Why people have problems

1.  They don’t understand contracts

Bluegreen has a very comprehensive contract.  It will weigh in with at least 15 pages. You are buying a piece of deeded property.  If you don’t know what that entails then ask a lot of questions or get out as soon as possible.

2.  They think they are making a wise investment

In my own opinion, don’t ever think of buying any timeshare as an investment no more than you would buy a car as an investment.  True, it may go up in value but selling a timeshare is a difficult task.  Also, if Bluegreen says they will buy it back if you are not satisfied, don’t believe them.  It’ll never happen.  Again, if it’s not in the contract you sign, it’s not there.

3.  They don’t ask questions

I can’t say this enough.  Ask questions if you don’t understand.  If the sales person promises something, make a note of it and make sure it’s in the contract when you sign it.  Remember, the sales person is trying to make a sale that will result in a paycheck for them.  They should not make promises but you don’t know how their day or week has been going.  Don’t believe everything they say.  I once served on a jury and I still remember one of the things the judge told us.  “The lawyers are the only ones in the court room not under oath.  Don’t believe everything they say”.  Unfortunately, the same may hold true for some sales people.

4.  They don’t understand the maintenance fees

There is no mystery about maintenance fees.  As far as I know, they are the same for everyone.  I’m not sure about older contracts that my have a grandfather clause, but for everyone today they are the same.  Calculation is very easy.  Everyone pays $320/year as a base amount.  Added to that is 0.0493 x your number of vacation points for an annual contract or 0.02464 x your number of vacation points for a biennial contract.  Finally there is $129 for he club dues.

Example: Your have 10000 annual points

$320 + (10000 x 0.0493) + $129 = $942

These dues are due on your anniversary date and can be paid over a 3 month period by credit card for a $25 charge.  If you add more points in the future, you do not pay an additional base amount or club dues, just the 0.0493 charge per point.

5.  They can’t book a vacation online

This may have been an old complaint.  Today Bluegreen has a phenomenal online booking system.  You can go online and find everything available for a whole month in all resorts at one time.  Vacation planning has never been easier.  That being said, the key word is “planning”.  Bluegreen has 300,000+ members and a good number of resorts.  Everyone has an 11 month window to book a vacation.  Anyone who says they have been trying to book a vacation for 2 years and can’t doesn’t understand the system.  The sooner you book your vacation the better chance you have of being successful.  I have never  had trouble booking a vacation.  If I wait to long, the exact place I want may not be available, so I’ll look for something else.

One other thing.  Bluegreen is a great deal for us.  We live on the east coast and have plenty of places we can drive to if we want and therefore more last minute opportunities.  I was able to book 2 nights in St Pete Beach only a week before I wanted it.  That may not always work.  Keep in mind that people do cancel their plans.  I was told that cancelled reservations get back in the system shortly after midnight.  If you want a spot, stay up late and see if something opens up.  You never know.

In you live in a remote part of the US, Bluegreen may not be the best deals for you, especially if you don’t like flying.  Bluegreen is adding new west coast resorts to their inventory.  I think they tend to be a bit more expensive points-wise so you points may not go as far as you’d like them to.  By the way, the points value at a resort should never change.  St Augustine, one of our favorite resorts, is only 450 points per night during the week.  However, it’s much more expensive on weekends.  We make most of our trips during the week,  thereby maximizing our points.

6.  They have buyers’ remorse

This can always happen on any type of purchase.  The Truth in Lending Law says you have 3 days from contract signing to back out of a deal.  Bluegreen may not volunteer this information.  My latest contract date 8/2/13 states that I have 10 days to cancel the contract and explains how to do it.  If you are concerned, have this explained to you,

7.  They spent money they didn’t have

One of the statements you have to sign off on during contract signing is that you can afford this expense.  If you say no, I think it’s case closed.  Just be honest with your feelings.  If you love the deal but know in your heart you can’t afford it, don’t do it.

8.  My maintenance fee doubled after my 1st year

Quite often your 1st six months maintenance fees are waived.  This should have been mentioned to you.  That’s a good thing.  However, if you didn’t catch that, it means that the next year your fees will be for the whole year.  That’s right, twice the amount.  Maintenance fees may go up but I’ve never seen a huge increase.

9.  My sales person promised me this but it didn’t happen

Let me say it again.  If the sales person says something good and it’s not in writing, it probably won’t be in the contract.  Pay attention to what is said and keep notes.  If the sales person make the presentation and writes lots of stuff for you, try to get your hands on that paper before you leave the table.

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