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Universal Vacation Club (UVC) Villa Group - Is it worth it?

AMARTIN1983

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This is my first post so bear with me. I've been reading a lot of information online about timeshares over the past few years and this site has always been most helpful to me.
So, every time I go to see if buying a resale timeshare is "worth" it, I have always convinced myself that renting is better/cheaper but I've never had much luck finalizing a rental deal.
Recently, I came across a lady selling her UVC Preferred Access (1 week / biennial even / winter / studio / 1200 pts / $497 MF / RTU 2040) membership for practically free ($500). The Timeshare is 100% paid off. I engaged her and am in the process of purchasing the timeshare but am worried that there is something I will later find out that will make me regret this decision. BTW, I have done my due diligence an am comfortable that everything is legit.
What I do know: I know that upon converting, the membership will be downgraded to "Premier" and I will lose the points and the Preferred Access Membership. From what I understand, I will be able to use my 1 week in the winter for a studio as originally promised. I can still bank/borrow weeks and I can still upgrade or bring friends by getting more then one room (paying/banking/borrowing).
I also know that the Maintenance Fees can change but they are currently going from $460 - $600 for that unit which I'm ok with.
Why I want it: Basically, I am looking to book a Studio week in week 3 (falls within my winter weeks) every other year as intended. If I book directly with Villa Del Arco/Palmero it will cost me over $1500 for the week for myself, wife and 2 kids. Using the timeshare I can book it for ~$600 MF for the week. This is what appeals to me the most.
I am not looking at exchanging/trading/renting at this time. I may possibly visit their PV/Cancun locations from time to time.
Am I missing something or will this end up being a good decision if I use it the way I intend to?
Thank you all in advance for taking the time to ease my mind.
P.S. If it's not working for me as I expected, can I surrender/cancel the timeshare so long as everything is paid off.
 
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Karen G

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If it's not working for me as I expected, can I surrender/cancel the timeshare so long as everything is paid off.
No, unfortunately you can't. You would need to sell it or give it away to be done with the annual maintenance fees.

However, since it's a Mexican timeshare, it probably is a Right-to-Use property. The original owner most likely bought it for a fixed number of years, after which the RTU agreement ends. It would be good to know how many years are left on the ownership.

The price seems good but I'm wondering if a studio will be big enough for you, your wife, and two kids. How old are the kids? I've not stayed in a studio at Villa Palmar but I would assume it has two double beds, a kitchenette, and one bathroom. If the kids are small now, it's probably not an issue, but kids do get older and bigger as time goes on.:)
 
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easyrider

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Recently, I came across a lady selling her UVC Preferred Access (1 week / biennial even / winter / studio / 1200 pts / $497 MF / RTU 2040)

You should pass on this. All point contracts revert to a premiere membership with a Puerto Vallarta home resort.

You should look for a gold or premiere, winter weeks, one bedroom, contract. The one bedroom units have better views at the more popular UVC resorts. It is hard to find an older premiere winter 1 bed membership that has the lowest maintenance fees but I see gold memberships often enough.

Bill
 

ronandjoan

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You have done your research well, and you have found out that buying resale is the best deal. And you have found place you like.. however, I agree that a studio is too small for your family. The studios at Villa del Palmar in PV have only one bed and no pull out couch. You really need a 1 BD unit.
We have a 1 Bd in VDP in PV and it does sleep 4 with the living room sleeper.
And looking on eBay is good…oh you did not mention where you had found your unit..
After we visited our friends at VDP while staying at another resort, we found 2 VDP weeks on eBay. They were $480 each with $480 MF and still had 7 more years on their lease. They also happened to be 2 consecutive fixed weeks in Feb which are very hard to reserve (also January weeks are) and that’s when our friends went every year. We have used them every year since – and 2016 will be our last year.
Do you only want the Villa Group or would you look at others? You might keep looking on eBay, Redweek, TUG marketplace, TUG bargain deals…. Something will come up
 

beach.bar.bob

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BTW, I have done my due diligence an am comfortable that everything is legit.
What I do know: I know that upon converting, the membership will be downgraded to "Premier" ...Basically, I am looking to book a Studio week in week 3 (falls within my winter weeks) every other year as intended. If I book directly with Villa Del Arco/Palmero ...

P.S. If it's not working for me as I expected, can I surrender/cancel the timeshare so long as everything is paid off.

No, unfortunately you can't. You would need to sell it or give it away to be done with the annual maintenance fees. ...
)

Actually UVC does have a policy that fully paid (including current year maintenance fees) gold/premier memberships can be surrendered. However, this is a policy not a contractual right nor in the bylaws...thus your mileage may vary. This policy could change at any time.

I've posted the verbiage and link to this info several times in the past. Refer to my previous posts to track it down.

You should pass on this. All point contracts revert to a premiere membership with a Puerto Vallarta home resort.

You should look for a gold or premiere, winter weeks, one bedroom, contract. The one bedroom units have better views at the more popular UVC resorts. It is hard to find an older premiere winter 1 bed membership that has the lowest maintenance fees but I see gold memberships often enough.

Bill

I'm with Bill and Joan on this...you'll be happier in a 1 bedroom winter week and it won't cost much more. I'd suggest a gold membership for the following reason.

You know that the points membership will revert to a Premier membership. As Bill says the home resort will be VDP Puerto Vallarta. In your initial note you indicate you may want to book at Villa del Arco. Be aware that with a Premier membership you can book 24 months in advance at your home resort (VDP PV) but only 10 months out at any of the other resorts. It is becoming increasing more difficult to book Villa del Arco - see below for my opinion as to why. 10 months may not be enough lead time for a winter week. A Gold membership gives you a 24 month window at all UVC resorts. There is no home resort concept for floating Gold memberships.

VDA is our go to resort. I've found it necessary to book Feb rooms about 15 months out. The problem is that VDA is the smallest and most popular UVC resort. If you've ever stayed there you've seen the parade of sales presentations they run thru that property every day. They sell the heck out of that place. It's essentially a show room that enables them to sell the inventory of the other resorts. They just opened another new sales office at VDA last Feb while we were there.

Here's the challenge. Since they are selling points memberships (versus the old style fixed unit/week) the inventory can be accounted for many ways - for example the points membership you buy fully intending to use in the winter can actually be accounted for by the developer by indicating the inventory sold came from a summer week at any of the resorts. Purely a technically-correct bookkeeping maneuver that doesn't reflect how the points will be used. Thus there continues to be a build up in demand for VDA due to the ever increasing pool of owners that were sold on Cabo and VDA, want to stay in Cabo at VDA. Of course many can't book there when they want and then are disappointed in their acquisition. Sorry...little bit of a rant. One of my UVC pet peeves.

FWIW

bbb
 
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timesharejunkie4

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The studios at Villa del Palmar in PV have only one bed and no pull out couch.
I think you have been given great advice. According to the floor plans found at www.myuvc.com, all resorts except for VDP Cabo show that studios with 2 beds are available at the other resorts. VDP PV shows studios with one or two beds. I thought Cabo was the same but they don't show it on their floor plans. That being said, you will be much better off with a one bedroom gold winter week especially if you ever want to stay at VDE or VDP Cancun as you need to reserve more than one year in advance. Also, part of your strategy is to upgrade your studio to a one bedroom; that may not be that easy to do with the premier membership booking limitations and the time of year you want to travel.
 

AMARTIN1983

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Thank you

Thank all of you for your time and effort to help me better understand my situation and how to maximize the value and use I'll be getting. I'll be on the hunt for a Gold Winter 1 or 2 BR with VDA Cabo as the home resort. :)
 

timesharejunkie4

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Hopefully someone that knows for sure will speak up but I don't think VDA is a home resort for any gold memberships. Beware any seller that says they are selling VDA gold. The advantage is being able to book 24 months in advance. I have never had a problem booking VDA or VDP Cancun 14 months in advance. Since you seem to know the week you always want, do it 24 months in advance and you should have no problem. Also know that a gold membership offers a bonus summer week for an additional maintenance fee which only you can use or you can bank it with Interval International.
 

beach.bar.bob

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Thank all of you for your time and effort to help me better understand my situation and how to maximize the value and use I'll be getting. I'll be on the hunt for a Gold Winter 1 or 2 BR with VDA Cabo as the home resort. :)

Hopefully someone that knows for sure will speak up but I don't think VDA is a home resort for any gold memberships. ...
.

Carole is correct. Unlike Premier memberships which do have a home resort, Gold memberships float across all UVC resorts and do not have a home resort - unless...it is a fixed week gold membership of which there are a few.

FWIW

bbb
 

timesharejunkie4

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Carole is correct. Unlike Premier memberships which do have a home resort, Gold memberships float across all UVC resorts and do not have a home resort - unless...it is a fixed week gold membership of which there are a few.

FWIW

bbb

Yes, bbb, I have a fixed week in a 2 BR penthouse so that is why I wasn't sure. Thanks for the confirmation.
 

714kts

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A little off the subject - just tried to buy a 1 bdrm VDP Cabo from one of the timeshare shark sites - sounded like a good deal - $245. When I called, the agent said it was so low because UVC is now charging 10% of the original sales price instead of the $250 transfer fee we have paid on our last 2 units. I called and emailed UVC and received the same answer: its $250, but then the broker emailed me a copy of a contract they 'recently' closed on; it said the transfer fee was indeed 10%. Anyone have any clarification on this?
 

beach.bar.bob

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A little off the subject - just tried to buy a 1 bdrm VDP Cabo from one of the timeshare shark sites - sounded like a good deal - $245. When I called, the agent said it was so low because UVC is now charging 10% of the original sales price instead of the $250 transfer fee we have paid on our last 2 units. I called and emailed UVC and received the same answer: its $250, but then the broker emailed me a copy of a contract they 'recently' closed on; it said the transfer fee was indeed 10%. Anyone have any clarification on this?

Maybe the price is so low because there is no demand for that unit type/season right now? Or the resale company does a poor job of marketing/advertising to appropriate sales channels? Or they just don't know how to price? Or something else? Who knows?

I don't know what to tell you. This has come up several times in the last year or two. No one has yet, to my knowledge, positively confirmed that UVC (not the resale company) is in fact charging 10% of the original sales price.

The newly updated UVC website is no longer as helpful as it once was. It no longer contains the specific owner transfer details/forms it once did. It's become more benign:

"Resales/Transfers
Q. Does the Club or the Developer offer any resale options for my Membership?

A. Currently, there is no mechanism offered by the Club or the Developer to assist in the resale of your weeks/points. Although there are resale companies in existence, the Club does not recommend or endorse any of these organizations.
Q. How can I transfer Ownership of my Membership Contract?

A. Contact Member Services for complete instructions and requirements for Ownership Transfer. Memberships must be paid in full and have current maintenance fees to begin the process."


All I can say is that it's UVC's company not the timeshare sales shark's company. UVC "is" the arbitrator of what they charge. Color me silly if you must. Double-check with UVC. If they tell you the same thing again I think I'd find myself another timeshare sales company. Perhaps it's a revenue enhancement opportunity for the resale company.

If you should find out directly from UVC that there is indeed meat to the 10% fee rumor by all means please respond back here.

FWIW

bbb
 
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T-Dot-Traveller

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different transfer pricing

Since I own Mayan - the question comes to mind -- could any of this have to do with the date of the original contract . Perhaps new or newer contracts have a different transfer fee . if the reseller is unfamiliar with this they may not understand it either
 

Karen G

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could any of this have to do with the date of the original contract . Perhaps new or newer contracts have a different transfer fee . if the reseller is unfamiliar with this they may not understand it either
Yes, I think it all depends on the date of the contract and exactly what the contract says.

Our Mexican timeshare (Pueblo Bonito Rose in Cabo) was purchased in 1998. Although the print is very small, it does state on the contract that the transfer fee is $100 should we sell it. I've heard reports from more recent buyers that the transfer fee has gone up to $500. I do think whatever is on the original sales contract is the deciding factor.
 

beach.bar.bob

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Yes, I think it all depends on the date of the contract and exactly what the contract says.

UVC contracts are silent on transfer fees referring to the Club's Rules, Regulations and Bylaws which are available here: http://myuvci.villagroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/UVC-Rules-and-Regulations.pdf

Section 2.06 covers transfers. The applicable statement regarding transfer fees is:
"...A Transfer fee in an amount to be determined by the Club must also be paid to the Club to consummate such a Transfer..."

Thus there is no specific fee identified in the contracts or bylaws allowing UVC to charge whatever they deem appropriate. The transfer fee is a standard policy which can be changed without regard to the contracts or the bylaws. (Though, if needed, the bylaws can be changed at any time by a simple vote of the board of directors...which is developer controlled.)

In the past UVC has charged a transfer fee of $150 (I have multiple first hand experiences). There is credible evidence that UVC is currently charging $250 (see 714kts' note above).

While it is plausible that UVC could change its policy at any time (no impact on contracts/bylaws to worry about) and now charge a 10% of the original purchase price as a transfer fee (as the Solmar Group does) there is so far no credible evidence from anyone other than a resale company (who has a vested interest in collecting additional fees) that UVC has implemented such a policy.

I still think that UVC is the final arbitrator of what their current policy is regarding transfer fees. Based on the most recent evidence quoted by 714kts above who actually contacted UVC by phone and email - it is currently $250.

FWIW

bbb

PS: JMHO = I continue to believe that this transfer fee confusion with the resale companies results from the following - UVC (aka Villa Group) and Solmar Group, two totally different and independent developers/timeshare operators both outsource their members services to the same servicing company = Resortcom. Each has their own unique contracts/policies/procedures yet they share a processor. The resale companies not knowing the intricacies see Resortcom is involved and assume the policies are the same across both organizations. Which is not the case.
 
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Karen G

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timesharejunkie4

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We will be there October 31. We still haven;t decided of we will do an owner update, but, if we do I will ask about the transfers fees and report back.
 

AMARTIN1983

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I imagine that an "owner update" is a timeshare presentation for owners. What kind of perks have you all gotten for doing an update?
 

dosomething0

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perks for timeshare owners update

They offered us $100 resort credit for attending the owners update. I asked for $100 spa credit instead. They do try to get you to upgrade but it was low pressure
 

timesharejunkie4

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I imagine that an "owner update" is a timeshare presentation for owners. What kind of perks have you all gotten for doing an update?
That is exactly what it is, an owner gets very little for attending. We do them only to hear about true updates on the properties. Updates in Cabo have been very low key but I cannot say the same thing for PV/Flamingo updates. They are the rude and very high pressure. We went there twice and will never go again.
We just got our call to schedule our update the other day. I told the caller that we were probably not going to do an update because of our past experience. She told me that they really want the owners to go this year because a new property is being built. I asked her "where' and she said they weren't told because it is top secret :hysterical: She insisted on sending a confirmation, saying we could cancel if we don't want to go. She probably gets paid per sign up. We have a fixed unit for our second week and a smaller unit reserved the first week. If they put us on the same floor, I will consider going; otherwise fugeddabodit! If we go I will see what kind of answer I can get about transfer fees and report back.
 
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