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Old April 15, 2012, 01:15 PM   #1
ckelly14
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what do you think of this example [WSJ]

I found out my posts are somewhat confusing so I want to use a specific example to pose a few questions.

I became interested in SVO as a long time Starwood points user; love the Starwood properties. However, I don't see myself going to one specific resort all the time, so I'm not sure that a timeshare is for me, but my Starpoints earned will only get me one good vacation a year,usually in a smaller room then we would like. I have 2 grade school kids, and almost always travel at a suite or condo. Last 2 years, been to the Caribbean, Disney and Hawaii with the kids, and would like to continue returning to these areas. Kids are both in school, and although we're not shy about taking them out, I would imagine most week long vacations will be in the summer or spring break.

I am looking hard at a few mandatory resales at St John. This is a property I can see myself returning to every 2 to 3 years, and I want it to be my home resort. Found a number of fixed and float weeks. Here's my question:

1. If I buy a fixed week, and I can't use it, I assume these are converted to Staroptions and I can't book until 8 months out, even if it is during the appropriate season, correct? I would assume it would be difficulty to get a summer spot at WSJ at the 8 month mark. Am I automatically assigned the week or do I need to confirm by a certain date?
2. If I buy a floating week, is it possible that all the weeks would be completely sold out during my assigned season in the 8-12 month mark?
3. Would I be better off with the Disney Vacation ownership, buying enough points to travel every other year, and just using Starpoints or cash to go to other resorts? Really like to stay on site for Disney, don't know if the Vistana properties will cut it...

Maybe I just skip it all and continue to pay cash, but a 2 bedroom villa costs alto of scratch or Starpoints, IF they are available...

Any suggestions are welcome..
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Old April 15, 2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Resorts: Westin St. John (WSJ) x2; Westin Ka'anapali (WKORV); Westin Kierland (WKV) x2; Westin Princeville (WPORV) EOY
There are no true float weeks for Mandatory WSJ Villas (Virgin Grand, Hillside) - no matter what the seller states - they are fixed only - or treat them as fixed since it is next to impossible to float within season (perhaps low season if you want a Sept week).

You only want to return to StJ every 2-3 years - rent WSJ, rent a villa on the island, buy Mandatory somewhere else and exchange into VG or Bay Vista phase, or buy EOY WSJ VG.
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Old April 15, 2012, 02:11 PM   #3
DeniseM
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WSJ is very expensive - it doesn't make sense to buy there unless you are going to use it every year, because it's not a strong renter, and it's not a cost effective trader.
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Old April 15, 2012, 02:19 PM   #4
pharmgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidnRobin View Post
There are no true float weeks for Mandatory WSJ Villas (Virgin Grand, Hillside) - no matter what the seller states - they are fixed only - or treat them as fixed since it is next to impossible to float within season (perhaps low season if you want a Sept week).

You only want to return to StJ every 2-3 years - rent WSJ, rent a villa on the island, buy Mandatory somewhere else and exchange into VG or Bay Vista phase, or buy EOY WSJ VG.
So no real floating weeks in wsj? I have been looking for an eoy floating week
Guess this is not to be and I need to look for a fixed week, too bad since I do like some flexibility and renting presidents week is difficult
Also have not seen a feb fixed week either,
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Old April 15, 2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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There are real floating weeks at WSJ - all are in the Bay Vista section, which is voluntary (no SOs for resale weeks). For popular weeks (including prime summer), one does need to book a year in advance or shortly thereafter. I waited until just before the 8-month mark so I could try to book back-to-back weeks (one with SOs at the start of the SO booking window, and the next week under home resort preference) and the strategy failed. All the best summer weeks were gone.

I agree with the suggestion to buy an EOY week ... Trading in is a crapshoot, especially where school vacation weeks are concerned.
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Old April 15, 2012, 02:49 PM   #6
ckelly14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeniseM View Post
WSJ is very expensive - it doesn't make sense to buy there unless you are going to use it every year, because it's not a strong renter, and it's not a cost effective trader.
I assume by being expensive you are talking about MF's- found a 2br VG (Mid-July) resale posted for $2500...
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Old April 15, 2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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We are looking for January or February to get away from cold nj

But not finding rentals or for sale
Is it too early to find wsj rentals for feb 2013?
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Old April 15, 2012, 03:18 PM   #8
DeniseM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharmgirl View Post
We are looking for January or February to get away from cold nj

But not finding rentals or for sale
Is it too early to find wsj rentals for feb 2013?
There are Feb. rentals in the Virgin Grand Phase at www.redweek.com - note that there are different listings for Bay Vista and Virgina Grand (the 2 phases.)

http://www.redweek.com/resort/P4649-...illas#for-rent

In the TUG Marketplace there are also different pages for the two phases:

Virgin Grand Villas & Westin St. John are listed separately.
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Old April 15, 2012, 03:49 PM   #9
DavidnRobin
 
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Resorts: Westin St. John (WSJ) x2; Westin Ka'anapali (WKORV); Westin Kierland (WKV) x2; Westin Princeville (WPORV) EOY
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygirl View Post
There are real floating weeks at WSJ - all are in the Bay Vista section, which is voluntary (no SOs for resale weeks). For popular weeks (including prime summer), one does need to book a year in advance or shortly thereafter. I waited until just before the 8-month mark so I could try to book back-to-back weeks (one with SOs at the start of the SO booking window, and the next week under home resort preference) and the strategy failed. All the best summer weeks were gone.

I agree with the suggestion to buy an EOY week ... Trading in is a crapshoot, especially where school vacation weeks are concerned.
OP was specifically looking for Mandatory WSJ which is VG phase only.
Others have been finding SVN exchanges into VG and BV phases - apparently - as long as one is flexible. If I were the OP - I'd be looking for rentals at WSJ and off-resort.

yes, MFs are high, but check out what WSJ SPG charges...
Many owners - like me - are renting for MFs. High season rentals are much more due to demand - we prefer uncrowded times that aren't subject to hurricanes or tropical storms (during or after), or unstable weather. (mid-August thru Nov).
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Old April 17, 2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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This seems like a very risky strategy. You buy the unit, you bought the maintenance every year forever. I wouldn't want the headache of trying to trade for value (which is next to impossible) or the stress of trying to rent it two out of every three years.

Renting a villa at the WSJ is easy and in the current market conditions, trading into it from someplace much cheaper 8 months in advance has become doable.
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