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What to Buy

lschaaf

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I've been here for about 2 months, reading and trying to absorb everything!

1) Where do you want your home resort to be?

Driving distance from AZ, CA beach is #1.

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?

Resort at least next few years...and if in CA, maybe all the time. Looking for this to be first of several timeshares

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?

Hawaii, CA, Destin/SanDestin, NY, Jackson Hole...more upscale locations

4) How many people do you usually travel with?

6 for the next few years (2 teenagers and each w/a friend), 2-6 once we are empty nesters in 4 years.

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

Prefer summer for next 4 years, though not opposed to traveling w/out kids! Especially once they are out of the home.

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

Yes, we always book vacations at least a year in advance (though we have flexibility for last minute trips too without kids)

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?

4 or 5

9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?

10K max, would like $5K or less

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?

prefer no more than $1200, but could/would go higher, if it was the right fit.

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




So here's what I've been looking at...both in Carlsbad, either Seapointe Resort Carlsbad, week 28-32, 2 bedroom, or Four Seasons Alviara. We have rented a week on Mission Beach in the past for $3K which has been great because the teens can just walk out on the beach and hang out, which is why Seapointe sound great, but in a few years when we have no kids, will we wish for a quieter resort?...Which is why Four Seasons sounds nice...but don't want to over pay if it ends up too sedate or out of the way. We are an active family, husband loves to run on beach in mornings, and we like to hike and bike (and shop and eat out, as well as in condo)

We want to build a nice tradeable timeshare portfolio.

Not sure if it's better to buy in Mariott or Hilton or (or Starwood, but the Flex thing is so uncertain), and try and trade into CA for the next few years?

Is Carlsbad a good trade?

Thanks for any insight! I've gone from Hawaii as our home base to CA in the last 2 months of research. Or maybe it's better just to keep renting in CA and work on other resorts for our timeshare portfolio....aaaaarrrrrgggghh, its just so confusing! Are the Four Seasons nice enough to justify the high maintenance fees (and is the Elite Alliance a good place to trade for other high end resorts), or is it just fluff and over priced?

We like nice things...but we're not snobs...just like really comfortable beds...and clean resorts!

Or should I throw it all to the wind and get 15,000 Worldmark credits?
 
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capjak

TUG Member
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DVC BC & SSR, Marriott GV+MVC Pts, WKORV & SVV, HGVC Flamingo
I'll try to suggest a few:

I own Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and Disney.

The reason I own so many different ones is I have found that 1 system does not have easy access to all the places I want to stay. I like 4-5 star resorts.

I have Starwood almost exclusively for Maui and the others for other resorts.

I would suggest Every Other Year Ownerships if possible in a location that you like in a system that has several places you like as this gives you some flexibility. In this way you can get 2 systems (i.e. 1 system say Marriott for even years and Hilton for odd years) that have a wide variety of locations.

FYI for Hilton if you want every other year use it may be better to buy 1 bedroom point equivalent and than bank/borrow points to get the every other year 2 bedroom (of course if hilton has the locations that you are interested in)
 

presley

TUG Review Crew: Expert
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So here's what I've been looking at...both in Carlsbad, either Seapointe Resort Carlsbad, week 28-32, 2 bedroom, or Four Seasons Alviara.

Is Carlsbad a good trade?

Before I read down to this part, I was going to suggest a 2 bedroom in a Grand Pacific Resort. Four Seasons if very nice, too and would be great for traveling with so many people, but it is not close to the beach.

Regarding the 2 you mentioned, they are both excellent choices and totally different. Carlsbad Seapointe has the benefit of walking across the street to the beach and the resort has all the beach equipment that you need. They have many onsite activities. What they don't have is a store or a restaurant onsite. The can be a real drag sometimes. There are plenty within a close drive, but none that I would consider walkable. One of the benefits of owning in GPR is that you can rent bonus weeks from GPX as often as you want. You can also trade within their system and they have many resorts by the beach. When you get to the couples only phase in life, you may prefer staying at Villa L'auberge or Carlsbad Inn and you could rent those or trade in.

There is nothing like Four Seasons Aviara in the area. It's top notch with a giant room, daily maid service, nice robes, room service... it's really fantastic. It is by the lagoon and not the beach, though. The pool areas are very nice and quiet and I don't think most teens would enjoy them. They have a lady in the pool bathroom who can hand you a towel. :hysterical: Someone will also set up your chairs with towels and bring you water and sunscreen when you are at the pool. They are or have opened their own spa and I think a restaurant. I ate at the nearby hotel, which is very expensive, and I had room service once and ate at the pool once. There aren't many choices in food, but at least they offer that service as most timeshares in Carlsbad don't.

To me, Four Seasons is the best timeshare in the area, not just Carlsbad, but San Diego County. However, when I go to the coast, I want to be at the beach and Seapointe offers that. I own Seapointe and some other GPRs. I considered buying Four Seasons because owners can bring a dog to stay and exchangers cannot, but the high annual cost and not being on the beach made me decide to keep what I have.

Since those 2 are so totally different, I'll suggest what most Tuggers would suggest and that is to just rent until you know exactly where you want to be.

EDIT TO ADD: No on Worldmark because their only southern California beach location is Oceanside harbor which is nice because it is walking distance to the harbor and the ocean, but it isn't in the same league as the other properties you are considering.
 

VegasBella

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Carlsbad Inn
Avenue Plaza
Riviera Beach & Spa
Aquamarine Villas
We own in Carlsbad. It's a very popular option for people from Arizona. If you own in Carlsbad and visit in Summers you will probably meet other people from Arizona and who knows, maybe new friendships will blossom? I'm always surprised at how many AZ license plates I see when I go to CA in the Summer (there aren't as many NV plates).

I just checked RCI and if you owned a 2 bedroom at Seapointe week 28 (not points) then your max trade value would be 42 TPU. That's really good. That would get you to Hawaii pretty easily.

Like Presley, we did not buy at Aviara because we wanted to be closer to the beach. Aviara looks very nice but we mostly just want to go to the beach. We also have lower standards. We love our Carlsbad Inn ownership and that's up there at about 4 stars (RCI gold crown) but our other ownerships are more like 3 stars and we're ok with them. They're all closer to the beach than Aviara.
 

BJRSanDiego

TUG Review Crew: Expert
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I suggest that you check out the Maintenance Fee for 4 Seasons Aviara. I think that it is around $2400 for a 2 BR. That seems pretty pricey (at least for my budget). I think that their high MF is a reason why some of the units sell for only a few hundred bucks on ebay. I noted that the OP mentioned that they preferred to keep the MF to around $1200.

Some other random thoughts:
The Carlsbad Inn is close to the beach and restaurants. It is a bit older but well maintained. Also, the MF is considerably less than 4 Seasons (around $1K ?).

The four Marrotts and the two Westins in Palm Desert might be of interest. I think that they are pretty good traders and once you are empty nesters, you could split the lock-off and essentially get two weeks for the price of one maintenance fee. The Westins have higher MF (in general) than the PD Marriotts, but I think that their 2 BR units split into two 1-BR units and trade as 1 BR units. But I noted that you wanted to travel in the summer for the next four years. Living in Glendale, I think that you have a good idea what the weather would be in the PD area in the summer. (hot) :eek:
 

Here There

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start small with a GPX resort

1) Where do you want your home resort to be?

Driving distance from AZ, CA beach is #1.

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?

Resort at least next few years...and if in CA, maybe all the time. Looking for this to be first of several timeshares

3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?

Hawaii, CA, Destin/SanDestin, NY, Jackson Hole...more upscale locations

So here's what I've been looking at...both in Carlsbad, either Seapointe Resort Carlsbad, week 28-32, 2 bedroom, or Four Seasons Alviara...

We want to build a nice tradeable timeshare portfolio

Seapointe might work because it's a high demand summer week and owning a Grand Pacific Resort comes with a free GPX membership:
http://www.gpxvacations.com/

Within the GPX network, one could exchange into other GP (generally non-summer) and some DRI resorts OR rent bonus weeks at close to MF.

You could join RCI later -- only when you feel a need to expand your search inventory -- and doing so will make Destin, NYC and Jackson Hole closer as trade possibilities.

You might find it enough just to own 1 SoCal summer beach week and learn to take your sweet time to build that TS portfolio -- one carefully chosen piece at a time.
 

lschaaf

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Glendale, AZ
I'll try to suggest a few:

I own Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and Disney.

The reason I own so many different ones is I have found that 1 system does not have easy access to all the places I want to stay. I like 4-5 star resorts.

I have Starwood almost exclusively for Maui and the others for other resorts.

I would suggest Every Other Year Ownerships if possible in a location that you like in a system that has several places you like as this gives you some flexibility. In this way you can get 2 systems (i.e. 1 system say Marriott for even years and Hilton for odd years) that have a wide variety of locations.

FYI for Hilton if you want every other year use it may be better to buy 1 bedroom point equivalent and than bank/borrow points to get the every other year 2 bedroom (of course if hilton has the locations that you are interested in)

Thanks for the suggestions. I never thought about alternating years with different systems! That's something we'll have to look in to!
 

lschaaf

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Before I read down to this part, I was going to suggest a 2 bedroom in a Grand Pacific Resort. Four Seasons if very nice, too and would be great for traveling with so many people, but it is not close to the beach.

Regarding the 2 you mentioned, they are both excellent choices and totally different. Carlsbad Seapointe has the benefit of walking across the street to the beach and the resort has all the beach equipment that you need. They have many onsite activities. What they don't have is a store or a restaurant onsite. The can be a real drag sometimes. There are plenty within a close drive, but none that I would consider walkable. One of the benefits of owning in GPR is that you can rent bonus weeks from GPX as often as you want. You can also trade within their system and they have many resorts by the beach. When you get to the couples only phase in life, you may prefer staying at Villa L'auberge or Carlsbad Inn and you could rent those or trade in.

There is nothing like Four Seasons Aviara in the area. It's top notch with a giant room, daily maid service, nice robes, room service... it's really fantastic. It is by the lagoon and not the beach, though. The pool areas are very nice and quiet and I don't think most teens would enjoy them. They have a lady in the pool bathroom who can hand you a towel. :hysterical: Someone will also set up your chairs with towels and bring you water and sunscreen when you are at the pool. They are or have opened their own spa and I think a restaurant. I ate at the nearby hotel, which is very expensive, and I had room service once and ate at the pool once. There aren't many choices in food, but at least they offer that service as most timeshares in Carlsbad don't.

To me, Four Seasons is the best timeshare in the area, not just Carlsbad, but San Diego County. However, when I go to the coast, I want to be at the beach and Seapointe offers that. I own Seapointe and some other GPRs. I considered buying Four Seasons because owners can bring a dog to stay and exchangers cannot, but the high annual cost and not being on the beach made me decide to keep what I have.

Since those 2 are so totally different, I'll suggest what most Tuggers would suggest and that is to just rent until you know exactly where you want to be.

EDIT TO ADD: No on Worldmark because their only southern California beach location is Oceanside harbor which is nice because it is walking distance to the harbor and the ocean, but it isn't in the same league as the other properties you are considering.

Thanks for your input! I think Seapointe is a definite on the list. Maybe we'll try and rent next summer to double check. And then it's just waiting for the right week to come for sale. Unless its not hard to trade weeks..
 

lschaaf

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We own in Carlsbad. It's a very popular option for people from Arizona. If you own in Carlsbad and visit in Summers you will probably meet other people from Arizona and who knows, maybe new friendships will blossom? I'm always surprised at how many AZ license plates I see when I go to CA in the Summer (there aren't as many NV plates).

I just checked RCI and if you owned a 2 bedroom at Seapointe week 28 (not points) then your max trade value would be 42 TPU. That's really good. That would get you to Hawaii pretty easily.

Like Presley, we did not buy at Aviara because we wanted to be closer to the beach. Aviara looks very nice but we mostly just want to go to the beach. We also have lower standards. We love our Carlsbad Inn ownership and that's up there at about 4 stars (RCI gold crown) but our other ownerships are more like 3 stars and we're ok with them. They're all closer to the beach than Aviara.

I think I agree after all these posts that Aviara is not what we are looking for, as far as a beach resort. Now it's just waiting for the right weeks to come up! We did look at Carlsbad Inn, but it looks like almost no 2 bedrooms ever come available in the summer! Thanks for your input!
 

lschaaf

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I suggest that you check out the Maintenance Fee for 4 Seasons Aviara. I think that it is around $2400 for a 2 BR. That seems pretty pricey (at least for my budget). I think that their high MF is a reason why some of the units sell for only a few hundred bucks on ebay. I noted that the OP mentioned that they preferred to keep the MF to around $1200.

Some other random thoughts:
The Carlsbad Inn is close to the beach and restaurants. It is a bit older but well maintained. Also, the MF is considerably less than 4 Seasons (around $1K ?).

The four Marrotts and the two Westins in Palm Desert might be of interest. I think that they are pretty good traders and once you are empty nesters, you could split the lock-off and essentially get two weeks for the price of one maintenance fee. The Westins have higher MF (in general) than the PD Marriotts, but I think that their 2 BR units split into two 1-BR units and trade as 1 BR units. But I noted that you wanted to travel in the summer for the next four years. Living in Glendale, I think that you have a good idea what the weather would be in the PD area in the summer. (hot) :eek:

Thanks for your input! I did look at Palm Desert, but wanted something that we would want to use too! And yes, it's HOT!
 

Ty1on

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Club Wyndham would get you into Sedona, Flagstaff, Bison Ranch, Pinetop, and Ranch Vistoso in AZ, Oceanside Pier across the street from the beach and pier, Dolphin's Cove by Disneyland, San Diego, NYC, SFO, Destin......It wouldn't get you into Jackson Hole, but RCI trades three resorts there, all 3 star. Club Wyndham Access would get you Advanced Reservation Priority in most of those locations.

Worldmark gives you a lot of options in the West, but not a lot of options in Flariduh.
 
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