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South Seas Plantation House

North Conway, New...
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South Seas Plantation House

I am considering buying a timeshare at South Seas Plantation House during the month of January.

Does anyone have any pros or cons they can share here ? Thanks

Ponte Vedra Beach...
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1. Re: South Seas Plantation House

The biggest con is buying a timeshare in Florida. Many/most tend to wind up as total legal messes. See for example:

…orlandosentinel.com/2013-04-03/business/os-…

lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/consumer_…

So the first thing I would do is read everything I could about timeshares in Florida. Both anecdotal and statutory:

www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm…

I would also read complaints about HGV (this is a Hilton property):

consumeraffairs.com/travel/hilton_grand_vaca…

I would also consult with a Florida lawyer about the legal implications of buying/owning a timeshare. There are law firms here that specialize in timeshares:

http://www.timeshareattorneyflorida.com/

FWIW - as a Hilton Honors member - I probably get calls about once a month from high pressure sales people.from HGV. Urging me to take a "free vacation" so I can attend sales presentations. Thanks but no thanks.

If - after you've familiarized yourself thoroughly with timeshares - and you are still interested in buying one - I would investigate the property like any piece of real property you might consider buying. In terms of age - current condition - levels of maintenance - fees - quality of management - etc. - etc. I would also research comparable sales.

Then I would sit down and ask myself if I really wanted to own a fractional interest in property on a Florida barrier island? With the attendant risks (like storms/hurricanes). And the (small/large) headaches arising from those risks (like insurance). I would also ask myself if I wanted to lock myself into a particular place at a specific time of year for my future vacations?

Note that I would view buying a timeshare strictly as a consumption expense - not as an investment (resales can be difficult or impossible). There are some decent investments in Florida real estate at certain times - but I don't think timeshares are one of them. Also note that the Florida real estate market in general is subject to big booms and big busts. Both as a result of general economic conditions and area specific events (like storms). Although the market is not as frothy as it was - for example - in 2005 - it's getting there today.

Finally - I have to tell you that I'm a lawyer in Florida. And the legal stuff would cause me to run away from any timeshare (the legal stuff pertaining to condos is more than enough for me). And I would be quite content to rent a piece of whatever paradise I was interested in whenever I cared to visit as opposed to buying a fractional time interest. No muss - no fuss - and someone else has to worry during hurricane season. BTW - I have lived on barrier islands for 30 or so of my 40+ years in Florida (and I spent the other 10 on mainland waterfront property). The cost/benefit analysis works out ok for me as a full time resident (although I had my doubts after Hurricane Andrew). The whole thing wouldn't compute for me as a very part-time owner.

North Conway, New...
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2. Re: South Seas Plantation House

Thanks for the info....very informative.

Captiva Island...
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3. Re: South Seas Plantation House

A good to place to put your question is: http://captivaisle.websitetoolbox.com/

It's a forum of South Seas timeshare owners.

That being said, Plantation House used to have the best location at South Seas with beautiful views of Redfish Pass and Pine Island sound. But, they expanded the South Seas pool complex into their backyard. So you can no longer walk over to T-dock or Kids activities w/o circumnavigating the pool complex. Also it's a long hike around the golf course to get to the beach. And, noise will be an issue as you sit on your Lanai.

Another place to visit is: http://southseastimeshares.com

Hans that runs that site knows EVERYTHING about South Seas Condos. This site also has a classified section that lists several weeks at Plantation House for sale. ( weeks 8 & 10 )

Ponte Vedra Beach...
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4. Re: South Seas Plantation House

BTW - it isn't the easiest thing in the world to get comparable sales information about timeshares. I did a little looking around and came across this website (I know nothing about it and can't vouch for it) which listed sales in this timeshare (and lots of others).

sharket.com/timeshare-resort/FL/Captiva-Isla…

The price variations are staggering. From $297 to to $75,000! And this would give me pause. A timeshare is kind of like a condominium chopped into smaller pieces along a time continuum. But - as in a condominium - owners are collectively responsible for paying for a lot of stuff. Like maintenance and insurance. And when even some unit owners can't or won't pay their fair share - other unit owners suffer. The same is true in a homeowners' association - but to a much lesser extent. Someone whose unit is worth only $297 may feel a whole lot differently than someone whose unit is worth $75,000 in terms of chipping in to pay expenses.

I think one of the attractions of time shares is they often seem so cheap. So people who would never consider buying even a modest condo think of buying a timeshare. But - what you're really buying in a timeshare is an obligation to pay maintenance fees. I've lived in 2 condos. Maintenance fees were high to start with. And - after Hurricane Andrew - we were assessed over $10k for uninsured repair costs (we had lots of insurance - but insurance doesn't cover everything). Is someone whose unit is worth $297 going to pay anything to cover unanticipated expenses (not to mention anticipated ones - like repairs/improvements for normal "wear and tear"?

Note that one of the articles I read mentioned this concept of "Viking Ships". Which I hadn't heard about before. I don't think the Legislature passed any statutes to prohibit Viking Ships - but I could be wrong.

Also note that in recent years - we've had high profile cases in Florida where (mostly lower end) condominiums basically went bankrupt. Some as a result of the recent financial crisis - where property owners wound up "underwater" figuratively. Some as a result of hurricanes like Wilma - where property owners wound up "underwater" literally (because their roofs were blown off).

There seem to be a fair number of secondary market listings for timeshares in this place. Here are the listings on just one broker website:

southseasrealestate.com/Timeshare-a108103.ht…

I don't know anything about "Hans" or his website (whether he's an interested owner - a real estate broker - a combination - etc.). That website seems to have a lot of "for sale" listings as well.

I also don't know if there is anything like a "multiple listing service" for timeshares. If there is - I haven't found it. Perhaps someone who knows more about timeshares than I do can help you out. IMO - we have tons of real estate brokers in Florida who know lots about various areas. But are usually not acting in a buyer's interest (they are - unless identified to the contrary - seller's brokers).

Finally - I also don't know how maintenance fees work in timeshares. Does the guy who owns a relatively crummy X square foot unit with no view for 1 week in July have an obligation to pay the same amount for maintenance as the guy who owns the same size unit with a great view for one week in "high season"? I know how it works in condos. Both guys pay the same. But - like I said - I don't know how it works with timeshares.

In all honesty - I'd forget about it if I were you. I don't like timeshares. I also prefer Sanibel to Captiva (if that part of the world is your part of tea). And owning another property on a barrier island in Florida is more than I could take at my age (worrying about storms during hurricane season on just one of our coasts is quite enough for me <smile>). Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Robyn

North Conway, New...
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5. Re: South Seas Plantation House

Once again I thank you for the info and for taking the time to reply.

Ponte Vedra Beach...
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6. Re: South Seas Plantation House

You're welcome. I took the time to reply because although I've really enjoyed living in Florida for 40+ years - it - like other states - has its fair share of pitfalls that might not be obvious to people who don't live here. Hope you enjoy your trips here. And - if you want to consider relocating here for all or part of the year - you'll be able to get lots of help from many different sources. Regards, Robyn

7. Re: South Seas Plantation House

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