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What do you recommend I purchase?

Toughbeat

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Hi all. Here I am again asking for advice. Thanks in advance as usual.

I would like to buy a week at a resort with low maintenance fees and especially one that has excellent trading value. I have already purchased 2 at resorts that I would like to visit frequently and exchange every so often. But if I was looking into a top-notch (Gold Crown) resort to use mainly as a trade into some of the more "difficult-to-exchange-into" TS resorts, what would be your recommendation(s)?

Let me know if this is a good way to look into owning a week...or am I missing something? Am I being unrealistic? Do such resorts even exist?

Again, my criteria (subject to change per advice given here):

-1 or 2 BR red week resort.

-RCI Gold Crown or equivalent.

-Great trading power.

-Low Maintennace fees (if possible)


I look forward to your replies.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
That Is The $64 Question.

Well, you have sure zeroed in on what everybody's looking for & what everybody would like to have.

When you figure out what timeshare that is, I hope you will spill the secret here & not just keep it to yourself.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

theo

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I would like to buy a week at a resort with low maintenance fees and especially one that has excellent trading value. I have already purchased 2 at resorts that I would like to visit frequently and exchange every so often. But if I was looking into a top-notch (Gold Crown) resort to use mainly as a trade into some of the more "difficult-to-exchange-into" TS resorts, what would be your recommendation(s)?

Alan's insight is, as usual, both sound and stated with style and humor.
I will point out that with RCI, "trading power" is shrouded in mystery and is a continually moving target. You can / will never really know the opaque RCI "man behind the curtain" process of internal evaluation. Moreover, what "worked" yesterday may not work today (...or tomorrow). Also, never forget that "exchanging" is always based upon availability --- if what you want has not been deposited in the first place, then it doesn't really matter what you have to "trade" with; if it ain't there, you just plain can't get it. Finally, RCI becoming increasingly involved in direct rentals of primo deposits to the general public through several different business portals only further complicates (and further limits) the whole "availability" picture.

In short, you've done well so far "buying to use". Stepping into the abyss of "buying to trade" is, in my personal opinion, entering into a whole new dimension which may promptly and increasingly prove to be an ongoing crap shoot for you. Just how lucky do you feel rolling those particular dice?
 
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Toughbeat

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I agree. I guess being new at this I'm realizing what all you experienced TS owners already know- RCI isn't easy to figure out. It's very difficult to try and decipher the RCI criteria and value system..and even if it were possible, we'd all be tripping over each other for the same exchanges and therefore wouldn't get them anyway.
 

bnoble

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(Gold Crown) resort to use mainly as a trade into some of the more "difficult-to-exchange-into" TS resorts
Just one note: Crown awards are generally based on resort quality as measured both by amenities offered and comment card scores received.

Trade power is based on supply and demand in the exchange system. Now, all other things being equal, the demand for a higher-quality resort is likely to be stronger than demand for a lower-quality resort. But, all other things are rarely equal.

For example, suppose you were to buy a week at a resort that is very high quality, but still in active sales. A high quality resort is likely to attract a lot of interest. But, the developer may also bulk-bank weeks that have not yet sold to increase traffic at the sales desk. Such a resort is unlikely to have superior trade power, because it is relatively well-supplied in the exchange.
 

DaveNV

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Let me know the answer, so I can buy one there, too. :)

This question reminds me of an old comic strip I read. A guy is sitting at a table with a blank piece of paper and a pencil. He turns to his wife, and says, "Think of something for me to invent!" :D

Dave
 

Toughbeat

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ok I get the point..pardon me for asking an ignorant question.

But 'thank you' to those who actually had some substance to their replies.

I'm sure as I become more experienced on these TUG boards, I will be able to know what is a good question to ask and what isn't.

I look forward to continuing to learn from those of you who are seasoned TS veterans. I will be a TS owner for years to come and need to learn as much as I can to make this work for me as you all have done.
 

dwmantz

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Some simple information no one's yet shared on this post. . .

Winter weeks at a good Ski Resort, particularly CMas, NYears, and Pres Week.

Summer weeks at the beach. Some good beach locations include Myrtle Beach, SC, Hilton Head, and our favorite, Virginia Beach (only because its closer to NY. Given the same distance, we'd choose Hilton Head easily.)

There is less value in overbuilt locations such as Orlando, Williamsburg, and Branson.
 

SDKath

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TSs are very low priced right now so this is a great time to get in. Both Marriotts and Starwoods are going for VERY LITTLE money, often 10% of what the developer is trying to charge you. For example, I just picked up a Westin Mission Hills 2BR LO Platinum for $4300 on eBay!!!!! They are going for around $40,000 via Starwood and even on eBay the prices were about $11,000 just last year. I personally love the Starwood system so I would pick up a cheap Sheraton Broadway Plantation. I would recommend only getting Platinum season of whatever TS you buy because the others may be less $$ but do not trade well. Also, Starwood gives a 3 day II priority and Marriott a 24 day priority, which allows you to get some great trades via II. And with a lockoff, your 1BR SBP will pull 2BR units elsewhere since it is a great trader. Same with some Marriotts.

By the way, my Orlando Sheraton Falls weeks trade GREAT! They are 2BR with low MFs and I have traded them into Harborside, Westin Kaanapali and Westin Kierland in the short time I have had them. So I owuld not give up on Orlando either! Those weeks now sell for $100 on eBay!

Katherine
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Thanks For Asking.

ok I get the point..pardon me for asking an ignorant question.

But 'thank you' to those who actually had some substance to their replies.

I'm sure as I become more experienced on these TUG boards, I will be able to know what is a good question to ask and what isn't.

I look forward to continuing to learn from those of you who are seasoned TS veterans. I will be a TS owner for years to come and need to learn as much as I can to make this work for me as you all have done.
Shux, all you did was put in plain words the $64 question that -- no kidding -- everybody would like to be able to answer. And in so doing, you showed that you have already caught on to some of the essential elements in el cheapo timesharing.

Far as I know, there are no questions it's not all right to ask.

Most important, thanks for participating. We like to have fun here at TUG-BBS.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 

bnoble

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In short, you've done well so far "buying to use". Stepping into the abyss of "buying to trade" is, in my personal opinion, entering into a whole new dimension which may promptly and increasingly prove to be an ongoing crap shoot for you. Just how lucky do you feel rolling those particular dice?
Let's extend Theo's thinking just a little. Just because you are thinking now about buying something primarily to trade, doesn't mean it shouldn't also be something that you'd want to use yourself if it came to that. That way, if for some reason the trade power changes, you can still get good value out of it.

In that light, here are the tests I apply to any timeshare I'm considering purchasing:
  • Location: it must be within one day's drive, at a resort I would imagine wanting to visit myself. This means I don't have to worry about what happens to airfares to fly my family of four somewhere. For mini-systems, there must be at least one in-system (not affiliate) resort that qualifies, preferably more.
  • Season: it must be during a period when kids in this area are out of school, at a time when that area of the country is attractive as a vacation destination. A float or point deed must have rights to such time, and it must be reasonably easy to book that time.
  • Value: the "carrying cost" of the week must be a reasonable margin less than rental rates for the same resort/season. I compute carrying costs as any annual fees, plus 8% of the acquisition cost. That way, if I can't use it (either by occupying it or exchanging it) I have a fair shot at renting it out to cover costs. You'd be surprised at how many timeshares---even high-quality ones---fail this test.

If you apply these three tests, chances are good you'll have a way to get fair value out of a week, no matter how your needs change. If you are looking primarily for a trader, you should also apply this test:
  • Supply: you should not be able to easily exchange into the resort at high time with anything you currently own in the system you intend to use for trades. Preferably, you should not be able to easily exchange into anything in the area.
But, that's in addition to the three tests above, not instead of. After all, as folks have pointed out, the rules of trade power are unknowable and constantly changing. What's a good trader today may not be tomorrow---if you still have something you enjoy using yourself and provides good value, you're still in the black.
 

Nobylspoon

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Look into Worldmark but remember to buy resell, not from the developer. Most of the resorts are RCI Gold Crown resorts and owners have had alot of success trading in both RCI and II.

Check out WMOwners.com its a wondeful resource for owners and future owners. I have learned so much through that site.

It is credit based, depending on how many credits you own decides what your maintenance fees are. I only own 6000 credits but with what I learned on WMOwners.com I am able to stretch those 6000 credits with bonus time, inventory specials, flex exchanges, borrowing next years credits, rolling over the previous years credits or even renting credits from other owners when I need them.

My maintenance fees for 6000 credits are about $445. If you intend to spend most of your time in 2bedroom units you may consider 12000 credits, the MF is about $650 I believe. However you could still get plenty of 2bedroom units with a 6000 credit package by taking a partial week or renting one time use credits from other owners (about 6cents a credit on average)

Check out https://www.worldmarktheclub.com/resorts/ to find out credit values of the different resorts.

Just for the record I am just an owner of WM credits, I in no way sell them or work for the current developer Wyndham.
 

Kokonut

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TSs are very low priced right now so this is a great time to get in. Both Marriotts and Starwoods are going for VERY LITTLE money, often 10% of what the developer is trying to charge you. For example, I just picked up a Westin Mission Hills 2BR LO Platinum for $4300 on eBay!!!!! They are going for around $40,000 via Starwood and even on eBay the prices were about $11,000 just last year.

Katherine,

Was the WMH that you picked up on eBay an annual or EOY? That's a super price! Congratulations on getting a great deal!

Koko
 
V

Vacation Dude

There is a huge difference between getting great trades into 2 bedroom properties at choice locations and choice times vs off season trades into less than choice properties and choice locations.

Trading is a game, but it is not easy or effortless, and requires knowledge, skill, and dedication.
 

riverdees05

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I own 10+ timeshares and if I was doing it over again, I would purchase one of the major point system or hotel timeshares - Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, etc. Usually, you get what you pay for, so a little more in MFs should equal a better resort and thus better training power. Need to buy a timeshare in an area of high demand and that is not overbuilt.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
The Timeshare Game.

There is a huge difference between getting great trades into 2 bedroom properties at choice locations and choice times vs off season trades into less than choice properties and choice locations.

Trading is a game, but it is not easy or effortless, and requires knowledge, skill, and dedication.
Amen to that. And because we're just lazy old retired people around here, we're really not up for the knowledge, skill, dedication, & effort it takes to have a chance at winning The Timeshare Game.

So what we've done is minimize our exposure by buying -- cheap -- 2 categories of timeshare properties: (a) desirable floating units at resorts we love & enjoy where we're happy going again & again, & (b) minimal-outlay weeks & points timeshares (1 of each) that let us dabble in the exchange game in a semi-unserious, no-effort way.

It all works out OK mainly because we're off-season timeshare vacationers anyway, having a dinky 35-foot non-traveling travel trailer down by the beach where we go any time we want during late spring, summertime, & early fall.

We snag outstanding offseason exchanges into other people's Florida timeshares during slow periods (i.e., January, September) & we prefer Last Calls & Instant Exchanges which we're able to take advantage of because we're just a nice old retired couple not chained to any job schedule or school calendar.

Now that we're older & wiser, naturally there are some things we'd do different if we had it to do over. However, in this world nobody gets to have a better past in any matters weighty or trivial. The only point in even mentioning any shoulda-woulda stuff is if it can help the newbies who follow in our tracks. In that connection, the main thing I'd have done different is to take out a 3-year renewable RTU points-timeshare lease instead of buying our dinky, entry-level deeded points timeshare. (Live & learn, eh?) Even that's no big deal.

Fortunately, we're just talking timeshares here -- not anything serious like National Security or Environmental Quality or Public Health, or Economic Policy, etc., that has important consequences.

Because it's just timeshares, we mainly just have fun, enjoy the game, take nice vacations, luxuriate in spacious timeshare accommodations for roughly Motel 6 & Super 8 rates, & don't kick ourselves or get wrapped around the axle over our various imperfections & shortcomings at The Timeshare Game. That is to say, we play The Timeshare Game recreationally, not competitively.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 

Toughbeat

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Thanks for all the replies...I'm taking in some very good information. I realize that finding the "ultimate timeshare" is a never-ending and impossible endeavor, but at least I can feel as though I'm better armed with the information offered here.
 
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