After reading the thread regarding the Renaissance happenings, I have questions:
In your opinions, what are the positives and negatives of owning a time share? I've been reading the Renaissance thread with interest as I've pushed DH for many years to purchase a time-share. When we visited Aruba for the first time in 1989, we were mid-20s, and I was gung-ho to spend money on a time-share. DH was/is the level-minded one and we did not purchase (I guess he was right; we needed a permanent home first). We did get to visit Aruba at various times over the years, and started taking the kids once they were teens.
Anyhow, here we are, 25 years later, and we plan to spend our 25th anniversary (Dec. 30th) in Aruba. I plan on doing some research and will again suggest to the DH to buy a time share. After seeing the comments here, I'm wondering about the pros and cons. Is there an "average" maintenance fee? How often is there an additional assessment? Which properties have better management? Do all properties make it easy to trade weeks/properties? And on, and on.
When we are on the island in June (having a hard time waiting), I hope to visit a few properties to get more details.
We have two weeks at a timeshare. The annual maint. fee is about 50% - 60% of a normal rental cost. We just had an assessment that was spread over three years that made our annual cost per week about 90% of an average rental cost.
Maint. fees will vary depending on the timeshare and the amenities they provide and have to maintain.
Look for the type of community you will be happiest at. LaCabana, for example, is a larger community that has lots of activities. Paradise Beach Villas next door to LaCabana is 1/10th the size of LaCabana and much quieter. It caters to a mostly older group. Not so many activities. Depending on your preferences, you would be happier in one and not the other. Or maybe neither if you prefer a high rise.
Also consider if you want a high rise type TS as those in the Palm Beach area vs. the low rise types in the Eagle Beach area. Whether you want to rent a car or not may play a part in your decision relative to the TS location.
TS also can be for fixed weeks or a points system where you choose from available weeks and use points to secure a week.
Of course, you can bank your week and swap it for a week at another vacation location.
We are able to leave our TS weeks to our heirs so they can take over the weeks when we're gone.
EAGLE & PALM BEACH
PADDOCK - MADAME JEANETTE
We are not big time-share people. Reason #1 is we like the complete flexibility of travelling when it is convenient for us, this includes the luxury of flying out and returning mid-week when the airfare is lowest. Reason #2 is the freedom to try different hotels out and also researching for some killer deals on-line. I have been going to AUA since 1983 and have basically hit a number of different hotels with the low-rise now being our area of choice. We are one year away from our 25th anniversary and are looking into ideas now with the kids, a little tricky with schools and work but we will make it happen. Happy 25th !!!!!!
Present timeshare owners opinions and their reasons for owning a timeshare will be very different than mine. There are arguments pro and con for each side.
So my opinion, my opinion only & certainly not from the perspective of someone who owns an INVESTMENT property in Aruba.
14 years ago we considered a timeshare purchase at Playa Linda. We are now so relieved that we did not purchase a unit. Since that time, our lifestyle has changed and we are now tied into a specific vacation time frame that we were not then.
Worst of all we were going to purchase a studio. At that time we did not dream we would be blessed with a daughter. With a studio and our family of 3, space would have been "tight" and we have never traveled to Aruba without her.
We are also not as enamored with the area of the Playa Linda as we once were. The resort has grown and expanded out to every available inch of real estate. The beach is much much more crowded now than it was way back then. Unfortunate as it is, most times in life, things rarely stay the same year to year.
We don't want to be tied down to limited travel dates.
We don't want to be held hostage by the airlines because we are "locked in" to specific travel dates.
HUGE unknown, possible and eventual "special" assessments for renovations/refurbish/updates.
--->>> Following various Aruba forums for 15 years I have seen many families BLINDSIDED by this UNPLANNED, UNANTICIPATED expense. If you have loads of disposable income then it won't be an issue for you , however if you live on a budget now or will in retirement, this may be a devastating expense.
Will you be happy with that same resort 10, 15, 20 years from now?
Will your lifestyle have changed?
Will your family have grown?
Will you still be healthy enough to travel? Will your spouse be able to travel with you?
Will the resort have changed?
Will management have changed?
How many of the above factors do you have direct control of?
We still vacation in Aruba nearly every year, at least once a year, sometimes more. We still have precious memories of family vacations in Aruba even though we do not own a timeshare .
We first purchased in 2001, and added a week here and there and now own six. We use 2 to 3 weeks a year, and rent the rest. We typically have had sufficient rental income to cover the maintenance fee for all 6 of the units, so we pretty much have free lodging now.
My advice? Only buy if to intend to use, it is not an investment that will appreciate in value. If you do buy, buy a re-sale from someone who is tired of ownership; you can get great value that way. Buy if there is a place you love, and if you like to go at the same time each year (that is what drove us).
We purchased as an investment in our family, and have travelled together with our daughters to Aruba every year since 1997. Without timeshares, we never would have done this. The Renaissance, our home resort (4 units) is a place where we've come to develop many friendships. By going there every year, we don't consider the workers "staff", we consider them to be our friends.
We have simply contacted an "owner" five times and rented ocean view and ocean front 2 br at Surf Club each time for less than $2,400 in peak season. Buying is foolish if you look at the cost involved. Remember the maintenance fees can be increased as the managers see fit and the level of service can be lowered also. If you shop ebay/craiglist/this forum/myresortnetowrk.com etc you will find a owner that will rent in a heartbeat and you can pick the location anywhere in the Caribean. Good luck, we are headed to ocean front next week at Surf Club, 2 couples, $1,100. per couple, boooyahhhh.
My wife loves Aruba and seeing the beach. By seeing, I mean after 10 minutes on the sand she is done! We have weeks 10 & 11 every other year at CPV. This way we can travel to the many other destinations we like but always come "home" to Aruba. She gets to lounge at the pool or just sit at the small patio we have. We have a 2 bedroom that provides plenty of room for visiting children and their families. I like it at CPR because I can walk to numerous drinking establishments. We spend the bulk of our days driving to less populated areas of the island. The cost of buying is much less than the beach front resorts because we are a little more than a mile from the beach. Our TSs are also set up to be handed down "forever"