Too good to be true ?

Discussion in 'Timeshares' started by milchap, Apr 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I noticed in this morning's local newspaper an article about timeshares and how owners are bailing out for economical reasons. Some are giving away theirs for free and the new owner only pays transfer fees and annual fees.
    If the deal sounds too good......
    Anyone have any views on this?
     
  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I am anti-timeshare for the most part and usually very leery. One would need to investigate on a case by case basis.
    How large are the transfer fees and annual fees? Are there any other maintenance fees?
    Who manages the property and what are the views of current owners?
    A top location could make this interesting such as Hawaii. If you already spend a lot of time in a particular location it may be worth a look, but in general I would tend to stay away. Just my 3 cents (inflation) :)
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Even if you obtain a timeshare for free, you are taking on the obligation to pay annual fees and other charges, whatever they might be in the future. If the company experiences financial difficulty, the quality of the property's amenities can decline dramatically as well as the opportunities for trades with other timeshare owners.
     
  4. Kaanapali
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    Kaanapali Gold Member

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    To add to this...the original timeshare property can be bought out by another owner whom does not share the same vision for the property...resulting in your property potentially being grouped into a pool with other less desirable locations....(speaking from experience)....
     
  5. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Be careful. Some timeshares trade at low prices and free is not unheard of, BUT as others have said maintenance fees (can exceed $1,000 per week!!!) and transfer fees need to be considered. Join TUG (www.tug2.net) and see how the resort is rated. Google it and its owners and managers. If all checks out and you plan on using it, maybe it is a decent deal. Few ever are. Good luck.
     
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  6. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    The maintenance fees alone are what keeps my wife and myself away from a timeshare. On top of the maintenance, you need to make sure you want to stay at THAT resort every year or two or else you will also need to pay fees to transfer your "week" to some other property. Bottom line is that it can cost you as much in fees as it would to stay at a hotel for the week. I admit you will not get a kitchen etc in the hotel - but who wants to cook when on vacation anyway?

    To see what can go wrong, see this thread: http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/the-manhattan-club-when-it-all-goes-to-hell.7045/
     
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  7. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I am indeed a great fan of the warning caveat emptor ! If it is too good to be true, then it probably is not good.
     
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  8. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I did lurk on tug2.net.
     
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  9. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    You can find good deals for TS on eBay. A lot of older Royal Resorts members, or their offspring, sell them at great prices and if it's a true sell then transfer fees should be minimal. A lot of these folks, like my mom, are in their late 80s and their kids have no interest in going.

    TS works for me and my family because we truly enjoy the location, get to know the locals, the restaurants, etc. and don't mind going every year. Because our TS is up in 2013, this year we are going to Curacao to check it out.

    It is certainly not for everyone and we do not treat it as an investment. Our $900 maintenance fee pays for the week and is much cheaper than a hotel for 7 days with no kitchen, etc.

    I have seen many "sale" ads by companies that seem a bit shady. If I don't know the company or they don't use RR for transfer and charge fees in excess of $200, it's not for us.
     
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  10. travelingmore
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    travelingmore Gold Member

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    Timeshares are always tough to cost out/justify in terms of expense - that's why those of us who enjoy them, while being realistic about costs, also talk about the enjoyment of the large spaces/multiple rooms and being together with family on vacations, at great locations. The TS market is hard hit now and probably will be for some time.
    Ditto to most of the above comments, in terms of caution and consideration before buying a timeshare.

    But don't leave out that staying at a nice timeshare is a great experience, and for those interested, you may want to consider renting and trying them out -- nothing like having a kitchen space and one or two bathrooms, and bedrooms. We don't cook much either, but it saves a lot to have a fridge for groceries etc. And did I mention the space? :) Our first timeshare stay was at a property that was older, and not many amenities on site, but wow - we sure enjoyed the space, the rooms with doors that closed, etc. Got us interested in TS's.

    Some TS companies, often those associated with hotel chains, offer 2-3 day discounted packages to stay - involving a TS sales presentation -- but it is one way to check out the experience. And with Marriott, at some properties -- in Palm Desert, CA for example - you can use hotel reward points to stay one night or more at a TS property - another way to give it a try.
     
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  11. Kagehitokiri
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    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

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    if giving away, mostly poor value and/or poor quality

    i dont understand "too good to be true" reference
     
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  12. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    If it appears too good to be true, then it is probably not good.
     
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  13. Kagehitokiri
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    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

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    how is getting something free too good?

    rarely are free things that amazing.

    and especially with timeshares where you pay an annual fee and the only way to stop paying is to transfer to someone else.
     
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  14. sunseeker
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    sunseeker Silver Member

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    Another factor is that a lot of TS properties are aging, and there can be assessments above yearly maintenance for large ticket repairs that are necessary.
     
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  15. Bikeguy
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    Bikeguy Silver Member

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    Up front cost is immaterial, compared to the maintenance fee every year.

    And if you are looking to buy and use points or whatever in network (think Hilton), it is best to get the Platinum (high value) week, as the maintenance fees are the same for platinum and silver. Marriott members pay the same ($1000) a week in MF for Hilton Head in winter and in summer.
     
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  16. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I have decided to take a pass on timeshare vacations.
     
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  17. Jim
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    Jim Silver Member

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    There are a boat load of time shares in Helen, GA that people used to give away; some are now offering +1K to take them. When I see things like that, I can figure out the rest.
     
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  18. Jim
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    Jim Silver Member

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    For giggles, I looked at some that were listed on CL around here in the Georgia Mountains.
    $900 per year annual maintenance fee for 1 week usage?

    Not for me.......
     
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  19. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    Interesting. The ad on this page, immediately between the last post and the post reply box, is for timeshareout.com. "Get rid of your timeshare".
     
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  20. superscot
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    superscot Gold Member

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    I've had a timeshare in Scotland for many many years. It is a long time since I stayed in it and have used it recently only to exchange via RCI. My development is run by a not for profit owners' organisation and annual fees are reasonable at abound the equivalent of $300pa. However,although it worked very well for me in the early years, I now feel the cost:benefit tradeoff has got significantly worse in recent years. Add the membership fees for RCI and then their exorbitant charge every time you make an exchange to the resort fees and the 'free' exchange week starts to look expensive. Getting a suitable exchange within the RCI system is just about as hard as getting 2 SQ F tickets using FFPs so there are quite a few years where I lose my week.

    If I were starting from here, I wouldn't buy a time share for exchange purposes. I'd rather the flexibility and availability of renting a condo using an agency like vrbo.com. I'd only consider a timeshare now if I were certain that I wanted to go back to the same place year after year,
     
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  21. 7Continents
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    7Continents Silver Member

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    The only people I know who love their Timeshares are those who bought one close by and are sure to use it regularly.
    Those who bought far away in exotic places now rue the day they bought. Airfares are expensive, schedules are hard to meld and you get tired of going to the same place everytime, or paying even more than you already pay for the possibitlity of a trade. I have three different people offering me their time either for free or for a nominal cost that just offsets the other fees rather than pays them.
     
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  22. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Also, you should look at the location of the timeshare. For instance, the Westin timeshare in Maui. It is on the windy side of the bay. Not ideal compared to location of the hotel. Remember, if it is a "built" timeshare vs a converted timeshare it is probably in a location that is significantly less desirable than the local hotels.
     
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  23. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    Smart move. Does anyone know the history behind the timeshare movement? Did they start cropping up in the 70's?
    The only people I heard of that bought timeshares were people who couldn't afford a second home or cabin so this was the answer to their dream. I think a lot of people made a lot of money building and selling timeshares and like gambling, many people lost a lot of money, those who purchased them. Does anyone have a different experience?
     
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  24. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    I love vrbo.com and have used it numerous times over the years in many great locations. I've only had one mediocre experience which essentially was my own fault. I agree Vacation Rental by Owner is a great alternative over timeshare.
     
  25. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    I rent through http://www.tug2.net and have always been pleased with my results. TUG (Timeshare Users Group) has ratings, forums and more. Check it out. While I am a member, I have no financial or other interest in TUG. For me it has proven to be a great resource. If you will compare TUG to VIBO.com, you will find both excellent with VIBO attracting a lot of fee owners and TUG a lot of timeshare owners.
     
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