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  1. The Guy From Santa Clara

    The Guy From Santa Clara Guest

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    First post here, but have been reading a bunch in the past few days. My wife and I purchased a Marriott Vacation Club interest this week, and I'm going to cancel it after some research. She is concerned that we'll never have the ability to buy into such a wonderful program again, so I wanted to post here to get some direction on what to read next.

    In addition to the questions below, a bit more to fill out the details:
    a) We liked the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club - it was relatively uncrowded, especially when compared to Disney's Aulani down the beach, and had plenty of activities and amenities that our small family would use;
    b) As we get older, we'd like to be able to explore more of the world, and don't feel like being tied to a specific timeshare is a good value for us (we haven't seen enough to know yet where we will always want to return).

    1) Where do you want your home resort to be?
    No great preference but Ko Olina (Oahu) or Orlando are top destinations for us right now.

    2) Do you want to visit your home resort at least half the time, or do you want to trade more than half the time?
    Probably trade > 50% of the time - flexibility is really important to us (especially my wife, who likes cruising as well as or more than a resort stay).

    3) What are your 5 top trade destinations?
    No particular order - Hawaii, Orlando, Palm Springs, Northeast/New England, San Diego.

    4) How many people do you usually travel with?
    Right now, 3-5 total, possibly more in the future.

    5) Can you travel any time, or are you locked into the school schedule?
    School schedule!

    6) Can you make firm plans 12 or more mos. in advance?
    Not reliably, but usually.

    7) Can you vacation for a full week at a time?
    Generally, yes.

    8) What level of accommodations do you prefer on a scale of 1 to 5 stars?
    3+

    9) How much can you afford to spend upfront, without financing?
    About US$7k.

    10) How much can you afford to spend every year for a maintenance fee that will come due right after Christmas, and increase each year?
    US$[edited]1500 - 2200.

    11) Are you a detail oriented planner?
    Very much so.

    12) Do you understand that once you buy a timeshare, it may be very difficult to sell or give away, and you are responsible for all fees, until you do?
    Yes.

    Thanks for any feedback and suggestions on other threads to read or things to think about.

    -The Guy from Santa Clara
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  2. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Hi! We stayed at Ko Olina last June 2016. We liked the resort very much. We also went to Maui at Maui Lea at Maui Hill. Not as fancy as the Marriot but we liked it. We live on the east coast so Hawaii was a one time thing for us. But never say never. We live in the Orlando area and we are originally from New England. We have stayed in many timeshares so if there is a destination you are interested in . Let me know, I write reviews for every timeshare vacation. I go back and read them later for reference.
    Silentg
     
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  3. The Guy From Santa Clara

    The Guy From Santa Clara Guest

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    That's a great idea, silentg. I should definitely write a review so I can remember it again later.
     
  4. The Guy From Santa Clara

    The Guy From Santa Clara Guest

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    Oh, also: I was wondering if there were any threads or info on how to buy on the secondary (is that the right term?) market. My wife is really unsure about it, and believes that it will only result in headaches. I feel quite the opposite.
     
  5. RX8

    RX8 TUG Member

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    Welcome to TUG!

    If you expecting to pay only $400 to $500 per year in maintenance fees you may not like what you can get for that. I don't own Kolina but I would suspect the maintenance fees are probably 3-4 times that.
     
  6. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Now that you have joined TUG, you can browse the Marketplace. You may want to rent first to see if the resort is a good fit. There are Bargain deals and also timeshares for sale at low prices. You should check the Maintenence fee to see if want to buy or you might be better off renting at first.
    Silentg
     
  7. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    $400-$500 is not realistic - this is lower than 95% of timeshares out there. You should expect to pay more like $1,000 and up and possibly over $2,000 for Hawaii. For 3-5 people or more you need a 2 bdm.

    If you want go to Hawaii about half the time, then a good value for you would be to buy an every-other-year deed on the resale market - for a fraction of the cost of buying from the developer. Because it is so expensive to own in Hawaii, it's not considered to be a cost effective trader, because you don't want to trade your Mercedes timeshare for a Chevy timeshare. I recommend that you start out with just an every-other-year Hawaii deed, and try it out. If you love it, you can consider adding the opposite year - in another location.

    If you want to go to Orlando - just rent timeshares from other owners. Orlando is way overbuilt and it's one of the least expensive places to rent.

    When you buy on the resale market, it's not the wild west. You will buy a deed, and use a licensed title company to transfer the deed - just like you do with a home. So it can be perfectly safe. However, there is a bit of a learning curve. To start out, rent a timeshare from another owner and try a different island/different resort in Hawaii, or Orlando, or somewhere else you'd like to check out.

    Also - take your time, at least 6 months to hang out with us and do your research. If you rush into a purchase right away, I guarantee that in 6 months, you will wish you bought something different.

    There is NO rush - the resale market is very healthy and there will always be lots of timeshare to buy, so take you time. Our Advice Page linked at the top of the forum is a good place to start doing some research.

    You aren't going to find resorts like KoOlina here, but we have a forum where Tuggers actually GIVE AWAY their timeshares - this is also a good way to get your feet wet, with little risk: http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?forums/bargain-deals.55/
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  8. The Guy From Santa Clara

    The Guy From Santa Clara Guest

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    Thanks for the straightforward feedback. This is one of those things that I just have no frame of reference for, yet.

    I'll edit the original post to reflect that.
     
  9. WalnutBaron

    WalnutBaron TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I will also add that your initial investment budget is also probably low, especially if you're expecting to buy at a very nice resort like Ko'Olina. An annual usage in high season (which is what you will need since you're on a school schedule) is going for around $9,000 or so for a 2BR. Annual maintenance fees are listed at $2,118. The Marriott system is the most extensive of the "Big 4" luxury systems (Marriott, Hilton, Vistana/Starwood, and Hyatt) and will hit all of your locations except San Diego. You might also consider that Hawaii maintenance fees are among the highest in the Marriott system--or any other system, for that matter--because of Hawaii's high costs for energy, property taxes, building materials, labor, etc. You might consider buying in Florida, but through which you can use the Marriott points system to trade internally into Ko'Olina when you want to. Just be aware that owning at your home resort makes it much easier to get the unit type and desired week, so owning in Florida will make it a bit more difficult and will require more planning and flexibility when you want to trade into other locations, including (and especially) Hawaii.
     
  10. The Guy From Santa Clara

    The Guy From Santa Clara Guest

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    Fair point. To be more clear - we went to Ko Olina on a marketing package, and bought into not the resort, but the Destinations program (because of the resort). My wife has stated her preference to only ever stay in Ko Olina when going to Oahu, but it's not a closed book in my mind.


    To me, this is close enough for government work, which is to say, anything under about $14k is reasonable, but I'd have to finance part of that. $7k is what I could just plunk down. The MF is frankly higher than I'd like. Also, in talking to my wife tonight, she was shocked to realize that she didn't ever hear the numbers for the MF in our contract (they were explained multiple times) as being $1050 or so. She had only heard the "Club dues" portion of $185. So she was a little bit happier in cancelling. Honestly, the MF associated with any timeshare is the single biggest reason we don't already own a interest in a property somewhere - in my mind, there's very little representation and foresight surrounding these, and that's a big problem for my way of thinking.


    They just brought a "Pulse" property online in San Diego. (http://www.marriottvacationclub.com/vacation-resorts/marriott-san-diego/overview.shtml) It's one of the reasons we considered and then signed the purchase.

    The way I understood the Destinations (points) program to work, the maintenance fees are averaged across all properties in the trust - not associated directly with any given property. Does this statement refer to a deeded week arrangement? If so, that's definitely good to know. If not, please elaborate - the salesman may have given me incorrect information in this regard.

    Thanks for the reply!

    P.S. Cancellation letter sent!
     
  11. vacationtime1

    vacationtime1 TUG Member

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    WKORV-OF (Maui)
    WKV x3 (Scottsdale)
    Congrats on rescission; you dodged a bullet.

    You say you would need to finance the portion of the purchase price in excess of $7,000. If you need to finance, you shouldn't buy; you can rent timeshares instead.

    Several advantages to renting vs. buying: no upfront cost, complete flexibility about where you travel every trip, complete flexibility about how often you travel, no fixed cost in your budget.
     
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  12. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    I agree - you want to buy a timeshare that you don't have to finance.

    A timeshare is a depreciating luxury purchase that will go down in value - not up - it is not a good "investment." Start off with something affordable to get your feet wet, and you will be happy you did.

    Take a look at the free timeshares: http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?forums/bargain-deals.55/
     
  13. The Guy From Santa Clara

    The Guy From Santa Clara Guest

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    Definitely not my choice to finance something like this. I only agreed to the purchase on the spot because of the rescission period to allow me to convince my wife in private that the deal wasn't as good as she was thinking.

    Thanks for all the support and advice so far.
     
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