View Full Version : Timeshare help
06-16-2006, 08:47 PM
Hi everyone! My husband and I are really interested in purchasing a timeshare in Orlando and we really don't know which ones are worth checking out! My father owns at Westgate Lakes and loves it. I have gone with him several times and have enjoyed it very much, but from all of the other posts I have seen, Westgate can be very dirty and they make sales pitches to their owners to buy even more! Hmmm...don't know what I think about that!
We are interested in purchasing a 2 bedroom lockoff so that we can trade it in for a 1 bedroom and studio sometimes. We tried checking out the Sheraton Vistana Resort, but they won't allow us to stay on property. They wanted to put us up in a Holiday Inn for extra cheap to then come check out their property.
We have a 10 month old now and want to purchase a unit that will comfortably work with out growing family for years to come. Any suggestions would be really great (or stories, or anything you can offer!!)
06-17-2006, 12:04 AM
We love the value of DVC (Disney Vacation Club). Part of what I love is being able to stay on Disney property, but also they have resorts at Vero Beach and Hilton Head. We bought a small resale contract at Old Key West and couldn't be happier. After researching Marriotts, I also think Marriott Horizons or Cypress Harbour would be nice, and you can get pretty good prices on resale. My #1 bit of advice is to buy resale...never from the developer. If you need help, check out the TUG website.
06-17-2006, 07:01 AM
I suggest you go to www.tug2.net and do some reading on their boards.
And if you do go Westgate BUY RESALE. Talk about a HUGE HUGE drop in value after purchasing. You can pick up Westgate cheap.
I also own DVC, but it may not be right for you. It is more costly then just about anything else out there, but it's also very flexible.
Marriott and Hilton have very nice properties in the Orlando area you might consider.
06-17-2006, 07:53 AM
What are the typical price ranges to buy dvc? Is it a yearly charge or just once? What if you don't have all the money right away, do they have payment plans? I have always thought it would be cool to have a DVC property but when cost is 500-$1,000 per night to rent I can't even imagine the cost to buy!!
06-17-2006, 07:57 AM
just subscriping :thumbsup2
06-17-2006, 12:07 PM
Your best answers about DVC will be on the DVC boards at this site. Through Disney, the minimum purchase is about $15k, which gives you 150 points in the DVC system. That is quite a bit of points and you can go anytime of year, stay in any size room/villa you would like from a studio, 1BR, 2BR or 3BR grand villa -- everything has a point value. You can book up to 11 months in advance at your home villa, and 7 months at any DVC resort. We LOVE the flexibility since you can bank and borrow points from any year too. If you go to the DVC boards, you can see the sponsor, The Timeshare Store. I think they can send you a nice guide about it too. You can buy resale points in 25 point increments so instead of buying 150 points you can buy less. You can finance through Disney (at outrageous rates if you ask me). If you buy resale, you need cash or your own financing like a HELOC. Personally we don't carry debt so we paid cash for a small contract at DVC and will only add on when we have enough cash again. Otherwise to me you are losing the cost savings at DVC, and honestly, DVC is a great value to me.
06-17-2006, 01:33 PM
Thank you for the suggestions. It certainly is hard to decide! My husband and I are crazy about staying on property (meaning, we love to do it) but it seems the spaces are smaller and they are more expensive and most importantly, the membership expires in 40ish years from now which is no fun! Has anyone in DVC had a hard time trading into Interval International? What are the fees associated with trading into II and have you had any luck actually making the trade? Also, has anyone purchased an off property timeshare that they would recommend whole heartedly?
06-17-2006, 01:42 PM
I just bought one last year. We bought into Hilton. I have also looked into buying Marriott. Hilton trades with RCI and Marriott with II. II trades into DVC. So that is something to think about. We still enjoy our Hilton, we take a week and spend it in the timeshare, and then stay 1 week on Disney property. We do pay for Disney OOP, but we still get 2 weeks vacation for almost the price of one, and we love it.
06-17-2006, 06:46 PM
The latest Disney resort (Saratoga) actually expires closer to 50 years from now...
I really don't have a problem with the expiration since I figure any timeshare I bought now would be WORTHLESS in 40 years. (I mean if you are only paying $2,000 for a Westgate resale now, I don't expect it to go up as the property ages!!! And this way you don't "leave" a fianancial disaster to your family. Let's see they know own a 50 year old resort that will need a LOT of maintenance....What do you think dues will be then!)
06-18-2006, 11:11 AM
Ohhh, good point on both account with the Disney timeshare. Well, we have a lot to think about and a lot to look at. There are just so many options!
06-18-2006, 02:28 PM
Some people here think it's best to buy re-sale, check our sponsor, the Timeshare Store. If you aren't buying DVC, they recommend buying into somewhere else you would like to go and then trading into the Orlando area. There is a glut of timeshare options in Orlando, and the experts feel it's easy to trade from anywhere else into Orlando.
We bought from DVC at the Boardwalk, and we love it, for the record. However, there are some very nice off-site properties near WDW.
06-18-2006, 05:52 PM
My father owns at Westgate Lakes and loves it. I have gone with him several times and have enjoyed it very much... We are interested in purchasing a 2 bedroom lockoff so that we can trade it in for a 1 bedroom and studio sometimes... We have a 10 month old now and want to purchase a unit that will comfortably work with out growing family for years to come.
Heidi, since you have enjoyed offsite stays, you may want to compare DVC with offsite options (resale!) to see if the higher cost for DVC is worthwhile for your family. There are many good companies offering nice resorts in the Orlando area. Some are independents; others are part of larger networks where you may trade internally to other resorts within their systems for reduced trade fees or free exchanges.
You mentioned a 2BR lockoff - flexibility is important to you. So either go with a lock-off or a points system. We like our Fairfield points (4 of their 70+ resorts (https://www.fairfieldresorts.com/ffr/resort/search.do) are in the Orlando area - 1 is right next door to Disney's resorts). Enough points for a prime season week in a 2BR would cost under $7,000 including closing costs with annual dues under $700. The same at DVC would be triple the purchase price and double the dues. FF allows for a minimum 2-night stay and you choose the room size for each trip from studio to 4BR. The greatest value with FF is when you buy resale and use it within the FF system. Trading through RCI or II is less so but possible - but your home resort determines whether you would trade through RCI (usually) or II.
Other points programs (flexible) with resorts in the Orlando area include Hilton, WorldMark, BlueGreen, Sunterra and RCI Points. Marriott has lock-offs at one of their Orlando area resorts (Grand Vista) and they trade through II or permit 1/2-week stays at some of their Florida resorts. Again, resales are usually much cheaper than buying from the resorts. Sheraton has a very beautiful resort in Orlando (Vistana Villages) and I've read that they WILL permit touring guests to stay at their resort (pending availability) but it costs an upgrade fee to do so. See my sig below for a link to TUG where you will learn TONS about timeshare, saving you thousands before you buy. HTH! :thumbsup2
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