I just received a really nice testimonial that I had to share. Thank you! (May not be viewable on mobile devices)
Last year was really busy for us and our family. With our new baby, I didn’t have time to keep this blog updated, and we certainly didn’t get to travel as much as we would have liked to, although we did spend a week at the Carlsbad Inn.
This year, I am resolved to kick-start this blog, visit more resorts, and help more people with their timeshare and vacation club needs. In the near future, I aim to write articles on:
On March 4th of this year, we welcomed the newest addition to our family: Violette Owen Jex! She joins our other daughter Penelope (4) and our son Jeremiah (6). It's been a really busy year for our family, but we feel incredibly blessed.
My husband and I decided we were overdue for a weekend alone, so we booked a getaway weekend at Wyndham's Hotel Canterbury in San Francisco. We left the kids with the grandparents on Friday night, got up early(ish) Saturday morning, and made the two-hour drive to the city. We are still fairly recent (2.5 years) transplants from San Diego to Northern California, so I won't pretend we have special local knowledge about the city. But we try to make a couple trips a year, and always get great recommendations from our friends, so we're starting to get more familiar with the city. We had an *amazing* dinner this trip at LihoLiho Yacht Club, a Hawaiian restaurant a block up the street from the hotel.
Parking at the hotel is expensive - about $40/day to valet your car. However, there are plenty of public parking garages within a couple blocks of the hotel. We dropped our bags at the hotel, and went to lunch at a seafood restaurant in the Fillmore district. We came back a couple hours later and checked in at 2pm. Check-in time is normally 4pm, but they had a room available for us.
The hotel is very nice! Here's pictures of the lobby, fitness room, and rec room (with free arcade games and billiards). There's also a nice media center (where I'm writing this post), with a couple free computers, DVDs for check-out, books left behind by other guests (thank you for the worn copy of "Treasure Mountain" by Louis L'Amour), and TV.
We're staying in a nice 1BR suite. It's nicely updated and furnished, although the bed is a little small, and (unfortunately) our room is facing Sutter Street, so we heard lots of sirens last night. Still, we really like this property, and it's definitely somewhere we would stay again while visiting San Francisco. We'll probably stay at Club Donatello next time to compare the two properties. We don't currently have any listings for this site, but please contact me if you are interested in purchasing a timeshare at the Wyndham's Canterbury, and I will be happy to find one for you. Happy New Year's!
We spent Christmas of 2016 at the Lawrence Welk Resort in Escondido. As you can see in the pictures, the weather was perfect! We stayed in an upstairs unit in the Evergreen building in Melody Hill. Although we had stayed at the Resort before, the first thing we noticed was just how big and nice the unit was! We’re used to staying in 1BD units, so having a full double-suite felt so spacious! One of the nice things about staying in Melody Hill was being walking distance to the newly remodeled Melody Hill Recreation Center. It was nice, and we worked out each day we stayed there. Although we didn’t use the adults-only pool, it sure looked relaxing!
During our stay, my husband rode his bike from the Resort up to Valley Center and the hills overlooking the resort. A word of caution - although it may look like it on Google Maps, the road behind the resort going up the hills is closed to through traffic, so if you ride up to Valley Center, don’t expect a quick descent on the back-side of the hill coming back to the Resort.
Another thing that really impressed us was the great activities offered by the Resort through the Welk Resorts Inspired! Program. We can definitely see our kids doing the Game of Drones and 3D Printing activities when they get a little older, and of course the Craft Beer Tasting looked amazing!
Besides visiting family in the San Diego area, we also made time for a couple excursions to some of our family spots. Our kids love the San Diego Zoo, so of course we had to devote a day to seeing the animals. I love the beach, so we spent another day at Coronado Beach - about a 45 minute drive from the Resort, but well worth it. All-in-all, it was a great trip, very comfortable, and a very fun way to spend the Christmas holiday.
Are there legitimate timeshare exit companies? It's hard to say, but one thing is for sure, the timeshare developers are taking a very aggressive posture against these companies. In recent timeshare exit company litigation, a law firm in Tennessee was shut down for scamming consumers. Click HERE to read the full article.
September can sometimes be a difficult transition for our family. Although we love the cooler temperatures, we miss the summer vacations and time together. This is also the time of year when many resorts start mailing next year's bills for maintenance fees to their owners. Not surprisingly, our call volume tends to increase this time of year. For buyers on the sidelines, this can be a good time to purchase from motivated owners.
If, like us, you own a week at a winter destination resort, like Marriott's Timber Lodge in Lake Tahoe, or Welk Resort's Northstar Lodge, don't wait any longer to make this winter's reservations. Choice weeks fill up fast, and planning your winter escape to snowy mountains can be a great antidote to the end-of-summer blues.
Last month, Welk Resorts made a big step forward with the construction of their new Breckenridge resort, called "The Ranahan." Welk officially broke ground on construction of the Phase I development, and celebrated the opening of their new preview center. According to Welk:
"Completion of the first phase of construction is expected, weather permitting, in late 2019. This first phase will be comprised of two-bedroom villas — 7 standard and 30 lock-off — for a total of 67 keys."
Sounds like a great family trip for the winter of 2019-2020!
In addition to the new resort in Breckenridge, Welk is currently projecting they will start construction on a new resort in Poipu, Kaui in "2020-2021." Welk also confirmed they do not currently anticipate any further expansion of their Cabo San Lucas resort. Until the new resorts are completed, timeshare owners can explore different resorts by exchanging through Welk's internal exchange - the "Experiences Collection", and through external exchanges like Interval and RCI.
TOP FIVE REASONS WHY WE OWN TIMESHARE WHEN PERSONAL FINANCE COLUMNISTS SAY OWNING TIMESHARE IS A BAD IDEA
A common tenet of financial planning is that owning a timeshare is a terrible idea. All the articles on this subject read the same and make the same points. To be fair, many articles qualify their advice by saying owning timeshare is a bad investment, but they don’t discuss whether owning a timeshare can be a good way to pay for the next 20 years’ of vacations.
I agree that owning a timeshare is a bad investment. With the sole exception of Disney Vacation Club timeshares, I don’t think I’ve come across a single timeshare that has either increased in value, or generated enough income to qualify as a “good investment.” But we didn’t get into the timeshare industry to peddle investments, we got into this industry because we wholeheartedly believe that, when done right, timeshare ownership can help people take longer, more enjoyable, and more comfortable vacations at a lower cost. With that in mind, here is our top five reasons why we own timeshare when personal finance columnists say owning timeshare is not a good decision.
Every new timeshare owner quickly learns about the largest timeshare exchange operators, namely RCI and Interval International. However, when deciding on selecting the right timeshare exchange operator, the answer can be difficult, as there are are many exchange operators, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. But when done wisely, using an exchange can open up exciting new destinations, or even allow you to exchange your week for a more valuable week, such as when we exchanged a week worth $902 for a week worth $1,469.
Here on the West Coast, one of the best exchanges is GPX, the timeshare exchange operated by Grand Pacific Resorts. GPX is exclusive to owners of timeshare at one of the Grand Pacific Resorts, such as the Carlsbad Inn, Grand Pacific Palisades, and Red Wolf - Squaw Valley. There is no annual membership fee. GPX is a “look first” exchange, meaning you can search for availability before you are required to deposit your week. Deposits must be made at least 14 days or more from the arrival date. Late deposits can still be made, but they incur a fee of $99 - $149. The exchange fee is $189, and GPX allows owners to upgrade when exchanging for an additional fee of $85 (studio to 1BR) or $185 (studio to 2BR or 1BR to 2 or 3BR), depending on availability.
Why do we like GPX so much? First, we love the option to look first before you have to deposit. Second, we love the opportunity to exchange a lower value week (like a fall week in Lake Tahoe) for a higher value week (like a summer week on the beach in Carlsbad). Third, the fees are very reasonable. Fourth and finally, Grand Pacific Resorts has lots of great properties on the West Coast and Hawaii.
If you live in San Diego county, you should consider buying a cheap week at the Carlsbad Inn or Coronado Beach Resort for two reasons: 1) year-round day use at the Carlsbad Inn and Coronado Beach Resort; and 2) the opportunity to exchange your “cheap week” for a higher value week using GPX. It’s usually easy to find cheap off-season weeks at these resorts for under $1,000.