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Your advice please?

botham

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My wife and i own 1 week in a 2 bedroom unit in Cascades, Vistana Resort, Florida.

We live in the UK and currently enjoy cruising in the Mediterranean for our main holidays and also travel to Europe a fair bit.

Each year we worry about what we are to do with our timeshare, whether to bank it (we were unable to use the last deposit and so we lost it), change it to star points or rent it out.

We only seem to get to Florida about every 3 years and up to now have had our son with us, but he's now 17 and wants to spread his wings!

It is a worry and we are considering selling it, but we're unsure. What do you all think?
 

WalnutBaron

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In this market, you're unlikely to get much of anything for your timeshare. It is most definitely a buyer's market, especially for a location like Orlando which is extremely over-developed and therefore has quite a large supply of timeshare units for sale, for rent, and available.

My advice to you would be the following: a) use your preferred reservation window through SVN to secure a highly desirable week and, if you can't use it yourself, offer it on the rental market as early as you can to give yourself the best chance to find a renter; b) continue to exercise your conversion option to starpoints, where at least you can use your points for hotel stays for up to six years after the points are converted; c) you can always make yourselves popular with close friends and family members by offering them a free or low-cost vacation in Florida as long as they pay their airfare and other expenses...and then wait until the economy improves before trying to sell the unit.

In any case, I would strongly advise you not to sell your unit now because it has very little value in this extremely difficult economic environment.
 

botham

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In this market, you're unlikely to get much of anything for your timeshare. It is most definitely a buyer's market, especially for a location like Orlando which is extremely over-developed and therefore has quite a large supply of timeshare units for sale, for rent, and available.

My advice to you would be the following: a) use your preferred reservation window through SVN to secure a highly desirable week and, if you can't use it yourself, offer it on the rental market as early as you can to give yourself the best chance to find a renter; b) continue to exercise your conversion option to starpoints, where at least you can use your points for hotel stays for up to six years after the points are converted; c) you can always make yourselves popular with close friends and family members by offering them a free or low-cost vacation in Florida as long as they pay their airfare and other expenses...and then wait until the economy improves before trying to sell the unit.

In any case, I would strongly advise you not to sell your unit now because it has very little value in this extremely difficult economic environment.

Thanks for the advice.
 

James1975NY

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My wife and i own 1 week in a 2 bedroom unit in Cascades, Vistana Resort, Florida.

We live in the UK and currently enjoy cruising in the Mediterranean for our main holidays and also travel to Europe a fair bit.

Each year we worry about what we are to do with our timeshare, whether to bank it (we were unable to use the last deposit and so we lost it), change it to star points or rent it out.

We only seem to get to Florida about every 3 years and up to now have had our son with us, but he's now 17 and wants to spread his wings!

It is a worry and we are considering selling it, but we're unsure. What do you all think?

Coming to Orlando or Florida every three years will be just fine to hold on to it. You should expect to sell the ownership for next to nothing as the SVN program is non-transferrable.

I would suggest to convert to SPG points as often as you can. You will be able to convert your ownership into SPG points every year (or non-consecutive use years). Continue to convert and use the week in between conversion years either in Orlando or try to get some other uses out of SVN program.

At the very least, you will have 67,100 StarOptions to use in the years that you do not convert to SPG. For your son or your family, you should realize some decent vacations.

The bottom line is that it is more likely that you will see more value in using it. Is converting to SPG the best answer? Possibly not but with two years worth of points and using the ownership one year, I would think that you son could get airfare with points......etc. etc......
 

DeniseM

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Have you explored your option to exchange into timeshares in the UK or Europe? You automatically have a free Interval International Acct. that you are paying for through your Starwood membership fees.
 

LisaRex

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I have no idea how many StarPoints you can convert it to, but if your MF:StarPoints cost is over 3.5 cents per StarPoint (which is the rate that you can buy StarPoints off Starwood's website), then I'd consider dumping it on ebay. There's no sense paying MFs for something you're not using. If it's less than 3.5 cents per StarPoint, then I might hang on to it, convert it to StarPoints every other year, and then rent it out for MFs every third year.

Or, if you want to be nice, donate your unused StarOptions to charity. One of our benevolent Tuggers spearheads the effort for posters to donate their unused SO's to Make-A-Wish, which is a very worthwhile organization.
 

SDKath

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Hi Lisa,

I really should do the math with my weeks because I convert to SPs quite often for the airline miles (25,000 miles for 20,000 SPs). Does that have to come out to 3.5c/SP also? If so, I am sure my Orlando units are not making it worth while.

Katherine
 

botham

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Have you explored your option to exchange into timeshares in the UK or Europe? You automatically have a free Interval International Acct. that you are paying for through your Starwood membership fees.

Thanks Denise, but at present we can only take vacations out of school term time and there is rarely any availability in the Uk / Europe at these times. When my son leaves school in 2010, the world's our oyster!
 

LisaRex

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I really should do the math with my weeks because I convert to SPs quite often for the airline miles (25,000 miles for 20,000 SPs). Does that have to come out to 3.5c/SP also? If so, I am sure my Orlando units are not making it worth while.

If you get SPs for free or nearly free (e.g. by staying at a Starwood hotel on your company's dime, or by charging things you'd normally buy on your Starwood AMEX), then how you use them is not really that important as you're coming out ahead no matter what.

If, however, you are not earning your StarPoints for free, then you really should crunch some numbers to see if what you're doing makes economic sense.

For instance, if I were able to convert my 148,100 SO's, I'd get 80,000 StarPoints. But those SPs are far from free -- they're costing me $1975 in MFs, or 2.5 cents per point. Whether it makes sense to convert can only really be answered by comparing it to what you're getting for the $1975 + conversion fee (if any). If you can book a first class trip seat to Europe valued at $5000, then you're coming out ahead. If you're staying 7 nights in a $150 night hotel, then you're not.

In the OPers case, he already forfeited one year's use because he couldn't travel. And that to me is the worst case scenario because you're spending money for absolutely nothing. So getting rid of his TS might make the most sense.
 

SDKath

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That makes a lot of sense. I use my Am Ex a lot and get some SPs via my TSs so I think I will look at both scenarios and see which works best. DH bought a table for $1500 on my AA credit card and was all proud that he got FF miles on AA for it. I kinda chewed him out saying that if he bought it on the Starwood Am Ex, we would get that much closer to the bonus 5000 miles you get when you turn in 20,000 to AA. He just looked at me like I was nuts. LOL. I had to apologize. Some of us obsess about these things way too much. I guess with 5* platinum you also get a conversion bonus of about 10%, if I recall correctly.

To the OP: how about depositing your TS in II and looking for some European vacations that way so you don't have to make the big trek to the US. I think those Orlando units are selling for about $1 on ebay right now so any which way you can keep it is good right now.

Kath
 
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DeniseM

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I agree with Kath - I think there is more availability for European and UK exchanges than you think.
 

calgarygary

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Have you considered request first with II? I am unfamiliar with when you would be able to travel but my VV is pulling resorts throughout Europe but not in the summer. As your travel habits will soon be able to change, I would try to hold on to your ts.
 

DeniseM

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Here's another thing to think about - once your son is out of high school and in college, he will have a life of his own, and you may find you and your wife traveling without him, and that will open up all kinds of possibilities. Many people with older kids travel without them occasionally, anyway. If you have responsible friends or family that he can stay with, give it a try!
 

clsmit

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Your son and his mates might want to go to Orlando as well for a holiday in a year or so. They'd have a great time both at the resort and all over central Florida.
 
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