So, I am almost 50 and a Lifetime Elite Platinum with Marriott. My uncle passed away and my aunt is wanting to sell me their Platinum week in HHI. I have never owned a time share, but have wanted to stay at some of these properties for vacation without much success over the years.
I know that there are two different programs....actual week ownership at a particular resort and some sort of POINT Ownership that I haven't investigated yet either. My aunt only wants what they paid for their timeshare at Barony Beach (HOW DOES THAT WORK?).
With my son getting ready to to college, we can start being more flexible in how we vacation, if we want to go somewhere else than HHI.
So, I am hoping for those of you that are well versed in the two types of products that Marriott Vacation Club offers and have time to write me with detailed thoughts and instructions can begin typing. I really do appreciate the help. THANK YOU
I'm no expert on Marriott but not many timeshares are worth what was originally paid for them, I'd strongly suggest you spend some lots of time looking into this as it's a very long term commitment as you have the annual, ever-increasing maintenance fees to pay. Timeshares certainly can, for some people, be a good thing, but you need to know far more about what your Aunt has and what it'll cost to keep. They're often difficult to dispose of too.
As far as the differences are concerned, Marriott used to offer deeded timeshare meaning you own a part of an actual building, and the right in land-law to occupy it according to the terms of your deed (ie. During a set week each year). An annual maintenance fee is payable representing your exact share of the costs of maintaining and running the entire resort. Now Marriott offers the points based timeshare. Points timeshares are purposely flexible, meaning there is a defined number of points for each resort and you buy some of those. The number of points needed per night depends upon the demand for that night. So if a resort has say 500,000 points to issue then those points are the total amount required to use every unit for every week in the resort. This is fixed. However demand may be such that in order to balance the supply (a unit-night) to demand (the desire to redeem in a certain season) you will find that high season requires more points per might than low, so a purchase of say 100 points may buy you a week in a 1-bed unit during January, but only a single night in July. Additionally to the actual purchase costs you also have the annual maintenance fees which are paid on each point owned, so if the fee is $2 then it's $2 multiplied by the number of points owned. Again selling these points can be difficult, though it's true to say Marriott is well respected in the trade and there are active resale markets.
As BrightlyBob indicated, approach with extreme caution.
Don't know much about the points system as compared to weeks, except the former is more flexible (e.g.,you can use points for partial weeks). However, you're still paying those horrible maintenance fees, and can typically find a nice hotel for a week for that amount or less if you work at it. However, if you have a large family it will be better economically.
The big issue is the value of the week/points. Regardless of what was originally paid for it you can bet that the market price is a VERY LOW % of that. So if your aunt expects to get back anywhere close to what they bought it for, you'd have to really like her!
We bought two weeks several years ago and did so for a couple of reasons: They were relative low priced (<$15k/week) in Myrtle Beach (a family draw so figured we could swap easily), and I expected if I made the commitment I would start taking time off (self employed and hard to take time off since it not only reduces income, but also increases expenditures of you go somewhere). It's worked for that purpose, and I do not regret it. But economically I could have done a lot better.
My wife and I own both the Marriott weeks and points and are on the other side of your situation, since we have no children to leave our time shares. Whenever anybody asks about purchasing timeshares, my first response is to NEVER look at it as a financial investment with the intent of getting your money back. It is an opportunity to pre-invest in future vacations and in the case of Marriott there is a lot of flexibility. While I hope to spend 10 – 12 weeks away from the Phoenix summer heat at some time, I am still working and cannot do that now. However, I can take long weekends. Presently I convert most of my weeks and VC points into Marriott Reward points. I use the Marriott Travel Package to get points on Southwest Airlines and a free companion pass for my wife so we can fly free around the US. We will stay at Marriott properties on points and have very low cost long weekends. (We did San Diego in April, Salt Lake City in May and will do Long Beach CA next weekend.) So for us the conversion to MR points is critical to creating value for what we paid. I have always been told during sales presentations, and recently confirmed, that if our timeshares are passed on thru our estate that the recipients will continue to receive all the same benefits. However, if we sell to a third party the ability to convert to MR points will be lost. If you elect to pay your aunt for the timeshares I would suggest that you have her pass them to you thru her estate without “selling” them to you. The annual maintenance fees can seem excessive, especially when they all happen in Dec and Jan. I have decided that I am not paying maintenance fees, but prepaying our vacations for the next year. If you understand what you are getting and take the time to learn how to use it, you can have some great adventures. If you don’t understand what you are getting you can be very unhappy when you find out you cannot recoup your purchase price.
I own weeks and points in the MVC system and all of my weeks are 'enrolled' in the DC point program. Therefore I can either use my week or convert it to DC points. As others have suggested, the 'value' of a week is typically much less than owners originally payed, so I suggest you research how much the week is currently worth either through Marriott resales or on the market (Redweek.com is a good source). You need to determine whether the week was enrolled in the DC point program, and whether it is transferable to you if you buy it. If not, you will have a right to use the week each year or exchange it for other timeshares through Interval (which also requires annual fees and exchange fees).
While I really enjoy my timeshares and get good value from them today, I would not likely buy one in today's market. I pay about 1200-1500 per year in maintenance fees which cover a week in a 2BR condo with full kitchen (no resort or parking fees). If you can get immediate ownership in the DC point program without paying a lot, it may be worth considering it. If not, it probably isn't worth it unless you plan to vacation in Hilton Head every year. Once you are in the points program, it is easy to rent additional points from other owners for about .53 per point. Good luck with your decision.
I too am a lifetime Platinum member or Marriott Rewards. I also own two weeks of Marriott Timeshares, one of them at Grand Ocean in Hilton Head (the other in Kauai). There are 8 Marriott Vacation club Timeshares in Hilton Head, but only 4 on the Ocean (Surf Watch, Barrony Beach, Grand Ocean and Monarch). These 4 are the most popular of the 8 that Marriott has there. That said the Barrony Beach location has great trading power should you wish to travel to another Marriott Timeshare location. There is another consideration and that is the weeks that your aunt owns:
The Summer (Red) Season has the most trading power, the Winter Season (Green) the least. The other Seasons are (Gold - April-May and September-October) and (Silver - February-March and November and early December). All have great to good Trading Power except the Winter Season. If she owns that I would nor consider taking (purchasing) the property. Ask your aunt which season she owns. When you want to go to Barrony Beach you either have to go in your season which your aunt owns or you must trade for another season or property at another location.
Marriott Vacation Club Timeshares were (past tense) sold in weeks under the old program. The new Program sells Destination Points, not to be confused with Marriott Reward points. Destination points allow people to check in and check out of resorts on any day of the week while BARRONY BEACH be reserved for a week at a time on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday check-in. It also can be reserved a day at a time checking in on any day under the new system, but only after the original owners get their chance to reserve their weeks.
All new resorts by the Marriott Vacation Club will be dedicated to Destination Points while the original resorts (Barrony Beach is one of them) give guests owning weeks the first chance of reservations by nature of their check in system. After a window of about two months then Destination points members can use their points to make reservations.
I would suggest that you and your spouse sit with your aunt and discuss with her things such as Annual Maintenance fees which you will have to pay on the property, Annual Interval International fees and trade fees, etc. It should take several hours to review all the procedures you will have to understand. That said all the above information is correct
We own two MVCI weeks bought more than 10 years ago and love them very much. Since Dest Club points have come out, I can say we would not have invested. We did enroll our weeks as it was economical to do so, but wouldn't have bought direct into points program. Too expensive and too risky imho.
Resale weeks are very inexpensive but you don't have same rights as direct buyers such as converting to Marriott Reward points and a few other things.
All of that said, compare maintenance fees to what you can rent the same week for on secondary market-such as Redweek or Tug. MVCI maint fees have been skyrocketing-I know personally. Most weeks you can get at any MVCI on the rental market for practically a week's maint fee. PLUS you don't have the annual liability and can just go anywhere anytime you want.
Just my two cents-and we still love our Aruba and Phuket weeks.
As many above have said, I would not even think about buying this for what your aunt paid for it. I own two weeks in Aruba but I purchased these through a third party site. Before you buy, I would look at some third party sites like Redweek. If I were to purchase my weeks directly from Marriott I would have had to pay over $25,000. It cost me just $3,000 for each week. Granted, the maintenance fees keep going up but for what I paid, the maintenance fees are worth the 7 nights.
I would absolutely not purchase the points. Just google it and you will see why. While some do like the flexibility, this program is not anywhere near worth the price and you can never seem to get the week you want without spending an exorbitant amount of points so you end up with really only being able to take a vacation every other year yet the cost and maintenance fees are astronomical If you do buy, buy a deeded or Right To Use property from a third party. The only drawback is you can't use the Marriott system for converting your week to points or trade your week directly through Marriott but you can still use Interval to trade your week and you can easily rent your weeks if you do not want to use them through Redweek or Interval.
So the bottom line, in my opinion, is I would only buy from your aunt if you can purchase it at a small fraction of what she paid. She will not be able to sell it for anywhere near what she paid. This is just the reality of timeshares.
Yachtzone and Taxman,
You are getting good information about use and trade. At the time we purchased our Timeshares, we did purchase Grand Ocean, not too far from Barrony Beach, on the secondary market and we CAN trade through Interval International for other Marriott or non Marriott properties or Trade for Marriott Reward points. So you need to investigate about what flexibility you would have with this resale. Also your relationship with your aunt must enter into the decision as financial transactions with family can leave a lasting legacy if you hold out for a rock bottom price she may feel you cheated her.
That said you can probably purchase Barrony Beach for a small amount from RedWeek or some other resale company. We purchased out Hilton head property from a local Real Estate company and the Marriott sales man who tried to sell us the property showed up at our settlement to complete the transaction representing Marriott. The only thing we did not receive was the first day bonus package and we purchased for $4,000 less than what Marriott wanted to sell it for.