January 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm #57895
Freedom of Choice Ownership 😕 🙄
I’ve just read this on the main SPI page and it looks like an expensive type of Timeshare, 4 weeks from 18,000 euros plus presumably annual maintenance charges.
Mark, could you explain if there is a difference please, and, what are the annual charges for 4 weeks purchase please? 🙄
January 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm #118996
Why not contact the vendors and get the correct info
January 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm #118997
Well, if they were Timeshare to all intents and purpose, would they admit that, or would they dress it up as something else? 🙄 So, as it’s on SPI I’m sure Mark would know 🙄
January 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm #118998
There was a couple on TV last week. they bought a timeshare in Tenerife. yearly maintenance fees are £428pa for what is a bog standard 2/2 apartment 😯 (they could rent for that off-season without paying the lump sum!) They cannot get out of it for life! Whatever those schemes are called it’s basically the same old 👿
January 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm #118999
I recall when time share first started it was run by organised crime families based in the Canary Islands. Many of them got very wealthy being first into the market. Eventually some were arrested for fraud connected to laundering proceeds and tax evasion.
Time share is possibly the worse possible con ever invented by man. Anyone who enters that market needs their sanity questioned. I am surprised it’s still going on. 😯
January 15, 2014 at 5:27 pm #119001
I’ve checked this out and it is a time share but at 18,000 euros for 4 weeks seems an expensive lead in, and as far as I recall don’t the annual charges just keep increasing until owners end up selling at a loss? Time share had such a bad reputation in Spain and other Med and Canary holiday spots a while back that someone started a website called crimeshare.com 🙄
In this case I’d leave well alone, in fact outright purchase would seem a safer bet at the right price IMO 😉
January 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm #119002
“Time share is possibly the worse possible con ever invented by man. Anyone who enters that market needs their sanity questioned “
I take it you mean the buyer of the time share needs their sanity questioned or the seller ????/ It seemed like a good idea. Like all good ides’s sadly with these kind of products, most of the devil is in not in the detail it is the evolution of practises over a number of years.
January 16, 2014 at 9:50 am #119008
Interesting to see that ‘Iron Bottom’ 😛 and Daley Thompson are both owners there, I suppose they were given free timeshares to plug their campaign 😉
January 16, 2014 at 10:40 am #119011
You got it 😀
January 16, 2014 at 11:00 am #119012
January 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm #119016
I don’t know logan, a villa named Casa Tremblor has a certain something 😉
January 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm #119017
Can’t believe that Botham is around again. Anyone remember him on the front of VIVA magazine? Rent a man!
January 17, 2014 at 11:03 am #119021
Botham, needs to pay his bills like all of us. He is of no use to the youngsters as they don’t know him. However for the grey buyer he is a familiar face.
January 17, 2014 at 11:31 am #119022
I remember him on Viva’s Hot Property magazine some years back, it seems a lot of developers like a slice of Beefy 😉
Here’s his latest venture introduced by it’s Developer and fellow golf fanatic, Buddy Darby, now, I’d bet money he was given his plot to talk this rather large development up 😉
Just the sort of promotion and feature this TV programme loves 😆
February 17, 2014 at 11:53 am #119188
Desert Springs – Freedom of Choice Offer
I work for the Robert Hitchins Group Ltd Group in the UK, originally involved in housing development in the west of England, where we built 15,000 homes. We now develop and commercialize employment, shopping & housing projects. throughout the region and in south Wales. Background information may be found at:-
Our subsidiary, The Almanzora Group Ltd, carries out marketing for the Almanzora Bay projects, including Desert Springs, in south east Spain. We are therefore concerned about the content of this thread, which makes a number of assertions which are not right; so it seems appropriate to provide some factual information.
First, Timeshare was initially a much abused and controversial form of selling long term holidays under the guise of the purchase of property. More recently this has been regulated and there are many very large and successful schemes and satisfied participants. The definition of what Timeshare is has been debated many times. However, the current general interpretation is that it usually involve a right to use a property annually for holidays for a set number of years, but without ownership or at least without a clear individual right of ownership. It is therefore, even when set up properly and responsibly managed, a wasting asset.
Freedom of Choice at Desert Springs incudes actual freehold ownership of a percentage of the property in perpetuity; each of the owners receiving a separate full publicly registered ownership deed (escritura) for his or her part. Each part is one-twelfth of the property, albeit owners can have more than one part.
The properties concerned at Desert Springs are finished to a high level of quality, in individually designed buildings and groups, on an up market resort; there is nothing of the mass market egg box apartment about them. They will inevitably be more expensive than the average bog standard offering. Nevertheless, the total price of all 12 parts added together is no more than 20% more than the current selling price of the individual property. The extra 20% covers the extra administrative and selling costs of dealing with the twelfth parts and additionally the price includes free access to quite a lot of existing sports and leisure facilities that would otherwise have to be paid for.
There is a real market for such ownerships and because the owner has a registered individual deed, he is free to sell it whenever he so wishes. It follows that this is not a wasting asset, but a real investment in property, the value of which will go up and down according to the market for such properties, but which will not drain away over time.
The relative merits of property ownership and property rental are much argued over, but for those who would prefer to buy, but do not have or do not want to commit the sum required to purchase an entire property, Freedom of Choice at Desert Springs does offer a real viable alternative in an established fully legal resort.
Second, in respect of the danger of being locked into ever increasing annual charges, the owners of a property in the Freedom of Choice scheme at Desert Springs meet in an annual general meeting each year, at which they are freely able to vote, by simple majority, to dismiss the current administrators or property managers and appoint others, who offer better and cheaper services, if they so wish. There is no issue of being locked into any administrators and managers and ever increasing fees.
Third, neither Sir Ian Botham, nor Daley Thompson, have any ownership in the Freedom of Choice scheme, free or otherwise; nor have they been given any other property at the resort. Sir Ian purchased his villa on the resort outright at an undiscounted price in 2001. It was only some years afterwards that he was made a Honourary Member and Ambassador for Desert Springs in thanks for his huge and consistent support and for bringing his charity golf tournaments to Desert Springs. Daley was responsible for advising on and mentoring the Sierra Sports and Fitness Club and gymnasium at Desert Springs, where he still gives occasional lessons. He does not own any property here but continues to visit and is a great supporter and Ambassador for the resort. Both of course continue to be very active nationally in the sports world and in youth and charity work.
Finally, I would add that The Almanzora Bay Group is proud that its projects such as Desert Springs and Villaricos are included in Spanish Property Insight and in Mark Stucklin’s selection of the best homes for sale in Spain. Mark Stucklin took pains to carry out checks and due diligence on the projects and properties beforehand and it was only after he was satisfied with their integrity that they were selected for inclusion.
February 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm #119191
I think we have heard all this before. These schemes are far from regulated. It’s not a new concept.
February 18, 2014 at 8:13 am #119194
Personally I think these schemes are bonkers. They sell them this way because they cannot sell them normally. Why would you ever want to share a home with numerous strangers? Beats me, what’s wrong with good hotels? Or simply renting for your holidays. You don’t really ever own anything despite what they tell you and have all the associated costs.
It’s the worst of all possible worlds.
February 18, 2014 at 10:24 am #119195
Agree. Buyers own only the obligation to pay maintenance fees. They can’t leave anything there hung in a wardrobe or locked in a cupboard, not even choose the sofa. Of course you could leave it to a relative….if you hated them so much
February 18, 2014 at 10:48 am #119196
I have waded through their glossy blurb just from idle curiosity. They seem more interested in selling holidays.
However a 2 bedroomed apartment (few details given) costs €18K and for that you get 4 weeks a year. Nowhere can you discover the annual maintenance fees which you can bet are hefty and rise inexorably every year. Then there is so called *Freedom of Choice Owner Golf Membership Benefits: Costing €500 per year for four weeks!.
You also receive other free ‘benefits’ like a pool, gym and sun loungers. Wow! Same as a decent hotel then. Lets say the maintenance is a conservative estimate of €3000 a year. Your four weeks holiday in the first year will cost you around €22K+. In future years you can bet it would be much cheaper and a more rewarding holiday experience to stay in good hotels of your choice around the world.
I happen to know the area well where Desert Springs is located and it’s not my idea of a perfect destination, but each to their own.
Come on Mr Hitchins tell us please what the annual maintenance fees cost?
February 18, 2014 at 11:39 am #119197
I don’t like the concept at all, either own outright with no communal charges, or go to hotels/rent a villa without the hassle 🙄 I still don’t understand why ‘Iron Bottom’ paid 🙄 for his unit, did he pay full price or get a discount, I’m sceptical, not convinced by this at all?
Does Daley Thompson pay for his regular visits? ❓ My name is really Angelina Jolie Mr Hitchins, can you book me in at preferential rate please? 😉
February 18, 2014 at 11:52 am #119198
I would not be surprised if the 18K was a bottom end price ie: winter weeks. Also the golf fees will not be inclusive. €500 membership then green fees, buggy fees on top. The on site restaurants, bars etc. will all have higher prices than local equivalents and the quality is usually poor with captive custom.
Time share was discredited as a waste of money many years ago. It’s like paying for a hotel room for years in advance then renting it because of the maintenance charge.. Great cash cow for the companies who own it but there’s a lot of flac to take not just on forums. 🙂
February 18, 2014 at 12:04 pm #119199
Off season It is possible to get a 4* Hotel in that area for around £1000 for month, and with half-board. No annual fees either!
February 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm #119200
On their website it mentions reasons why it’s a ‘good time to buy in Spain’ and then immediately quotes one reason being £1 buys 1.19 euros (don’t thinks so Mr Hitchins, that’s still a poor rate for Brits used to be 1.65), then another reason being Spanish property being up to 60% cheaper (a third of which is eaten up by poor exchange rate), however there are properties priced up to 60% lower in Spain but have these Almanzora Desert Springs properties been discounted by 60%? 🙄
Misleading website methinks 😯
You’d do better buying a stand-alone villa or town house without the community costs 😉
OMG. And now I’ve noticed those awful brassy Bentley International Award symbols for best developments etc etc on their site, these were not given out unless paid for by subscription and attending Mickey Mouse award ceremonies, they were all at it then, Ocean (Awful) Estates and 100’s of others, I now expect to see them as members of AIPP which I know very well companies subscribe to in order to give them some credence 👿
February 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm #119202
I think he made a big mistake coming on here and taking you lot on 😆
February 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm #119226
Desert Springs is one of my favourite developments in Spain, and I always enjoy spending time there. It’s beautifully maintained, and has a wonderful community spirit. In more than a decade since my first visit I have never heard of any planning problems there, which is why I allow them to advertise at my website. Nobody has ever complained to me about the development or the developer, which this saying something in this business. Show me another developer in Spain that takes the trouble to come into a forum like this and try engage in an open way? No, there aren’t any. In my opinion this is the best development in Almeria by a country mile.
Fractional is a product that appeals to some people but not to others. If it doesn’t appeal to you fair enough, but don’t assume that everyone is the same as you.
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