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Old 01-03-2014, 09:45 AM   #1
itutorfortravel
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My plan - how does it sound - anything i am overlooking?

You all have been great at answering lots of questions for me lately! And I am sure I will have many more :-) but right now I sort of have a plan in mind and want to see if this sounds good and reasonable to those of you who have gone done this road already or are considering it along with me...

Our family has been to Disney World many times over the past several years. We have never stayed on site because we have had access to off-site accommodations at a really good price. However those accommodations have been condo style so we know if we stayed at Disney we would really enjoy the vacation villas. We have visited many of the resorts on our trips just to walk around and take in the sights and eat at various restaurants. The wilderness Lodge has always held special appeal for us:-)

We don't go to Disney every year. Maybe with dvc membership that will change but there is no way for us to know that yet. So we have talked about purchasing a smaller contract to start, like maybe 75 to 100 points, and then adding on later if we want to.

One hesitation I have in purchasing an additional contract later is how important it would be to have the same UY? Am I going to run into any frustration or booking issues having different UYs? If so can you explain?

Also if we decide we want to do a vacation that requires more points someone told me on an earlier thread that I could rent points as long as they could be transferred. What does that mean and how does that work?

Lastly am I crazy for considering this purchase without visiting these resorts in person? Like I said we have visited many resorts on our trips to Disney... The wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, The poly, contemporary, Port Orleans.. So I feel I know what Disney properties in general are like... Wonderful!!! We have probably spent the most time at wilderness Lodge so even though I haven't seen the villas I feel like I'm well acquainted with the property. Personally I don't have an issue with buying into a villa sight unseen but I don't know if I'm just getting over excited and if I should be more cautious. Would you advise against what I'm considering and if do why?

Thanks a bunch!!!
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:43 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by itutorfortravel View Post
One hesitation I have in purchasing an additional contract later is how important it would be to have the same UY? Am I going to run into any frustration or booking issues having different UYs? If so can you explain?
With 2 different UYs, it’s like you are 2 different members. If you try to book a room for a week but only have enough pts to book 3 nights with the first contract and 3 nights with the second contract and you need to pool the leftover pts from both contracts to book the last night of the stay, you cannot do that with 2 different UYs. You can get around that by transferring pts between your 2 contracts (home resort window limitations will still apply) but that may limit you from doing any additional transfers out or in. Also, transferred pts can be banked but they cannot be borrowed, so that can also limit you.

with multiple contracts under the same member number (they have to be under the same UY and titled the same), it's much easier as the contracts function pretty seamlessly as if they were one big contract.

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Also if we decide we want to do a vacation that requires more points someone told me on an earlier thread that I could rent points as long as they could be transferred. What does that mean and how does that work?
There are 2 separate things: renting pts (which is misnamed – you cannot rent pts, you can only rent a reservation) and point transfers. So:

1) You rent a reservation and have the other owner ask MS to link that reservation to the reservation that you made with your pts. But the rented reservation is not under your control until you check-in. You cannot call MS about that reservation for any reason – you are renting and don’t “own” it. You might have to check out of your reservation and check back in to their reservation…usually they try to keep you in the same room but there is a risk of having to move.

2) You have the other owner transfer pts into your account (as I said above, home resort windows still apply). In this case you do own the pts and can pool them together with the pts you own to make a longer reservation. It’s easier and you have more control…but you are limited to one transfer per UY, either in or out…so if you had 2 contracts and already used up your one transfer to combine those pts, you might not have the option to transfer more pts in from another owner (MS sometimes doesn’t count a transfer to yourself against you…and sometimes they do.)

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Lastly am I crazy for considering this purchase without visiting these resorts in person?
If you’ve looked into the pictures of the villa interiors and you’ve seen a model room or 2, I think you have a great idea what to expect. It also helps if you have some idea of what the sofabeds are like if you plan to use those. if you are just happy to be on-property, i don't think it matters that much, but opinions vary...
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by chalee94 View Post
...1) You rent a reservation and have the other owner ask MS to link that reservation to the reservation that you made with your pts. But the rented reservation is not under your control until you check-in. You cannot call MS about that reservation for any reason – you are renting and don’t “own” it. You might have to check out of your reservation and check back in to their reservation…usually they try to keep you in the same room but there is a risk of having to move....
And this is almost the same situation when you book your stay using two different UYs. Except you can call about both reservations because you own both of them. But the best they can do is link them so you stay in the same villa, and you will have to check out and check back in again. So it messes with your Magic Bands (and FP+) and your dining plan and your Magical Express.

Years ago, DVC was seamless with these types of reservations and you didn't even need to check out and check back in. But with the software change in 2011 and the new technology, they seem to have gone backwards in customer service.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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With only 100 points plus small addons, it would be best to keep the same location and use year for all your points.

You may have to hunt for VWL to get exactly what you want and it may take some time, but you can always TRANSFER DVC points into your account as then you control the reservation vs renting and having little control.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:37 AM   #5
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If you love VWL that much, I would buy there even if you have not experienced all the DVC resorts. VWL is very small and very difficult to get at certain times, esp. December.

I have seen somewhere in the past a breakdown of the % of points per UY at resorts. Maybe someone here can provide a link. If you would buy one of the UYs that is more common, finding another one later to add-on may be easier. I know UY is important to some degree, but to be honest your vacation habits will change over the length of your ownership. As long as you can make the UY work for your current habits, do not get too hung up on if it is the "best UY".

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Old 01-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #6
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Smaller memberships are harder to manage with two different UY's. If you have enough in each and can use them on their own, without having to worry too much about mixing, then its easier.

We have two-Dec and June. It works for the times we travel now but I also have 180 in one membership with points at BLT and then 250 points in Dec UY with points at BWV and BLT. That is what helps making it a bit easier, but there are times where I am borrowing in one contract vs. dealing with having to transfer, etc. It would have been so much easier in one, but then again, we started with a June UY and now want to travel at the end of May so having a Dec UY works really well for that.

I say, if you have visited VWL and like the resort, then starting there makes sense and adding on from there. Think about when you might likely travel and try to choose a UY that works with that. Once you know, you will have a better idea of choosing a UY that fits as well as maybe one that is a bit more frequent on the resale market.

Good luck!
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by LauraLea View Post

I have seen somewhere in the past a breakdown of the % of points per UY at resorts. Maybe someone here can provide a link. If you would buy one of the UYs that is more common, finding another one later to add-on may be easier. I know UY is important to some degree, but to be honest your vacation habits will change over the length of your ownership. As long as you can make the UY work for your current habits, do not get too hung up on if it is the "best UY".

Laura
Here is the link of the UY breakdown.

http://dvcnews.com/index.php/dvc-pro...on-by-use-year
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by itutorfortravel View Post

One hesitation I have in purchasing an additional contract later is how important it would be to have the same UY? Am I going to run into any frustration or booking issues having different UYs? If so can you explain?
As far as booking windows are concerned, the UY has NO effect on that. You will always be subject to the 11/7 booking window, regardless of your UY. As others have pointed out, with different UY, you cannot combine points for a single night. Let's say you have 2 100 point contracts with different UY's. Your planned vacation is 175 points....5 nights at 35/night. Without banking or borrowing, you could only book 4 nights, 2 with each contract. This is where the transfer comes into play. You would need to transfer 5 points from one contract into the other so that you would have the 35 points available in one contract. This would take up your one transfer per year...in for one and out for the other. There are reports, as previously mentioned, that MS has been lenient with regards to transfers between one owner's contracts, but that is not the official policy and cannot be considered normal.

The other consideration is that you will have 2 different banking deadlines. With a calendar and an alarm, you should be able to easily manage this, but it can also effect your points if you need to cancel a reservation. Keep that in mind. It's not impossible, just a bit more complicated.

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Originally Posted by itutorfortravel View Post
Lastly am I crazy for considering this purchase without visiting these resorts in person? Like I said we have visited many resorts on our trips to Disney... The wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, The poly, contemporary, Port Orleans.. So I feel I know what Disney properties in general are like... Wonderful!!! We have probably spent the most time at wilderness Lodge so even though I haven't seen the villas I feel like I'm well acquainted with the property. Personally I don't have an issue with buying into a villa sight unseen but I don't know if I'm just getting over excited and if I should be more cautious. Would you advise against what I'm considering and if do why?

Thanks a bunch!!!
I looked at the pictures and read trip reports from folks who'd visited HHI. We bought a contract for HHI and we'd never even been to South Carolina! After our first visit (which, ironically was booked with AKV points!) we were SO glad we bought the points. I didn't know how small HHI is (only 21 1BR's) or how popular it has become over Easter. Now, we know that every three years, we have enough points at HHI to go for spring break.

It seems like you have done your research. Good job...you are ahead of the game. It would be ideal to try and "test drive" each DVC property, but the reality is that it is an expensive proposition. We own at AKV but we have stayed at BWV, BLT and OKW too. I can honestly say that I would still buy AKV if I had to do it over. I love BWV and OKW, but I would never be disappointed if I had to stay at AKV. When the time comes to choose your home resort, the important thing to ask yourself is "If I had to stay here every time, would I spend my vacation wishing I were at a different resort?" If the answer is, "yes", you need to buy the other resort.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:41 PM   #9
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With all due respect, you probably don't know what you like. We thought we did but we were wrong.

I wouldn't buy a house without checking out the neighborhood first and visiting the house several times. Your Disney vacations and DVC purchase and dues will cost you as much as a house. We made that mistake big time.

We thought that we would love BLT, bought there, not our favorite. Bought AKV, nice resort, again not our favorite. Bought BCV and BWV, like BWV hands down as our favorite. Bought VWL, love the resort, our favorite MK resort and when we feel like living the life we bought VGF as a second MK resort.

Nothing worse than buying a property, staying at other resorts and having your family saying that they like other resorts better than the one you bought.

Second to that is not being able to get the room you want at the other resorts at 7 months and having your family ask why.

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Old 01-03-2014, 05:16 PM   #10
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Let me preface this by saying that Bill (disneynutz) is one of the most valuable posters to this board, and I know that his advice is given wisely. Here, I will disagree, but that needs explaining:

We bought VWL sight unseen (beyond the Internet and these boards), because we liked the vibe of the Wilderness Lodge in general. We decided that since we were going to spend the money to stay at a Disney Deluxe on our next trip, and had the cash on hand to buy a resale without a loan, that purchasing VWL without staying there first was a good call.

For our family, this was the right decision. Bill is absolutely correct that it would be best to stay at every resort you might want for home, before you commit. But in my opinion, that would have been awfully expensive to do, as there are at least a half dozen of them that we would be glad to have as "home."

Now certainly, before spending the money to buy any place "direct," I would stay there first. You need to know exactly what you're getting to drop that kind of money. But if you're going to buy a 2042 expiration place on the resale market, and you have a strong idea which one is your preference I would say "go for it."

It worked for us. Your experience may vary. But speaking of my own home resort, I feel that VWL is the "real deal" and you will get what you bargain for at this property. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Msmithmd View Post
Let me preface this by saying that Bill (disneynutz) is one of the most valuable posters to this board, and I know that his advice is given wisely. Here, I will disagree, but that needs explaining:

We bought VWL sight unseen (beyond the Internet and these boards), because we liked the vibe of the Wilderness Lodge in general. We decided that since we were going to spend the money to stay at a Disney Deluxe on our next trip, and had the cash on hand to buy a resale without a loan, that purchasing VWL without staying there first was a good call.

For our family, this was the right decision. Bill is absolutely correct that it would be best to stay at every resort you might want for home, before you commit. But in my opinion, that would have been awfully expensive to do, as there are at least a half dozen of them that we would be glad to have as "home."

Now certainly, before spending the money to buy any place "direct," I would stay there first. You need to know exactly what you're getting to drop that kind of money. But if you're going to buy a 2042 expiration place on the resale market, and you have a strong idea which one is your preference I would say "go for it."

It worked for us. Your experience may vary. But speaking of my own home resort, I feel that VWL is the "real deal" and you will get what you bargain for at this property. Good luck with your decision.
Thanks .

It also depends on your plans and the type of vacationers you are. We started out as park people taking 3 WDW vacations per year and buying the DDP when it was first offered. The resort and room was just a place to sleep.

Years later the parks are too crowded, the DDP isn't a good buy, and we spend most of our time at the resorts. Our room view is very important to us and we have stayed at all of the resorts many times over.

I suppose that if I had it to do over, I would buy at a less expensive resort and use the points to try all of the resorts out. Either selling those points and buying at our favorite or using the original points to rent.

The other option is to take you best guess and learn to live what you bought, that's what we did.

Bill

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Old 01-03-2014, 06:38 PM   #12
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Thank you all so much! I really appreciate the advice everyone has provided.

I feel like the only resort we really "know" is VWL because we almost always visit there when we go to WDW. (We have yet to ever stay onsite 😱because we have had access to off site condos at prices we couldn't resist) We've walked around other WDW resorts, but VWL is one we have visited several times. And I love it! I love that it's smaller and since we go at Christmas the theming is phenomenal (IMO). I really started this journey thinking that's where I wanted to buy but then DH began talking about being within walking distance to Epcot which might be our fave resort when we are empty nesters in 7 years :-)

We are kicking around the idea of buying a small contract (100 points or less)...that will give us enough for a 4 or 5 day trip each year or a longer trip every other year, and that's pretty much what we do now. We've also heard that it's often easier to resell smaller contracts and that makes us feel a little more comfortable in the event we find DVC isn't for us...though I cannot even fathom that possibility, I am one to I overanalyze everything and try to be prepared for anything LOL!

I wish I could visit all the resorts first to make a fully informed decision, but it would just cost too much and given the small number of points we are talking about, it may not be justified.

So I guess all there is to do now is watch the resale sights and keep my fingers crossed!
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:35 PM   #13
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Many people come to these boards and ask tons of questions. You really seem to be thinking carefully about the entire process. I think your approach is the right one. Buy a small contract first. We initially bought a small contract at VWL which has always been my favorite. Then we stayed at AKL. We loved it even more! No harm done. Small contracts are fairly easy to sell. We bought another small contract at AKL. Sold the VWL contract and actually made a profit of a few thousand dollars this summer. As long as you start small you will be fine. There seem to be more contracts on the lower side then there were the past few months. Good luck!
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