Exchanging Hawaiian Time
Even Hawaii residents are looking into timeshares in the Islands as a new way to travel. But are they right for you?
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You can also exchange your timeshare with smaller independent exchange companies. Dial an Exchange, Trading Places, Hawaii Timeshare Exchange, Platinum Interchange, The San Francisco Exchange, Timex and Redweek.com are the main independent exchange companies.
Some timeshares that run on a points-based system offer owners points that can be exchanged for airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, travel packages, golf programs, cruises, amusement park tickets and more.
"The point system might sound a little confusing, but it works, especially for those who have timeshare in Hawaii," Lupton says. "You get more point value for your Hawaii ownership. A week's worth of Hawaii points can often buy you two weeks somewhere that's less in demand."
Buying ConsiderationsWhen looking to buy a timeshare, there are two main markets to consider—direct from a developer (primary) and resale (secondary). Primary timeshares are usually available through developers that subdivide properties into timeshare intervals. The secondary, or resale, market comes into play if you purchase from a developer and later need to sell the timeshare.
"Many people are electing to buy on the secondary market rather than the primary market," Lupton says. "Resale is attractive because the cost doesn't include the developer's markup."
Lupton attributes much of the growth in the resale market to visiting baby boomers. "People are looking to retire if they want to visit Hawaii often and own real estate in the state, a timeshare is a good answer."
"In the '70s, when visitors ccame to Hawaii, they bought jewelry and art. Today, one of the dominant purchases is timeshare," says Lupton. "It's lasting, it has merit and it has usefulness."
Aimee Harris is a freelance writer who lives in Manoa and writes when it rains.