To Own or Not to Own a Time Share Vacation Property: Pros and Cons

One question that we asked ourselves three times in the past is whether to own a time-shared vacation property.  The first time we were asked at Hilton Las Vegas Grand Vacation Resort.  The second time we were asked at Hilton Grand Vacation Hawaii (Oahu) Lagoon Tower.  The third time we were asked at Hyatt Maui Kaanapali Residence Club.  We were relaxed by the breath-taking Maui beach view.

Maui Ocean view from Balcony

We had such a great time.

We loved the experience so we signed to purchase a unit, priced about $35k, with annual maintenance fee of $800.  We were offered a sign-in bonus of 80k Hyatt points.  That night, we calculated again, identified the real motivation, and the following day I requested to cancel the contract.  It was a difficult decision because Isa loves the Maui Hyatt experience.

I gather the following Pros and Cons for a time-shared property investments.  If money is not an issue, then the Hyatt Residence Club would be an excellent choice.

- every year you are guaranteed a spot in that resort.  The location must be attractive enough so you don't mind re-visit every year.
- if you need to visit the same place once a year for business or personal reason.  For example, a friend of ours need to visit Las Vegas Fair every year, so they purchased time-shared property in Las Vegas.
- Hilton or Hyatt vacation resort uses point systems.  These points can be used to redeem for other participating hotels worldwide.

- Capital investment.  In our case, $35k cost of the property plus $800 annual maintenance fee which will also increase.  This same amount of money can be used for paying many nights of hotel stays.
- Re-sell the property typically ends as a loss.   Rumor is that Hyatt management charges a 40% transaction fee.  The time-shared properties encourage you to endow the ownership to your siblings and children, so they can continue enjoying it.
- If one has limited allowed vacation days each year and wants to be able to anywhere one wants, then one would not want to be bothered by the points system.
- The growing popularity of, and Costco Travel where value deals are offered offer alternative options for vacation planning.

Locking ourselves in the same location (Maui) every year may turn out to be not the way we want for a couple decades.  We also found other friends who already bought time-shared properties and willing to let us buy their points.  Most important of all, if we really want to go to Maui again, Hyatt Regency Resort is always a good alternative.  Hyatt Residence Club offers several vacation packages.

Hope this helps your decision.

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