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Old 09-25-2011, 05:28 PM   #46
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:46 AM   #47
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The biggest difference between a Timeshare Rental and Vacation Home Rental is from the owners point of view. As a timeshare owner, I own a 1/52 interest in a specific unit at a specific resort. I pay a maintenance fee to a management company to maintain the unit, provide housekeeping, security, and common amenities. A Vacation Home has a single owner for the entire property who (usually) pays a management company to look after renting the unit and maintenance, and pays condo or association fees for any common elements and security.

From the renters view, with timeshare resorts the developer/management company often holds a stock of unsold inventory that they are allowed to rent to the general public. Many (like Sheraton) run this like a hotel operation. If you rent from Sheraton directly for Vistana for example, you can get daily housekeeping and free shuttles (or pay less for the standard mid-week housekeeping/towel refresh) which makes it very close to a hotel stay, but with a lot more space, bathrooms, cooking and laundry facilities than you will find in a suite hotel.

One thing though is to watch the fine print on very cheap "special packages" from a developer; they may require a timeshare presentation. Not that that is a necessarily a bad thing; if you are willing to give up a half day of your vacation for a really good rate, you can consider it, but steel yourself for the presentation. Just don't EVER hand over any money, and remember that if the salesman's lips are moving, he/she is lying. All timeshares are available for considerably less than developer cost in the resale market; and there is no real difference between new and used - this is not like a car; even their "new" units are pre-enjoyed by others...

There are ways to rent timeshares directly from owners as well; check classifieds at http://www.tug2.net/ or http://www.redweek.com/ for a good source of owner timeshare rentals. These are usually (but not always) less expensive than direct from the developer. Owners usually are happy to recover their annual maintenance fees (generally $800-$1000 per week for a nice resort), so $100-$150 a night is normal. If it's less than $100, the owner is probably in a net negative situation, so be nice Note that owners do generally get pretty mad at our management companies when they start renting for less than we pay in MF's.

Vacation homes in the Orlando area are often in gated communities like Windsor Hills that were purpose build for the vacation industry. They have a lot of amenities but (arguably) not as many as good resort, and usually have the advantage of a private pool. There are a lot more sizes available too, TS resorts generally top out a 3BR, but there 7+ bedroom homes available if you need that much space. A couple of negatives that I have heard; many charge extra if you want to heat the pool, and many require you to do a bit of your own housework, expecting the renter to do a certain amount of housekeeping themselves on departure.

So between the two it really comes down to a balance of how much freedom you want, how many amenities you want, how much space you want, and what you want to pay for it all.
Thanks so much for all this info
This should be a post of it's own to help Newbies to the vacation rental world like myself.

I think we are going to go the TS rental route and have narrowed it down to a few choices...

Floridays, Fountains, Vistana and Worldquest seem to have all have the same amenities for around the same price... I just need to pick one and go with it.

Love Ottawa BTW

Last edited by Davey-D-99; 09-28-2011 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:41 PM   #48
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We are HUGE fans of the Sheraton Vistana Villages. Heading back next week for visit #2

Timeshare "presentations" - they're not pushy about it at ALL! In fact, WE had to ask them for info about it.

Washer/Dryer in the unit - AWESOME Always tossed a load in as we were leaving for the day, tossed it in the dryer at some point later in the afternoon.

We had a 1 bedroom for the 3 of us and it was MASSIVE. 2 separate TV's, full kitchen, dining room table, screened in patio .... it was a great space for us to chill on our "non park" days.

Store on site - prices weren't too bad.

Always activities - from poker to exercise classes to scavenger hunts for the kids.

The pools (3) are GREAT DS who is 6 loves the pirate pool with the waterslide. Lots of lifeguards around and plenty of chairs for sunning

Close to EVERYTHING: Not even 10 minutes to SeaWorld/Aquatica. Maybe 20 minutes to Universal. In the other direction, you're maybe 15 minutes from DTD. Tons of restaurants everywhere. Restaurant in the hotel is OK.
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