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timeshare newbie bought West 57th!

ed.k

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We got waylaid into a sales presentation for West 57th while staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in NYC. They bribed us with Broadway tickets. I went in with no intention of listening to a word they said, but walked out with a stake in New York real estate. Sucker!

This forum is full of great advice and very helpful people. I have been reading and doing my due diligence, now that I have signed a contract. This is the end of my first of 7 business days to rescind the deal.

They said that on average owners hold 2.7 shares in the building. I wondered where the .7 came from. Well, that is what I ended up buying. The "closer" made us a slick offer, just for us.

Here is what we came away with:

- 3750 points (0.7 share) in the West 57th building. Points convert to HHonors @ 50:1
- 35,000 bonus points, convertible to HHonors @ 25:1 for 875,000 points
- 2 gold cards
- $1350 HOA fees
- a bill for $42k

Sucker! I have a few questions for some friendly experts.

The bait I took was the HHonors points, because we were going to see the world on them. But after some research into how many points Hilton charges, they don't look all that impressive for the price. Or am I missing something?

The Gold cards are an unknown. There seem to be a few perks, but nothing to get overly excited about. I have been happy with my Silver level, but I am easy to please. Again, what am I missing?

We are fairly young, early 50s, with not much vacation time during the year - one solid week, and a few 3-days here and there. No kids. Are we the type of people who benefit from a timeshare in general? We were thinking that this would be pre-paying our retirement travel plans while we are at the top of our earning potential.

Renting our share for cash is a bit murky. I haven't dug it out of the rules yet. Is it permitted?

We were told that Hilton *always* exercised the RoFR for this property. I have seen several listed on the website of one of the members here - Does anybody have any knowledge about this? Has anybody ever bought West 57th as a resale? I might think about that, if it's possible.

That's a lot of questions, sorry. I am in a cold sweat that I think is going to last a while. Any advice gladly taken.

Ed K
 

Bill4728

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Welcome to TUG

Look there has to be someone who buys direct from the developer BUT almost all the time buying direct means you'll pay at least 2-3 times what a resale buyer( buying from a current owner) will pay. For Hilton TSs there is very little reason to buy direct. There are a few perks of buying direct but IMHO not enough to justify the extra $20K -$30K

So since you can rescind do so NOW!! Follow the exact directions in your paperwork (If it says by US mail do not fed-ex the paperwork.)

If after careful thought you decide that it was a good deal for you, you will be able to get the same deal ( I know they said that it was today only but they always say that) BUT I'd bet you'll find that saving > $25K by buying from a current owner is a smarter choice.

Good Luck
 

fillde

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Bill4728 has given you good advice.

W57st is a new location. I think I have seen 1 resale on eBay. Don't recall what it sold for.

HGVC is a great product. But there are less expensive ways to get into the program.

Just so you know, you can trade into w 57st. There are more restrictions but it can be done by owning less expensive HGVC clubs.

There is a lot to learn. Take your time and do research. But rescind.
 
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alwysonvac

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Rescind and Research

We are fairly young, early 50s, with not much vacation time during the year - one solid week, and a few 3-days here and there. No kids. Are we the type of people who benefit from a timeshare in general? We were thinking that this would be pre-paying our retirement travel plans while we are at the top of our earning potential.
Don't believe everything you hear from the sales guys. Timeshares may work for you but not as an investment. This will not retain its value. Resale Prices will continue to drop. The value of your HHonors points will continue to decline (between changing Honors hotel categories and changing Honors point structures).

Here are some resale listings from one of our recommended TUG Resale agents for West 57th Street - http://judikoz.com/Search.aspx
MLS #14578 - asking price $14K for 3750 HGVC points
MLS #14842 - asking price $14K for 3750 HGVC points
MLS #12593 - asking price $20K for 3750 HGVC points
MLS #15087 - asking price $25K for 5250 HGVC points
MLS #11897 - asking price $30K for 5250 HGVC points
MLS #14878 - asking price $33K for 5250 HGVC points

NOTE: Hilton also has another older property in NYC called the Hilton Club with even lower resale prices.

HHonors Devaluation
- http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfromthewing/2013/02/19/hiltons-dramatic-devaluation-comes-march-28-time-to-unload-my-hhonors-points/
- http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=187689
- http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilton-hhonors/1440180-changes-hh-reward-stays-new-cat-more-pts-needed.html
 

lbjen

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The only benefits you get with Gold Honors are free breakfast and an upgrade where available - this usually means a better view or possibly better floor, not a suite from a room. 875,000 Honors points will get you 5-15 hotel nights, depending on where you use them. Those bonus points will likely expire too, did you check about that?
 

ed.k

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Thanks all for the replies.

Don't believe everything you hear from the sales guys. Timeshares may work for you but not as an investment. This will not retain its value. Resale Prices will continue to drop. The value of your HHonors points will continue to decline (between changing Honors hotel categories and changing Honors point structures).
I will give the sales team full credit on this one - they made it clear that this was a depreciating asset, like a luxury car. "Don't bring resale value into the calculation, only what is the real worth in its use". We did the rest of the sales pitch on ourselves.

The HHpoints devaluation took effect the day before the presentation. *That* is where they scammed us, by selling us rosy stories of nights in hotels at the old rate. Maybe they didn't get the memo. In any case, there would have to be a *lot* of nights in expensive hotels to make it worth the price we signed up for. Our spitballing calculations there in the boiler room were way off.

My question was about the wisdom of pre-paying for future vacations by buying a timeshare. And I see now that it is a question only my wife and I can answer, based on lifestyle and how our future works out. Not fair to ask you-all.

Everybody has confirmed my suspicion that we were suckers, or better, unwise and hasty. Letter to be written today (carefully).
 

itradehilton

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After rescinding think about how you want to vacation, if it is by traveling the world and staying at hotels or do you want to travel the world using a timeshare for a week at a time. Don't buy a timeshare to stay at a hotel.
 

mav

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Do exactly as Bill said ASAP ! Excellent advice!
 

Tcherniaev

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You can get Hilton Gold for free, it's mentioned on this forum and also on flyertalk.com , and even eBay sellers offer Gold status for like $10. As for Hilton points, I would say they are worth about 0.3 cents per point, or less than $3,000 for 875k points.
If you look on eBay, 5200 points sell for around 10k. Same maintenance fees, but you get more points. If you don't stay in New York a lot, then there is no reason to pay the premium for New York property in the first place.
 

ed.k

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OK, good people, I am pretty nervous. Sorry to bump this thread but I need reassuring. What happens once they get my letter? Any stickys I should read? Because I can't find out what to do next. There is a great article about how to rescind, but no info about this feeling of helplessness.

I just got an email from the USPS that my letter was signed for and has been delivered to 142 West 57th St., the address in the contract. Do I wait around for a contact from them?

I can't find the contact info for the business office at that address. Is that info available somewhere on TUG?

Wish I had found this site before I bought!!!!
 

SmithOp

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Relax, you have confirmation of delivery. Hilton is a class act, they will process the cancelation and notify you in due time.

Here is the contact info, they could direct you to the contracts manager but it won't make it go faster :)


WEST 57TH STREET BY HILTON CLUB
102 WEST 57TH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 10019, USA
TEL: 1-212-379-0103
 
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JohnPaul

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I own at West 57th Street and yes I bought from the Developer. (Own lots of other stuff resale.)

If you can buy it on the resale market (there are a couple of brokers) by all means do so.

However, I don't regret my purchase. This is one of our favorite resorts and one we will NEVER give away to others for use.

As to Hilton HHonors Gold, I think it is a huge upgrade from Silver. You typically get an upgrade room, free internet, and lounge access. Lounge access means you get free breakfast and evening snacks (at least week nights). In Europe, it typically means you also get free drinks.

We saved a fortune last year in Europe by being Gold.

Although it is possible to trade in via other HGVC ownership it is a very small window that only starts 45 days of less from check in. Not too helpful if you want to plan ahead. It is a different program than other HGVC resorts.

Another plus of owning is that you get breakfast and evening wine, beer and snacks in the Owner's lounge. This is very nicely done. It is ONLY available to West 57th St owners and is not availabe to other HGVC, people booking through Hilton or people trading in. This tends to make all those people very annoyed.
 

masala

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I agree with John Paul. We have two units at West 57th (one bought from the developer, and the other through resale), and we have enjoyed using them immensely. If you plan to be in New York at least once or twice a year, this is a great deal -- terrific location and good value.
 

Carlsbadguy

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I've got my first stay at West 57th street in 2 weeks. Am an owner at the Hilton Club in New York but there was no availability there for the days I wanted. It will be interesting to compare. I will miss the lounge access I get at the Hilton Club.
 

ed.k

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Last word - contract is cancelled and we are off the hook. My relief is immense.

Thanks to everybody who chimed in with advice. I may be back later when it is time to think about a reasonable deal for a timeshare.

Ed K
 

fillde

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Next time in NY go celebrate. Head down to Katz 's deli have a pastrami on rye with extra mustard.:whoopie:
 

r.wolfe

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We got the same pitch last Saturday. Ours is similar....

- 3750 points (0.7 share) in the West 57th building. Points convert to HHonors @ 50:1
- 35,000 bonus points, convertible to HHonors @ 25:1 for 875,000 points
- 2 gold cards
- $1350 HOA fees
- a bill for $39k

Since it sort of specifies "mail" as the way to rescind I have sent letters via USPS and Fed-Ex. My attorney also advised that we fax and e-mail them as well. Thoughts?
 

Talent312

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Follow the instructions in the contract to the letter
... even if you or your attorney think there is a better way.
... do not embellish the plain meaning of the words used.
Add other means if you wish, but they do not count as a substitute.

Hilton is entitled to enforce their contract as written.
But if you meet the terms specified, Hilton will do the right thing.
They are a class-act and about as consumer-friendly as it gets.

.
 
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