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Thread: Hidden costs

  1. #1

    Hidden costs

    Today may have been our deciding day for buying a Timeshare. I just needed to call The Reef on Grand Cayman to ask a few more questions. I found out that there is a $10 per day occupancy tax, $70 for the week... Not good. But then there's a utility fee of $198! $198 for one week worth of water and air conditioning??? Yikes!

    They really should have told us about it from the beginning. It's almost like another maintenance fee, except that I will only pay it when I go to The Reef, not when I exchange.

    I've searched the forum for other mentions of this utility tax and found only one, which was another resort on Grand Cayman. I called this other resort to find out the amount and they charge you according to your use. It could be $10 per day or some have ended up with a $300 charge for the week.

    Finding out about these new costs this late in the game makes me afraid there may be other hidden costs that I am not being advised of. I'd like to hear if others have encountered utility fees, and how much they were. Especially, I'd like a heads up on what other taxes, fees, dues, etc... they may be "forgetting" to tell me about.

    As of now I know my up front cost, maintenance fee, occupancy tax, and $198 utility fee. Anything else??

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Most timeshares only charge those types of fees to people who are exchanging in and not to owners.

    I hope you are aware of the resale market and how you can buy the same resort for thousands of dollars less than buying directly from the resort. Do plenty of research before buying anything. Since things change and nothing is really guaranteed other than exactly what it says on your deed, make sure you buy something that you would enjoy using.

  3. #3
    Utility fees are common in Europe, sometimes for all but sometimes just for exchangers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Luanne's Avatar
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    And occupancy tax (or whatever they call it) are charged in Hawaii, both to owners and exchangers.
    Luanne

  5. #5
    Silver Contributor and supermoderator GrayFal's Avatar
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    Many Caribbean Resorts have a local stay tax - Caymans is $10US per day, Aruba varies by unit size.
    Also common for Caribbean TS to charge for utilities - Morritt's Tortuga which is right next to the Reef, has each unit metered. I was in a 1BR and 2BR in March - 1BR was $65 and 2BR was $85.

  6. #6
    All GPR resorts charge a daily fee. GPR owners do not pay the fee at the resort they own, they pay at all others.

    The Diamond resorts in Hawaii charge fees per day. Diamond's fees are up to 25/day on Maui and Kauai. I suspect Diamond owners don't have to pay that fee, only exchangers. That doesn't include the daily tax Luanne mentioned. I don't remember paying a daily fee at a Diamond Resort in Sedona so maybe it is only in Hawaii.

  7. #7
    Silver Contributor and supermoderator GrayFal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginny View Post
    Today may have been our deciding day for buying a Timeshare. I just needed to call The Reef on Grand Cayman to ask a few more questions. I found out that there is a $10 per day occupancy tax, $70 for the week... Not good. But then there's a utility fee of $198! $198 for one week worth of water and air conditioning??? Yikes!

    They really should have told us about it from the beginning. It's almost like another maintenance fee, except that I will only pay it when I go to The Reef, not when I exchange.

    I've searched the forum for other mentions of this utility tax and found only one, which was another resort on Grand Cayman. I called this other resort to find out the amount and they charge you according to your use. It could be $10 per day or some have ended up with a $300 charge for the week.

    Finding out about these new costs this late in the game makes me afraid there may be other hidden costs that I am not being advised of. I'd like to hear if others have encountered utility fees, and how much they were. Especially, I'd like a heads up on what other taxes, fees, dues, etc... they may be "forgetting" to tell me about.

    As of now I know my up front cost, maintenance fee, occupancy tax, and $198 utility fee. Anything else??
    Also be aware that the Reef is a fixed week/fixed unit resort.
    Morritt's Units float week 1-50.
    I call at exactly 12 months out and get the reservation I want.....let me know if you are interested in more info about this resort.
    Last edited by GrayFal; 04-18-2013 at 08:48 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by GrayFal View Post
    Also be aware that the Reef is a fixed week/fixed unit resort.
    Morritt's Units float week 1-50.
    I call at exactly 12 months out and get the reservation I want.....let me know if you are interested in more info about this resort.
    Thanks, everyone for the posts.
    Reading the forum has opened me up to the resale option. Now that this fee issue has made us put the brakes on, I see there is more research to do before we decide. I will need to look into the best way to buy resale and deal with reputable people, what to watch out for, etc...

    GrayFal, The Reef explained the fixed week to work this way. It is fixed in that there is a specific week and unit on the deed, and we would automatically have that week reserved for us if we want it. But that is is floating in that it can be exchanged internally for no fee for any week in the same season. (Summer week for us) The Summer season for The Reef is weeks 17-50. It seems like a comparable way of doing things, without having to worry about jumping to get the reservation. But I'm learning as I go along here. There seem to be some tricks of the trade that I don't know. What do you think?

    Also, we feel misled that we weren't told up front about the $268 in taxes and fees. I wonder if we wouldn't have found out till we got there, thinking we are all paid up and then get slammed with the bill. That would have stunk!

  9. #9
    Silver Contributor and supermoderator GrayFal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginny View Post
    Thanks, everyone for the posts.
    Reading the forum has opened me up to the resale option. Now that this fee issue has made us put the brakes on, I see there is more research to do before we decide. I will need to look into the best way to buy resale and deal with reputable people, what to watch out for, etc...

    GrayFal, The Reef explained the fixed week to work this way. It is fixed in that there is a specific week and unit on the deed, and we would automatically have that week reserved for us if we want it. But that is is floating in that it can be exchanged internally for no fee for any week in the same season. (Summer week for us) The Summer season for The Reef is weeks 17-50. It seems like a comparable way of doing things, without having to worry about jumping to get the reservation. But I'm learning as I go along here. There seem to be some tricks of the trade that I don't know. What do you think?

    Also, we feel misled that we weren't told up front about the $268 in taxes and fees. I wonder if we wouldn't have found out till we got there, thinking we are all paid up and then get slammed with the bill. That would have stunk!
    Honestly, I do not know why they would not have told you - as it is standard on the Caymans. I had a friend stay at the Reef in a two bedroom and it was over $320 for energy fee plus the $10 per day CI tax (also charged at all the hotels)....

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Presley View Post
    Most timeshares only charge those types of fees to people who are exchanging in and not to owners.

    I hope you are aware of the resale market and how you can buy the same resort for thousands of dollars less than buying directly from the resort. Do plenty of research before buying anything. Since things change and nothing is really guaranteed other than exactly what it says on your deed, make sure you buy something that you would enjoy using.
    Looked online at some resales at The Reef. Not seeing any great deals.

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