If you were going to to join DVC all over again......

Discussion in 'Purchasing DVC' started by winniethepooh2, Jun 29, 2013.

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  1. winniethepooh2

    winniethepooh2 Earning My Ears

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    I am a newby to the board :cool1: and thought I would make this my first post.

    I am interested in purchasing at the Grand at DW. I spoke with the rep and he tells me the cost is $150 per point and maintenance fees are around $1,700 annually. I usually go to DW at least once a year and purchase two rooms at the GF. It seems to me if I plunk down $60,000 (400 points) I can get a nice villa or better during the times that I want to go down and my payback would be +/-9 years. Understanding that I would be on the hook for the maintenance fee for the life of the contract, if I am a regular to DW, I don't see the downside to doing this. I confirmed the Deluxe Dining package is available for purchase for everyone in my family (2 adults and 3 children), I would be staying on the same property as I would if I stayed at the Grand Floridian (my usual cost for my stay is $8,000 for the rooms only), and the rooms in the new vacation club building are larger and newer.

    What am I missing and what should I consider before doing this?

    As my title states - those that have purchased, are there any regrets or things you would/would not do?

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. msd1776

    msd1776 Mouseketeer

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    I would have the pts on multiple deeds. I would think this would be important for you with 400 pts as your travel needs can change and you may want to downsize your points in the future.
     
  4. Rochester Disney Fan

    Rochester Disney Fan Mouseketeer

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    Hi and welcome to the boards.

    There is a sticky on the top of these boards ( Resource center) that has a history of all the maintenance fees. Currently GFV is 5.41 so 400 pts will be 2,164 not 1,700.

    As well as saving you some money on the rooms you will also get a discount on your annual passes. Many members ( myself included) stager their trips just a little by starting their second annual trip just a week or so before the time they went the previous year to get 2 years out of a pass.

    The added benefit of having a washer/dryer and full kitchen in your room will have you never wanting to go back to a regular room. Have fun.
     
  5. winniethepooh2

    winniethepooh2 Earning My Ears

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    Sorry - you are correct. I was originally talking to the rep about purchasing in the 300 point range. See your from Rochester - Nick Tahoes for garbage plates - YUM!

    No regrets, things you didn't consider or gotcha items that you experience as a result of your DVC purchase?
     
  6. JimMIA

    JimMIA A little Miami humor...

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    The annual pass discount -- as well as the ability to get DDP -- are CURRENT perks. They are not guaranteed, did not exist just a few years ago, and could go away at any time.

    Both of those particular perks are items which DVC must negotiate with other Disney operating units, so you'd be foolish to consider them regarding a $60,000 purchase.

    Also, OP's comment on DDP is not quite accurate. OP, you can get DDP for anyone -- family or not -- staying in a DVC villa on points. Not staying in some other Disney or offsite property, and not just because you are a DVC owner. The perk is specific to DVC points stays. Again, this perk could go away at any time.
     
  7. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    If I were looking at buying into DVC now instead of 16 years ago? I wouldn't be buying into DVC now. The price per point is just too high.

    The maintenance fee for GFV is $5.41 according to the DVC Resource thread. That put your 400 points at $2164 this year. This fee is likely go up each year. Maybe $464 isn't that much in the scheme of things to you right now, but plan on it to go up each year. That alone is the price of a discounted ticket.

    After the Aulani fiasco, I'm gonna bet they took great pains to determine a correct annual maintenance fee for GFV, but plan on it going up.
     
  8. JimMIA

    JimMIA A little Miami humor...

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    Also, we'd be remiss if we didn't tell you there is an active resale market for DVC points. You can buy some resort contracts for as little as $50 per point.

    You cannot get VGF resale yet, but you will be able to probably within a year...although the price differential won't be that great for the first few years.

    Because you are exclusively interested in GF, resale may not be of interest to you, but you should at least know it exists.
     
  9. winniethepooh2

    winniethepooh2 Earning My Ears

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    Sorry - not familiar with the acronyms yet - I assume DDP is the Deluxe Dining Plan? If so, I was told the dining plan is only available to those that stay at a hotel onsite as well as DVC members and can be purchased for cash - not points. What am I missing? Thanks.
     
  10. Rochester Disney Fan

    Rochester Disney Fan Mouseketeer

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    I waited a few years to make sure returning to WDW was something I was going to be doing with no regrets. Joining DVC has made the trips more relaxing knowing you can always do something next time.

    As far as the contract itself I did not know about splitting the contract into the point structure you might desire later for either selling part or passing it down to children in equal shares. I learned about that on these boards after I joined. I have added on a few times and have it worked out that my twins can now have equal amounts someday if they would want them for their future family.
     
  11. winniethepooh2

    winniethepooh2 Earning My Ears

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    That's the dilemma I face. I realize the cost is going to go up annually BUT 15 years from now (or anytime after my break even from upfront costs is realized) paying even $3,000 annually for a weeks stay seems like it would be worth it when you take into account that the hotel cost at that time would more than likely have increased also. Agree?
     
  12. winniethepooh2

    winniethepooh2 Earning My Ears

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    Splitting the contracts is an interesting concept but passing on the contracts means you are passing on the ability to stay there AND the monthly/annual maintenance fee - correct?
     
  13. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

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    There are a few differences between a DVC stay and regular resort stay that you should be aware of.

    When you stay on points, you don't get daily housekeeping. And also, the villas are different from their resort room counterparts. VGF rooms are very poshly decorated. But for the most part, most DVC villas are less luxe than a regular resort room (and they get refurbed far less often).

    OP, it sounds like you know what you want. Good luck and read, read, read before signing on the dotted line (learn about UY, banking/borrowing, cancellation policies, etc.).
     
  14. Rochester Disney Fan

    Rochester Disney Fan Mouseketeer

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    Yes, when transferring to your direct family members Disney will let the contracts pass to them with the benefits of purchasing direct.

    If the family does not want the contracts, you can sell them on the resell market and the buyers are responsible for the maintenance fees.
     
  15. JimMIA

    JimMIA A little Miami humor...

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    Yes, Disney Dining Plan.

    DDP is available to guests in any onsite Disney resort. DVC members can get DDP for points stays. You pay cash for DDP, but you have to be staying in a DVC villa on points. There is no DVC owner DDP perk -- it's tied to a DVC points stay. For that reason, even non-owners renting DVC reservations have the ability to get DDP on the same terms you do.

    If you book a regular onsite hotel room, you can get DDP subject to the regular DDP requirements for hotel guests. I haven't used DDP in years, so you'd have to check to see what, if any, differences there are between DVC and regular hotel guests.
     
  16. Msmithmd

    Msmithmd DIS Veteran

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    Be aware that as a DVC member you will be eligible for the tables in wonderland card, which in almost every situation comes out financially ahead of any Disney dining plan. Google tables in wonderland for more information.

    And yes, as has been alluded in prior posts, the only thing buying a DVC interest guarantees you is ability to book at your home resort. All other discounts and ability for anything else is not a guaranteed part of membership.

    For what it's worth, in my opinion if you are paying cash, especially for multiple rooms,to stay at the grand floridian annually- then DVC is going to be a good match for you and will be cost effective.

    Just be sure to look yourself in the mirror as to whether you will still be making those same trips 30 years from now. If you're not sure, that's where the posts above about buying it in split contracts are relevant. If you buy a single 400 point contract, you cannot split it up for resale later. It would be exceedingly easier to resell all or part of your points interest later if you were to split your purchase into four-100 point contracts now. It cannot be divided once you own.
     
  17. JimMIA

    JimMIA A little Miami humor...

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    The other "what do you know now?" point I would make is that DVC is not only a very expensive timeshare, it is also an extremely limited timeshare.

    When GF opens, DVC will have 12 resorts, 8 of which are located onsite at WDW. For use exclusively at WDW -- which appears to be your intent -- DVC offers 8 great choices. Nice resorts, probably ranking between deluxe and mod, great locations, great theming...lots to like, and significant value for your money for WDW stays.

    But once you leave WDW, you have practically nothing. One resort in Hawaii (least desirable part of the least desirable island), one in Vero Beach (beautiful resort for a tranquil stay at the beach), Hilton Head (another beautiful resort, although not on the beach) and Grand California. Other timeshare systems offer vastly more variety than DVC -- dozens of more locations.

    Wyndham, for example, has about 90 resorts in 26 states, including 16 in Florida (5 in the WDW area) and 11 in Hawaii...ALL of which are better located than Aulani. That's 90 places to go without leaving the Wyndham internal system via an exchange. And you can buy Wyndham contracts for $1 on eBay...often with free closing.

    In addition, many other timeshare systems include FULL RCI or II membership in their maintenance fees. With DVC, you have limited indirect access to only about 600 or RCI's more than 3,200 resorts. You do NOT have full individual RCI membership (and can't get it), and therefore cannot take advantage of their many great cash vacation offerings.

    The non-DVC, non-RCI options currently offered to DVC owners are generally laughable from a value perspective. You would almost always be better off paying cash than using your DVC points for those options. You lose most of those "opportunities" if you buy resale, and that is actually a blessing rather than a loss.
     
  18. dmunsil

    dmunsil Disney Uber-Nerd

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    One minor correction: when transferring to anyone as a gift, whether direct family members, extended family members, or friends, Disney lets the contracts pass to them with direct purchase benefits. Disney does not care who you transfer the contract to, only that no money changed hands.

    And to the OP, if I knew then what I know now, I would have purchased resale a few years ago. There are tradeoffs with buying resale versus buying direct from Disney.

    Pros of resale:
    • You can get any of the other resorts at WDW as your home resort (except the Grand Floridian, since nothing is on the resale market yet)
    • You save a ton of money.

    Cons of resale:
    • You have to be patient; it takes longer to find the right contract on the resale market, make an offer, get it accepted, go through closing, etc.
    • You lose certain exchange options offered by Disney for cruises and non-DVC hotels. These are not significantly discounted over paying cash (or discounted at all once you account for your buy-in cost), they're primarily convenience uses. But it is more convenient to have other uses for your points you can just make one call to do.
    • Lately they've had several member-exclusive cruises and Adventures By Disney trips that have only been open to people who bought their points from Disney rather than resale. Again, financially this is not particularly interesting, but the member trips/cruises often have some minor but unique things about them that might interest you.

    Pros and cons of DVC over staying in a hotel:

    Pros:
    • You save massive amounts of money over hotel rooms if you book DVC Studio Villas, or you are able to stay in a small apartment with a kitchen and laundry and a living room for still less than you'd pay for a deluxe hotel room.
    • There are a variety of discounts and perks that add up to some nice savings. These are all incidental benefits and can be removed, but they exist now, and most people think it's likely that they'll continue in some form.

    Cons:
    • DVC rooms that are booked on points get booked up really early at the most popular resorts and booking categories, like 7-11 months in advance. Hotel rooms (or even DVC rooms) can usually be booked for cash much, much later, even at popular times of year. So you absolutely have to plan ahead if you have specific rooms you want. If you don't mind staying at Saratoga Springs all the time, you can book last minute.
    • DVC Studio Villas are not exactly the same as similar-sized hotel rooms. Hotel rooms have two beds, and DVC studios have one bed and one pull-out sofa. DVC studios have a microwave, but are missing a desk compared to a hotel room.
    • Other folks have mentioned that you get less housekeeping. Though you can pay extra for more housekeeping and you're still saving money.

    All of that said, I'd still buy and wish I had bought sooner. The savings (or ability to stay in apartment-like accommodations for the price of regular hotel rooms) are very real, and even if you buy direct it will pay off as long as you use your points to stay at DVC resorts at WDW. If you buy resale, it'll just pay off sooner.

    Good luck with your decisions! :)
     
  19. BestDadEver

    BestDadEver New DVC Member

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    If I were you I'd get the fixed week contract , if they are available that way youhave a guarantee specific week since it seems you onl want to stay at the GF . I see no downside to the fixed week cause you can always opt out the week and get your points .
     
  20. bwvBound

    bwvBound DVC SSR & other timeshare

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    There is nothing I'd particularly do differently if I could go back in time to my learning and decision making period. We first toured in Sept 1998 and purchased in May 2004. In the years between we learned much through both research and direct experiences.

    Slimmest rundown of our learning highlights:
    • DVC is good for staying on Disney property but not particully good outside that definition. In our research we found, purchased, and loved four other timeshare products that provided a better fit for our purposes.
    • Exchanging into DVC using our other timeshare wasn't as tough as people predicted. (Granted, we had done a good job selecting those other timeshare and learned the ins and outs of trading.) Similarly, we've been pleased using SSR points thought the DVC system. I don't feel compelled to owned at a particular resort within the network.
    • Resale was worth trying (we made several offers and went into contract twice) but the price gap, at that time, wasn't a deal breaker. Both of our resale contracts fell apart before going to Disney for review. We purchased direct three separate times and were OK with the price/incentives of each purchase.
    • Our initial purchase (150 pts) was intentionally fewer points than our calculated 'need' (200 pts). We lived off banked/borrowed points for the first few years to get better understanding of the system. Our third contract (new total: 335 pts) put us well over our calculated target number ... but don't you know our travel patterns have made up the difference. We are again borrowing points! (I'm perfectly OK with our current number. I'm pleased to have the 'extra' points and am not, at this time, searching for a fourth contract to make up the occasional shortage.)
    • I'm very glad we researched Use Year (UY) before making the first purchase. Our UY is a perfect fit for our WDW travel patterns but has proved problematic for our CA and HI travels. Given that neither CA or HI existed when we were buying points, I don't how I could have done things differently. I suppose the 'underbuying' strategy left room for later corrections?
    • I'm glad my points are in three chunks rather than one big contract. This allows us to 'right size' the account should we wish, in the future, to reduce the holding.
    If your travel plans remain focused on The Grand Floridian and you don't mind the lack of daily mousekeeping, then it appears you are on the right track considering GFV. You should plan on booking your reservations during the home resort reservation window. Don't expect that home resort offers any advantage to you with fewer than 7 months from intended travel.

    If you think your travel might change to visiting the Grand Floridian every other year with Animal Kingdom, California, Aulani (etc) between, then consider buying fewer points now via direct with a resale at a different resort later? Best wishes on the research!
     
  21. DizBub

    DizBub Totally Addicted

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    I can honestly say that we have not had any "gotcha" moments owning DVC in the 4 years we have owned. Unless you count the dues going up every year. But we expected this. When we bought BLT it was brand new in 2009 and the dues were $3.22. They are now $4.50.

    That and the urge to add-on points. It's addictive!
     
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