or not it is tied to points? What info do I need to provide to the resort, so they can verify.
2. If they are SunOptions, then those do transfer - correct?
3. Is this a good deal? I like the underlying week, but know nothing about Diamond.


Thanks!
 

Bill4728

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SunOptions are the "points" used in the sunterra club not sure if Diamond still uses that term. But again since "club" memberships don't transfer with a resale week that is moot. SUnOptions never transfer with a resale.

Is it a good deal? At worst it is a 2 bd week at a nice resort in Branson. If you want a resort in Branson, it is a steal at $1 .

The key thing you need to find out is
- what is the name of the resort? There isn't a Plantation at Fall Creek
- Is the week being sold fixed or floating.
- - If floating how does their floating weeks work

- Is the week part of the DRI "US collection Trust"?? If it is you will get 7500 trust pts which can be used at any of the 19 US collection resorts. BUT not at the other DRI resorts. If it isn't part of the US collection then it just a week at the resort in Branson. ( Still need to find out if it floating or not)

Good Luck
 
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T_R_Oglodyte

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Ok, which gets us back to the original questions:

1. How can I verify whether or not it is tied to points? What info do I need to provide to the resort, so they can verify.
2. If they are SunOptions, then those do transfer - correct?
3. Is this a good deal? I like the underlying week, but know nothing about Diamond.


Thanks!
You give the resort the deed information. From that they should be able to tell you the ownership details.

*****

There are no such things as SunOptions. Those disappeared when DRI took over.

Sunterra is exceeded only Raintree in creating a confusing system. I'll try to run through some of the basics.

First, what you buy is either going to be a deeded week at a resort or an undivided interest (UDI) in a trust. That will determine what your reservation rights are. Let's break those down.

If it's a deeded week, then you approach it just like any other deeded ownership? Is the week fixed or float? If it's float, what are the weeks in which a unit can be reserved?

If it's a UDI, then you don't own a deed. Instead the trust owns a bunch of deeds and you own an interest in the trust. All of those deeds at individual resorts have associated reservation rights and because the trust owns the deeds those reservation rights pass through to the members. So, for example, the US Collection (the old Sunterra Florida trust) owns deeds for 19 resorts. Accordingly as a UDI owner in the trust you have access to those 19 resorts through the trust as if you were an owner at those resorts.

As a UDI owner, your level of ownership in the trust is denominated in points. The more points you own the bigger your ownership in the trust. If buy a UDI what you will see is the number of Trust points associated with your trust ownership.
 

timeos2

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They make resale almost impossible to grasp by design

Ok, which gets us back to the original questions:

1. How can I verify whether or not it is tied to points? What info do I need to provide to the resort, so they can verify.
You have the way - contact the resort (although they do NOT make it easy to get information about these things).

If they are SunOptions, then those do transfer - correct?
No. Sunterra now Diamond does not allow points (THE CLUB or any of the old Club Sunterra style voluntary memberships) to transfer with a sale. All you'd get is the points that the week AT THAT RESORT is worth. And for use ONLY AT THAT RESORT. Confused? That's because they purposely made it confusing. But you will not be getting any type of multi-resort points included in any resale of that week of use time.

Is this a good deal? I like the underlying week, but know nothing about Diamond.
If you like the week - and only the week at the resort - and the price then it can be a good deal for you. We are a 15+ year happy owners of a now Diamond affiliated but independent resort that would have a similar resale scenario. We have loved it from the start and it is our favorite now. We also got into THE CLUB in 1998 for $1100 while holding our deed (no longer offered as I understand it) and have been happy with that as well. Recently they have gone crazy with outrageous fees for that Club - we may decide to drop out of that if prices continue to climb as we long ago got our $1100 worth. The base week we originally purchased is still the crown jewel and the last one we would ever give up. And we would NEVER give up our deed for a promised "trust" system and the lack of control that brings. We do not trust the trusts.
 

ace2000

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There are no such things as SunOptions. Those disappeared when DRI took over.

Then why are some saying that 'SunOption' points are the only type of points that transfer during resale?

Perhaps, I've been reading too many older posts???
 
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gorevs9

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The term "SunOptions" disappeared when Diamond took over the Sunterra resorts. I assume there is still an applicable "Points" system in place for owners in the US Collection (old Sunterra Florida Trust).
 

timeos2

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It's just too much

Then why are some saying that 'SunOption' points are the only type of points that transfer during resale?

Perhaps, I've been reading too many older posts???
Whatever they are calling SunOptions Points now (it seems to be yet another confusing term like THE CLUB points although they are NOT in the total THE CLUB) they would be the ONLY Diamond points that would actually transfer on a resale. But that was a very short lived system and there aren't many owners. It is also limited to what had been known as The Florida Trust (also renamed I guess) that was about 17 resorts. It doesn't sound like what you are looking at is in that system but, until you can confirm exactly what it is, you simply don't know what is being offered. In my experience the owner has little clue either as, again, the whole thing is convoluted and seemingly purposely shrouded in mystery to cloud any tyoe of resale value.
 

ace2000

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Ok, I'm starting to understand. I'm starting to wonder if a straight-forward fixed week contract might be the best way to go! I was originally thinking that the points were a possible bonus on this item.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Ok, I'm starting to understand. I'm starting to wonder if a straight-forward fixed week contract might be the best way to go! I was originally thinking that the points were a possible bonus on this item.
I hope you've figured out by now that the concept of any type of "points" in a DRI resale only applies if the resale is a trust UDI. If that's still confusing, then you need to back up.

A trust ownership is the way to go if the resorts in the trust are all places you want to visit. Then buying into the trust gives you a nice easy way to access that collection of resorts.

That is the "bonus" of trust ownership in a resale.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Suspicions (Pretty Much) Confirmed.

In my experience the owner has little clue either as, again, the whole thing is convoluted and seemingly purposely shrouded in mystery to cloud any tyoe of resale value.
After 1 or 2 SunTerra-Diamond "owner updates," I concluded that the whole Club SunTerra idea (now T. H. E. Club) was dreamed up by that particular timeshare company expressly as a way of pushing back against timeshare resales.

I even said so to a SunTerra timeshare seller who was hanging around outside the salesroom arena at a SunTerra timeshare 1 time. His response was, "That's about the size of it." (or words to that effect).

Nothing that's been revealed here or elsewhere about SunTerra-Diamond timeshares & clubs since then has conflicted with that disclosure.


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ace2000

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I appreciate all of the info... it's been very interesting. This question may have been addressed earlier in this thread (I apologize), but what about the people who purchased an existing SunOption contract on the resale market in the past? They didn't just all of a sudden lose their ability to use the points at the other SunOption resorts, did they? I think you are saying this only affects future resale transactions, correct?
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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I appreciate all of the info... it's been very interesting. This question may have been addressed earlier in this thread (I apologize), but what about the people who purchased an existing SunOption contract on the resale market in the past? They didn't just all of a sudden lose their ability to use the points at the other SunOption resorts, did they? I think you are saying this only affects future resale transactions, correct?
If it's a UDI, then you don't own a deed. Instead the trust owns a bunch of deeds and you own an interest in the trust. All of those deeds at individual resorts have associated reservation rights and because the trust owns the deeds those reservation rights pass through to the members. So, for example, the US Collection (the old Sunterra Florida trust) owns deeds for 19 resorts. Accordingly as a UDI owner in the trust you have access to those 19 resorts through the trust as if you were an owner at those resorts.

As a UDI owner, your level of ownership in the trust is denominated in points. The more points you own the bigger your ownership in the trust. If buy a UDI what you will see is the number of Trust points associated with your trust ownership.
When Club Sunterra was formed, it was built using the same point values that were being used in the Trust. That is, Trust ownerships brought into Club Sunterra had the same number of points in Club Sunterra as they had in the Trust. So at that time, Trust points got magically renamed as SunOptions, whether or not they were in the Trust.

I guess that's the confusion. Trust owners were never given SunOptions; they always had points and those points simply got renamed. When a Trust unit is sold, those trust points simply transferred over to the new owner. And they were still called SunOptions, but until the owner paid to join Club Sunterra, the points could only be used in the Trust.

And that is still the system to this day. But now they are simply points, not SunOptions. Nothing was given and nothing was taken away. Things were simply renamed.
 
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Bill4728

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but what about the people who purchased an existing SunOption contract on the resale market in the past? They didn't just all of a sudden lose their ability to use the points at the other SunOption resorts, did they?
Yes the new owners only had use of the one resort which the deed was tied to. The Sun Options went away.
I think you are saying this only affects future resale transactions, correct?
NO, it has in effect for all resells for some time.

The only people who can use points/SunOptions at all the DRI resorts are owners who buy or bought directly from DRI/ Sunterra. Any points/SunOptions bought resale are excluded from the "Club"

BUT Owners who buy "trust" points resale, can use them at the "trust" resorts.
 
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Y-ASK

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BUT Owners who buy "trust" points resale, can use them at the "trust" resorts.
If you purchase, via resale, points in a UDI SV1 Trust (The US Collection), can you bank those points for next year's use like you can in "THE CLUB"?

Y-ASK
 
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