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Thread: Would like to buy a time share; need opinions

  1. #11
    Senior Member AUA1989's Avatar
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    Wow everyone! Thanks for all of the advice.

    I've been told by others that it is a good idea to buy multiple units so that rental fees can cover maintenance fees, and I see from Andrea and Rob that works.

    I'm one that will search and search online for the cheapest airfare. Therefore, we are willing to travel different days of the week, even different weeks. I've mentioned in a separate post that our flight this year is Friday to Sunday 10 days later because of the fares. I'm not sure we've been to Aruba the exact same week during any of our past visits, again dictated by airfare. Although, I think it's great when I hear of TS owners who go the same week every year and develop relationships with other travelers and staff members that will always be there the same week.

    I've visited a few TS sites and checked out rentals being offered by owners. I've seen some under $1000.00 for a week. Wow! At this point in time, due to DH work travel, we accumulate lodging points (mostly Hol. Inn), which is why we've stayed there the last 4 visits. That won't always be a guarantee.

    It would be nice to have a larger unit now that the kids are older. One hotel room gets a little cramped, but we always say, "we're hardly in the room". It would be nice to have a kitchen or kitchenette to save a little on food (especially with a 17 year old, 6'3" boy who seems to be still growing).

  2. #12
    Senior Member AhhAruba's Avatar
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    As so many have said only you can determine if purchasing a timeshare is best for your situation. For my family we originally purchased a timeshare several years ago. When you factor in the purchase price and maintenance fees we could rent from an owner cheaper. That was not a good investment but we have made the best of it and enjoyed using it.

    We now have added 3 more timeshares that we received free from owners who just wanted out. Tugbbs.net is a great resource for finding free timeshares. On one timeshare I paid the transfer fee and on two the original owners paid the transfer. When you factor in maintenance fees and transfer fee if applicable we can stay cheaper than the cost of renting. That to me makes it worthwhile. We visit places we like to go and one day if we decide not to go there any more then I am confident we can transfer ownership to someone else who does want to go there or we can deposit it or rent it out.

  3. #13
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    A lot of great advise on this post. (And so far still on topic ) While traveling to the Poconos in PA a few years ago my husband and I sat through our first timeshare presentation. There was great information and it all made sense, as I love to vacation/travel. Unfortunately, they forced us to 'make the deal' at that moment. Well, unfortunate for them. I went home and looked into it some more and found an after market one for a quarter of the price. That got me into Interval International. There a few big timeshare companies, II, RCI and Bluegreen. They all work a little differently, I am only familiar with II. After purchasing the timeshare, I did pay additional to become an II member. That allows me to deposit my week and exchange for other resorts and weeks.
    We have only been doing this for 3 years and we have almost broken even. Between the cost of the timeshare, the II membership, the annual maintenance and the exchange fees we are still a little behind on the 'investment' side. Meaning, I could have rented the units that I have exchanged for less then what I have put out so far. I expect that 2 more years and then we will make the turn to having a great timeshare for a small maintenance fee. Even though I haven't broken even yet, it feels it, as the timeshare and 3 years with II were all paid at once. So, it's not like I pay it each time.
    The maintenance fee is key to keeping the yearly costs down. Keep in mind if you want to stay anywhere else for different weeks then the membership fees will also need to be taken into account.
    We have been really happy about having the timeshare. I was really surprised that I could exchange my Poconos week for Aruba (Awesome)! Ours was a fairly small initial investment and that made all the difference.

    Good Luck on whatever you decide and maybe when we go next year my friends will rent your unit!!

  4. #14
    Member Travelinman's Avatar
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    Like everything, the answer is... it depends. Someone said they are paying $2400 wk for the past 5 years. I would argue that a surf club owner will pay $1500 a week for the past 5 years. So in 5 years the non-owner paid an addl. $4500 in rental fees. In 10 years, that would equate to $9000. If you buy NEW at the surf club, the math won't work to the TS owner's favor. Your ROI is more than a lifetime. However, if you buy a used one during peak season (Platinum) for around $10,000, using the math above your ROI would be 10 years assuming you can get the $2400 wk deal every year for the week you want. (I have not had that good of luck) So in 10 years, I will be ahead and now have the option of choosing my week.

    For me I knew absolutely 100% no doubt that I wanted to come to Aruba again and again. This place feels like home. So with that in mind... the questions I had to answer were....

    1) If I don't buy a TS, can I stay somewhere as nice as the Surf Club for the cost of the maintenance fees (or less) for the week I want?
    (My answer was "No". I have found great deals on weeks at the Surf club, but rarely the week I want... more like a fire sale that someone has to dump at the last minute)

    2) How many years do I have to hold my TS before I see an ROI assuming I buy people's weeks on the open market well in advance so I can get the week I want?
    (The answer varies with how much you are paying for your week at the surf club. The person who is paying $2400 wk has it close)

    3) Since I can rarely get the week I want at the price I want, what is the premium I am willing to pay for Marriott to open up their calendar so I can choose?
    (This is the real value of a TS. For me, it certainly wasn't retail, as I have bought a used TS on the open market)

    Also, Marriott Surf club has resale value. If in 5 years you want to sell it, there is a market for it. (At least there is today)

    OK, so let's do the math...

    Option 1
    Purchase used Platinum for $10,000
    use 10 years worth of weeks for $1500 week for a total cost of $25,000 (10 years of weeks + initial investment)
    Sell Platinum for $7000 (now total cost drops = $18,0000)

    Option 2
    Do it the "non-foolish way as described earlier
    Buy 10 years worth of weeks for $2400 a week
    Total cost = $24,000

    And of course one could argue that the initial outlay of capital ($10K) could be invested and MAY POSSIBLY grow over 10 years. Just don't let the past 10 years scare you, as your $$ would have diminished...

    Sometimes the math works in your favor, sometimes it doesn't. If you do it right, you can make it work to your advantage.
    Last edited by Travelinman; 04-17-2014 at 09:56 AM. Reason: softened tone

  5. #15
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Buying may be foolish for you but not for others.

    Please all. Try not to make blanket statements that can be perceived as disrespectful or minimizing other's opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by texas View Post
    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.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    Really depends on your situation and what you want to do and can do. My financial situation does not allow for the purchase of a unit in cash. I have rented for years from some wonderful people I have grown to trust and some have become friends It can be quite a PITA to find multiple rooms during the same 2 week period for a good price at the resort I want, but it works for me. I actually look forward to doing all the searching work - it is the beginning of my Aruba plan each year!
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  7. #17
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    it certainly can be a pain jacki

    i have to apologize to travelinman

    i made a post last night and it was not me typing per se……… it was my sciatica pain typing.
    (i have been dealing with a pulled piriformis and gluteus max pull for 10 day …a pita and leg and foot pain…electric shock pain and burning pain)
    so when i posted last night it was a post that was not right. it was my sciatica dictating. my post at the time made sense, but this morning i perceived it to be not something i would normally write when i am feeling well

    but i do want to reiterate to all

    what we say to each other here on the forum must be in line with the rules
    we must remain respectful and i encourage all to preface their remarks as "IMO"

    yes, i regret my timeshare purchases. paul and i have 10 units at lacabana that we turned into BLUEGREEN points about 8 or 10 yrs ago.

    our situation has changed, (as aruba lisa pointed out in her posting)
    we are now retired. on a fixed income. our maintenance fees skyrocketed since inception.
    i have to work like a dog to get the units rented.
    we do make a tiny profit on our rentals.

    i always encourage folks to buy resale.
    to buy a deeded property, not a "right to use"
    and if you can make due with renting a unit and not buying, by all means rent.
    there are many good deals out there.

    (that is not the sciatica or the 800 mg ibuprofen talking today)


    Quote Originally Posted by Jacki View Post
    Really depends on your situation and what you want to do and can do. My financial situation does not allow for the purchase of a unit in cash. I have rented for years from some wonderful people I have grown to trust and some have become friends It can be quite a PITA to find multiple rooms during the same 2 week period for a good price at the resort I want, but it works for me. I actually look forward to doing all the searching work - it is the beginning of my Aruba plan each year!

  8. #18
    Member Travelinman's Avatar
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    No worries. You are just trying to keep the forum civil. I am pretty thick skinned and can be terse at times. (My sales and engineer background) I reread my post and softened it up a bit so as to not offend anyone. The message is still the same, just softer. Spread the love.

  9. #19
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    A timeshare is never an "investment". If you don't use it, you lose. Value have been dropping in recent years. I like knowing where I'll stay without the hassle of making reservations and being unsure of quality or safety of the property. It works for me because I only buy foreclosures or people needing to get out of their mess. You will never get your money back.

  10. #20
    Senior Member rob o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post
    A timeshare is never an "investment". If you don't use it, you lose. Value have been dropping in recent years. I like knowing where I'll stay without the hassle of making reservations and being unsure of quality or safety of the property. It works for me because I only buy foreclosures or people needing to get out of their mess. You will never get your money back.
    I agree with you with one exception, "if you don't use it you lose" depends on the purchase price, maintenance fee and rental value. I would not advise buying as an investment, however, over the past decade Renaissance rentals have run about $1,150 in high season which is about $500 over the maintenance fee. So, if you paid $5,000 for a unit, that's 10% annual interest on your $5000 outlay. Not bad.

    so, if you don't use it every year, you might not lose. Again, it depends.
    Please contact via e-mail at arubarennowner@gmail.com



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