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Old 07-08-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
Son of Gadsden
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Another 'is DVC right for me?" thread.

Well, my wife and I have made Disney our 'thing'. I'm 23, she's 21, and We've been several times since we started dating 6 years ago. We went for our engagement as well, along with our honeymoon, and her birthday and our anniversary. Our trips have added up to about 6 in the past 4 years. We're also now planning a December trip. We live in VA, so when we go, we stay for 7-8 days. Short trips are not very appealing to us. We have no children at the moment. DVC got to us after this last visit as something we may be interested in. We've done tons of research, resale and Disney...we've gotten the packages, the DVDs, and I have been lurking the forums for weeks. However, I still don't have all the answers I want before we get really serious about it. I'm hoping you guys can help me out with that, and let me know if this is something for me.

We stayed at Poly for our engagement and honeymoon, but that is a bit out of our reach for just the casual yearly vacation. So we tried out AoA this past trip in April. We loved it, and it was affordable enough that we can manage to take two trips a year 7-8 days there. However, an issue arises every time we got to Disney. I have really bad knees from some chronic ACL damage I sustained in my motocross career. I experience pretty serious pain if I do a lot of walking, so we take lots of breaks. The long bus rides back to the hotel and the shear distance are just killer, and I know it'll only get worse as I get older. We're showing no signs of getting bored of Disney any time soon, and I think investing in DVC may be a good idea if it can make Contemporary more affordable, since it would allow Monorail access and make the days more enjoyable.

However, I've heard people say you should NOT finance DVCs. Is this pretty much universally accepted as a bad idea? We've got a mortgage, and plenty of capital in our home.

The thing that had me a little stumped though is the numbers. By my count, the Contemporary runs $450 a night or so at the lowest. I saw a resale DVC of 220 points for contemporary for $17,000. If we used those to go twice a year for a week each....the payments would still be less than what we would pay. Should we go for a bigger package like that right away, or should we go for the smaller packages one by one? If we buy 3 contracts of 30 points a piece, we could combine them and use 90 points on one trip, right?

Sorry if I seem to be all over the place on this. I feel like I have a general idea of what DVC is all about, but you guys here really seem to know a lot about this stuff. So based on what I've said, what advice would you give me? We're alright with staying at AoA for now, but eventually we're going to want to have some shorter distances to the parks, and less use of the buses. Not to mention we plan on having kids in the not so distant future.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Son of Gadsden View Post
Well, my wife and I have made Disney our 'thing'. I'm 23, she's 21, and We've been several times since we started dating 6 years ago. We went for our engagement as well, along with our honeymoon, and her birthday and our anniversary. Our trips have added up to about 6 in the past 4 years. We're also now planning a December trip. We live in VA, so when we go, we stay for 7-8 days. Short trips are not very appealing to us. We have no children at the moment. DVC got to us after this last visit as something we may be interested in. We've done tons of research, resale and Disney...we've gotten the packages, the DVDs, and I have been lurking the forums for weeks. However, I still don't have all the answers I want before we get really serious about it. I'm hoping you guys can help me out with that, and let me know if this is something for me.

We stayed at Poly for our engagement and honeymoon, but that is a bit out of our reach for just the casual yearly vacation. So we tried out AoA this past trip in April. We loved it, and it was affordable enough that we can manage to take two trips a year 7-8 days there. However, an issue arises every time we got to Disney. I have really bad knees from some chronic ACL damage I sustained in my motocross career. I experience pretty serious pain if I do a lot of walking, so we take lots of breaks. The long bus rides back to the hotel and the shear distance are just killer, and I know it'll only get worse as I get older. We're showing no signs of getting bored of Disney any time soon, and I think investing in DVC may be a good idea if it can make Contemporary more affordable, since it would allow Monorail access and make the days more enjoyable.

However, I've heard people say you should NOT finance DVCs. Is this pretty much universally accepted as a bad idea? We've got a mortgage, and plenty of capital in our home.

The thing that had me a little stumped though is the numbers. By my count, the Contemporary runs $450 a night or so at the lowest. I saw a resale DVC of 220 points for contemporary for $17,000. If we used those to go twice a year for a week each....the payments would still be less than what we would pay. Should we go for a bigger package like that right away, or should we go for the smaller packages one by one? If we buy 3 contracts of 30 points a piece, we could combine them and use 90 points on one trip, right?

Sorry if I seem to be all over the place on this. I feel like I have a general idea of what DVC is all about, but you guys here really seem to know a lot about this stuff. So based on what I've said, what advice would you give me? We're alright with staying at AoA for now, but eventually we're going to want to have some shorter distances to the parks, and less use of the buses. Not to mention we plan on having kids in the not so distant future.
I'm one of those that feel that financing a luxury purchase or a timeshare (DVC is both) is a bad choice. I don't think we have enough info here to see if DVC is a good choice for you otherwise. As a rule if you're OK with the values, DVC will not be a good choice, one you get to the moderates routinely, it may make sense.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
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Even if BLT is close to the MK, it is not close to DHS and AK and you'll need to take two monorails to get to Epcot. I have two total knee replacements because of arthritis and always took the buses or walked from the adjacent resorts even before I got the replacements. I'm not sure what you mean with the knee pain making you stay at BLT. You still have to walk the parks. Unless you get a scooter.

You know you cannot use BLT points for the Contemporary Resort, right? Just BLT or other DVC resorts or whatever rules are in place when you purchase.

Maybe you should look at BCV or BWV resales because you are a short boat ride away from two parks there.

But just rambling here.

As long as your points are the same UY with the same member number (titled exactly the same) and the same resort, you can combine them for a stay at that resort at 11 months out. If they are not the same resort, you can combine them at seven months out for one resort. And, if you get different UYs, you would need to transfer from one contract to another to combine the points. Or make separate reservations and link them.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:04 PM   #4
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Here's my feelings.

DVC may save you some money on an equal sized room compared to paying cash.

DVC will probably cause you to go more often to WDW, this takes away any savings.

Financing can add thousands to your purchase price.

Buying resale is cheaper than buying direct.

DVC is not a club, it's a bunch of people who bought a timeshare.

DVC rooms don't get updated as often as cash rooms.

Disney is the winner in the timeshare game, we are just along for the ride. They make all of the rules and will do what's necessary to continue to make a great profit.

All related expenses, dues, travel, food, admission tickets, Disney stuff, will continue to increase in price every year.

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Old 07-09-2013, 05:22 AM   #5
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You need to look carefully at your number. It is going to be difficult for you to get two full weeks at BLT for 220 points a year. 2 weeks in a standard view studio goes for between 204 and 334 points depending on when you travel. I took random dates every month of the year. The only time you would get two weeks for 220 would be between september and December which is some of the busiest DVc times of the year and when getting a standard view studio might be very difficult even at 11 months so you may need to book a lake view.

Before deciding to buy DVc be sure you get what you think you are getting from the points that you buy. don't rely on always booking the cheapest level accomodation as there will be times when you simply can't.

I financed DVc but only as a very short term thing, we paid it off in 9 months. I wouldn't advise borrowing for DVc especially at your age. In your late 20's and through your 30's is when life gets serious and can be a time when finances are constrained. You might well regret that loan. We thought about it in 1998 and i am so glad we waited until 2012 to buy in as we knew we wouldn't regret spening the money as we were secure.

A home is an absolute necessity, securing a luxury purchase against that necessity is in my opinion a big risk. Only you can decide if it is a risk worth taking my advice would be not.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:56 AM   #6
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However, I've heard people say you should NOT finance DVCs. Is this pretty much universally accepted as a bad idea? We've got a mortgage, and plenty of capital in our home.
you need a home to live in, so a mortgage isn't a terrible thing in that case. for a lease-type timeshare whose value will ultimately head toward zero (and that is a luxury anyway), financing is putting yourself at risk for a nonessential.

Quote:
I saw a resale DVC of 220 points for contemporary for $17,000. If we used those to go twice a year for a week each....the payments would still be less than what we would pay.
keep in mind that DVC has 1) upfront costs to purchase the contract (like buying a house) and 2) annual dues/maintenance fees that are ongoing (like painting the house, paying for a lawncare service, paying for plumbing repairs, property taxes).

so you'd need to factor in $4.50 to about $6.00 per pt for annual dues (and that will almost certainly go up every year).

Quote:
Should we go for a bigger package like that right away, or should we go for the smaller packages one by one? If we buy 3 contracts of 30 points a piece, we could combine them and use 90 points on one trip, right?
smaller packages cost more up front in higher price per pt plus extra closing costs. but they do make it easier to get out in pieces (you can sell all contracts but one and still be an owner if you don't need 2 trips per year - also easier to will the contracts to children eventually - if they wind up liking disney). smaller contracts also tend to sell more quickly.

in general, i agree with dean that if you are happy at AoA, DVC won't save you money. but if you decide to jump in, you might want to start with a contract that will only get you one disney vacation and spend cash for the other one till you get a handle on whether DVC is your thing...
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:47 AM   #7
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I saw a resale DVC of 220 points for contemporary for $17,000.
Just a word of caution, not sure where you saw this contract listed but most BLT contracts are listed in the high $90 to over 100/point. I have been following BLT for the past three months and never saw one at $77/point (even totally striped). If you choose resale go with one of the four big resale brokers. One other note on resale, a contract must go to Disney for ROFR (right of first refusal) before you can purchase it.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by disneynutz View Post
Here's my feelings.

DVC may save you some money on an equal sized room compared to paying cash.

DVC will probably cause you to go more often to WDW, this takes away any savings.

Financing can add thousands to your purchase price.

Buying resale is cheaper than buying direct.

DVC is not a club, it's a bunch of people who bought a timeshare.

DVC rooms don't get updated as often as cash rooms.

Disney is the winner in the timeshare game, we are just along for the ride. They make all of the rules and will do what's necessary to continue to make a great profit.

All related expenses, dues, travel, food, admission tickets, Disney stuff, will continue to increase in price every year.

Bill
A very good short and to the point summary
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Son of Gadsden View Post
1. So we tried out AoA this past trip in April. We loved it, and it was affordable enough that we can manage to take two trips a year 7-8 days there.

2. However, an issue arises every time we got to Disney. The long bus rides back to the hotel and the shear distance are just killer. I think investing in DVC may be a good idea if it can make Contemporary more affordable, since it would allow Monorail access and make the days more enjoyable.

3. However, I've heard people say you should NOT finance DVCs. Is this pretty much universally accepted as a bad idea? We've got a mortgage, and plenty of capital in our home.

4. Should we go for a bigger package like that right away, or should we go for the smaller packages one by one?

5. what advice would you give me? We're alright with staying at AoA for now, but eventually we're going to want to have some shorter distances to the parks, and less use of the buses.
There have been some really good replies already, so I'll just try to inject my opinions in this.

1. You go or will go enough, which is a factor in buying DVC. But how was AoA compared to the Deluxe resorts that you've stayed at. Do you find it comparable for yourself and your wife? Some people treat a hotel as a place to sleep at night only, others treat the hotel stay as a part of the vacation as well.

2. WDW is big, I believe at any DVC, will require some walking, waiting, transportation riding and moving. Unless you only want to go to MK or Epcot/DHS, you'll have some wait times and walking.

3. I'm a big believer in not financing. If you have to finance, why not finance it yourself. Save the payments for a few years, then eventually you'll have enough. Or if you have enough for a smaller contract, buy that, instead of the big one. Don't take a HELOC, even if you have equity on your home. You will want to ask your financial adviser on this, as no one can make a financial decision for your, except yourself.

4. If you want to buy now but you can only afford a smaller contract, buy the small contract, straight up with cash. Then as you save more, you can add on. (see #3) Maybe you can buy smaller ones at BLT and at BWV/BCV, this would give you "easier" access to 3 parks vs if you bought a big contract at 1, you only have the 11 month advantage at 1 DVC location. Too small and the closing costs will eat up your advantage. Like 3 30 point contracts at 1 location may not be the smartest thing. If you know you want to stay ~14 nights a year, a few 100 point contracts may be a better option, than 10 30 point contracts.

5. If you are ok with AoA, stay there for now, save your money, until you can buy a resale DVC outright with cash. Your knees are better now, than later, so take advantage of your healthier knees and no kids for now. DVC isn't going away. There are rumors floating of a Poly DVC and you said you liked Poly hotel.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #10
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Lots of awesome advice here. Everything I hoped I would hear. I think we're just going to take a pass on DVC for now.

As I was saying AoA is great. The only thing pushing me to get DVC really is the fact that staying in one of the monorail resorts would cut out the buses to 2 parks, at least. And it's much easier to get a seat on a monorail. That long bus ride coupled with the long walk back to the room from MK to AoA is just insane. We love the resort, but as the years go on (not to mention kids), that just won't work. Of course there's also the temptation to stay in one of the nicer resorts since we've been to Poly so many times.

However, the fact that we can NOT use our points for the main Contemporary building is real close to a deal breaker for me. I didn't think about that at all. In the future we may want to do that or Poly, and not having that chance right now makes this not very appealing.

Also was glad to hear the information about 200 points likely not being enough for what we want to do. I really think that at this point, 200 points would be a splurge, and if that's not going to be enough, we really need to push back any hopes of DVC for later in life. We would like to be part of DVC, but honestly I don't think we are willing to sacrifice any trips to make up for the DVC expense.

So once again, thanks for the advice.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Son of Gadsden
Lots of awesome advice here. Everything I hoped I would hear. I think we're just going to take a pass on DVC for now.

As I was saying AoA is great. The only thing pushing me to get DVC really is the fact that staying in one of the monorail resorts would cut out the buses to 2 parks, at least. And it's much easier to get a seat on a monorail. That long bus ride coupled with the long walk back to the room from MK to AoA is just insane. We love the resort, but as the years go on (not to mention kids), that just won't work. Of course there's also the temptation to stay in one of the nicer resorts since we've been to Poly so many times.

However, the fact that we can NOT use our points for the main Contemporary building is real close to a deal breaker for me. I didn't think about that at all. In the future we may want to do that or Poly, and not having that chance right now makes this not very appealing.

Also was glad to hear the information about 200 points likely not being enough for what we want to do. I really think that at this point, 200 points would be a splurge, and if that's not going to be enough, we really need to push back any hopes of DVC for later in life. We would like to be part of DVC, but honestly I don't think we are willing to sacrifice any trips to make up for the DVC expense.

So once again, thanks for the advice.
Sounds like you took all the information to make a decision that works for you. One other thing that hasn't been mentioned...have you considered staying off site? At many hotels/timeshares you can park right outside of your room. You can then catch the parking lot tram which drops you off right at the gates. Something to think about anyway.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:08 PM   #12
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Sounds like you took all the information to make a decision that works for you. One other thing that hasn't been mentioned...have you considered staying off site? At many hotels/timeshares you can park right outside of your room. You can then catch the parking lot tram which drops you off right at the gates. Something to think about anyway.
Eh. We considered it. I'd say if you add all my trips to Disney as a kid and now, I've been probably 12 times or so, and it's all been Poly except once at AoA, once at Port Orleans, and once at an All Star Resort when I was way to little to remember. On our last trip (when we stayed at AoA), a couple we were friends with stayed offsite because one was an employee at another location of a chain of resorts. They got awesome discounts and stayed for a FRACTION of what we paid at AoA. However, after seeing everything they had to do during the day, worrying about parking and driving, etc...not interested.

Part of what lures me to Disney is the relaxation and flexibility. A major part of that, to me, is the transportation. I've got a fairly stressful job where I'm on call 24/7, and I have a hard time unwinding sometimes. Knowing when I get out of that car at our resort, I don't have to do ANYTHING for the rest of the week is nice. So, though the buses can be quite literally a pain, it's still better than driving in my opinion.

Plus, we gotta have some of the Disney magic to lay our heads on at night!
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Son of Gadsden View Post
Lots of awesome advice here. Everything I hoped I would hear. I think we're just going to take a pass on DVC for now.

As I was saying AoA is great. The only thing pushing me to get DVC really is the fact that staying in one of the monorail resorts would cut out the buses to 2 parks, at least. And it's much easier to get a seat on a monorail. That long bus ride coupled with the long walk back to the room from MK to AoA is just insane. We love the resort, but as the years go on (not to mention kids), that just won't work. Of course there's also the temptation to stay in one of the nicer resorts since we've been to Poly so many times.

However, the fact that we can NOT use our points for the main Contemporary building is real close to a deal breaker for me. I didn't think about that at all. In the future we may want to do that or Poly, and not having that chance right now makes this not very appealing.

Also was glad to hear the information about 200 points likely not being enough for what we want to do. I really think that at this point, 200 points would be a splurge, and if that's not going to be enough, we really need to push back any hopes of DVC for later in life. We would like to be part of DVC, but honestly I don't think we are willing to sacrifice any trips to make up for the DVC expense.

So once again, thanks for the advice.
Sounds like you are ahead of the game...rationalized the purchase and realized it's not right for you yet.

I have no doubt that you will be a happy DVC member one day, and won't regret waiting until the time is right.

AND....you can still go to Disney as often as you want!
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:13 PM   #14
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OP, i think you actually sound like a good candidate for DVC - but maybe in 3-5 years (after you build up some cash reserves) like some others have intimated. You'll still be pretty young at that point with lots of years left to enjoy.

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Old 07-09-2013, 10:23 PM   #15
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Just to be a Devil's Advocate. Many DVC owners bought more on emotion than financial analysis.

I think that a single 100 point contract at BWV or BCV would work for you. You could get it for about $7200 + or - $200 including closing costs. BWV Standard View Studios go for as low as 10 points a night during the week. You could bank unused points to the following year or borrow for higher point rooms. At BWV you can rent ECVs to get around WDW.

From BWV or BCV EPCOT is about a 5-10 min walk and DHS is about 20, but with the ECV it is a breeze. I got an ECV at each park for my wife (65) this past March and it was money well spent. The buses have room for 2 ECV's each, but you may just want to return your ECV and rent at MK and AK.

Membership fees will be a little under $6 per point this coming Dec, but if you get a "loaded" contract, you could rent "extra" points painlessly to David's at $11 per point and have money for your first DVC bill in Dec or just lower the cost of your purchase.
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