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Marriott Unit Size Upgrade for Ongoing Search

Discussion in 'Marriott Vacation Club' started by Jwerking, May 15, 2017.

  1. Jwerking

    Jwerking TUG Member

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    Trying to use a Marriott 1 br for II trade into a Marriott Palm Springs resort for January 2019. As a test case, I searched Jan 2018 and found a few 2 br units for the first week of January and could pay the unit upgrade cost of $59 for the larger unit.

    However, when placing an ongoing II search, it only allows a search for units of the same size or smaller. As such, will the system automatically confirm the 1 Br unit and there is no way to acquire a 2 br unit even if there were larger units available?
     
  2. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It is said that II will put the unit on hold and call you to see if you are willing to pay the upgrade fee. Perhaps for some places with a lot of supply, like Orlando or Palm Desert in the summer, they may not bother and just confirm the upgrade for no fee? Best way to find out is to try.
     
  3. GetawaysRus

    GetawaysRus TUG Member

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    It will cost you a few $$, but if you match to a 1BR, you could then purchase ePlus and try to switch into a 2BR. You'd pay the ePlus fee + the upgrade fee.
     
  4. hangloose

    hangloose Guest

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    Interesting thought. This would of course mean II doesn't have a like for like size already in weeks of over supply OR you are exchanging into a resort that only has larger size and no lock off (say Cypress Harbor in July as an example).

    Can anyone confirm or deny based on real exchanges?
     
  5. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    I'm intrigued by this topic...in our current deliberations about whether to buy more DC points or buy a resale EOY week in Maui to achieve a goal of EOY Hawaii trips starting in 2019 or so, we've been assuming that if we go the resale EOY week route that it would be with a 1BR, since that is probably what we would need most often. The problem that presents is in those occasional years when we need a 2BR (maybe because the kids go with us), we have no easy way to upgrade that 1BR to a 2BR. (Points would certainly give us that flexibility, but at a higher cost.) But, since a 2BR MOC is only about $200/yr more in MF than a 1BR, one thought I've been knocking around in my mind is, if we bought an EOY 2BR instead of a 1BR, we could lock it off, use the 1BR side at MOC, and deposit the studio side in II in the years we didn't need the whole unit. While I've noted on TUG ad-naseum that I don't like trading, this could be a situation where it is very advantageous and therefore worth doing.

    But if I'm interpreting the OP correctly, there is a serious flaw in that 2BR strategy. If we deposited the studio in II, even though a Maui studio might, in theory, have enough trade power to pull 1BR units elsewhere, am I interpreting the OP to mean that all II would let us place an ongoing search for is another studio? If we wanted to get a 1BR for that studio deposit, the only way to do that would be through just finding something online in an instant exchange (and paying the upgrade fee, of course)? If that is a correct interpretation, I'm thinking that would make trading the studio much less attractive for multiple reasons - we're not crazy about studios and also, some resorts don't even have studios. I'm not sure I would want to rely on instant exchanges to find something of value on which to use the studio deposit. Is my interpretation of how this works correct?
     
  6. tschwa2

    tschwa2 TUG Member

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    There has never been and currently is no way to set up an ongoing search with II at a resort that contains multiple size units to only request a unit larger than the one you are using for the search. You can confirm a larger unit through a manual search by paying a fee (still required even if the resort is a lower rated resort, during a lower season and/or in an area with an over abundance of timeshares). II will call if you request the same size in your ongoing search but a larger one that you still have enough trading power happens to become available to see if you want to pay the fee to confirm. If the same size unit becomes available in your date range at your requested resort, it will continue to auto march and each time you will need to cancel within 24 hours of match in order to continue the search.
     
  7. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    As mentioned in the post above, you can only set up an ongoing search as a like for like basis based on sleeping capacity (I believe private sleeping capacity).

    In the past we have always been able to upgrade in size for a studio to a one bedroom. Sometimes even a two bedroom. These size upgrades have always been accomplished via instant online exchanges. Once II decided to hit us with their size upgrade fee we stopped depositing our studio unit with them and simply use the entire unit.

    I still do online searches on occasion. The trend I've noticed is fewer online larger units being available for upgrade. While we no longer deposit the studio, we have a 1 bedroom that gets depsotited and I'll search with that unit. A few years ago finding a 2 bedroom Palm Desert unit in the month of March was pretty easy. This past year not so much as all I was seeing online were 1 bedroom and studio units. Getting the 2 bedroom via an ongoing search was still very easy (we had an ongoing search with. A 2 bedroom that I was also searching with online). I don't believe there is a shortage of larger units but I do believe II is manipulating the inventory to maximize fee's.

    As to the person considering purchasing in Maui. If it were me I'd purchase the 2 bedroom. I don't li,e to worry about the fuss of trupying to upgrade or manipulate a smaller unit to get a larger unit. The exchange landscape has changed considerably since we became timeshare owners in 1998. The exchange companies have added fee's and rules as owners have exploited loopholes in the system. What is true today probably won't be true in the next 4 or 5 years. At worst you have a spare bedroom you don't always need. You can always consider locking off and renting the studio unit or depositing it and searching online until you find something that works for you. It might be a little more difficult than a few years ago but there are still some great size upgrades via instant exchanges.
     
  8. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    While from a maintenance fee perspective the 2BR is certainly more efficient than a 1BR, the purchase price of an EOY 2BR unit is at least double that of an EOY 1BR. I'm not sure why we would want to pay more for a 2BR if most of the time we don't need the extra space and we wouldn't be able to easily trade the lock-off Studio for something we want. As our kids finish college and start their careers over the next several years, I can't imagine that they would be able to accompany us more than a couple of times over the next 10 or 15 years. So I suspect 80%-90% of the time, we would be looking to lock-off and trade the studio (I have no interest in trying to rent it). Based on what's been said above, it sounds like that process would start to get frustrating to us fairly quickly. The size upgrade fees don't really bother me that much since, in the scheme of things, they are fairly modest. But given the issues you and others have described with trying to trade up to a 1BR with a studio, I can't see how paying more for something that doesn't really meet our needs makes sense.

    The more research I do into alternatives, the more I keep coming back to the conclusion that the only thing that truly gives us the flexibility and adaptability as our needs evolve is more DC Points, perhaps through a Marriott hybrid bundle built around an EOY 1BR MOC week. I keep trying to find creative ways to come up with a lower cost alternative, but so far none of those seem to be able to meet our needs.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  9. Jwerking

    Jwerking TUG Member

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    Thank you all for your comments - just as I surmised, the only way to likely get a 2 BR is an online confirmation. Guess we can manage with a 1 BR unit in Palm Springs, but always prefer a 2 BR. Of course, more money for everything - Eplus and upgrade fee - hmm, maybe a 1 BR will be just fine!

    BTW, I searched Palms Springs using the studio side of our lock-off week and the 2 BRs did not show up. Of course, this is NOT a real high demand week that I am searching with - it is a summer week at Summit Watch in Park City - gold week and always tons of summer availability.

    JIMinNC - with regards to Maui - I would purchase the 2BR week esp if it is a private resale at a good price. We stayed at Napili Towers during the first week in March this year and it took mega DPs for the 1 br oceanfront unit and we only stayed for 5 nights from Sun - Fri. It was nice but NEVER again for those kind of points - not worth the $$ in maintenance fees paid. While I could see a few whales from the balcony - not tons like I thought. Of course, the ocean view was fabulous, but we moved in a beach front house with a direct water view 2yrs ago - so we are not as excited about the waterfront view these days. We are enrolled owners (2 yrs ago) and I estimate that it cost about $400 per night in maintenance fee cost - a bit rich for our blood.

    Note that now that your kids are gone - you no longer need to travel during prime season, but can enjoy vacations during shoulder season. You should be able to easily trade into one of the HHI resorts during spring and fall season - love HHI - we own two weeks at Barony. We matched a 2 br at Monarch during Easter week with our studio unit a few yrs ago via an ongoing search - I was truly amazed. But I must admit that I think II trades are now less available as many folks move towards DPs.
     
  10. hangloose

    hangloose Guest

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    MOC 1BR vs 2BR purchase.

    Not to derail this thread on a different discussion, but we've weighed the MOC 1BR vs 2BR purchase decision also.

    My thoughts. For the extra $200 in MF annually, the 2BR is worth it long term for us. It provides flexibility for more space, in case we want to bring extended family. It also provides the ability to lock-off, in case we want to stay 2 weeks (at the MF of one week!).

    To offset the upfront 2BR purchase price difference, we could lock-off and rent the efficiency (vs trade). Over an 6-8 year period, the efficiency rental would pay for the difference in upfront purchase price while still leaving us a 1BR during those years. Long term, we would then have a full 2BR at only $200 more annually. After that period, efficiency rental could generate income to offset maintenance fees well beyond purchase price difference if desired.

    At least this is my justification for a 2BR, whether EY or EOY, but does require some work and comfort in renting the efficiency....plus more money up front.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  11. NboroGirl

    NboroGirl TUG Member

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    If it were me, I would go for the 1BR, and then rent a studio for those few times when you need the 2nd bedroom for guests. If you can get the same view as your 1BR, then maybe Marriott can link the reservations and put them together if they have the availability when you go.
     
  12. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    If we go the 1BR route this is what we would do. But instead of renting for cash, that's where DC Points come in. In peak season when we would want to go to Maui (Jan-Mar), even ocean view studios rent for $3,500 to $4,000 per week on Marriott.com and other online booking sites (we don't do the rental-by-owner thing). I can book an ocean view studio for a week for only 3100 Points, a maintenance fee cost of only about $1650.

    That's why a hybrid bundle built around a EOY 1BR MOC week seems to make sense, it would give us the MOC week we want, plus some more points that can be used to reconfigure our MOC lodging, as well as visit other MVC resorts in Hawaii and elsewhere in the MVC system (plus it would get us to Executive level). It's an expensive route to take, but so far the less expensive options all seem to have serious shortcomings.
     
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  13. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. I didn't intend to hijack your thread, but the questions you were asking were the same questions I was thinking about in trying to evaluate whether we could make a 2BR work instead of a 1BR. Being able to lock off the Studio would be a great way to make a 2BR work for us given the small difference in maintenance fees, but I'm somewhat reluctant to take on the trading hassle given that we would probably be locking off more often than not. If we can't search for at least a 1BR unit and have to jump through a lot of hoops to make that Studio work for trades, I'm not too eager to go down that road. Using a Studio to try for shoulder season or off-season HHI where there are only larger units was something that occurred to me as well, but the reality is we are seriously evaluating buying a full-ownership condo or villa in HHI, so if we move forward with that, trading into MVC HHI would become moot. I guess renting the studio side out to others for cash could work and help defray our own expenses, but I've never really wanted to be in the Redweek.com rental business.

    The week/points bundle still seems to do a better job of meeting our needs, but if we would ultimately decide not to buy a week/points package and opt to stick with a single third-party resale week, after reading these comments, I am beginning to think that the overall most cost effective approach for a private resale MOC week would probably be to buy the EOY 2BR and then just try to rent the studio for whatever we can. I would just have to find a way to get myself comfortable with becoming a landlord to someone every couple of years. I've never really wanted to travel that road either, but maybe it could work.
     
  14. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    This argument makes a lot of sense to me. I've never really wanted to get involved in trying to rent out weeks to others, but if I could get myself comfortable with doing that, given what has been discussed concerning the limitations of trying to trade a studio through II, your strategy would make a lot of sense as a way to make a 2BR work. Given that, I think I'm drifting away from the option of buying a EOY 1BR third party resale and may be settling on one of these two options:

    1.) Buy a hybrid bundle built around an EOY 1BR MOC OV/OF unit. (Here I would have to stick with the 1BR since the matching point requirement for a 2BR makes that very cost prohibitive.) This would give us our Maui week, plus enrollment, and some more points (Executive level). It would give us maximum flexibility for configuring our accommodations to meet our needs from trip to trip, but up front cost is significant.
    2.) Buy a EOY 2BR MOC OV/OF unit, and rent the studio portion when we don't use it (probably most years). This would minimize our upfront outlay and give us access to either a 1BR or 2BR as our needs vary from trip-to-trip. The biggest downsides of this are the need to rent the studio and it would not get us any more points. We would still be 3750 points shy of Executive level.

    Thanks for helping me think through this!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017 at 10:24 AM
  15. deniseh

    deniseh TUG Member

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    We went through this same discussion over the past year. I was leaning toward just a purchase of a resale week(not through Marriott) initially and then maybe with in a year a purchase of DP resale as well to get to executive. The downside to me was that we would have an enrolled week, DP and a non-enrolled week with all the various details to keep in mind related to how to handle our weeks and DP. Just a few weeks ago we sat through a presentation and decided to go with a bundle package we were offered. With the hybrid bundle it came out to just under $7.00 per point which seemed like the way to go for us. I like being able to utilize Interval if we want to go that route for our weeks or turn in to DP if we want to. It seemed like the best option for us. So many things to consider but i agree that the bundle package gives the most flexibility.
     
  16. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    Yes, our initial Marriott purchase in 2014 was through a bundle package built around a Barony Beach Club week. We like being able to play in both the Points and Weeks sandboxes. We elected our Barony week for Points in 2015 and 2016, but have deposited to II for 2017 and 2018. That's why we like the bundles, but I want to make sure we evaluate all the options before signing on for any additional purchase.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017 at 12:14 AM
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  17. deniseh

    deniseh TUG Member

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    I've just started to explore interval in the last year or so. Even though we've been owners for 8 years I don't think I really understood how to use it to our best advantage. Thanks to this website I am learning a lot. Since we prefer travel in shoulder seasons I am finding that I can get good trades with interval. That may change but with both our weeks enrolled and the DP points we have options. The nice thing is you have time to explore and think about what choice is best for you as there will always be another offer from Marriott at the next presentation. Also I've learned from this forum that you can always sell whatever you decide you no longer want.
     
  18. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    I own at Marriott in Palm Desert. In the past I've seen availability in early January but very little at the end of January and essentially nothing during Feb and first part of March. It is their high season. So, if you are holding out for the end of January, you may be disappointed. I suggest grabbing any 2 BR Jan units you currently see.
     
  19. Hobee

    Hobee TUG Member

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    JIMinNC - Would you consider playing in a "sandbox" other than MVC or is your goal specifically to go to MOC? This is along the lines of my post title "Venturing Outside of MVC". In addition to resale or DC points or hybrid options, a 4th option could be another system such Hilton Grand Vacation Club. It seems thier system does not limit resale benefits as much as MVC does.
     
  20. JIMinNC

    JIMinNC TUG Member

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    Yes, we are indeed considering HGVC as a supplement to Marriott (and actually posted some questions to that effect in the "Venturing Outside of MVC" thread you mentioned), but HGVC does not have the geographic breadth of MVC, so it's applicability for us will be limited.

    We specifically want Maui, and MOC in particular, due to the prime location along the Kaanapali beach walk. In addition, the MVC geographic locations are less concentrated than HGVC. HGVC is very heavily concentrated in four locations - Orlando, Las Vegas, Honolulu, and the Big Island - but only the Big Island is a big draw for us (to use in conjunction with an EOY Maui trip). We might also have interest in the Waikiki/Honolulu locations for 3-4 night stays once in a while, and Orlando might have greater appeal in the future when/if we ever have grandkids. HGVC does have 3 locations in Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head, which are close to us; but we detest Myrtle Beach, and MVC covers HHI much better (plus, we're thinking of buying a full ownership vacation villa in HHI, making timeshares there moot). The numerous HGVC affiliates in Sanibel/Captiva/ SW Florida generate very little HGVC availability, so while those are appealing locations, the ability to utilize them cannot be a factor in the decision for us. There are a few other HGVC places we might want to visit once (Tuscany, Italy and maybe a few others), but MVC fits us much better than HGVC. So, we'll likely add a small HGVC ownership, but it will be a supplement to whatever else we buy in MVC, not an alternative.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017 at 1:01 AM
  21. m61376

    m61376 TUG Member

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    Jim- While not as simple as upgrading through an ongoing search, especially early morning manual searches oftentimes yield some nice upgrade opportunities, even in today's climate. We recently nabbed a 2BR Lahaina villas using a studio deposit via an instant exchange (and $198 upgrade fee), and have seen several other 1BR and 2BR opportunities both in Hawaii and elsewhere, esp. if you have some travel flexibility. While my exchange into Hawaii was outside of Flexchange, the size upgrade opportunities increase dramatically the closer you get to the arrival date, so if you have the flexibility to make Flex exchanges a studio can work really well for you.

    Another nice plus with the 2BR's in Maui is the ability to lock off and book consecutive weeks. Esp. coming from the East coast 2 weeks may be more enjoyable, and as you approach retirement that may become increasingly attractive. The great thing is if you do that you have the option of looking in II closer in and trying to upgrade the studio week; if something becomes available you can instantly deposit and upgrade the unit size, even as late as right before check-in. Worst case is you spend one week in the studio and one week in the 1BR for 2 beautiful weeks rather than one. Of course, utilizing the 1BR and renting the studio, as discussed above, is a viable alternative as well.

    Alternately, if you prefer to save the upfront cost of a purchase and opt for a 1BR, keep in mind that you don't need to buy more points in order to have enough points for the occasional years you need more space. I appreciate your reluctance to rent on Redweek, etc., since there is always an element of insecurity there, but you can easily rent DP points from others for close to the annual MF's with minimal risk, and then make your own DP point reservations; since the reservations would be in your account, that would satisfy your aversion to renting a unit that you don't have complete control over and that isn't guaranteed. So if you're thinking of the 1BR hybrid purchase, personally I'd opt for a resale 1BR that can be purchased for far less money on the external market.

    Just thought of another consideration wrt legacy week versus DP point purchases- keep in mind that week owners are at the top of the pecking order for room assignments, and that can make a big difference.

    You're right in that Maui is a special place, and you can't go wrong with whatever you decide.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017 at 3:12 AM

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