Buying Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC) Timeshare
Buying a timeshare resale can be confusing. To help clarify the Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC) program and issues, we've teamed up with Florida Real Estate Broker, Judi Kozlowski of Re/Max Properties SW, Timeshare Division. She has been active in the timeshare secondary market for over 20 years and is a recognized preferred broker for HGVC.
This article will give you everything you need to purchase a timeshare at HGVC, including:
- Hilton Grand Vacations Club Program Overview
- Banking or Borrowing Points
- Internal and External Exchange Options
- Home Resort Privileges
- Other Benefits
- Benefits That Won't Transfer
- By-Owner Sales Cautions
- Restrictions on Your Ability to Buy
- Where to Find Resales
Hilton Grand Vacations Club (HGVC) Program Overview
HGVC has approximately 222,000 owners, most of whom are considered owners of deeded shares at a specific home resort. Owners purchase a block of "ClubPoints" at a home resort that will allow them to reserve their desired unit size within a specified season (Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze). Owners also have the option to buy fixed intervals for "event weeks," such as Christmas or New Year's (and Japanese holiday weeks within the Hawaii collection).
Here is an example of a Points Chart that HGVC owners would use for determining the number of points needed to make a reservation at a particular HGVC resort:
Banking or Borrowing Points
HGVC ClubPoints renew annually or biennially, based on the contract purchased. For added flexibility, owners have the option to "bank" unused points for use in the following year, and can also borrow (or "pull forward") points for current use.
For example: Owner buys 7,000 points in HGVC Las Vegas, which gets a 2 BR unit during the Platinum peak season. If the owner reserves a 1 BR unit in peak season in Las Vegas for 1 week, the price is only 4,800, so he will have 2,200 points left over which he can bank for the following year. The following year, he would have 7,000 points plus the banked 2,200, giving him access to a bigger unit, or more time.
Internal and External Exchange Options
The HGVC points system provides owners with added flexibility in booking vacations, by allowing owners to vary unit sizes and seasons travelling within the HGVC network. Even though they have a home resort, Hilton owners can use their ClubPoints to secure reservations at any HGVC resort.
HGVC owners can also exchange points through RCI, a larger external timeshare exchange network, to access non-Hilton properties worldwide. HGVC facilitates all RCI exchanges for their owners by maintaining an RCI desk within the Hilton reservation system.
Home Resort Privileges
The home resort you purchase allows you to access the best advance booking window for that resort. Typically, owners can book at their home resort up to 12 months in advance of their desired dates. The resorts don't open up to other HGVC members until 9 months in advance.
HGVC points may also be converted annually into Hilton Honors points for use at Hilton's non-timeshare hotels worldwide.
Another benefit within the HGVC program is the "Open Season Rates". These are heavily discounted vacations within the HGVC network, but can only be booked by HGVC owners within 30 days of arrival.
Benefits That Won't Transfer When Buying HGVC Resales
Fortunately, all HGVC ownership points and most privileges are transferrable to a new owner who buys on the resale market, with two exceptions:
- Resale points purchased do not qualify for inclusion in Hilton's elite programs. If you're already a Hilton owner with 7,000 points (a standard weeks' worth of HGVC points), then you buy an additional 7,000 points from an owner, you will not be able to add the new points to your original program to qualify for a higher level of Hilton membership. You will be able to use your newly bought points for reservations just like any other owner, but they will not elevate you to the level of a 14,000-point owner for participation in Hilton's elite programs.
- Points purchased outside of a HGVC authorized broker are not eligible for upgrading into other HGVC inventory in the future.
By-Owner Sales Cautions
Please be aware: if the seller is managing the sale themselves, without the help of a licensed broker, you will need to make sure they have covered all the bases. In addition to a sales contract, and setting up an escrow account to handle the transfer of the funds, they will need to request an estoppel from Hilton. The mandatory estoppel gives you, the buyer, a statement that the seller has the right to sell their points and is a legitimate HGVC owner in good standing. This is usually recorded with the deed. If you miss this step, Hilton can take back the property even after you think your purchase has been successful.
Restrictions on Your Ability to Buy
Hilton retains the "first right of refusal" (FROR) on any proposed sale. In practice, this means that Hilton has the right to review your proposed transaction before it is finalized, and step in to buy it from the owner if they determine that the price of the resale is a good bargain.
In a typical transaction, brokers will forward a sales contract to Hilton for review. Hilton then has 30 days to exercise the FROR or waive it, allowing the resale to proceed. It takes approximately 45 days for a closing and transfer to be final.
Where to Find Resales
It is not difficult to find HGVC ClubPoints on the resale market. You can easily find points listed on each Hilton Grand Vacations Club resort page on RedWeek.com (since each points ownership has a home resort), and also on RedWeek's Hilton Grand Vacations Club points listing page (be sure to ask about the home resort).