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TIME SENSITIVE: New owner trying to avoid buyer's remorse before my cancellation date

deez

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So, I've literally read myself to sleep the last 2 nights and it wasn't until I found this site that I'm starting to get more level-headed again about my very fresh purchase into the upcoming Nanea Villa's in Maui, so thank you for sharing your experiences and expertise.

It seems to me that most reviews of timeshares in general are pretty negative, so I wanted to get off the timeshare witch-hunt vibe that other reviews online seem to focus on, as I get it, people generally only offer reviews when they've had a horrible experience, and not necessarily when they have a great one. Like I said, I'm starting to look at my purchase as half glass full again, after reading a lot of your posts/comments.

I'm still concerned, however, that this purchase might not be totally right for me and my family of 4 (wife and 2 young kids under the age of 5), and our lifestyle moving forward, so I wanted to run some things by you good folks before my Friday (11/6/15) deadline to cancel.

Forgive my naivety, as I'm just starting to learn all the nomenclature and acronyms that all you timeshare-savvy folks have developed, but let me review with you what I've purchased, and hopefully you can all give me some feedback as to if this SVN network and it's other perks are a good idea for me. I know, ultimately, no one can tell me what's best for me, but I need a little validation on some of the things that I bought into were indeed good things, so here we go.

We purchased a resort-view EOY 1 week package that offers me 148k StarOptions at my home resort at Nanea. For our incentives, we got the Gold Status w/ SPG, 70k StarPoints and 4 certificates to buy 90k StarPoints at like $1875. Outside of some resort credits and other small extras, thats pretty much the package, and it's like $31k for the mortgage portion and MF of $1331 or something very close (my sales guy told me that this also includes my $99 banking fee for points if I want to roll them over, so that number can fluctuate slightly if I don't roll points over in any given use year).

First off, I appreciated the fact that he just kind of rolled all the potential fees/costs together into a number for me to digest if that works financially, and then broke it down to explain that it could go down but not really up (unless of course MF's are raised for that year, which I understand historically has been about 4% at the neighboring Westin Villa property since it's inception).

My wife and I intend to use our StarOptions, but we aren't necessarily hell bent on going to Maui every time, and in fact, are looking at the conversion to StarPoints option as a great flexible ownership perk. I understand its not always the best value, dollar-to-point, but we see ourselves using StarPoints a lot as our kids are getting to the age that they can stay w/ family for a weekend and we can start taking getaways together again. We love the idea that we can stay at all the high end 1200 fine hotels in the network all across the world using our newfound big chunk of StarPoints, and will continue to look for smart ways to accrue those points via the SPG AMEX card and other avenues. Suffice it to say, we love nice hotels, but honestly, when I'm staring at the booking screen as a renter, I almost never willingly pay $350+/night for a room, so using these SPG points to take advantage of what we normally would not do, seems very appealing to us.

In terms of using the StarOptions, we are relatively close to Palm Springs, AZ and CO so perhaps those EOY points might last longer to take shorter trips in slower parts of the year to these villas w/ extended family. My point here is that our ownership at Nanea isn't the prime focus of our ownership, while we do look forward to staying there and enjoying those villas in the future. It was more so getting into a group that has a flexible and powerful network to stay in luxury hotels/villas across the world under the Starwood group. The inheritable lifetime Gold Status seems to also offer a lot of attractive benefits, especially if we do use the StarPoints and hotel network more than we do the SVN Villa network.

So, all that said, my fears still are:

A.) We are spending way more than needed to achieve Gold Status w/ SPG. 25 nights a year in SPG hotels seems expensive, but I've heard from a friend Gold status can be achieved by using a SPG AMEX and charging over $25k/year on stuff. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Thoughts?

B.) MF's will skyrocket and my supposed "low" early phase buy-in price was just a lure and I will regret having to pay high MF's for the rest of my life. I know, no one can predict inflation perfectly, but just wondering if you SVN owners out there feel like you're being gouged by MF's (especially in the Maui properties that are purpose-built, and not pre-existing resorts that need lots of renovation)

C.) Booking at other villas in the SVN network will be near impossible and we will only have a shot at going back to our home report, Nanea, on those years we actually do decide to use the StarOptions and go on our week vacation.

D.) My initial investment for the mortgage is really just a large chunk money-suck, as that equity will never be returned to my kids or future lineage since timeshare sales rarely turn a profit, much less break even, when they are finally sold.

Thanks in advance for hearing me out, and offering any advice or thoughts...cheers folks!
 

DeniseM

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I'm an owner in the [original phase of] this resort - You can buy on the resale market for a fraction of the cost - RESCIND

A.) We are spending way more than needed to achieve Gold Status w/ SPG. 25 nights a year in SPG hotels seems expensive, but I've heard from a friend Gold status can be achieved by using a SPG AMEX and charging over $25k/year on stuff. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Thoughts?
Gold status is so common that it has little or no value. It shouldn't even be one of your considerations. RESCIND

B.) MF's will skyrocket and my supposed "low" early phase buy-in price was just a lure and I will regret having to pay high MF's for the rest of my life. I know, no one can predict inflation perfectly, but just wondering if you SVN owners out there feel like you're being gouged by MF's (especially in the Maui properties that are purpose-built, and not pre-existing resorts that need lots of renovation)
The maintenance fee has doubled in 10 years, and I would expect it to continue to rise - the maintenance fee is controlled by the management company and the local fathers (taxes) and they have no motivation to keep it down. RESCIND

C.) Booking at other villas in the SVN network will be near impossible and we will only have a shot at going back to our home report, Nanea, on those years we actually do decide to use the StarOptions and go on our week vacation.
This resort is WAYYYY to expensive to use for a trader, when you consider that you can buy a different Starwood timeshare to use for a Staroption trader for less than $2,000, and a much lower maintenance fee. You should only buy this if you want to use it every year. RESCIND

D.) My initial investment for the mortgage is really just a large chunk money-suck, as that equity will never be returned to my kids or future lineage since timeshare sales rarely turn a profit, much less break even, when they are finally sold.
Common wisdom is that you never come out ahead when you finance a timeshare. You can get nice timeshares on the resale market for 0-10% of what you are paying. You should rescind, and investigate the resale market, where you can pay cash, and have no interest, and no payments. RESCIND

This is a brand new resort. If you rescind now, and then decide you want to buy from the developer :eek: this same deal will still be available next week, next month, and next year.

BUT - you only have one change to rescind - and that is right now: RESCIND!
 
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deez

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Thanks Denise, I appreciate the candor and advice. The whole resale idea w/ SVN is still baffling to me. If I were to purchase as a resale, don't I lose the SVN network and all the perks it comes with? I did read your other post stating that there are a few properties (4 specifically, that allow StarOptions to the buyer on resale, but I guess Nanea is not one of them, so I would have to want to come to this resort every time, right?)

Lastly, if I do want to rescind, how do I got about that? I want to get all the info first, before I call my sales guy again, as I'm sure he will do everything he can to talk me out of it, no matter how nice of a guy he was when we purchased.

Thanks!
D
 

mnmrsjjp

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RE: the Starwood AMEX. You now have to charge $30,000 per year to be gold.
 

DavidnRobin

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DeniseM - isn't this for Nanea? You own Nanea? (I doubt this is the case)

OP - Nanea can't have reviews - it hasn't opened yet.

Sometimes (rarely) - buying from SVO makes sense under certain conditions. Nanea and WSJ CV/SB can fall into this scenerio (again... rarely, and disposable income is involved)

Based on your post - this in not the case - Rescind.
 

DeniseM

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Nanea is not one of the resorts that includes Staroptions, but both of the adjacent phases at the resort do have Staroptions on a resale. It doesn't make financial sense to pay so much more for Nanea, and finance it.

Important point - because it has no Staroptions when resold - that kills the resale value. So essentially what you paid big bucks for is probably worth 10-20% of what you paid for it, on the resale market. This isn't speculation - this is EXACTLY what happened at Westin Princeville.

Do NOT call sales, or anyone else at Starwood - they will only try to talk you out of it, and you cannot rescind by calling them.

Legally - you MUST rescind in writing. By law, this info. must be included in your sales Docs, but it may be in small print.

More info. about rescinding: http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74493
 
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LisaRex

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First off, I appreciated the fact that he just kind of rolled all the potential fees/costs together into a number for me to digest if that works financially, and then broke it down to explain that it could go down but not really up (unless of course MF's are raised for that year, which I understand historically has been about 4% at the neighboring Westin Villa property since it's inception).
MFs went up double digits at WKORV-N and WKORV in the years immediately after the resort was sold out. The cost of ownership will continue to rise. Mark my words.

My wife and I intend to use our StarOptions, but we aren't necessarily hell bent on going to Maui every time, and in fact, are looking at the conversion to StarPoints option as a great flexible ownership perk.
Just because you have SOs does not mean that you can exchange to the places where you want to go. For instance, right now Harborside in Atlantis is completely sold out til June. Westin St. John is a notoriously hard exchange to get. Westin Kierland is hard to get into during high season. Etc Etc. That, IMO, is the biggest downside to buying for the ability to exchange.

I understand its not always the best value, dollar-to-point, but we see ourselves using StarPoints a lot as our kids are getting to the age that they can stay w/ family for a weekend and we can start taking getaways together again. We love the idea that we can stay at all the high end 1200 fine hotels in the network all across the world using our newfound big chunk of StarPoints, and will continue to look for smart ways to accrue those points via the SPG AMEX card and other avenues.
You're forking over $30k for the ability to buy StarPoints at a discount. That seems rather silly to me. How many hotels could you stay in for $30k?

Also, Hyatt just bought out Starwood, so I wouldn't buy anything based on the Starwood model. It is very likely that the two hotel programs will merge, and the number of points needed will change to the Hyatt model.

In terms of using the StarOptions, we are relatively close to Palm Springs, AZ and CO so perhaps those EOY points might last longer to take shorter trips in slower parts of the year to these villas w/ extended family.
Once again, these are all subject to availability.

My point here is that our ownership at Nanea isn't the prime focus of our ownership, while we do look forward to staying there and enjoying those villas in the future. It was more so getting into a group that has a flexible and powerful network to stay in luxury hotels/villas across the world under the Starwood group. The inheritable lifetime Gold Status seems to also offer a lot of attractive benefits, especially if we do use the StarPoints and hotel network more than we do the SVN Villa network.
Once again, don't assume that the Starwood program will survive the merger. Even if it does, it's not Gold Status for LIFE, but Gold Status for as long as you own a TS.

A.) We are spending way more than needed to achieve Gold Status w/ SPG. 25 nights a year in SPG hotels seems expensive, but I've heard from a friend Gold status can be achieved by using a SPG AMEX and charging over $25k/year on stuff. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Thoughts?
It's $30k and it's right on the AMEX website:

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/starwood-preferred-guest?nc=yes&linknav=us-ccsg-cardshop-cm-viewallcards-learnmore

SPG - 30K Gold Status
If during any calendar year, Eligible Purchases on your Card account are $30,000 or more, you (the Basic Card Member) will be enrolled for at least twelve months in the Gold Preferred level of the Starwood Preferred Guest® loyalty program (unless you are already enrolled in an equivalent or higher level).

MF's will skyrocket and my supposed "low" early phase buy-in price was just a lure and I will regret having to pay high MF's for the rest of my life. I know, no one can predict inflation perfectly, but just wondering if you SVN owners out there feel like you're being gouged by MF's (especially in the Maui properties that are purpose-built, and not pre-existing resorts that need lots of renovation)
Starwood subsidizes MFs during the sales phase and then ends the subsidy after the resort sells out. My MFs at WKORV-N went from $1500 to $2400 in a few short years. And SVN fees continue to rise, as well. Assume that the cost of ownership will increase every year.

Also note that Starwood did not adjust the number of SPs owners received when they raised MFs. So in 2007, the conversion to SPs was enough to spend a week in the top level hotel. I believe now it's down to 2 or 3 nights. So proceed with caution and don't overbuy SPs, especially since Starwood and Hyatt are merging.

Booking at other villas in the SVN network will be near impossible and we will only have a shot at going back to our home report, Nanea, on those years we actually do decide to use the StarOptions and go on our week vacation.
Everything is subject to availability. Your best shot is if you plan way ahead and are ready to try for an exchange the second the exchange window opens.

My initial investment for the mortgage is really just a large chunk money-suck, as that equity will never be returned to my kids or future lineage since timeshare sales rarely turn a profit, much less break even, when they are finally sold.
I would NEVER finance a timeshare purchase. All that number crunching to justify ownership is meaningless if you don't add in interest charges. While Hawaii properties have held their value, you will very likely lose money when you go to sell.

Thanks in advance for hearing me out, and offering any advice or thoughts...cheers folks!
My advice? Rescind, then enjoy the rest of your vacation. AFTER you get home, do more research to determine what the best move for you and your family is. Don't give up one more minute of your vacation over this decision.
 

Passepartout

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Deez, if there is any doubt that you should not continue with this purchase, re-read Denise's post. Especially the last word of each of her posted sentences. She knows of what she speaks.

There is no reason to talk to your salesweasel. To rescind, just follow the instructions you'll find near the end of your contract. Basically, write a letter in plain English, "I/We wish to exercise our right to rescind and cancel the purchase of timeshare contract #___________ dated 10/__/2015" And send it by their required method to the address given in the instructions. That's all there is to it, but time's a' wastin'! Get it in the mail ASAP.

Even if it turns out to be the best deal ever (it isn't), and you decide to buy this again, the same deal will always be available. Learn before you plunk down those thou$and$.

Jim
 

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So.
That deal is not going anywhere and I would encourage you to rescind and stick around while we discuss this more.

A couple of reasons to rescind.

Using HI for starpoints is likely to be really bad value.

Interest on 31k over the next few yeara will be a good vacation worth of money.
 
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Thank you all, seems like everyone has the same advice, and the point about it feeling funny inside me already is definitely a red flag that I'm not really ready for this type of commitment.

I'm going to take the advice I read somewhere in another post on TUG to leave my wallet and checkbook in the room then next time I decided to sit through another sales preso!

I'll be sending that letter tomorrow, thanks again everyone, truly appreciate the pearls of wisdom here! ;)
 

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DeniseM - isn't this for Nanea? You own Nanea? (I doubt this is the case)
deez - I own in the original phase of that resort, and I edited my first post and clarified that point. I bought preconstruction, so I have owned there for 10+ years. My point in stating that I'm an owner is that I have experience with this resort. Nanea is essentially the 3rd phase at the existing resort, since they share all exterior amenities.
 
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31k invested properly could provide a nice trust fund for future vacations. Listen to Denise and RESCIND.
 

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Thank you all, seems like everyone has the same advice, and the point about it feeling funny inside me already is definitely a red flag that I'm not really ready for this type of commitment.

I'm going to take the advice I read somewhere in another post on TUG to leave my wallet and checkbook in the room then next time I decided to sit through another sales preso!

I'll be sending that letter tomorrow, thanks again everyone, truly appreciate the pearls of wisdom here! ;)
You have gotten good advice already, and I agree with it. I believe you should rescind.

Now, having said that, I think you should study timeshares carefully, because they can be a fabulous way of traveling with your young family. I purchased my first timeshare when my kids were 5-3-1, and we've had numerous (67?) vacations of which 53 of them were via timeshare -- that we never could have done without owning these crazy things.

We love Marriott, Starwood, Hilton and Worldmark, and each one serves a different purpose. We've purchased directly from the developer once (and did it intentionally -- to buy a fixed week at Maui Ocean Club) but other than that, the resale market has served us very well.

So....study all of the systems carefully, figure out how much cash you want to pay for a timeshare (because you don't want to finance it) and then place your bet. You may spend 6-24 months learning about them before you finally buy one, but I bet it will transform the way you and your family vacation.

I'm glad you found TUG, and glad you asked the question.

Best,

Greg
 
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OK, so, just want to make sure: does the letter need to be notorized and hand signed by both my wife and I (since we are both on the contract)?
 

DeniseM

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OK, so, just want to make sure: does the letter need to be notorized and hand signed by both my wife and I (since we are both on the contract)?
Not notarized - hand signed by both spouses. Keep copies of what you send, and send with a trackable method as specified in your purchase Docs.
 

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Ok, just looked through my paperwork and found a form for cancellation: Notice of Mutual Right of Cancellation of Time Share Purchase. Says that it should be mailed or delivered or send a telegram to SVO Pacific, Inc, no later than midnight of 11/6/15. Does that mean it needs to arrived an received before that date or postmarked no later than that date??
 

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Ok, just looked through my paperwork and found a form for cancellation: Notice of Mutual Right of Cancellation of Time Share Purchase. Says that it should be mailed or delivered or send a telegram to SVO Pacific, Inc, no later than midnight of 11/6/15. Does that mean it needs to arrived an received before that date or postmarked no later than that date??
Postmarked by that date. Of course, sooner is better for your sleep. :)

Congrats for making the right move. Timeshare is great, but at this time of your young lives, this is not the time.

Jim
 

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Deez - keep reading here once you are back in the real world .
and re read Greg T's post - about different purposes for each of his purchased properties . I think your purchase had too many goals , which may be why you started questioning it beyond the $ cost . ( That is also how TS sales staff overcomes objections - such as " what if - we don't want to come here every vacation )
Also look at the Tug rental section for max $100 /night .

Keep making sure you and your family go on fun vacations - and having a
suite vs a hotel room makes for less stress = more fun .
Somewhere on a TUG thread I saw a post that said : My kids( who are now late teens) still love, Vacation Villages at Parkway , because it was the first resort we went to when they were young and we returned yearly back then and they had their own room & loved the pool . It wasn't the resort- it was being with Dad & Mom on vacation and having a great time .
-----
make sure you get some kind of tracking receipt/ for proof of the date mailed
as others said above.
 
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mjm1

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You have gotten good advice already, and I agree with it. I believe you should rescind.

Now, having said that, I think you should study timeshares carefully, because they can be a fabulous way of traveling with your young family. I purchased my first timeshare when my kids were 5-3-1, and we've had numerous (67?) vacations of which 53 of them were via timeshare -- that we never could have done without owning these crazy things.

We love Marriott, Starwood, Hilton and Worldmark, and each one serves a different purpose. We've purchased directly from the developer once (and did it intentionally -- to buy a fixed week at Maui Ocean Club) but other than that, the resale market has served us very well.

So....study all of the systems carefully, figure out how much cash you want to pay for a timeshare (because you don't want to finance it) and then place your bet. You may spend 6-24 months learning about them before you finally buy one, but I bet it will transform the way you and your family vacation.

I'm glad you found TUG, and glad you asked the question.

Best,

Greg
Deep, congratulations on finding TUG and deciding to do more study before buying. Greg and others have provided great advice. If you have the opportunity to vacation again before buying something resale you can rent from an owner at a resort/system in which you may have an interest, so you can try it out.

We have owned timeshares for 30 years and have enjoyed the experience and memories over the years. I am confident you will enjoy the same.

Ask a lot of questions. Good luck and let us know the questions you have.

Mike
 

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Definitely rescind. You can access Maui as your home resort and get all of the worthwhile benefits of ownership by buying resale WKORV. You bought an island view EOY for $31K -- you can buy an ocean front ANNUAL for the same price or EOY for less.

This is coming from someone who has made a combination of resale and developer purchases. But I started with resale.

I couldn't speak more highly about timeshare ownership in general. But you should never purchase from the developer without a very specific goal -- and you should already have that goal in mind before walking into a sales presentation.
 

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It seems to me that most reviews of timeshares in general are pretty negative, so I wanted to get off the timeshare witch-hunt vibe that other reviews online seem to focus on, as I get it, people generally only offer reviews when they've had a horrible experience, and not necessarily when they have a great one. Like I said, I'm starting to look at my purchase as half glass full again, after reading a lot of your posts/comments.
Timeshares are great---at least, they've been great for me. But, all of mine have been purchased on the secondary market.

I bought my first one (resale) about nine years ago, when my kids were 8 and 6. Even from the very beginning, we've never been the sort of people who thought a single hotel room for the family was a vacation. Prior to timesharing, we'd rent privately-owned condos, or perhaps stay at a Residence Inn or equivalent.

The advantages of timesharing, for us, are the ability to stretch out and have a true home base for the week. Separate bedrooms for the parents and kids, plus a living area for the night owls/early birds, means everyone gets to be on vacation. Don't discount the value of a private bedroom for the parents with a door that locks! Having a kitchen makes breakfast a lot simpler, helps keep my teenagers from dying from hunger, and means we can get takeout or even make something simple when we don't feel up to going "out for dinner." The washer/dryer means never having to worry about packing for all contingencies or being caught by an unexpected change in the weather.

There are some things that can be downsides to timesharing. Almost none of them provide daily housekeeping, and many don't even do a mid-week trash and tidy. We don't mind re-using towels for a week, but some folks might. Timeshare resorts also tend to be more "self service" than a resort hotel---fewer or no restaurants, sometimes no bell services, generally no valet parking, etc. There are exceptions to all of these things, of course, but they are usually exceptions.

We are taking more vacations than I ever expected to, and the lodging costs have been more than fair. We are spending more in total on vacation than we would otherwise, but I'd rather spend money on experiences than things, for the most part. Also, not all of our vacations are in timeshares---we also cruise and we travel to places where timeshares are hard or impossible to obtain.

If the secondary market didn't exist, and I had to buy from a developer, I'm not sure I would do it. It certainly would have taken me several more years to be in a position to afford it, and in the end I might have just gone on renting. But, it does exist, and I'm glad for it. Your decision to rescind is a wise one.
 
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breezez

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Hyatt Pinon Pointe
Hyatt Coconut Plantation
AMEX Platinum comes with Starwood Gold
 

deez

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AMEX Platinum comes with Starwood Gold
Thank you for this info, I've just switched my current AMEX to Platinum! :wave:

As for rescinding, I sent the Notice to Cancel today via Preferred 2-day w/ signature confirmation and tracking, and have made copies myself of the original document. I will be making copies of the mail receipt which has the postmark info, so hopefully I've covered all my basis.

Again, I really appreciate everyone's advice and help in coming to this decision, as well as getting the actual cancellation out. I will most certainly immerse myself in the site and continue to learn about how timeshares can benefit my family.

Thanks all!
D
 

DavidnRobin

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WPORV (Kauai)
WSJ-VGV (St. John)
WKV (Scottsdale)
congrats
Heed the 3Rs (Rescind, Research, Resale) - you have started with the 1st R

do not finance a TS - unless you plan to pay off in full within short time period

also - do not not sweat the cancellation - it is good to follow instructions, but SVO is not looking to screw over people based on rescinding nuances. Do not expect to hear back - just wait for payment to be credited to CC (~14 days)

again - contrary to standard advice given here - there are times when it makes sense to buy from SVO (rarely, but not in this case AND with disposable income)
I know folks here on TUG that have bought from SVO with full knowledge of downside, but these are always for very specific reasons (e.g. fixed villas at Nanea, requalifying a resale to get to 5*, desire to have ability to convert SPs, etc...). I know our esteemed moderator does not agree, but there are cases and other opinions that are sometimes afraid to speak up as not to incur the wrath of TUG. Sorry, but keeping it real...

btw - we love our timeshares. If you want OF SVO in Maui (because you plan to go annually) - consider OF WKORV (resale) -
consider WKV (Plat) resale if you want use of SOs - consider WSJ is you want WSJ, but then need to decide on which phase.

good luck
 
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