What smart buyers should know about time shares

Discussion in 'Timeshares' started by rwoman, May 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    USA Today: What smart buyers should know about time shares

     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Glad I don't do timeshares!:cool:
     
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  3. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Me too! :)
     
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  4. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I thought about it but changed my mind after some due diligence.
     
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  5. Bxian

    Bxian Active Member

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    The secret is to buy resale at a resort where the Board is not controlled by the developer.
     
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  6. whoodahguy

    whoodahguy New Member

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    SMART PEOPLE DONT BUY TIME SHARES
     
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  7. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Me three.

    Just no appeal there.
     
  8. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Tru dat. Seems they turn maintenance into it's own profit center.
     
  9. alohastephen

    alohastephen Gold Member

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    Is there an easy way to filter out developer-controlled timeshares when doing a search?

    Rick over at Frugal travel guy seems to have done well with his neighborhood timeshare property because he has access to facilities(gym) year round.
     
  10. SnowDogDad

    SnowDogDad Silver Member

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    A couple of years ago, I bought a "fractional" at a Marriott managed resort in South Lake Tahoe. It was a bank sale and seemed like a really good deal. The board is partially controlled by the owners and partially by Marriott. The owners seem to do a good job of pushing back on maintenance costs and keeping them under control. Property management does seem to always wanting to maintain things that don't yet need to be maintained. The property has remained in immaculate shape since it opened 10 years ago.

    It is 13 weeks a year (every 4th week) and I use it about twice per year. Once I removed my weeks from Marriott's rental program, I actually cover my HOA fees each year by renting through a 3rd party.

    My experience, though, seems to be the exception to the rule. Most people I know would not touch a timeshare with a 10 foot pole.
     
  11. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Really? Not the kind of comment I would expect to see anywhere on Milepoint but especially on a thread titled "Timeshares" where you have basically called most of us idiots. Heck of a way to may an impression, New Member.

    That said, before I read that ridiculous comment, I was considering starting a new thread about our experience in general and this week in particular. I am writing from a luxurious 2 bedroom at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, CA. This will probably be our last time here. In our mid-60's traveling with carry-ons, suitcases and golf clubs can get very old! We have begun the process of researching for a second home purchase in southern Florida. We own three timeshare weeks and will sell two of them, holding on to the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale because we love everything about it.

    Our purchase price here through eBay was $7000 - well under the $35,000+ the last developer week sold for. Alas, with the economy being what it is, it is unlikely that we will get more than $2500-3000. So be it. We have loved it and loved the luxury and space (the TRUE luxury!) that it has afforded us. For $1500 per year, we get either one week at a top notch resort in a 1400 square foot suite or two weeks by cutting the unit in half. For someone even mildly considering this, what an amazing opportunity this financial correction offers! There are so many wonderful places that can be had for a song. What I learned years ago still holds true - buy where you want to go; if a trade you want comes through, great, but if not you still get to go to a resort you love. That way, you really can't lose.

    We've traveled with family and friends to Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Lake Tahoe, Newport Coast, St John and Marbella. The expenses were controlled and predictable. We will pretty much leave the timesharing arena with good thoughts and great memories and to me, a young family that can buy for a song and use for a lifetime - not a bad move!

    And while I am only speaking for myself, I bet a lot of the other idiots on this board agree with me!
     
  12. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    While I have no idea of what your IQ is, I do know that mine is in the upper 2% of the world and I personally own two time shares that I purchased on the secondary market for almost nothing.

    I usually use one for myself every year in Grand Cayman as I enjoy spending a week in a three bedroom ocean front property where I have already seen everything possible and get to relax and dive as much as I want.

    The second unit is also in Grand Cayman and I usually trade it for three weeks in other locations that I often give to my children. It is only a one week property, but as a lock off it splits into two weeks and I almost always get an extra free week for trading it in. My kids have enjoyed nice vacations in Hawaii and other locations that they could not have afforded without my timeshare, so it has been a blessing for all.

    I have extensive real estate holdings and I understand the difference between owning real property and owning a timeshare, but there are instances where they do make sense.

    While I doubt you meant to be as offensive as your comment was, I would truly suggest you temper such comments as this is a sight where people try to help each other and not put others down.
     
  13. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    You said it better than I did Marc. Thanks,
     
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  14. There are many reasons why people keep buying timeshares properties. Most of these reasons are based on the fact that they were told a bunch of lies and fake promises in order to get a sale done. Because of that, there are more reasons why these people want to cancel the contract. As the time passes and the fees start to pour in, it becomes a hard task to rent the unit out and selling it it’s even more difficult, not to say impossible.

    There are lots of companies on the web that claim to assist victims of timeshare scams to cancel website’s domains their contract and get a total/partial refund, depending on their situation. Visit: timesharescam.com
     
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  15. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I must say that IMHO this board is rapidly morphing into one where opposing opinions are not to be tolerated and designated as " unfriendly". Far too often a subtle or not so subtle reference is made to FT in a attempt to silence or perhaps shame others.
    Now tell me how is that is at all any different from FT? :rolleyes:
     
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  16. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks.
     
  17. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    While I don't have much knowledge about FT, I do think that opposing opinions are an integral part of any discussion and should be welcomed. I have found that to be the norm on milepoint, and have felt at ease stating my opinions because of that. What I don't find acceptable is the insinuation that one is an idiot for doing something such as purchasing a timeshare. That is not proper etiquette for any forum.
     
  18. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Honestly, why not just ignore all-caps postings such as the one that you all seem so worked up over? A large chunk of timeshares are terrible purchases for those involved, and those terrible purchases drive the industry. If someone gets a bit overexcited about this, their level of credibility is voiced in their usage of the capslock key. I'm not sure that anyone should really be offended by that.

    Personally even "good deal" timeshare deals don't hold any appeal whatsoever, but I can certainly see where there would be value for those with other preferences.

    I feel like there was a lot of discussion that was purged from this thread, or occurred in another that I can't track down...it seems like any actual discussion of the numerous drawbacks of timeshares has been cleansed.
     
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  19. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Well I stated my opinion on the subject...personally I did not find the comment by the poster which while somewhat over the top warranted a response such as yours.
    I cannot but help noticing however you managed to inform us how smart you are :)

    Lets leave the lecturing as to what is "acceptable " or not to the owners and moderators of this board and perhaps try to be a little less thin-skinned.
     
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  20. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Bravo. :)
     
  21. rosiew

    rosiew Member

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    I’ve always been wary of timeshares, and for good reason, apparently. It seems like Timeshare scams are the order of the day, the upside is that the cost of staying in a hotel includes room service, cleaning, etc – things you don’t get during your stay in a timeshare. I can see how it could be considered an “investment in lifestyle,” but that seems like a wasteful and silly way to spend my money. That’s just me.
     
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  22. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    There are a lot of people who are actually happy timeshare owners.

    There are people who have owned them and regretted it.

    That said, in my experience, those who make the most virulent comments about timeshares tend to be people who never owned one. Yup - it's not for everyone. But there are many reasons that it can work and work really well for some people. Not every buyer was a sucker - most entered with eyes wide open and did it because they knew someone who was a happy owner.

    I guess that's my issue. You can like them and own them, you can think it is crazy and not right for you, but that's pretty much where it ends. To me, the Delta and Hilton FF programs have been gutted and are just awful - but I would never call anyone who is loyal to them an idiot. I just assume they found a way to make it work or were so invested, they had to make it work. Lots of choices and as my wise late father used to say, "that's what makes horse races!"
     
  23. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Well from my perspective its quite a stretch in a poster saying "smart people don't buy timeshares" to reach the conclusion that you are being called idiots.
    Suppose the poster had said you have got to be "crazy to invent in time-shares" would you then jump to the conclusion that he was questioning your mental health? or just pass it off as another one of the those exaggerated statements in common use?:)

    Although I find it pretty hard to draw that parallel with regard to for example the HH program ( and I did see your thread on the HH board which I specifically and deliberately declined to participate:) ) but since it has come up again I'll take the bait.:D
    There is and can be no real comparison in any shape or form between a hotel loyalty program and shelling out $25 grand for a time share.

    As a 26+ year member of the HH program I don't think you or most here remember what is was like even 15 years ago or so... so to say it been "gutted" is IMHO an even more gross exaggeration. Back then one mostly got points for actually staying hotels.. novel concept that may be.
    Fast forward:
    to our next European vacation 18 nights in 3 countries (or 4) 15 nights in HH properties (630k points) courtesy of approx. two years of normal spend on our HH Amex.
     
  24. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I paid less than $1,000 for my timeshare, including transfer fees, deed recording and taxes. My assessment is less than $1,000. I get 7 days/7 nights every year in a beachfront 2br/2ba condo w/balcony that's been recently refurbished, has a fantastic pool and industrial-quality grill and includes catamaran and kayak usage for owners (non-owners pay for these rentals).

    Staying at either the Hilton or Marriott next door would cost me easily $150/night for just a room (if not more) plus spending on restaurants, etc. We'd definitely pay more being in a hotel.

    We use ours every year. We have no intention of trading for weeks elsewhere. We're actively involved in our board updates when we're there and have a good property manager that knows how to run a property efficiently. Our board is made up of owners, period, and we have a secondary affiliation with Hilton/HGVC if we want (from what I understand, just shy of 50% of our weeks are HGVC affiliated). We choose not to affiliate with HGVC for our week because it brings us no additional value over simple ownership.

    Less than 3% of the weeks at the property are association-owned and there's less than a 1% foreclosure rate from people failing to pay their fees. Those economics "just work" but it takes research into a property to find one that's well run, properly funded and someplace you want to stay.

    It's also not for everyone. It is, however, for us... and should we decide to get out we're likely to be able to sell it for $4,000 - $6,000 (I purchased from a distressed owner seeking to avoid a foreclosure, agreed to pay the maintenance fees due for the year and was able to use the property that same year, a net-zero approach). Weeks at this property, depending on which week, are posted for sale from this range up (my week is a flex week and not usable during certain parts of the winter season when retirees prefer to stay).

    For us, it's a fantastic economic decision with an acceptable level of risk in terms of fee increases, special assessments, etc. (in fact, my wife's condo which she owned prior to our marriage is far more burdensome in terms of assessments and fees, but the real estate market is depressed for condos in that area so we'd rather hold on until it recovers than sell at a loss)... but that's another story (and a reason I'm not a condo fan at all).
     
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  25. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Well Mike I guess that proves that you're not a "smart person"!

    Thanks for sharing your story. There are good stories out there and there are bad stories out there. I've had both but again, any generality will miss the point. Timeshares aren't great - they CAN be great as you showed.
     

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