You all know that I retired two months ago, and we are still in the process of deciding how to organize our lives. V likes the comfort of being at home. I like home, too, but I love to travel. Last week we traveled. This was our third visit back to Ka’anapali Beach Club, and it feels like home. Curtis still works in the beach office. We know our way around KBC, and Maui. It is ALMOST as comfortable and familiar as HOME.
We tiptoed around our timeshare the first year back to Hawaii because we felt so badly about canceling our contract with the sweet saleslady. But we still went back because it was lovely, and we DID buy a timeshare at KBC (Ka’anapali Beach Club). You can read about that adventure here.
Buying a timeshare is an investment in future travel. Even if you find a bargain like I did, it is more expensive up front than hopping in your car, forgetting to book a hotel, and getting on the road. Click here to review that hotel find. Needless to say, we didn’t go for any of the timeshare owners updates, but enjoyed staying there for two years.
This year we went ahead and scheduled the update. Their computers hadn’t forgotten that we had cancelled our Diamond Resorts Membership. They didn’t really care at that point, they had another deal for us. We could reserve the right to buy Resort Points for 18 months, and be on our way.
So V wanted to sign the option, and get moving. Unfortunately, the computer won’t let you sign anything if there is an unexercised option still under your name. And umpteen years ago, we had an option to buy more points under our cancelled policy. As a real estate salesperson, V was impressed with their well-oiled sales pitch. It made no sense to me that we had to sign a waiver releasing them from honoring an option that we had already cancelled. So I was curious – V said to me, “This is too convenient. Was this planned?” The old option made the new one look sick, and indeed, the new sales rep acted like he would like to purchase our old option.
So now you know the routine. It’s like buying a car. V was not buying it. He didn’t care that much, we already had a week. We couldn’t trade it anywhere. We couldn’t comfortably take anyone with us. We couldn’t get a better view, but we were able to go to Maui, and we liked being there. Life was good.
Now here is the thing I don’t understand about time shares. We bought a deeded piece of property at KBC. When we bought it, we lost the right to the week that was fixed with the original deed, and we then had a floating week. This meant we could schedule a week any time we wanted, that they had rooms available, and we were satisfied with that option. But the well-oiled sales pitch was, “What if they didn’t have a room?” Their answer – They would book us at the hotel next door. So in essence we lost our guarantee of a place at KBC. BUT we could still come to Maui.
No, we wouldn’t have had to be that far away. This coffee plantation is another story for another day, if you’re still interested. To make our long story – and it did take a VERY long time – a little shorter. Diamond Resorts agreed to taking our deed in for points thus guaranteeing our right to stay at KBC at no charge. They also agreed to honor our option to buy additional points at the rate of several years ago. They also agreed to double the points with no fees for two years, which was also part of the old option, thus moving us to the highest “level” of point ownership possible.
You know I would be impressed, and since I love to travel, I just looked at the purchase as buying options on 10-15 years of comfortable travel anywhere in the world. When you reach the Gold or Platinum Levels of ownership, the way it is supposed to work is that you book your resort at the lowest point level and exercise your option to trade up at no extra cost. We didn’t have this option with deeded property. This meant that with the purchase of this option we could trade to a two-bedroom with an ocean view at the cost of the one bedroom opposite the ocean. We could trade for airline travel. After all the benefits were explained, V was not moved, so he said, “No”, and apologized, but said he would sign the new option to purchase so that the sales rep would get something for his effort. The sales man, Terry Osborne, told him that he knew V would not sign up for the new option ever if he was turning down the old option. So he asked what it would take to get V to sign and activate the old option.
V thought about it and said if they lowered the price enough to offset some of the yearly fees, it would be more appealing. It’s hard for a salesman to be hard on another salesman. At this point I just kept quiet. If V really didn’t want to travel, there was no point in me pushing to buy travel time. I still had my week in Hawaii, all paid for, no matter where we stayed.
No one was more surprised than I was when V agreed to buying the additional points after the salesman lowered the price another $8,000. We ended up paying less per point for this option than any resale value on the market today, and even less per point that what we paid originally through the resale timeshare company. I love a bargain, and if this helps you to bargain to buy the things you want to buy, I’m happy for you. Nothing is a bargain if you really won’t use it. I get at least 1-2 calls every month from someone wanting to buy my timeshare, so I know people are looking for them and selling them on a regular basis. Timeshares are real estate – even if you buy points.
So to summarize, if you ARE interested in buying a timeshare:
- It will cost more than a regular hotel at first. But you always get more amenities than at a hotel.
- Don’t agree to the first deal that is offered to you. (or maybe the second)
- Check the internet for other options.
- Exercise your right to cancel if you find something you like better. You are the one that has to be happy. But remember that salespeople are people so don’t abuse them. If you are REALLY not interested, don’t sign. It hurts their numbers.
- Remember the resale timeshare ALWAYS looses some part of the amenities.
- You will always have a maintenance fee every year. The price of that is negotiable.
- The interest rates are high if you finance – 10.99%
- The cost of borrowing your own money, if you have a retirement account is low. 2% – an additional 6% goes back in as an investment for you.
- The cost of travel will probably increase over the years, so you lock in the best price today.
- Points give you flexibility to travel other places that deeds don’t give you.
- Gold and platinum memberships give you the ability to book low rates and trade up at no cost, but you pay a higher maintenance fee because it is figured on points.
- Sometimes timeshares give you FREE ponts with no maintenance fee for a year or two as a bonus.
- It takes a HUGE amount of time to negotiate a good deal. They will buy your lunch!
I’m not trying to sell KBC, but if by chance you ARE interested email me, we do get a referral fee that I would be glad to share with you. I really did like our representative, Terry Osborne. We also got the owner, Steve Cloobeck’s, business card. Have you ever tried to get ahold of top management when you really had a problem with a hotel? They are the most private people in the world!
I am excited about our investment in our future. We can travel to see friends, new and old, all across the country and even throughout the world using Diamond Resort Points. That kind of travel is on my bucket list. That we can extend our good fortune to include others at no additional charge to us, makes it even more fun. That V can stay in a familiar place… well he is now excited about traveling and finding NEW places.
I did cross off one thing off my bucket list permanently while I was in Hawaii – horseback riding. That’s another story!
I hope this was helpful.
- Beautiful Maui – Aloha – Maui, HI (travelpod.com)
- Buy my timeshare now. You won’t regret it. (onetimeshare.wordpress.com)