Calling All Timeshare Enthusiasts - Why timeshare?

Discussion in 'Timeshares' started by iloveawardtravel, Feb 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. iloveawardtravel
    Original Member

    iloveawardtravel Silver Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    28
    Status Points:
    130
    I've been to a timeshare sales presentation before but did not see the value proposition working out for me. However, I know it has made sense for plenty of others. So for those who own timeshares, can you please enlighten us as why it made sense for you and how you're liking it?
     
    Points likes this.
  2. travelingmore
    Original Member

    travelingmore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,252
    Likes Received:
    75,377
    Status Points:
    16,520
    We own several, and like them and have used them. The question of value is layered - certainly in today's economy, the t.s. business has taken quite a hit and most will advise that if you have any interest in one, to look at the resale market. We have owned for years, and did happen to purchase them from the developers. We love the space of the 1 and 2 bedroom units, with kitchens and laundry - great for a family. We have some that are associated with hotel awards programs and have had great benefit from exchanging weeks for hotel points when that fit our needs. Of course, these points programs have devalued some in recent years, but the interchangeability between the t.s. and the points programs has worked for us.

    It does take time and effort to learn to use them effectively; in over 10 years, we have only missed booking one week, but then we try to stay on top of the booking, trading etc.

    Timeshares are really not investments -- I know some have had success selling them in the past at a profit but those days are gone, in my observation. They are pitched as "providing you a lifetime of vacations", and we have used them for that. For us, they met a need of providing large units, in great locations, for some great vacations. So, we have them now, and make pretty good use of them. Would we have bought from the developer if we knew what we know now? Not all of them, and maybe none of them - I learned more about resale after we had made most of our purchases.

    A lot depends on your situation and needs and interests - renting a timeshare unit may make more sense in these times. Talk to owners in specific programs to get an up-to-date idea of they are working, and the pluses and minuses. Cost is a big factor - obviously, developers' prices are higher; resales are less but you get no purchase incentives of points or other offerings, and sometimes there is the the loss of some privilege or access, with a resale.

    Keep asking and talking to owners, to get an idea of how it's working for them. I hope some MPers will weigh in with their experiences.
     
  3. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Status Points:
    900
    I do not have a timeshare, but have been to a few presentations, and have friends who own timeshares. What I have gotten out of exploring the issue is this:
    1. Timeshares work best if you intend to use it mostly to stay in the property that you bought into. You often get first crack at booking into your home property, so if you can plan out a year in advance, that really does work pretty well.

    2. Timeshare salespeople will sell them as though it is easy to book other locations within that system, to trade in RCI or Interval, etc. It isn't easy. It can be done, but having flexibility on where you want to go and when really helps.

    3. In timeshares with hotel chains, you can transfer to hotel points and use in the hotel system, but you suffer some erosion in value when you do so. You may end up giving up enough points to stay in a studio for two weeks, and get enough points to stay in a nice, upscale hotel for 5 days.

    My friends who are satisfied with their timeshare purchases (and each couple owns more than one) uses them almost exclusively at the property that they bought at. They plan their vacations a year in advance.
     
  4. Kagehitokiri
    Original Member

    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    218
    Status Points:
    445
    best = buying as cheaply as possible then exchanging for as valuable as possible. FT-style.

    apparently marriott was good for hotel stays, but no idea where that stands after all the changes.
     
  5. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Status Points:
    900
    Suffice it to say that if you are going to a timeshare presentation with a hotel chain, and you plan to exchange for hotel points fairly frequently, it would be a really good idea to have a decent knowledge of that hotel system and its points program.

    When it comes to salesman patter and the ability to exchange, I am reminded of IBM in the sixties. Whenever they were asked if their machine could do something, they would respond "You can do that". What they meant was that they couldn't do it, but they were confident that if you threw enough programming effort at the problem, you could.
     
    NordicLane, MissBurrill and Points like this.
  6. Kagehitokiri
    Original Member

    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    218
    Status Points:
    445
  7. Cholula
    Original Member

    Cholula Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    4,073
    Likes Received:
    17,358
    Status Points:
    10,720
    We own three oceanfront units at The Marriott Maui Ocean Club in both the new and old phases.

    We've owned them for over a decade and use them every year.

    Having said that, we also don't consider them a particularly great investment although we did pay cash for them and they are worth north of what we paid for them 12 years ago. But minus the annual maintenance fees you could consider them a slight net loss at this point.

    The nice part about Hawaii and Marriott is that you own the properties "Fee Simple". In other words you own the buildings and property and hold a deed to the unit just as if you'd bought a house. And last I looked they weren't inventing any new Hawaiian oceanfront property along the world famous Kaanapali Beach. :)

    I don't regret buying them and even consider them a fortuitous purchase as we paid cash for them just prior to the 2001 financial meltdown with dollars that would have otherwise gone bye-bye.
     
    alohastephen, gleff, Bikeguy and 7 others like this.
  8. savydog
    Original Member

    savydog Gold Member

    Messages:
    34,689
    Likes Received:
    234,029
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Thanks for the forthright comments. I to have often wondered about what the time-share phenomenon was about. I have seen a lot of HGVC properties advertised and it seemed the prices had dropped with the GFC over the past couple of years. Had a little look into the points systems and transfers to Hilton hotels, so it is good to here from those that have taken the plunge.
     
    Chimpy likes this.
  9. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Status Points:
    900
    The main reason for buying a timeshare is that it can change your life in a way you want it changed. I'm sure Cholula would tell you that he might not go to Maui for three weeks a year if he didn't have those timeshares.
     
    MaggieGardner and travelingmore like this.
  10. Kagehitokiri
    Original Member

    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    218
    Status Points:
    445
    heh, the "good" part of not being able to sell/etc.
     
  11. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Status Points:
    900
    You can always figure out who you hate most in life, and give it to them. [​IMG]
     
  12. magic111
    Original Member

    magic111 Silver Member

    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    253
    Status Points:
    350
    I have owned in HGVC since last century. Paid cash to the developer.
    For my maintenance fee can usually reserve into a studio or a one bedroom for an average cost around $50-$70 per night up to 9 months in advance throughout the system or my home site one year out for reservations as few as 3 days up to as many days as I have points. There is no investment value, but since I have deed it will be worth something to my children in the future as they will acquire for nothing. My preference is timeshares for longer stays. My thoughts are if my job had provided hotel stays and I could use the points for my vacation I would never have bought into timeshares. But being retired, having always been a leisure traveler and now spending up to 60 nights a year leisurely traveling it makes sense to me.
    In fact my shoulda, coulda, woulda is that I had bought a couple weeks next door to cholula.
     
    gemac likes this.
  13. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Status Points:
    900
    As far as shoulda, coulda, woulda, you still can. [​IMG]

    How many nights of studio or one-bedroom can you get per year? Do you usually book these at your home site or other places? If other places, what has been your experience in booking there? Easy or hard? Thanks.
     
    magic111 likes this.
  14. Kagehitokiri
    Original Member

    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    218
    Status Points:
    445

    if you pay developer, most of the time its a ripoff.

    if you buy resale, and NEVER get ANY value out of use, most of the time you can give it away for free to avoid annual fee.
     
    Delta Gazillion Miler and gemac like this.
  15. AmericanGirl
    Original Member

    AmericanGirl Silver Member

    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    1,862
    Status Points:
    910
    Agree that timeshares are not for investment. My mom bought hers back in 1986 and we bought it from her in 2001. We go every year and have loved it. However, since Mexico seems a bit unsteady these days and the timeshare is up in 2013, we may not renew. I am thinking about the Curacao as our new destination. Love it!!!!
     
    Delta Gazillion Miler and gemac like this.
  16. Punki
    Original Member

    Punki Silver Member

    Messages:
    755
    Likes Received:
    1,196
    Status Points:
    825
    We own three. Two in Hawaii, which, like Cholula's are fee simple interests, and on in NYC. All of them have extremely high drawing power, making it possible for us to get pretty much whatever we want when we trade.

    Moreover, our Hawaii units are two bedroom units which can be split and banked, rendering us four weeks in place of the two we own. We have had some amazing trades, like, for instance, trading our Hawaiian hotel unit for a fabulous three bedroom unit at Whistler for the Thanksgiving holiday.

    We tend to be more inclined to actually use our NYC unit as it can be used by the day and we bought it so long ago that we are grandfathered in to an old clause that lets us have as many weekend nights as we want. It takes some negotiation to get them, but nothing that presents too big a challenge to an avid frequent flyer who is used to manipulating the system. ;) It also has the highest trading power of almost any unit in the trading system.

    Would I do it again? I don't know, but we have enjoyed using them.
     
  17. timeshares are multi-faceted, and most people have very different reasons to buy, like or dislike them.
    Since they require a large cash commitment up front and on-going payment of maintenance fees, it is a really good idea to know how you plan to use a timeshare over the next 10 years before you buy one.

    we currently own 10 weeks, and owned more that we rented, selling them 3-5 years ago when rentals that covered maintenance fees became harder to find.

    we bought our first week almost 25 years ago, so one thing we can swear to is that your plans will change over time.
    That means that you might know where you want to spend vacations now, but that may not be where or when you want to go in the future, when the kids are older or you no longer want to vacation in Orlando or when you decide that airfares to Hawaii or the Caribbean are too high to make the vacation a bargain.

    It is usually a good idea to buy where you like to vacation, but also remember the long term, so make sure that you have good trading options or banking options.

    Would we do it again? during a recession is the wrong time to ask, but 5 years ago I would have said yes! and I may feel that way again in the future. We have had lots of great vacations, and have lots of saved hotel points to use when we retire.
     
  18. Delta Gazillion Miler
    Original Member

    Delta Gazillion Miler Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    1,553
    Status Points:
    725
    We own several and probably wouldn't buy any more. The maintenance fees are very high and, bottomline, they really aren't a great investment IMO.

    But we don't regret our purchase and use them/trade them faithfully every year.
     
  19. magic111
    Original Member

    magic111 Silver Member

    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    253
    Status Points:
    350
    s, c w would be a big hit on my fixed income at this point in my life.

    My home HGVC is Flamingo Las Vegas and I own 4800 per year points there. There are options for moving the points forward and also borrowing from next year so it could be possible if I wanted to plan for 14400 points to be available in a single year. Some places have for terminology sake what I will call off peak times. In addition mon-thu nights cost half the price of fri-sun nights. So my tendency is to use HGVC points for midweek when hotels are expensive and stay at hotels on the weekends when prices go down.

    This year I have already booked;
    4 nights in a studio at the HHV on Oahu - Kalia Tower 880pts. ($204 maintenance & fees)
    4 nights in a one bedroom Parc Soleil in Orlando 1360pts ($286 maintenance & fees)
    2011 points remaining 2560

    The programs did not work as efficiently for me prior to retirement as weekends were commonly availble for me more than weekdays. We did more RCI trading during those real vacation days for week long stays in villas in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Tenerife, Cancun and narrowboats in UK. Now I rarely use RCI.

    As to availability it is generally available booking out without flexibility and almost always with flexibility at most resorts. Course booking the home week (4800 points one week platinum, one bedroom) will be available 365 days out. But we have never did that. Fact is we rarely book into the Vegas HGVCs. :)
     
    MissBurrill and Cholula like this.
  20. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Status Points:
    900
    Thanks for the example. This reinforces my general understanding, that these are a good deal if you can use them within the HGVC system, a less good deal if used within RCI, and an even less good deal if converted to hotel points. It appears that using them within HGVC, you could get 16 to 20 nights in studio rooms for around $1000, or around $50 per night. That's quite a good value, and worth the original up-front cost.

    Converted to hotel points, that is 120,000 points, which would get you two to four nights in nice Hiltons. Not a good deal at all.

    Problem is, almost all their timeshares are in North America, and I would like to use them everywhere else. Not every program is for everybody, and this one just seems to be not for me.
     
    Cholula likes this.
  21. Cholula
    Original Member

    Cholula Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    4,073
    Likes Received:
    17,358
    Status Points:
    10,720
    Your program works dramatically different than the Marriott program.

    We simply deposit our unit with Marriott and then, depending on the location and status of your unit(s), you get an array of other Marriott properties to chose from. The Hawaii units are the most in demand as the owners generally use their units rather than trade for them. Plus non-Hawaii owners often want to vacation in Hawaii.

    We could also trade with Interval International but I tend to shy away from them. I know what to expect with Marriott. I'm not too sure once I start messing around outside the Marriott system.

    For our 1BR OF unit we can generally get a 2BR or 3BR oceanfront or oceanview unit on the mainland.

    But like other Hawaii owners we rarely trade our units. I've been practically everywhere and have never found a destination quite as desirable as Maui. :)
     
    MissBurrill, travelingmore and gemac like this.
  22. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Status Points:
    900
    I agree about Maui. I'm there right now, and my avatar was taken out of my living room window. Still, we are retired, have plenty of time and enough money to get to see some other places, and we do enjoy international travel. It is nice to see some new places every year, and we don't seem to tire of London and Paris.
     
    travelingmore, magic111 and Cholula like this.
  23. Cholula
    Original Member

    Cholula Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    4,073
    Likes Received:
    17,358
    Status Points:
    10,720
    [​IMG]

    We retired early several years ago and are happily burning my bazillion miles. In addition to Maui a few times a year we attend several DO's depending, primarily, who's attending and, secondarily, where it's located.

    We've been to several international DO's but recently, for no particular reason, have been doing domestic ones. We're in the process of putting together our travel schedule for the year as I write this.

    Enjoy your stay in paradise!!
     
    magic111 and gemac like this.
  24. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    1,077
    Status Points:
    900
    We're leaving tomorrow for Switzerland. [​IMG] What was I thinking?
     
    Cholula likes this.
  25. Cholula
    Original Member

    Cholula Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    4,073
    Likes Received:
    17,358
    Status Points:
    10,720

    Maui to Switzerland??

    That must be an interesting itinerary. :)

    Have fun.
     
    baccarat_guy likes this.

Share This Page