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Thread: Timeshares

  1. #1

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    Timeshares

    My father has expressed an interest in buying a timeshare for family use now and something that can be passed to us. Does anyone here have a timeshare or know anything about them? He's asked for our input, but I don't know anything about them at all. Let me know what you think.
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    My SIL and BIL (not the sharpest tacks in the box) bought a timeshare at Disney World. They used it once and ended up losing it. They also never got to use it when they wanted.

    My BF has a Vegas timeshare that she could only use in March or April, 1 week every year, not sure she still has it.

    Be very careful and due your homework not all timeshares are made alike.

    Personally IF I had the money I wouldn't waste it on a timeshare, but each to his own!
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    There's a whole thing about an ownership timeshare vs a rental timeshare. Do good research!
    My parents get a lot out of theirs, they own a few - but they are retired and can take the time.
    Make sure it's a place that the family likes, because the odds are good that many years you won't be able to trade it for somewhere you want to visit.
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    I would go with a timeshare that has multiple properties in different places. You might not want to go to the same place every year. When we were in the Dominican Republic, we did a tour at the property we stayed at. They offered free spa massages if you did the sales pitch tour, we figured what the heck, an hour was worth the massage .

    http://www.paradisuspalmareal.com/?g...FUJx5Qodam1J5Q

    I am not sure if the time share program is Paradisus or Sol Melia (which owns Paradisus) or something else, but they have properties all over the world that you can stay in. And the time of year is flexible. It sounded like a great program, but it is expensive. However, the properties all look very nice. I would check Sol Melia first, if you are interested. It wasn't something we really wanted to do, as we have favorite hotels that we like to stay in. but, if you go to places you've never been to, I can see where it could be a good thing. At least you know that you will be staying in a hotel that is going to be nice.

    FTR, the above property was fabulous. The food was good, not fabulous, but for all inclusive, that is great! The beach - amazing, the pool area - amazing, the spa lovely, the rooms really nice. Not all properties are all inclusive, especially in Europe (that is a good thing ). The people working at the hotel were some of the nicest I've ever encountered in a hotel. And if you speak even a few words in Spanish, you are treated like royalty . the only drawback is that you really cannot leave the property. You can walk along the water on the beach, during the day, but not at night. And it's really not safe to venture out on your own, even during the day. But there is so much to do at the property, you don't need to leave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slicekw View Post
    Make sure it's a place that the family likes, because the odds are good that many years you won't be able to trade it for somewhere you want to visit.
    From knowing people at work who have timeshares, the exception seems to be if you have your timeshare in a ridiculously desirable area. One guy has his someplace desirable in Hawaii, and has no problem trading his. This is something buyers might want to research.

    I do understand that timeshares (most? all? some?) can be very hard to sell.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

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    I looked up the Sol Melia program. It is a "vacation club". I am not sure if that is a time share or something else. But, it seemed like you could choose your destination each year, that you are not locked into one place. I think there is a time commitment thought, not sure how many years it is. Here is the site, it might be worth checking into.

    http://www.smvc.com/vacation_membership/

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    My sil and her husband have a time share. It has worked very well for them. Last year we joined them on Vancouver Island at a resort there. It was absolutely great.

    https://www.rci.com/RCI/

    But, it doesn't work for everyone. So, do your homework and see if it works for you.
    Gone crazy. Be back soon.

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    I wouldn't get a timeshare. I don't like the idea of being locked in to taking a traveling vacation every year or every other year. Or wanting to take a 'skating competition' vacation in a city where I don't have a timeshare.

    Some other negatives to consider:

    http://www.daveramsey.com/article/th...ut-timeshares/

    http://www.thestreet.com/newsanalysi.../10340111.html
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    FiveRinger, I'm just curious, is there a reason your father wants to look into a time share rather than buy a condo somewhere? The cost of some time shares can be pretty close to a small condo in some areas. Does he want to have a place where you go to the same place each time? Or is the reason, that he wants some flexibility? One advantage to buying something is that you can rent it out when you are not using it.

    One thing about time shares that you might want to think about is duration of vacation. Can you stay 2 weeks if you want to? Sometimes, if you are traveling far, like to Europe or to Hawaii (from the NE), a week is not long enough.

    As I said, the Sol Melia looks like one of the better deals, but it's expensive. We met a family who is in that program, while we were there. They love it, but they only go to the Paradisus in D.R. and absolutely love it there. But, as others have suggested, be careful and make sure that you are getting what you want before you commit to anything. Ask to talk to people who are already members of the time share/vacation club. They should be able to provide you with references. Time shares are not for everyone, but most of the people I know who have them, really enjoy them.

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    Be careful that you understand all the costs, specifically maintenance fees. My mother's is about $800 per year.

    Also, make sure you understand what happens when the owner (your father) passes. Will the timeshare then be "willed" (automatically passed on) to you and your siblings? If so, you will be responsible for all costs from then on.

    Read the fine print and be careful. I don't know how they handle that kind of stuff now, but some of them can be very hard to get out of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dupa View Post
    Be careful that you understand all the costs, specifically maintenance fees. My mother's is about $800 per year.

    Also, make sure you understand what happens when the owner (your father) passes. Will the timeshare then be "willed" (automatically passed on) to you and your siblings? If so, you will be responsible for all costs from then on.

    Read the fine print and be careful. I don't know how they handle that kind of stuff now, but some of them can be very hard to get out of.
    That is an interesting issue. I know that some time shares can be willed. But, what happens if the person it's willed to doesn't want it? Can they refuse it? If they have not signed the contract binding them to pay for it can they be forced to? When someone passes away, their estate must pay debts to the best of it's ability, but their family members are not responsible, unless they cosigned for the debt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    FiveRinger, I'm just curious, is there a reason your father wants to look into a time share rather than buy a condo somewhere? The cost of some time shares can be pretty close to a small condo in some areas. Does he want to have a place where you go to the same place each time? Or is the reason, that he wants some flexibility? One advantage to buying something is that you can rent it out when you are not using it.

    One thing about time shares that you might want to think about is duration of vacation. Can you stay 2 weeks if you want to? Sometimes, if you are traveling far, like to Europe or to Hawaii (from the NE), a week is not long enough.

    As I said, the Sol Melia looks like one of the better deals, but it's expensive. We met a family who is in that program, while we were there. They love it, but they only go to the Paradisus in D.R. and absolutely love it there. But, as others have suggested, be careful and make sure that you are getting what you want before you commit to anything. Ask to talk to people who are already members of the time share/vacation club. They should be able to provide you with references. Time shares are not for everyone, but most of the people I know who have them, really enjoy them.
    My father is semi-retired and has begun to travel much more frequently. I only have one sibling (my sister lives on the west coast and I live in the Midwest, along with my Dad). He's remarried and wants us to be able to get together more frequently. But, because he is traveling more, he wants the ability to stay in different places and try new things. With a timeshare, he's thinking that all three of us can enjoy a timeshare together or even on separate vacations when our schedules allow. The idea sounded neat enough, but the more I hear about timeshares, the more doubts I have.
    The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are--Joseph Campbell

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    Don't do it. Save your money and vaca where you want to. Much cheaper and more flexible. My MIL wants to will me a piece of property that has maintenance fees associated and I told her to donate it; I don't want it - it is worthless.
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

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    If you are going to buy a time share-do not buy from the developers-purchase it on the secondary market-much cheaper

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    I am not personally interested in timeshares, as I like to go to different places, different times of the year. But about 2 years ago friends got an amazing deal on one in Vermont due to the economy. The purchase price was very low, and the maintenance is not bad, so for them, going skiing every year, they got a great deal. So with the economy the way it is, timing could be good for timeshares.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    That is an interesting issue. I know that some time shares can be willed. But, what happens if the person it's willed to doesn't want it? Can they refuse it? If they have not signed the contract binding them to pay for it can they be forced to? When someone passes away, their estate must pay debts to the best of it's ability, but their family members are not responsible, unless they cosigned for the debt.
    In the US as far as I know (which doesn't include Louisiana, whose laws in many areas are different) you can always refuse and inheritance. The estate would be responsible for any debts of the estate. If the obligations of the property run with the deed, then if you take ownership you're taking on those obligations. If the timeshare isn't fully paid for by the time the person dies there may be other complexities.

    The advice I've always heard is that if you buy a time share, buy on the secondary (resale) market. There is a huge markup in original sales associated with huge commissions and marketing campaigns.

    I've heard some salespeople insist that the week doesn't matter -- unless it is Hawaii or some other hugely popular year-round destination, I think it matters a lot. Not too many people want a week slopeside in Vail in May -- which is mud season -- or on the beach on one of the barrier islands off North Carolina in February.

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    My friend "won" a free cruise to the Bahamas - all she had to do was listen to a one-hour presentation! So she went, they pressured her into buying a "vacation club" membership, and then she didn't end up getting the cruise (1,001 stipulations, only available dates were during hurricane season, etc.), plus the available accommodations are mediocre. I'm pretty sure many of the timeshare sales work the same way.

    I don't trust any industry that relies on high pressure and shady tactics to sell their product. If the product is that great, they shouldn't have to do that!
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

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    My parents bought one *years* ago (1980?). It's not in what I would have thought of as a desirable location (Morgantown WV), but they (and now my mom) have always been able to "trade" it for a week in a different location. Through trades various members of my family have stayed in time shares in places that include: Disney World, Sanibel Island, Gatlinburg TN, the Poconos, Salt Lake City, Hawaii, and the United Kingdom.

    So for that, it's been pretty good. However, I have no idea what my mom continues to have to pay for that.

    Her's is through Interval International: http://www.intervalworld.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    My friend "won" a free cruise to the Bahamas - all she had to do was listen to a one-hour presentation! So she went, they pressured her into buying a "vacation club" membership, and then she didn't end up getting the cruise (1,001 stipulations, only available dates were during hurricane season, etc.), plus the available accommodations are mediocre. I'm pretty sure many of the timeshare sales work the same way.

    I don't trust any industry that relies on high pressure and shady tactics to sell their product. If the product is that great, they shouldn't have to do that!
    Yeah, I always throw those "won a free..." things away. But when we did do the hour and a half presentation, we were staying at the resort. They offered us 2 free massages in the spa for listening. We scheduled the presentation for a time that would not interfere with anything we wanted to do. We listened, we declined, we got the massages (plus 4 resort t-shirts, two logo beach bags, and some other stuff). So, for us it was worth being bored for an hour or so. But we never had any intention of purchasing. Is that cheating?

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    ^ I think very few people go to those kind of set ups with intention of buying. lol

    DH and I have done something similar a couple of times. Last time DH went as far as watching the clock till the hour was up. On the tick, he stood up and said very politely to the salesman, thank you very much for your time. We have learned a lot about your interesting program but we have decided not to participate. Then we walked out.

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