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Timeshare Purchasing Experience

September 9, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I officially own a timeshare! I bought a 2 bedroom at HGVC at SeaWorld International Center. I debated doing this for the longest time. I recommend reading everything at Timeshare Users Group if you’re interested in buying also.

About a year ago, I called HGVC and talked to a rep for awhile. I was offered a one bedroom in Las Vegas for $33K (Platinum, I think). After recovering from a severe case of stickershock, I put it on the backburner. With my frustration this year at not planning a vacation, I picked it up again in June. I knew I could buy on the resale market, but was leary. However, the more I read on TUG, the more comfortable I became with the idea. There are 2 agents that everyone recommends (in no order):

I elected to go with Seth, as he is relatively active on the TUG site. I think his listings were more what I was looking for, too. Hawaii is what I wanted, but the maintenance fees are very high. I went for SeaWorld (Orlando) because the fees are low, as is the initial buy-in.

I e-mailed Seth asking if he had any inventory available at prices lower than what was on his site. He (as he always did) replied extremely fast with some very good options. Within a few days I had the paperwork faxed off. About 30 days later, the sale passed Hilton’s ROFR (Right Of First Refusal). Essentially that means the Hilton waived the right to buy the unit at the agreed price. It took a couple more weeks to get the final paperwork sent back and waiting for the check to clear. I believe about a week later I received the Member Guide from Hilton and another week or two later I received all the welcome documents, member number, etc.

I had trouble creating my account online because the site requires your phone number, and for some reason my account had no number. Called to correct this and was able to login fine. One very important item to watch out for is “double billing”. Assuming the previous owner was current on fees, you should only have to pay the annual Club Fee ($99). I received a bill for all the fees, nearly $1000. This is apparently a common problem and been going on for years. I contacted both Seth and the closing company and it seems to be fixed now.

The whole process took about 8 weeks. I think I could’ve done it in 6 weeks if I had been more prompt and there hadn’t been a couple of holiday. Going resale saved me tens of thousands of dollars (I paid less than $4K), so I am a happy camper!

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