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What Should I Buy?

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1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where? Orlando possibly but otherwise looking to travel all over.

2) Do you want to visit your home resort at least half the time, or do you want to trade more than half the time? Trade more than half the time.

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations? Carolinas, Florida, California, Texas, maybe somewhere internationally.

4) How many people do you usually travel with - total, including yourself? 2 (for now)

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule? Any time.

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance? Possibly.

7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time? Yes.

8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars? 3+

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing? A few thousand.

10) How much can you afford to spend every year for a maintenance fee that will come due right after Christmas, and increase each year? <$1,500

11) Are you a detail oriented planner? Yes

12) Do you understand that once you buy a timeshare, it may be very difficult to sell or give away, and you are responsible for all fees, until you do? Yes

*I was thinking about Wyndham, but I’m also not sure how difficult it is to trade. Are there home resorts that are always full at the 10 month mark?*
 

TheHolleys87

TUG Member
Joined
May 7, 2015
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Location
Texas
Resorts Owned
DVC Boardwalk Villas, Shell Hawaii Club, Kona Coast II
Bumping your thread in hopes that some of the TUG members who have more diverse TS experience than I do will respond. I hope, though, that you’ve been reading about the various systems in the specific forums for Wyndham, Marriott, DVC, etc. You can learn a lot there too!
 

vacationtime1

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
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Sep 7, 2006
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Location
San Francisco
Resorts Owned
Waiohai (Kauai)
WKORV-OFC (Maui)
WKV x3 (Scottsdale)
I suggest renting a few times before purchasing. This will inform you about varying quality levels, amenities you like vs those you don't want to pay for, locations, etc. A good way to learn with little risk. And don't worry; resale prices are not going up while you do this.
 

Ddee555

TUG Member
Joined
May 27, 2007
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138
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Location
Southern California
Resorts Owned
Carlsbad Inn; San Clemente Cove, Coronado Beach Resort; Gaslamp Plaza Suites; Royal Aloha Vacation Club (RAVC)
I echo the suggestion on renting first at a place you are interested in. Both TUG and RedWeek.com are good sources for renting from owners.

As for a mini-system, I have always been interested in Worldmark because of its many locations and reasonable costs. However, I am not a owner, because I already have enough timeshares for my vacationing needs.

However, for owning a timeshare, I would not buy anything in Orlando, Florida, or Las Vegas, Nevada. I say this, because both areas have a glut of timeshare resorts, so it is very easy to trade into a very nice resort with a mediocre trader. It's just not worth the value to own there.

Also, if you are interested in non-brandname chain, legacy resorts, I would suggest two resorts that I own at (consider renting at them first): San Clemente Cove and Gaslamp Plaza Suites -- both in Southern California.

San Clemente Cove: Almost entirely one bedrooms with one studio in the building. Entirely floating week and floating unit; can reserve your week and unit up to two years in advance. A and B units are the best for oceanviews and for size. I do not recommend the C units because it's harder to get an oceanview and they are smaller in size. The D unit is the studio, which I do not recommend. My maintenance fee for my B unit is about $1072 for 2020 and the HOA has foreclosed units at a decent price (starting at $3500?); however, I recommend renting first to see if it is a resort you like to visit and trade. Although I do not use RCI as an exchange company, the Cove is a silver crown so it should trade very well and it gets you around the 1-in-4 rule with Grand Pacific-managed resorts (which are all nice resorts to stay at in California). You will also belong to GPX -- the internal exchange company for Grand Pacific-managed resorts, which always has a nice selection of Hawaii and California resorts to trade into at a cheaper cost than RCI.

Gaslamp Plaza Suites: Entirely floating week and floating unit; you can reserve your week and unit up to two years in advance and I have never had a problem getting summer booked. I only recommend buying a one bedroom or two bedroom unit at GPS -- hotel, studios, mini-suites, are smaller in size and really have no resale value. I own 2 one bedroom deluxe units which I either rent or let my brother stay at for attending conferences in San Diego. My maintenance fees are low: $714 (2019) and $719 (2020), so I always end up making money when I rent them. Buy-in prices can be cheap -- I bought my first one bedroom deluxe in 2008 from a company that no longer exists for $1000 and my second one bedroom deluxe for $300 on eBay (to give a rough idea at resale value). Again, I don't trade through RCI, but GPS is considered a gold crown resort, so you should do well for exchanging for wherever you want to go.

The reason I suggest owning at a resort in California is because CA can be a hard location to exchange into, but if you own at a good resort during summertime in CA, you pretty much have access to anyplace else to travel in RCI at a reasonable cost. However, this will only work out for you, if you are mostly interested in non-brandname legacy resorts. If you want to stay mostly at Marriotts, Hiltons, Disney, etc., you'll need to own an interval in their mini-systems. Although I do like luxury, I can't justify the costs and risks for owning in a mini-system that I have basically no-owner input with management. Worldmark is the only mini-system that I am comfortable about suggesting without being an actual owner.

Besides owning in CA, I suggest owning at a popular resort close (driving distance) to your location. Because you may not be able to travel far some years. Also, some local resorts to you might have day use that you can take advantage of (for example, swimming pool, etc.).

Finally, I suggest that you become a TUG member ($15) so you can read the reviews on all the resorts before renting and purchasing.
 

CPNY

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
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Resorts Owned
Harborside Resort at Atlantis
SVV - Key West
SVV - Bella
Regal Vista at Massanutten
1) Is there a vacation destination you wish to visit most of the time or on a regular basis? if so where? Orlando possibly but otherwise looking to travel all over.

2) Do you want to visit your home resort at least half the time, or do you want to trade more than half the time? Trade more than half the time.

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations? Carolinas, Florida, California, Texas, maybe somewhere internationally.

4) How many people do you usually travel with - total, including yourself? 2 (for now)

5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule? Any time.

6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance? Possibly.

7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time? Yes.

8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars? 3+

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing? A few thousand.

10) How much can you afford to spend every year for a maintenance fee that will come due right after Christmas, and increase each year? <$1,500

11) Are you a detail oriented planner? Yes

12) Do you understand that once you buy a timeshare, it may be very difficult to sell or give away, and you are responsible for all fees, until you do? Yes

*I was thinking about Wyndham, but I’m also not sure how difficult it is to trade. Are there home resorts that are always full at the 10 month mark?*
Buy a DVC (Disney) You’ll be in Orlando, can trade in RCI with high trade power I would assume, it will keep its resale value. Or buy in a system where you like the resorts and destinations, also something that is desirable so you can find someone to take it if you want to get out. Marriott, Vistana, Hilton etc are all pretty great systems. If you get Vistana get a mandatory property that you can use star options to book resorts in the network or exchange in interval.
 

andre10056

TUG Member
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Mar 25, 2007
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Location
Boston
In answer to somebody's "Does it ever make sense to buy a timeshare?" question, I responded as follows at the beginning of January:

It only makes sense under the following conditions:
1. You buy a resale (from ebay, redweek, etc.) for next to nothing. If you buy from a developer/resort sales staff, you will likely have made one of the the worst decisions of your life which will cause you unending anxiety and grief. You will likely not be able to get rid of it for anything near the value you paid....or you won't be able to sell even if offering it for free....such that you'll pay ever increasing maintenance fees forever. There's a reason that you read about elderly couples having over time paid $100,000 to someone who "guarantees" to rid them of their timeshare, only to learn that it was a scam. But just think of the desperation that caused them to seek out this "help".

2. You buy a resort in a year round high demand area. Otherwise, there will be so many owners who stop paying their maintenance fees on weeks that are torture to go to (for example, rural Pennsylvania in January or even ice cold Panhandle in Florida in January), your maintenance fees will skyrocket year after year. If the resort is someplace people want to go January through December (e.g., Fort Myers Beach), non-payers of maintenance fees will be at a minimum and your maintenance fees should stay low.

3. Your resort, and the week that you own at the resort, has a high trade value with the exchange services. That way, if you trade it in, you'll have multiple excellent options for a vacation elsewhere. But if your week at whatever resort has a low trade value (and you can check with rci or ii to get some "feel" for any week's trade value....25-30 and higher is good, 15 or lower is bad at rci), you can forget about ever trading it for anything of value. Maybe last minute (which means you check December availability starting mid-November), but then you'll have to be able to travel last minute. And may also mean you have to pay megabucks for plane fares if driving is not an option.

4. You can easily rent the week at a profit above your maintenance fees if it turns out you can't travel to your fixed week or the floating week you reserved for that year. But even that usually requires AT LEAST two months advance listing on redweek, Airbnb, etc. And will cause you a ton of work. Otherwise, you can list it "last minute" on TUG but your rent rate will have to be rock bottom and, even then, you will likely be unsuccessful.

5. The resort and week you own at that resort is not generally available at a similar cost rental rate (as compared to the maintenance fees you might pay) via websites like redweek or myresortnetwork or even Airbnb. If you can't rent it (as a renter) cheaply when you may want to go, that's a checkmark in favor of becoming an owner. But if your resort has ample rental listings throughout the year at competitive rental rates (check out Holiday Inn Vacations Club at Orange Beach (any one of the four villages) on redweek, for example), timeshare ownership truly makes zero sense.

6. Some people will argue that one of the greatest benefits of owning timeshares is that you can become a member of an exchange service and will, thereby, have access to those services' last minute rental specials (for example, rci calls it "last call" vacations). And those offers are sometimes pretty good. But I see nothing in either the RCI or Interval International websites that says you have to have identified your timeshare ownership with them. So perhaps you can just pay your $89 per year for exchange service membership and take advantage of whatever lower cost rental options they offer (even far off into the future and not just "last call" opportunities).

On the plus side for timeshares in general, I prefer to rent from a professional lodging establishment rather than from some individual. Professional lodging establishments know about things like bedbugs (more accurately, how to check for them and how to exterminate them) while Joe Shmoe Airbnb Owner possibly will not. So...that's a big benefit of hotels and timeshares.

There's a reason that bedbugs, nearly extinct some few years ago, have staged a dramatic comeback and I wouldn't be surprised if the reason was Airbnb.

So, in my opinion and in summary, the answer of whether or not you should buy, rent, or have nothing to do with a timeshare is....drumroll...it depends. :)
 
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