View Full Version : Worried about purchasing sight unseen. Opinions, please.

09-12-2003, 04:49 PM
DH and I are very interested in becoming members of DVC. We have twin boys who will turn 5 in January. We are leaning towards 150 pts. at SSR. We have never visited any of the DVC resorts. We are just worried about purchasing sight unseen. We have a trip to WDW planned for Nov. 28th-Dec. 7th., but we don't want to lose the incentives that are being offered now (we heard that they will end about a month-and-a-half from now).

We stayed at the Poly in 1997 (before we had kids). We liked the monorail access, but weren't that over-the-moom for the resort itself. We stayed at WL in 2002 with the boys and LOVED it! Our upcoming trip will be 2 nights at ASSp and 7 nights at POR. Our guide indicated that we probably wouldn't be too crazy about ASSp. By the way - we got great DC and AP rates on these rooms. I just keep thinking about what if we really like the moderate and value resorts, and wouldn't mind always staying there on our trips.

We have looked into VWL resales, but the financing is not as good as direct from Disney for SSR (I would never take out a home equity loan), and the representatives that I spoke too didn't sound very confident that Disney wouldn't use their right-of-first-refusal.

Any insights, advice, or information would be greatly appreciated!


09-12-2003, 04:51 PM
We purchased BCV sight unseen. As a matter of fact we had never been to the Beach Club. We had our first stay in June and are VERY pleased. So pleased I just added on 100 points.

You will be VERY happy if you have gotten this far. Don't let not seeing it in person hold you up. I know I am not the only one on this board who bought sight unseen.

09-12-2003, 04:59 PM
With kiddos age 5 I would go for a home resort at WLV if you think DVC is for you. Access by boat from WL makes it a winner for the Magic Kingdom. Buy a resale at WLV and do a home erquity loan. Much better rates than DVC. Even a non-home equity would be better than DVC rates.
As for sight unseen at SSR the 50 year leasehold deed might make a difference. You also could buy SSR and book other DVC resorts at the 7 month window depending on your timeing of your visits.
I'm sure SSR will be very nice and if you really want the incentives and DVC financeing I wouldn't worry about the "sight unseen" part.
Make a great decision and follow the # 1 piece of advice...buy where you want to stay the most.

09-12-2003, 05:04 PM
We bought sight unseen and are very happy. We had gone to Disney every year for about ten years and when we crunched the numbers it looked really good for us (too bad we didn't do it sooner!). It's also nice because there are so many different resorts in DVC, so if one isn't to your taste, there's always another to try. There are some really good pictures on www.wdwig.com to give you an idea of the rooms.

On the other hand, If you're not sure you'll be going to Disney regularly I wouldn't do it. The incentives are nice, but not phenomenal, so if you're on the fence it might make sense to wait.

Anyway, we are very happy with our purchase.

09-12-2003, 05:07 PM
I think you can see the rooms etc on the DVC web site. I am sure that part is available to non-members. Go to Disney.com and click on DVC.

09-12-2003, 05:08 PM
I don't understand the aversion to a home equity loan. Its the cheapest rate, its deductability is more unquestionable than any other method, I think its the best way as long as you have the equity to do it.

Its a far better deal than financing with Disney.

SSR will be a great resort, it will have the same small rooms as the other non-OKW WDW DVC resorts, are you familiar with the layout? It will have a nice location and very nice grounds and a wonderfull spa.

If you want comfort on a truly grand scale, look into an OKW resale. It may even behoove you to take a quick weekend juant to visit. There are a lot of choice and while they are all nice, some appeal to some much more than others.

SSR having a full fifty years is a kicker. I think the resort will be fine and if the true comfort of an OKW unit doesn't sway you, the twelve extra years at SSR may be all you need.

DVC stays can be roughly said to cost about moderate or cheaper. For moderate or cheaper prices, you get DVC deluxe resorts.

09-12-2003, 05:17 PM
Hi Guyzmom,
I too started my purchase of BCV before seeing any of the DVC villas.

We visited WDW Labor Day Week (last week) and we had the opportunity to visit OKW and VWL and tour the BWV, SSR, and BCV models.

I was very impressed with all the DVC offerings. I was not disappointed and the only second guessing I did was to get on the waitlist to purchase points at OKW, as we were very imppressed with the immaculate maintenance and unit size of this Resort, even though it is the oldest, we would love to stay there.

I used my DVC backpack during our stay and met many members, and not one had a negative word to say about DVC. Just how much they were enjoying it and tips on how to get the most out of our stay.

The front desk at OKW was very kind in showing us a studio and Grand Villa and there was not so much as a scuff on the hardwood floors! They don't have models at OKW, which makes our visit even more remarkable.

I have never stayed in a Value Resort, as we always chose offsite accomodations when comparing the costs and amenities. Never stayed in a Moderate for the same reason.

In a deluxe DVC Resort, we give up space compared to offsite, but we gain much more in terms of amenities, convenience, and activities.

I have fixed costs at the BCV for the next 38 years. Just like in a Home, my taxes (dues) may increase, but not the cost of the home, even though the value of that home has increased.

09-12-2003, 05:18 PM
Thank you so much to everyone who replies to my post. I truly appreciate your effort. I know that our aversion to a home equity loan is weird, but it's just the way we are. We just equate it to not wanting to use our home as a bank (we're 33 and 35, and will have it paid off in 9 years). We feel like if things would ever get really bad, we would still always have a home.

I've read a lot, and checked all the pictures that I could, but that still not like being there (seeing, touching, feeling the atmosphere).

Thanks again,

09-12-2003, 05:25 PM
The things that were important to me when purchasing DVC were the washer/dryer and the kitchen facilities. With 2 boys you are going to be doing laundry on your trip no matter how long you stay. It is a heck of a lot easier to have those facilities in your room rather than have to run find the resort laundry room. With the kitchen facilities we never cook anything fancy, but it is nice to be able to buy breakfast food, snacks and sandwich fixin's to have in your room. If you want to fix something more elaborate, the oven, cooktop and microwave are available. With the dishwasher and all the cookware and tableware you need at your fingertips it was an easy choice (once I talked DH into it) for us.

09-12-2003, 05:42 PM
I agree with Richyams (wonders never cease!) regarding the home equity loan. It is a much better rate than what Disney is offering, plus it is deductible on your taxes!
If you are going to WDW Nov 28, that is not very far from now I am sure they will still be offering some type of incentive to buy SSR then and for quite a while. Maybe if you contact a guide and explain the situation you could even get locked into whatever incentive they are presently offering.
Since you are going to be at WDW very soon, I would take the time to go visit each of the DVC resorts and spend some time there walking around, maybe having lunch, or spend the evening etc. Get the feel for each resort and take the tour of the rooms and see all of your options; very nice way to spend time at WDW, btw.
If you were not going to WDW very soon or if incentives to buy at SSR were about to be ended, that would be a different story but you have the perfect window of opportunity. You could most likely even buy at SSR while at WDW if you decide on that resort.
All the DVC resorts are wonderful resorts but they are all very different with some varying more so than others. What appeals to one person and is worth a financial investment to one is very often the complete opposite for another. I would definitely contact a guide and let them know of your interest and then take advantage of your trip to visit all the DVC resorts and weigh all the options and then make the choice that fits your family. Also don't dismiss resales too fast, there are often good deals to be found with banked pts at a substantially lower cost than what Disney is charging.
Good luck!

09-12-2003, 06:03 PM
My DH and I are in the process of buying and have not seen the property. As a matter of fact, we have never stayed on Disney property! :o The keys for us were the attractive incentives, the laundry facilities and full kitchen in a 1 bedroom, and the 50 years! We are in our mid-late 20s, so the 50 years was very important! We also don't have kids and typically rent a car, so location was less important. We looked at the pictures on-line, read some reviews regarding the resorts, analyzed our future vacation habits, and went for it! :Pinkbounc

09-12-2003, 06:12 PM
We bought after seeing the models and hearing the great incentives but we would have done it without seeing the models anyways. For us it was a matter of investing in our families vacation future. My family never vacationed growing up so it is especially important to me now. I feel like when we do have kids and take them to places like disney it will be important to have at least a 1 bedroom suite so that they can nap, sleep, have quiet time, etc. while DH and I can still talk, watch TV, etc. I also really liked having laundry in the room and a full kitchen to help on costs. For us and how we like to vacation - DVC seemed like the only way to go. I suspect that to make up for the distance we'll use a car more but that's no big deal for us.

09-12-2003, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by guyzmom
I know that our aversion to a home equity loan is weird, but it's just the way we are. We just equate it to not wanting to use our home as a bank

I have seen ALL my friends erase any equity they had by getting a home equity line of credit. They just spent the money a little at a time on nothing. That check book they give you is evil.

I am with you on this one. If for some reason you can not make the payments on the DVC loan they will not be taking your home away from you.

I would rather pay the higher interest rate.

I am buying a condo sight unseen. I will be closing later this month if the hurricane does not destroy Myrtle Beach. The first time I see the condo in person will be the pre closing walk through.

09-13-2003, 10:36 AM
we stayed off-site in May 2001 but walked around the lake at BWV thinking we could never stay there (BWV) When we got home I found this site ( the dis) and after a few questions knew BWV was for us. We took the money for our May trip(2002) about $1200 cash for our on-site room and used it for down payment over the phone /site unseen ( never took the tour or went into BWV) made 1st trip in July 2002 at BWV on pts(resale at TTS).
We like it so much we added on 100 pts our next trip May 2003. going in Oct 2003 and already have 2 bedroom at BWV for April 2004:bounce: :bounce:

09-13-2003, 10:43 AM
We bought at BWV sight unseen and have never regretted it for a minute. Well maybe only one regret, that we didn't do it sooner:)

09-13-2003, 12:05 PM
We bought in 1998 sight unseen after reading about it on the DIS and performing all of the customary "opportunity cost" calculations. We just returned from our second trip to Hawaii, been snow skiing, been to Vero Beach and taken 10 trips to Disney World (all on points). We wouldn't have done any of this without DVC. It's the most fun investment we've ever made!!!

09-13-2003, 12:25 PM
I understand how you feel about not getting a home equity loan. I noticed that you are in Texas (I used to work for EDS in Plano) and until fairly recently they were not available. So many of us who lived in Texas during that time never would consider one even now.

When I was looking to buy a home in CA about ten years ago during a housing slump, I was amazed at the people who had owned their homes for decades (with literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of appreciation) who owed MORE than the value of their home.

I owned my home in CA for many years and had a LOT of equity when I sold. I was able to take an early retirement. I used to drive telemarketers for home equity loans crazy - I could have taken out a huge loan - but boy am I glad that I didn't.

Home equity loans can be great for some people, but you should never take any kind of loan that makes you uncomfortable.

PS - I just bought at SSR sight unseen. The information in this board was probably worth more than a dozen tours.

09-13-2003, 01:10 PM
I agree a home equity loan should never be taken just for the heck of it but then no loan should be taken out with that mind set. But with the very low home equity rates right now it is often possible to roll over an existing mortgage that is winding down in payoff date to a home equity loan with the same pay off date as the existing mortgage but at a much lower rate. By getting the lower rate you can borrow enough to pay off the existing mortgate have enough for a DVC purchase and still have the home equity pay off date the same as the orginial mortgage, the DVC payoff date the same, your monthly payments not much higher than the orginal mortgage payments due to the lower interest rate and certainly lower than if you were paying the orginal mortgage and a DVC loan through Disney ever month for the same time period and you have a nice tax deduction. The difference in the amount you pay back with a lower interest rate can sometimes be as much as half the amount!
Now I am not saying have loans out for the total equity of your home, no way! But if I was taking out a loan for a DVC purchase and that would be the only debt I had against my equity I would do that way before paying double the amount through Disney. For someone that has a lot of equity in their house the $20,000 or so a DVC purchase requires and especially with low payoff period is certainly not depleting your equity and it will save a lot of money in lower interest payments. Real estate is one of the very top valuable assests most people own and it can very often be used to your advantage financially. Of course at all times with a home equity loan, like all loans you must use your head and do not commit yourself to something that financially is out of your reach. Also something else to keep in mind, just because a loan is not a home equity loan does not mean the creditors can not put a lean on your assests which most definitely includes your home if you default on the loan!

09-13-2003, 03:32 PM
When do you plan to travel?

Although buy where you want to stay is good advice, you will be able to stay at all the DVC resorts over the years if you are patient, flexible with your dates, and don't get your heart set on any one resort. So if you love VWL you will likely be able to book there without a problem - just don't get your heart set on it and don't travel at peak VWL times (Thanksgiving through Christmas, for instance).

09-13-2003, 08:45 PM
We bought sight unseen in May of 2000. We have added on 3 times since then. We think it is the best purchase we have ever made. We new after our first visit we wanted more points. Our only regret also is that we didn't do it sooner.

09-13-2003, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by DeeP
I agree with Richyams (wonders never cease!) regarding the home equity loan. It is a much better rate than what Disney is offering, plus it is deductible on your taxes!
Good luck!

It is my understanding that the Disney financing can also be deductible as a second home. Of course my guide stated that she cannot give tax advice, she said many members use this interest deduction.

Any tax experts out there that can add anything to that?

09-13-2003, 09:24 PM
We purchased a small contract at OKW sight unseen. We will be taking our first trip in a little more than a month and we are excited!

Well, I am. My wife is still not totally 'Disney-fied' yet, but she will be when we walk into that spacious and wonderful 1-BR unit at OKW! I can't wait.

At any rate, we are in the same situation (Me and wifey 31 with only 9 years left to own outright) so a home equity loan does make it seem like you're working backwards. But, if you aren't 100% sure about purchasing at such a large amount of points (150 minimum to 'buy-into' DVC), then purchase a resale contract with banked points! I got a 75 point OKW contract with all 75 points from previous year banked....that means, I have 150 points right up front on the contract! You can either 'rent' those points to others and then create your own little 'Magical Beginnings' program or just enjoy the heck out of it! It's a smaller up front investment and you can always do add-ons after that.

Good luck with your decision making.

09-13-2003, 09:25 PM
Ive been a DVC member for about 6 yrs-my only regret is that I didnt add on more pts! I did when I was on the Aug 30 cruise, but I cant get those pts until May @ Saratoga Springs! My son-geez hes only 20 yrs old-thought about it all week & the last night-he bot 150 pts! He just recd his book of info/papers etc to sign-the interest rate is 10l75! we are both going to pay DVC off in Mar 04 bef we have to pay interested-did you figure what you will pay in interest charges for the whole 10 yrs?? Thats a lot of pts! its like 7,000 for just 150 pts! & Im in Canada, so geez-thats over $10,000 in just interest!!!

09-13-2003, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by DeeP
I agree with Richyams (wonders never cease!) regarding the home equity loan. It is a much better rate than what Disney is offering, plus it is deductible on your taxes!
Good luck!

Sorry to belabor a point you seem set on....but....

I would say that it is actually a more responsible move to take the home equity loan at the far lower interest rate. It is certainly much cheaper in the long run. The only people that should be taking out Disney high interest loans are those not responsible enough or too young to have equity in their homes.

I think your idea of 'responsible' is somewhat restricted. I would recommend speaking to a financial advisor, find the most conservative one that you can, I am certain that you would be advised to use the equity in your home as a tool to lower your cost on this additional debt.

You have it, why not take advantadge of it??

09-14-2003, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Richyams
Sorry to belabor a point you seem set on....but....

I would say that it is actually a more responsible move to take the home equity loan at the far lower interest rate.

Any financial planner who is actually out to help you will never force you into a financial decision that you are unconfortable with.

Each person has a different risk tolerence level. A good financial planner will take your risk tolerence level into consideration.

While I am happy to invest 100% of my retirement money in stocks (I am only 31) I am NOT going to use my home equity for any other purpose then to improve my home.

I would not be able to sleep at night.

09-14-2003, 09:27 AM
I bought into DVC in 2000, sight unseen as well. Have never regretted it for a moment!

But if you're pretty unsure, I'd take DeeP's advice and hang on until you go down in November. Then take the tour, check out as many of the DVC properties as you want, and see what you think.

Good luck, and keep us posted! :D

09-14-2003, 09:55 AM
My recommendation is to rent some points and go visit the resorts for yourself and decide which you want as a home resort. Through the resale market you have lots of choices. You may not be thrilled with the location of SSR, and you might be. But it's lots of money, a long time span of use, you don't want ot have ownership in one home resort wishing that you had choosen another. If your thinking of SSR, there's no rush anyway. Check the place out. There are lots of advantages to WLV, BCV and BWV resorts in my opinion. FOr some comparison information check out:

09-14-2003, 10:30 AM
If you are that risk adverse to a home equity loan, why not wait and pay cash. A lot of DVC members purchase without any financing.

I don't like debt at all. We don't have any except about three years left of a mortgage (not bad, considering we bought this house five years ago). I keep a home equity line of credit available - because I'd rather use that for surprises than a high interest credit card - but I threw out that checkbook - when the money is required I have to go to the bank and do a transfer (I can do it over the internet as well, but its not so simple).

When it came time to purchase DVC, we waited until we had cash available (actually, closing - despite being late - beat the cash arriving we were using, so there was a two week home equity loan in there).

Where others say "we should have done it sooner" I'm perfectly happy to say "I'm glad we waited until I could pay for it from my savings account."

09-14-2003, 10:30 AM
We bought in 2001 sight unseen at OKW. Everything went great and we bought an add-on last December. Remember, they are correct when they tell you to buy where you want to stay.

09-14-2003, 10:33 AM
Tax 58, did you buy your addon @ OKW? thru resale? or did you put your name on the waiting list? thanks

09-14-2003, 10:35 AM
We were lucky to have stayed at OKW with cash before we bought. We didn't know there was a timeshare there until we were on sight. I saw people taking tours and when we got home and found out we were going again the next year, I called. They sent me the info and we bought on the phone. I have to say the info they send is correct and the pictures are real. What you see is what you get. All the info online is great and should help with your choice. Don' worry about buying sight unseen. You will not be disappointed. We stayed at SS before it was SS. It is a lovely location and very close to OKW where we are members. We used the home equity loan because I could do all the paper work here and not by mail. I think these loans are cheaper. As for buying from Disney, I would because it is easier and cheaper for SS.

09-14-2003, 11:12 AM
Wow! This has turned out to be a super thread! You have all given me so many things to think about. I truly appreciate all of the great info and opinions.

Thanks so much,

P.S. I'll be sure to let everyone know what we ultimately decide.

09-14-2003, 11:57 AM
I bought sight unseen and mostly not built yet back in 1992 and had no regrets.

Gail & Joe
09-14-2003, 12:04 PM
We bought sight unseen in April. We have been going to WDW and staying in the Deluxe rooms and decided to buy after I watched the video. We will be making our first trip home in Dec. and I know that we will love it.

Mouse Ears
09-14-2003, 12:08 PM
Count us in as 'sight-unseen' DVC members. We bought at the BCVs having never seen any of the DVC units or the Epcot resort area. The only way we were comfortable with this was the great information and satisfaction represented at this board and the quality of Disney's resorts in general.

We have yet to see BCV, but I don't expect to be a bit disappointed. I feel like I probably know DVC as well as many of those who have toured thanks to the helpful people here.

Best of luck with your decision! Don't wait too long, the prices continue to rise...

09-14-2003, 12:09 PM
No question - we bought site unseen at WLV, 225 points, thanks to members of this board answering all of our questions. We made our first trip home July 2002 and our only regret was not buying sooner. Now keeping with the tradition of buying site unseen and being addicted to DVC, we just added 125 at the BCV.

We can't wait to spend Christmas there this year... 19 - 27 December!

09-14-2003, 01:58 PM
Have you ever been anywhere Disney that was not Magical?

We purchased an OKW resale in November 2002. We used a Home equity loan because of the low interest rates and the tax deduction. We are 33 and 35 with a DD who is 6.

SSR wasn't available at the time. OKW was our favorite! Not sure how we would have decided between the two at this point in time.

We will be "Home" in one month and are very excited to see what we have purchased. We have been to HHI and LOVED it! We are going back to HHI in March.

Not only did we buy DVC sight unseen, but we haven't really experienced WDW in 12 years. We have never been to AKL, Epcot or MGM.

We love all things Disney, so the DVC was a no brainer for us.

We thought we would be paying on our 300 points for years, but due to a mistake on a stock sale we will have our resale purchased paid off in 1 year instead of 10!:Pinkbounc