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sunnysmiles
02-02-2010, 09:03 AM
There are so many here that are regulars to Aruba. Do you have a timeshare or do you just stay wherever your heart leads?

Our 2nd trip is coming up and we are trying to decide if it would be worthwhile to get a timeshare, even if we only use it every other year. My in-laws have had a timeshare for years but they also go every year for 3-6 weeks. We want an "off" year to be able to travel other places.

fattypatty
02-02-2010, 09:05 AM
we have a marriott timeshare and go every year with the family and kids. sometimes my wife and i go by ourselves for a week just to take a break from the screaming kids. i believe most of the people who frequent this site with active posts are timeshare owners and actual aruban residents from the states.

Lewny1
02-02-2010, 09:30 AM
Hubby and I are timeshare owners. We bought our timeshare on our honeymoon 5 years ago and have been going back ever since. Two years ago, we purchased an additional week and an additional unit for our expanding family (the addition of a child and my mother) :o) You don't always have to use your time in Aruba - most timeshares offer an exchange plan though a partner agency (RCI, interval, etc.)

Randi
02-02-2010, 09:38 AM
The Surf Club sells timeshares for every other year. Something to consider?

~Amy~®
02-02-2010, 09:52 AM
Timeshares are definitely a personal decision/preference and are not an investment. You need to look at your own travel habits and determine if it's right for you or not.

We looked into them, did the number crunching and decided (for many reasons) that it wasn't our thing. What we didn't like was paying a maintenance fee that we have no control over (special assessments, etc.), having the same week every year (we like to travel mid week and stay anywhere from 9-17 days), and like to take advantage of airfare specials which saves a lot of money when you're flexible with your travel dates. Also didn't like the "extra fees" that came with exchanges to different locations, different dates, etc. There were just too many factors that were out of our control and we didn't care for that.

In a nutshell, we like to be VERY flexible and we also travel to other places throughout the year.

We're going on our 21st trip to Aruba in May and have stayed at different hotels on the island (both Palm and Eagle Beaches) and have also rented timeshares. Renting timeshares are a steal (usually we haven't paid much more than the person's maintenance fee.) But now we've been staying at Amsterdam Manor twice a year since 2005....we found our "home". ;)

fattypatty
02-02-2010, 10:17 AM
the timeshares at the major hotels are all floating for the most part - i.e. you get assigned a time period in which you can use your 1 week stay. for marriott properties, it usually works out to 2 seasons per year - may-dec, and dec-may (more expensive). thus, you do have the flexibility to use your week with them. the maintenance fee is a drain but at least the properties are in perpetuity - you can bequeath it to your heirs and they can do the same to theirs, and so on and so on....

Kenny Maine
02-02-2010, 10:21 AM
We are regulars and go to Aruba on average twice a year. Once with the children and once alone. We own two timeshares. We also will use our Marriott points and stay at the resort. I agree timeshares are a preference and not an investment. Maintenance fees are a drag!

Ginalag519
02-02-2010, 10:25 AM
Timeshare owner here, My parents bought it in the early 80's. i just took ownership over last year, since me and my hubby were always using it LOL:D

Arubalisa
02-02-2010, 10:28 AM
We looked into them, did the number crunching and decided (for many reasons) that it wasn't our thing. What we didn't like was paying a maintenance fee that we have no control over (special assessments, etc.), having the same week every year (we like to travel mid week and stay anywhere from 9-17 days), and like to take advantage of airfare specials which saves a lot of money when you're flexible with your travel dates. Also didn't like the "extra fees" that came with exchanges to different locations, different dates, etc. There were just too many factors that were out of our control and we didn't care for that.
AMEN! :) JMHO and my opinion only, I cringe when I hear of bankruptcies Aruban Resort and Casino Information (http://www.aruba.com/forum/f7/aruban-resort-casino-information-42760/) and
http://www.aruba.com/forum/f23/marriott-ocean-club-2010-maintenance-fee-41664/ (http://www.aruba.com/forum/f23/marriott-ocean-club-2010-maintenance-fee-41664/)
2010 Maintenance fee


1 Bedroom
2010 Operating Fee $632.21
2010 Replacement Reserve $309.93
2010 *Utilities $147.26
*The Utilities expenses relates to the Electricity and Water/Sewer line items in the 2010 budget.
Total: $1,089.40
plus the final $337.30 2010 Special Refurbishment Assessment fee.

Grand total of: $1,426.70

2 Bedrooms

2010 Operating Fee $832.56
2010 Replacement Reserve $420.72
2010 *Utilities $204.90
*The Utilities expenses relates to the Electricity and Water/Sewer line items in the 2010 budget.
Total: $1,458.18
plus the final $484.25 2010 Special Refurbishment Assessment fee.

Grand total of: $1,942.43

Addtional info
http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons)

"Timeshare Pros:


Long-term savings over hotels (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#pro-savings)
Home-like accommodations (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#pro-accommodations)
Real property ownership (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#pro-ownership)
Ability to exchange (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#pro-exchange)
Guaranteed vacations (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#pro-vacations)
Flexibility (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#pro-flexibility)
Less maintenance than a vacation home (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#pro-maintenance)
Timeshare Cons:


Reputation of unethical players and scams (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#con-reputation)
Flexibility (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#con-flexibility)
Ability to exchange (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#con-exchange)
Cash flow (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#con-cash)
Timeshares do not appreciate (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#con-appreciation)
May be difficult to resell (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#con-resale)
Maintenance fees and special assessments (http://www.redweek.com/resources/articles/timeshare-pros-and-cons#con-maintenance) "
http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/home-equity/what-you-must-know-before-buying-a-timeshare/174/ (http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/home-equity/what-you-must-know-before-buying-a-timeshare/174/)

sunnysmiles
02-02-2010, 11:58 AM
Thanks everyone! You really gave us some things to think about.

~Amy~®
02-02-2010, 01:09 PM
One thing I cannot stress enough as far as purchasing a timeshare (or anything for that matter).....READ, READ, READ your contract before signing so you know exactly what your rights are and what you're getting.

Too many people get caught up in the "moment of being in paradise", sign on the dotted line and don't have a clue. Don't sign right then and there...take it home and read it first...and think about it. Then if all seems right for you, sign away.

Linda VH
02-02-2010, 01:19 PM
I would do research about timeshares on www.tug2.net (http://www.tug2.net) which stands for Timeshare Users Group. Generally timeshares are not an investment but we sold 3 weeks here in Aruba for more than we paid. We spend the majority of the year here in Aruba and it is all at our timeshare. I love it!!!

Andrea J.
02-02-2010, 09:38 PM
paul and i feel sometimes like we are in timeshare hell.
we have to rent most of our units "just to pay the maintenance fee".

in hindsight we should never have bought.

rob o
02-02-2010, 09:58 PM
Started to go to Aruba in 1997. Purchased in 2001, again in 2004 and again in 2008. Have never regretted it. Because of the timeshare, our family has been fortunate to have been able to go every year.....creating some incredible memories.

Our Renaissance timeshares have a very reasonable annual fee, $616 this year. This makes it easy to rent if not used (though, we have only rented one week).

The best way to buy a timeshare IMO is to buy one from someone who is tired of theirs.

katherine
02-03-2010, 11:39 AM
I have to agree with Amy - we have been to Aruba 8 times and are tempted every year to get a timeshare, but when i run the numbers it just does not save money. Do not know about other airports, but flying to Aruba on Saturday out of Newark is usually 2-3 times more expensive than midweek flights. We like the flexibility to fly whatever day we want to take advantage of airfare specials - we have 5 tickets to buy, and it adds up quick. We also like the flexibility to stay as many nights as we want. 7 nights does not seem like enough, but 2 weeks is not something we can do. I also do not like the idea of a maintenance fee that i have no control over.

One year i would like to rent a timeshare - it seems like it would be very economical for us especially since we now have 3 kids, and now need 2 hotel rooms.

Randi
02-03-2010, 12:04 PM
For us (as a family of 5) buying a timeshare made economical sense. Buying from a large company gave us piece of mind about stability and security about making such an investment in Aruba. The cost of renting two hotel rooms each trip in the long run would be more expensive then paying for our timeshare and we at least have something to show for it. That was our reason for the purchase.

At the SC we have the option of checking in Thurs, Frid, Sat, Sun or Mon so it gives you lots of options. Generally, we like to go a few days earlier so we rent from the SC and add on to our week(s).

Very personal decision. We love the "condo" style of the timeshares allows us to utilize the kitchen for breakfasts and lunches and when the kids were young we had many dinners in too!

purpleangel
02-03-2010, 12:43 PM
I go back and forth on whether or not to buy a timeshare. It's just me. I don't always get the same week off. Seeing the annual fees people are paying has pretty much made up my mind not to do it.

fattypatty
02-03-2010, 01:19 PM
For us (as a family of 5) buying a timeshare made economical sense. Buying from a large company gave us piece of mind about stability and security about making such an investment in Aruba. The cost of renting two hotel rooms each trip in the long run would be more expensive then paying for our timeshare and we at least have something to show for it. That was our reason for the purchase.

At the SC we have the option of checking in Thurs, Frid, Sat, Sun or Mon so it gives you lots of options. Generally, we like to go a few days earlier so we rent from the SC and add on to our week(s).

Very personal decision. We love the "condo" style of the timeshares allows us to utilize the kitchen for breakfasts and lunches and when the kids were young we had many dinners in too!


i agree with randi's comments. all of that applies to us.

a few things to remember for prospective buyers:

1. most states require a 7 day grace period from the time of the signing. this allows you to cancel the purchase contract without penalty.

2. if you have a mortgage and an equity line, it may make sense to buy using your home equity line of credit so that you can deduct the interest expense of off your taxable income.

3. buying from a third person is the cheapest way to buy. while you may not get some of the goodies that are given to those that buy directly, imo i don't think it adds up. for marriott, you get to deposit the week for points and get access to their vacation specialist that will work with you to book/change/find/answer all questions. if you're internet savy, then you can all of that online on the resort's and exchange company's website.

4. in order for you to exchange your week for another resort, you will have become a member of an exchange company (interval international). that membership alone cost $400 for 5 years or so. on top of that. they charge for almost all activities such as exchanging your deposited week for another resort, changing names on guest certificates, etc..

~Amy~®
02-03-2010, 01:28 PM
2. if you have a mortgage and an equity line, it may make sense to buy using your home equity line of credit so that you can deduct the interest expense of off your taxable income.



Wouldn't it make more sense to just pay in cash....and avoid any interest altogether? If we had decided that a timeshare was for us, that's what we would've done....why make the timeshare cost even more by adding interest to it?

angelone
02-03-2010, 01:45 PM
Back in 2000 my wife and I went to Aruba for the first time we were looking at the Aruba and saw Timeshare Resales in the back so we called Remax and bought an old contract very cheap twenty some odd years left only pay maintenance fee if we go don't have to pay if we don't. Only problem is we always go couldn't miss it.

aruba here I come
02-03-2010, 02:10 PM
very good tread, I too would like to have a timeshare some where down the road. thinking it would be cheaper in the long run.
Everyone has brough up some very good points.
Keep them coming.
I would like to rent one one time to see how it is...

fattypatty
02-03-2010, 02:25 PM
Wouldn't it make more sense to just pay in cash....and avoid any interest altogether? If we had decided that a timeshare was for us, that's what we would've done....why make the timeshare cost even more by adding interest to it?

Amy - of course it's cheaper to pay all in cash! but for a unit that cost anywhere from 10k - 85K, most would find it easier and more palatable to finance it. and if that's the case, using your HELOC would be the best way since you can deduct that interest expense. thus, you get something back.

staying at a timeshare is not all that it's cracked up to be. when we toured and bought, we thought we would have the kids and family sitting around the dining table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - save some money. BUT, it turns out that we only eat breakfast for the most part. why? we find it difficult to dry up an go up to the room for lunch and then make our way back down to the pool/beach - once you're dry and full, it's hard to drag your body back out. and as for dinner - we find it a waste of a night to be sitting around in the room eating when there's so many dining options in town.

what's nice about it is that we have a big family for which 2 rooms are a must. it sure beats having to rent 2 rooms at a hotel. this way everyone is in the same unit and thus feels more like home.

Shnyda
02-03-2010, 03:01 PM
We became regulars to Aruba when my wifes parent's bought a condo! It makes for a no thought beach vacation! Our friends have been flying down with us and using the spare bedrooms. Can't beat it! (We got very lucky!!)

We have considered buying time shares over the years - but doing the math we couldnt justify the purchase. The sales people do magic math and make it seem worthwhile. (We have only looked at the Marriott TimeShare properties)

We love to travel - and now get down to Aruba a few times a year. We also like to go to at least one other destination each year - so not being locked into anything makes it easier. We did Europe last spring and bounced around to 3 different hotels in 10 days - probably could not have done that trading time share days.

~Amy~®
02-03-2010, 03:43 PM
Amy - of course it's cheaper to pay all in cash! but for a unit that cost anywhere from 10k - 85K, most would find it easier and more palatable to finance it. and if that's the case, using your HELOC would be the best way since you can deduct that interest expense. thus, you get something back.



True! But I guess we wouldn't buy it unless we had the cash to pay for it in full since it's what I consider "a luxury item" (something my daddy taught me. :) ) We're cash people - no debt for us....cash is king (especially these days!) ;)

These are just my own opinions of course. ;) And yes, we do have the funds to purchase one with cash but....as I said before, crunched the numbers and realized the only one making money from this deal is the developer! ;)

fattypatty
02-03-2010, 03:55 PM
True! But I guess we wouldn't buy it unless we had the cash to pay for it in full since it's what I consider "a luxury item" (something my daddy taught me. :) ) We're cash people - no debt for us....cash is king (especially these days!) ;)

These are just my own opinions of course. ;)

they say timeshares are one of the most discretionary items one can purchase.

Randi
02-03-2010, 04:18 PM
The first few years we rented a timeshare and we felt that the money we spent on a two bedroom unit could easily have gone to pay towards an actual unit rather than just gone money........

Our friend just traded her week at the Surf Club and went to St. Kitts, no problem trading at all. I think the trick is to be flexible and plan early. We will utiilize this at some point in the future too.

I guess if you take more than one vacation a year then owning a timeshare for your yearly Aruba trip and then spend your money on your other trip to whereever you want, is an option. Yes, the timeshare needs to be paid for but one day all you will be paying is maintenance fees. All in all a great option for a family. Or at least our family. We know that everyone will have many years of enjoyment out of our purchase and that is what we wanted from our timeshare.

About the lunch...sometimes we do come upstairs for lunch all together, sometimes everyone grazes in at different times and does their own thing, and many times I bring down lunch to enjoy beach side in my trusted cooler!!:)

I think you need to look into what makes sense for you, your lifestyle and who and what you want the timeshare for.

DaveNJodie
02-03-2010, 04:23 PM
After renting timeshares for a number of years at different properties, we finally decided to buy one last year. It is certainly a buyers' market right now but I would suggest that you rent before you buy so you can get the timeshare experience.

For us, we found that we were going to Aruba almost every year, we were paying more to rent than the annual maintenance fee would run, and we were able to buy a timeshare for a very reasonable price. Even at many timeshares with an assigned week, you can usually trade in the same season (high/low) for a small charge.

If you narrow down your search to a few properties, just ask on this forum for advise and Amy, CinydO/RobO, Andrea, Lisa and others will give you a great deal of information. This forum is a fantastic resource. THANKS ALL!

Dave and Jodie

sunnysmiles
02-04-2010, 06:03 AM
I really appreciate all the comments everyone - thank you!

opadaking
02-04-2010, 09:43 AM
Timeshares are definitely a personal decision/preference and are not an investment. You need to look at your own travel habits and determine if it's right for you or not.

We looked into them, did the number crunching and decided (for many reasons) that it wasn't our thing. What we didn't like was paying a maintenance fee that we have no control over (special assessments, etc.), having the same week every year (we like to travel mid week and stay anywhere from 9-17 days), and like to take advantage of airfare specials which saves a lot of money when you're flexible with your travel dates. Also didn't like the "extra fees" that came with exchanges to different locations, different dates, etc. There were just too many factors that were out of our control and we didn't care for that.

In a nutshell, we like to be VERY flexible and we also travel to other places throughout the year.

We're going on our 21st trip to Aruba in May and have stayed at different hotels on the island (both Palm and Eagle Beaches) and have also rented timeshares. Renting timeshares are a steal (usually we haven't paid much more than the person's maintenance fee.) But now we've been staying at Amsterdam Manor twice a year since 2005....we found our "home". ;)

We travel with the same friends each year and 17yrs. ago we each bought every other year at two different timeshares. So one year we are their guests and the other year they are our guests. Works out well with the maintenance fees.

Edronenburg
02-04-2010, 10:38 AM
Lisa:

Well put! As Amy said, it really is a personal choice; along with financial ability to pay the various fees involved for your 1-2 weeks.

My friend, has a timeshare, which I am fortunate enough to share.along with two teenagers.

On the other hand, however, all-inclusive, often ends up a lot cheaper, with meals included. Of course, many of us enjoy eating at the various restaurants on the Island, and you can have the best of two worlds; meals included with your bill, and eating out.

Just my two-cents worth. Whatever you do, I am sure that you will analyze the costs and what you are interested in for a long-term.

Probably back there in June.

Ed

michelehiggins
10-10-2010, 08:16 PM
What are everyone's thoughts on renting or buying a resale timwshare? We loves Aruba and want to make that our family vacation spot every year!

we keep going back and forth on what to do.

are there any restrictions on buying a resale?

thanks so much!

Andrea J.
10-10-2010, 09:07 PM
there are MANY benefits to buying resale.
you DO want to make certain the the seller IS the actual owner and is current on their fees and assessments.

make certain that you do not buy into a timeshare place that is not reputable or use a realtor that is dishonest.

main benefit is that typically the price is lower by resale.

ALL of our lacabana units were resales and we had NO issues or difficulties.

we have turned all of our fixed week lacabana units into buegreen points and find that works for us better as the fees are lower and we are not locked into a fixed week or season.

i am sure you will get lots of replies.

just be cautious and do your homework.


What are everyone's thoughts on renting or buying a resale timwshare? We loves Aruba and want to make that our family vacation spot every year!

we keep going back and forth on what to do.

are there any restrictions on buying a resale?

thanks so much!

LynnB.
10-10-2010, 10:18 PM
Stay at the resort before you buy. If you own you are locked in t a specific week- so airfare plays a part in the decision. Ask about the yearly fees and how much they have increased in the last 5 yrs. Ask about assesment fees.

Buy resale!

Good luck

michelehiggins
10-10-2010, 10:27 PM
We are looking into buying one at the MAriott surf.... we loves it there.
What does it mean "floating" week? we like to go now in the summer becasue we have young kids, but as they get older would like maybe the flexability to go maybe another time of year. What is it called when you can go anytime from April to oct??

thanks

Andrea J.
10-10-2010, 10:31 PM
that is "floating"
typically floating says you can use your week anytime between X and Y.
and remember....it is based on availability!


We are looking into buying one at the MAriott surf.... we loves it there.
What does it mean "floating" week? we like to go now in the summer becasue we have young kids, but as they get older would like maybe the flexability to go maybe another time of year. What is it called when you can go anytime from April to oct??

thanks

michelehiggins
10-10-2010, 10:45 PM
and how do i know what the gold season is compared to the red or silver. I have been looking for a calender that tells me what season is what...

thanks!

Andrea J.
10-10-2010, 10:47 PM
maybe a marriott surf club owner could answer?

Traceyd14
10-16-2014, 10:25 PM
We talked about buying a resale timeshare this year that was well suited to our needs, but when I factored in the sale price and maintenance fees, I determined that it would take us 8 years of vacations to break even. Life can throw so many curveballs in 8 years. We couldn't justify locking ourselves in to a financial obligation for a luxury that we could just wait for and be more flexible with on an annual basis depending on our circumstances each year.

schexc
10-17-2014, 07:03 AM
We talked about buying a resale timeshare this year that was well suited to our needs, but when I factored in the sale price and maintenance fees, I determined that it would take us 8 years of vacations to break even. Life can throw so many curveballs in 8 years. We couldn't justify locking ourselves in to a financial obligation for a luxury that we could just wait for and be more flexible with on an annual basis depending on our circumstances each year.

We totally agree. We attended a couple of timeshare meetings at different resorts a few years ago and ran the numbers with our financial advisor. His words were "run, don't just walk away", which we had already done. Even though buying a resale is much cheaper, and not that difficult to find, you really end up "owning" nothing. We've also found that by simply planning ahead and watching for reasonable airfare, we can travel to the island when we want and save a significant amount of money. Unfortunately, just like a timeshare, we still don't own anything.

WaltVB
10-17-2014, 07:21 AM
We bought a timeshare for one simple reason: to force us to take a vacation. We were so wrapped up in work and family we realized we never did anything just for ourselves. We bought at the Surf Club, and have not regretted it for a second. If the maintenance fees and cost is prohibitive, then I agree with renting, but I would look for a deal to buy a resale at the first opportunity. We bought in the gold season which allows us a great band of time in which to travel. We have been fortunate to visit every month from May to October on our own schedule over the years. By owning, it's one less expense we encounter for our trip. Other than the maintenance fees, pretty much plane tickets and food are all we need to worry about year to year. And already having a place makes us plan and take a vacation each year, something we need to do for ourselves, and where better than Aruba?

cindyo
10-17-2014, 12:30 PM
Haven't regretted any of our purchases of timeshares. Between all of our relatives we own 23 weeks of time shares, frankly, all from us.
It has been an investment in our family and in us. Payoff has been great. Thank you Aruba.