Time-share vaction deals in Florida (or elsewhere?)
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Thread: Time-share vaction deals in Florida (or elsewhere?)

  1. #1
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    Time-share vaction deals in Florida (or elsewhere?)

    Da wife is after me to look around for a good deal to get outta here & go to Florida for a week or so in late April-early May. A friend of mine tells me he has (owns?) a time-share which he maintains is "free".
    I dont have any details...but I know it's not FREE. I don't have a clue about time-shares - all I've ever read about them was avoid the high-pressure sales pitches and stay away! But I'm seeing on a few google searches
    that you can often pick up some good deals on the secondary , or re-sale markets from owners desperate to rent their places or get at least something for their "points". Couple of names come up: RCI? and Wyndham?
    Anyone have any experience in this racket? Any tips for me to be able to book a nice condo in Florida for a week or so ...for a song? Cheers!


  2. #2
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    Nothing in life is "free". Everything has a cost, some more than others. I would avoid time-shares. Like pricey mutual funds, great for the company that sells them but generally bad for the investor.

    Why not look at Airbnb, VRBO or FlipKey?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member sags's Avatar
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    I haven't checked lately, but when the US economy went into recession there were websites with offerings of time shares and they were often free or really cheap.

    The "catch" was that people didn't want to pay the monthly/yearly maintenance costs.

    Around that same time, I was offered a mobile home in Florida for free. All I had to do was take over the lease.

    My brother had a time share in Cozumel for a few years. The cost of air travel and maintenance fees convinced him to give it up.

    If you are interested............check out mobile home parks for weekly rentals. No obligations............

    One I know of is called Alligator Park. They are privately owned lots, which is a good thing and some are for sale or rent.

    http://www.alligatorpark.com/
    Last edited by sags; 2017-03-19 at 06:17 PM.
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    thanks sags

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    Time share running costs can be higher than simply booking a comparable accommodation. And you get no choice.

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    Some time share companies are better than others. But here are the things you have to remember.

    Even if you get it for free or close to it. There are yearly fee's. These cover the maintenance/improvement charges, cleaning fees, property tax. etc. These are not an insignificant cost. Right here, this cost is probably more than half of what the room would cost to rent straight up for the time period.

    Assuming you have a time share with an exchange program, there is a fee for that as well. If you pay for multiple years it's cheaper, but still a cost.

    Making an exchange has a cost. Also exchanges are based on the value of your room, so if you get a less popular time share, and want to exchange for a more popular one, it might take 2 or 3 weeks worth of your time share to exchange for 1 week at the better place. And if you exchange 2 weeks for 1 week, that means you have to pay double the exchange fee.

    My personal experience with RCI is that it's great for exchanging as long as don't care where or when you go, but if you want to go to a specific city that isn't Las Vegas or Orlando, you can wait years for a spot to open up.

    Given the cost of exchanges, the best use of a timeshare is if you find a place that you really want to vacation to at the same time every year. Or 4 out of 5 years. Some people vacation like this, most don't.

    Be mindful of your situation, if you have young kids a September week, might seem like a great idea. But once those kids are a little further along in school you are not going to want to pull them for a week right after school started. Then they will go off to college, still the same situation. And then they'll have their own kids and the cycle will repeat.

    The advantages are that you usually get a nice suite, that has a kitchen which can save you a lot of money on vacation. Some of the rooms I've been to in Vegas & Orlando, are sized for multiple families.

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    Senior Member kcowan's Avatar
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    One other wrinkle we discovered. Timeshare is often a fixed portion of a resort. The fees for use are based on the costs of that fixed portion apportioned based on your share. The costs include the cost of unused units during the year.

    We had a 30-year TS in Mexico and they were selling an additional 10 years as the time approached. We did not need it because we had bought a permanent place and had already sold the last 5 years. But now there is a surplus of unsold weeks and they just add those costs to the smaller base of existing owners who extended.

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    Instead of buying a time share, why not put that money into investments and have those investments churn out cash where you can rent on your own terms?

    Renting keeps the burden off you (happy vacationer) and keeps the burden on RE owner (headaches with renters; taxation, etc.).

    I dunno, maybe I haven't seen the big upside that can come from owning a time share. I probably haven't! It seems rather inflexible when compared to renting, using VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb, etc.
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    If you want to see the true value of a specific time share then look at some of the timeshare resale sites.

    The first time we attended a timeshare presentation was in Ormond Beach (near Daytona). After the presentation we checked the resale sites. Similar timeshare units/dates were selling for about a quarter of the timeshare presentation price. Some were even lower. Other listings were giving the product away contingent on paying the annual mtce fees. I read an article a few years ago that claimed that sales/marketing costs accounted for half of the cost of a timeshare.

    We have no interest in them. Not just the annual fees, but my understanding is that they also carry the same liability as a condo with regard to owner special assessments.

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    OP here... please note, I did not say I have ANY interest in BUYING any timeshare.
    What I'm trying to do is find out if there somewhere some way for me to latch on to 1-2 week RENTAL of a timeshare at a fire-sale cost, an "unsold week" or whatever they call it, maybe from some poor sap that OWNS a time-share condo & is looking to rent it at a low-ball price to at least cover SOME of his costs


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