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View Full Version : Final stretch Help me decide on Use Year and Home resort


EricMat
03-20-2012, 04:43 PM
I did it! I finally convinced my beloved wife on buying 200 DVC points (approx.).
Now that the hard part is done, I still have a few things to decide before actively hunting for a resale contract. I need to select a Use Year and a Home resort and the help of veteran DVCers would be really appreciated.

Use Year choice :
We are a small family of 3 (my daughter is a month old) and we like to travel during the following months (in priority) :
- April (not during easter period)
- May
- October
- December (beginning)
- November (not during thanksgiving)
- January
NOTE : We do try to avoid traveling during holidays.
What would some of the best Use Year be for us?

Home resort choice :
We would LOVE to buy at Bay Lake Tower, but the price is about $30 more per point than at SSR. On a 200 points contract that's $6 000 more! I guess my real question is how hard is it to get a reservation for a complete 10 nights stay at BLT in a 1BR suite on the day the 7 months window opens?

If we can consistently get a reservation at 7 months out, there is no real reason to buy at BLT, right ? My wife loves BLT and if you guys tell me that, considering the time of the year we are traveling, it will be difficult to get a complete 10 nights stay at BLT at 7 months, Ill buy a BLT contract. On the other hand, if I can secure that kind of reservation pretty easily, Ill buy a contract at SSR and save $6 000.

One final question. How easy is it to place a reservation for HHI or VBR at 7 months for 10 nights in June July - August (2nd part of the month would be doable for us and I think its lower season) - september and beginning of october ?

Ill wait for your input !

Thanks a lot

Eric

lions1995
03-20-2012, 04:59 PM
The best UY is based on the fact that if you cancel a reservation and you are within the last 4 months of your UY, you can not bank the points. So for your example, April UY may be best. However, If you had a January resevation and cancelled in December, you would not be able to bank your points and you would have to use them my March. But I stand by April as your best UY.

As for resort, Buy where you want to (or are willing to stay). I would never expect to get 10 nights at BLT at 7 months. It is way too much demand. Maybe SSR is not ideal, but BLT is too expansive, so you could compromise with another resort.

disneynutz
03-20-2012, 05:04 PM
You should buy where you love to stay unless you are the kind of family that truly doesn't care. You will be spending a lot of money and doesn't it make sense to try the resorts before you buy?

:earsboy: Bill

bakenatj
03-20-2012, 05:10 PM
Congrats, and yes you have passed the greatest hurdle...spouse approval :lmao:

My first advice, take it slow. I know it is very exciting but take your time. I took me 2.5 years before I bought.

If you LOVE BLT, then buy there. Can you get a room there at 7 months???Possibly..... I have, but if that is where you want to stay a majority of your visits then don't risk it and just buy there. You have to be flexible to not care what your home resort is. If you don't mind staying at OKW or SSR once in a while then that should work. Another thing is BLT is near being sold out, so it will become less likely to get a room during low point periods at 7 months.

The other thing about BLT is 200 pts isn't going to be enough points for a 10 night stay every year. For the top 2 options you have listed you are looking at least 384 point for 10 nights in a lake view.

Your final question is the same. You might find a room that time a year, but don't count on it. You are talking about the prime time frame for a resort that does not have the parks as a draw so everyone who owns there will book before 7 months. Not saying you can't find a room but don't count on it.

njmeisje
03-20-2012, 05:33 PM
Congrats on making the decision to buy -- and good luck deciding where and UY. I'm going to offer you a few thoughts. We are a family of 4, and have owned for about 5 years now. Our 2 daughters are young teens now. We own at BCVs and Hilton Head. While your little one is 1 month now -- as hard as it is -- think ahead to how you will be vacationing for years -- as DVC is a long term commitment. If you look ahead, your little one will grow up, and you may (as many of us do) find yourself vacationing during the school holidays. (parents = victims of the school calendar). I know many people pull their kids out of school -- I'm NOT going there, let's NOT have that debate again. (Yawn). All I'm saying is that your vacation plans may change as your little one ages -- so think about that now.

We have an August UY, and it has worked for us. We vacation for Spring Break, and a longer summer holiday. With AUG UY, we find we are typically borrowing from next year into present year. And this has never been a problem for us BUT I will say, we have never had to cancel a trip. That would be the weak point of our UY and summer vacations.

My advice, even with what I've said is -- don't sweat over it. Make a logical choice, and enjoy your points.

I will say -- Buy where you love to stay. Don't make a short sighted choice. We find we love to stay at the smaller resorts most, BCVs, HH, VGC. And it gets harder sometimes to get into the small places at 7 months for extended stays with the overall membership growing.

Good luck and ENJOY!
Diane

DizBub
03-20-2012, 05:56 PM
I see that your DD is an infant. Right now it seems like you will be able to travel whenever you want but as she gets older and goes to school your travel habits may change. Something to consider.

You seem set on BLT and I don't blame you. We own there too. :)
I gotta tell you that booking BLT at 7 months is hard especially if you are looking for standard view. On the up-side 1 bedrooms are usually the last to fill up at most resorts.

We are waiting to close on a 150 point contract at SSR with all banked 2011 points. I would most definately look for those loaded contracts so you can bank/borrow. Be patient. That perfect contract is out there, if not right this minute one will pop up eventually. Maybe even BLT. :thumbsu

EricMat
03-21-2012, 07:37 AM
Wow, thanks a lot for your good advices!
So, here is the plan :
- Rent points at BLT on our next trip to make sure BLT is the best Home resort for us.
- Reevaluate our needs in terms of frequency and duration of our vacations. If need be, consider buying a larger contract at BLT or buy a smaller contract now and add to it later on... maybe go to wdw every other year and buy to VBR for the other year!

For the UY, I think you guys are right, since this is a very long term thing, we have to consider the modification of our travelling habits over time. Maybe an a february or april UY would be adequate.

Thanks again!

Eric

nalajms
03-21-2012, 08:53 AM
You might want to consider the popularity of the UY as well in case you need more points later on. We bought an April UY for BWV and now looking at adding on at BLT. April's not as popular at BLT compared to BWV. So I'll be waiting a while for the right size and price to come along.

disneynutz
03-21-2012, 01:37 PM
Wow, thanks a lot for your good advices!
So, here is the plan :
- Rent points at BLT on our next trip to make sure BLT is the best Home resort for us.
- Reevaluate our needs in terms of frequency and duration of our vacations. If need be, consider buying a larger contract at BLT or buy a smaller contract now and add to it later on... maybe go to wdw every other year and buy to VBR for the other year!

For the UY, I think you guys are right, since this is a very long term thing, we have to consider the modification of our travelling habits over time. Maybe an a february or april UY would be adequate.

Thanks again!

Eric

I see one problem with your plan and it's a mistake that we made.

We wanted to buy BCV and we stayed there before buying. Loved the resort, bought and enjoyed our times there but we noticed that the views weren't that great and it felt like the DVC building was stuck behind the BC like a left over.

We stayed at SSR, OKW and VWL. SSR and OKW were both nice, we like the resorts but not enough to buy there. VWL was another story, it gave us a different feeling that felt like home, so we bought there. The views aren't great but better than BCV.

Then we stayed at BWV. We felt like a kids on our first date, the resort is beautiful,the location is great, the Boardwalk view is the best on property and of course we bought there and stay there every December. It is our favorite resort.

Bought AKV for something different and made the mistake of buying BLT without staying there first. We got caught up in the hype so we bought. The resort is like staying in a hi rise condo off property. Yes it's close to the MK and it has the monorail but that's about it. Average pool, view of the castle in the distance, parking lot and the roof of Space Mountain up close. IMO the building was poorly constructed and I expect increasing dues.

Bottom line is you can't tell which resort is your favorite until you stay there. Some honestly post that they bought XX resort, hate it and never stay there, but that they have been pretty lucky getting rooms at other resorts.

We have 26 contracts, 5 home resorts and vacation at WDW/VB 2 or 3 times per year, extra points are rented. If we had stayed at all of the resorts before buying we would have fewer home resorts.

:earsboy: Bill

EricMat
03-21-2012, 03:13 PM
Great advice Bill!
On our next trip, instead of staying for 10 nights at the same resort, we could rent at 2 different resorts (namely BLT and SSR). It won't be as relaxing, but it's definitely a good way to try a home resort before buying for 48 years!

dr&momto2boys
03-30-2012, 05:04 PM
I'm sure I could be wrong...but personally I don't see how you could ever be disappointed if you buy BLT with a young family. I would look for a good deal on a BLT resale. You'll save some money and be sure to get into BLT as long as you plan ahead. As other's have said, I wouldn't buy elsewhere planning to use it mostly for BLT.

We bought resale at BWV (before BLT was built) sight unseen because we loved the location and wanted the option of the Grand Villa (ruling out BCV) to use with extended family.

As our family grew AND we couldn't resist the idea of staying on the monorail...we bought into BLT (again sight unseen as it wasn't even open yet.)

We've stayed at almost all the DVC resorts now (every one exceot SSR) and are happy with all of them. It's nice to experience different resorts, BUT every time we plan well ahead we always decide to stay at BLT because of the location more than anything.

We are now in the process of buying resale at AKV. This is the first time we've stayed at the resort before buying into it. And funny enough, it will likely be the least used of any of our "homes." I love AKV but only for 3 or 4 nights. For me, it's all about location...and the Grand Villa.

Next on my list to buy: VGC!!! IMO, the second most beautiful resort and the one that feels the most like "home" to me. But again, it's because of the location! It's difficult to get in here at 7 months!
(FTR, Aulani is the most beautiful IMO.)

KAT4DISNEY
03-30-2012, 05:29 PM
Just to add - an Oct UY will cover all of your currently preferred dates of travel. September would also work since you need to cancel up to 31 days in advance anyway or the points would be in holding and Sept has an April banking deadline. April or February UY's will leave points in jeopardy should you have to cancel late for a couple of your listed travel times.

bumbershoot
03-30-2012, 06:10 PM
Great advice Bill!
On our next trip, instead of staying for 10 nights at the same resort, we could rent at 2 different resorts (namely BLT and SSR). It won't be as relaxing, but it's definitely a good way to try a home resort before buying for 48 years!

Split stays aren't unrelaxing. :) Some people pack separate bags for each part of the trip, and just don't touch the bag until it's time. Others don't do that, but it's not *that* hard (IMO) to pack up.

If you have a car, moving is simple. If you won't, just send it off with Bell Services to the next resort. It'll be available after checkin time, so be sure to keep things like bathings suits with you, if you will need such things that day. (I've always felt that swimming is a lovely way to pass the day on a moving day, though we've only rarely done it b/c the call of the parks is too strong) When you are ready to go to the second resort, go on over, and once you have a room and BS has your bags, have them brought up. Unpack and continue on!


We bought at Bay Lake and still haven't stayed there. Got sucked into buying the things available at the time, and that's what was chosen. Since OKW is a fave of ours (as is Boardwalk) it hasn't yet been a problem getting that at 7 months. I wouldn't buy the opposite way, though...buying at OKW/SSR and hoping against hope that Bay Lake was available all the time.

disneynutz
03-30-2012, 06:24 PM
If the MK is where you will be spending most of your time, then BLT, VWL, and GF is close.

I need to bring something else up. After you spend a few years of yearly WDW vacations, some find that they still love Disney but they don't have the same feelings about having to go to the parks every day, getting up for rope drop, and eating at Disney's expensive restaurants. Even the kids get tired of the crowds and the same rides over and over.

That's when owning at your favorite resort can make a difference between a great vacation and a good vacation. More time with the family at the pool, grilling, nice meals in your villa, doing things at the activity center, outdoor movies, campfires, board games.

We pick and choose when we go into the parks based on crowd projections, we don't stay all day and we even had a 10 day stay where the only park we visited was Epcot for about 3 hours.

My point is your resort my not seem important now but you should really take the time to think about which resort works best for the long haul. Of course you can always sell and buy a different resort or if you have the means, buy at all of the resorts. :thumbsup2

:earsboy: Bill

supersuperwendy
03-30-2012, 07:13 PM
That's hard choice to make resort wise...I love them both.

It's so super easy to get reservations at SSR but can be tougher at BLT depending on time of year. For that reason BLT might be a better option for you. I also love that BLT has an extra bathroom in the one and two bedroom villas.

Kidanifan08
03-30-2012, 07:34 PM
Split the difference. Buy 100 pt at each and alternate years spending 200 points at BLT and the next year 200 pts at SSR. Then, after 4 or 5 years, you can add more points at the resort you prefer. If it's BLT, it might be down to $60-70/pt by then.

UY is a tough one. As others have said, your travel plans change as life progresses. If this were my first purchase and I had a kiddo, I would probably look for the a loaded contract for a great price and then decide if the UY was acceptable. DVC does not sell an equal number of points for each UY, so if you see yourself adding-on in the near future, you may want to look at these charts:

http://dvcnews.com/index.php/dvc-program/owning-dvc/1557-distribution-of-dvc-points-by-use-year

As you might expect, the UY's with the smaller distribution of points come up for sale on the resale market less frequently.

Good luck with your decision.:thumbsup2