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Old 07-19-2005, 02:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: On the 'Mostly Harmless' planet Earth
Time Shares... Worth it?

I think the search feature was broken or something because I couldn't figure out if this was already a topic somewhere, so here goes...

We really shouldn't have, but did get sucked into buying a time share. Fairfield Resorts.

Basically, points for life, paid about $10K for it, their payment plan had an atrocious 12% rate, so we transferred the balance to AmEx, with a 6% rate for the life of the balance. Has a bit higher minimum payment ($182/mo rather than $130) but I'm hoping it will be worth moving.

So far, the resorts have been really nice and we have the comfort of knowing that one day, it will be paid off and we'll own it outright for the rest of our lives, but it's debt in the here and now.

Anyone else get into the time share thing? Any experiences, good or bad?
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Old 07-19-2005, 05:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Ontario, Canada
O Man! My parents own Two Weeks at Lagoon City in Ontario, Canada..
I thikn its the greatest thing ever.. its a vacation anywhere for like $200

If you get bored of the place, you can always exchange it for the week..
Its awesome, get the RCI book, and look for other places, there are some nice places in there..

Ive actually been to a Fairfield Resort.. It was the one in Tennesee.. Fairfield Glades.. absolutely beautiful place, plus you get discounts for being a timeshare/RCI member.. Its awesome.. Ill be grabbing my own time share as soon as I can
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I love our time share, Hyatt Beach Club in Key West. We've travelled all over the globe in the 3 years we've owned. We bought ours basically in cash for our honeymoon.

I do not like the Points system of Fairfield resort, especially for buying retail (from the sales office) too pricey.

I'm currently interested in buying in Atlantis but ti's $60,000 for the deeded week. I am not so interested in points save for trading. Buying points to me is an odd fluctuating currency that confuzzles me and I don't know the "value" of what I'm buying.

I also do lots of research at the Timeshare Users Group Bulletin Board

The best part that I've learned is that if you bought it from a sales person at retail you paid too much.
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Old 07-20-2005, 04:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have looked into timeshares in the past, but have never pulled the trigger. I actually enjoy going through the hard sales presentation that most have (to get whatever perk they are giving away). I have said no in the past and have educated myself a little bit on it. I would check out Ebay before buying any timeshare. A lot of people on there selling them and they seem to go a lot cheaper than from the retail outlet...
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Old 07-20-2005, 04:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto
The timeshares to avoid are the mass-market ones. If they sent you a flyer promising a free weekend vacation for attending their seminar, you should just pass.

A co-worker bought into one of these and regretted it. Her timeshare is legit and not a scam as such, but she found that she could never secure a prime location at the time she wanted. The best resorts were always taken because she was competing with retirees who could book well in advance for long stretches.

When she and her husband are able to book a stay, the location is never where they really want to go, and they have to bend their schedules in able to do so.

Some years they have not gone at all due to these complications, and still have to pay for it. Definately a poor investment if you ask me.

Only buy on a trusted recommendation or after some hard research.
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Old 07-20-2005, 05:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: the 'Ville
My parents are in Fairfield, and we love it. I'll have to agree about how expensive it is, that is why we bought everything on a secondary market. You can get points for less than what Fairfield is selling for. Check out TUG listed above, thats how my dad learned about all of it. Fairfield's resorts are incredibly nice and they keep building.
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: On the 'Mostly Harmless' planet Earth
Hey, thanks for all the info.

On our honeymoon, my grandparents let us stay at a timeshare in CO, and they gave us the sales spiel, and not knowing any better, (about things like how hard it would be for her to get a job, took 6 months for that to happen) we bought into the Discovery package. Give you some 189,000 points for about $1500, with the option to roll it into ownership after trying it out.

We tried it out, liked it, and didn't want to lose the money we already spent, so went ahead and bought in to ownership.

We justify it now knowing that it will be a lifelong vacationing investment, once paid off in a few years, it will be ours forever. Only problem being the %@!# yearly maintenance fees.

Glad to hear that it may have been a good thing, wish we had gotten in secondary market if it was cheaper, but I think we probably did OK with that Discovery rollover it at least covered all their bogus expenses for closing and whatnot stuff they made up.

We've been to 6-7 Fairfield resorts, they were all pretty nice.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: the 'Ville
We started off with 203,000 points at Fairfield Williamsburg (the cheapest for resales), which was enough to get us a week in Myrtle Beach for a 2BR during the summer. From there we've bought several more times on the aftermaket and have over 500,000 points, which is VIP. That gives us 2+ weeks per year that we can use in Fairfield. We take several weekend vacations per year, and have given weeks to family as presents. We love it.
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