Interested in purchasing at Grand Californian

Discussion in 'Purchasing DVC' started by DoleWhipped2, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. DoleWhipped2

    DoleWhipped2 Earning My Ears

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    Hello, all!

    I hope the long-timers will pardon some questions from a newbie. I'm considering my first time-share purchase and I think DVC looks like one of the most attractive options. I live in Utah, so California is the clear winner when it comes to location. So, my questions all pertain to purchasing at the Grand Californian.

    • I have already found a thread that reports levels at which people have passed ROFR, but it seems outdated. Is there a specific thread that addresses recent transaction prices for GCV?
    • I understand that availability for GCV is limited and finding the right deal might take time (I can be patient). What are the top three resale sites I should be watching to pick up points?
    • I'd like to begin my DVC ownership with enough points for 1 week in California. If I'm reading the charts correctly, I'll need approximately 150 points for a studio and nearly 300 for a 1 bedroom. Is this correct?
    • Is it easy to split points and use them in two separate stays? My kids have allergies so we try to go during off-season weekdays to minimize exposure to crowds and food.

    Thanks in advance to all for your patience and willingness to help me figure this out!
     
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  3. chrisaman

    chrisaman Mouseketeer

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    We just passed ROFR last week for GCV at $115 a point for 100 points with a December use year and 0 2013 points and 100 2014 points. $110-$120 is about what they are going for right now per point.

    We bought ours through the Timeshare store. Lots of info on the different companies on here if you just poke around a bit.

    Your point numbers for a week stay are pretty much the average. As I am sure you have discovered by looking at the point charts, time of year plays a big roll in the point cost. Keep in mind though, that you can bank points from a year before and borrow from the year ahead. So really, you could get to 300 points on a 150 point contract just by using 2 years worth of points. If going every other year for a week interests you, that may be the way to go.

    You can stay as many days as you want, your points are your points and you can use them how you want. If you want to stay 1 day, you can stay 1 day. If you want to stay 3 days you can stay 3 days. It is all up to you.

    Make sure you read all about banking and borrowing and the rules involved with it. For example, if you bank points, the points have to be used by the end of the next use year or you lose them.
     
  4. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    Have you spent time at DL and WDW? We grew up at DL and it's a great place but WDW is so much more. All of DL is 300 acres, Epcot alone sits on 300 acres.

    If you are interested in more bang for your buck, WDW has 8, soon to be 9 DVC resorts, DL has 1. The longer plane ride might make a WDW purchase worth it.

    :earsboy: Bill
     
  5. davidl81

    davidl81 Mouseketeer DVC Gold

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    How hard has GCV been to book at 7 months out? If you can book it at 7 months out it may be best to buy at SSR and get a few more points for your money there. The key to where to buy DVC is how early do you book your vacations. If you can plan 11 months out then buy the resort you want to stay at the most. If you are like me and can only book around 7 months out buy something like SSR.
     
  6. cel_disney

    cel_disney DIS Veteran

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    True - but its much easier to get into a WDW hotel at 7 months than it is VGC ....if its likely that even 2 of 5 trips will be to DLR - vgc is the way to go i think...
     
  7. DoleWhipped2

    DoleWhipped2 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the insight!

    Yes, I've spent time in both places. I agree that there is plenty to do at WDW. However, airfare is consistently easier to get at a reasonable price and at convenient times (and the flights are much shorter) from where we live. This matters alot when toting a couple of kids.

    Perhaps we'll branch out to WDW on our second DVC purchase...
     
  8. GiantsNiners11

    GiantsNiners11 DVC Pro

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    Congrats and welcome!

    We just passed ROFR at $103 per point triple loaded on a 100 point contract. It was a lucky find, but at least it passed because apparently some in that range don't pass ROFR.
     
  9. GiantsNiners11

    GiantsNiners11 DVC Pro

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    Disneynutz,

    DLR is superior to WDW imho. We rarely visit the MK at WDW because it's just not as magical as DL to us feels far less intimate. Plus, my favorite ride, Pirates....is just "Pirates Lite" at WDW and it's always so disappointing. We go for Epcot and AK and the many fine resorts. But our weekend trips to DLR are always a better experience from a customer service perspective and being immersed in Walt's original vision. I can't explain it in much more detail other than DLR is just our preference regardless of its lack of size and if I could only pick one park forever, it'd be DL hands down over and over again.
     
  10. holula

    holula DIS Veteran

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    I was about to post the same thing. I would rather visit DLR over WDW any day of the week. If I lived closer to California, or WDW was a flight instead of a drive, we probably would have bought at VGC. But we can drive to WDW, so that own out. I love WDW but it lacks the magic that DLR has to me,
     
  11. cel_disney

    cel_disney DIS Veteran

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    Ha - we are soooo the opposite! We visited DLR for our first time this year and other than the Halloween overlay at haunted, the HMH, and California screaming we were unimpressed...it felt in magical (pathetic castle - even worse for fireworks), didn't immerse us in Disney (real world too close), and there were far too many lines (many dont have FP)..we spent 4 days there (although they felt like partial days because the parks closed so early)...

    I have learned that this is a polarizing topic - as I know many are equally turned off by the size of WDW, the need to be so scheduled there, etc - so no judging from me...but we own at WDW because of it (its a plane trip no matter what for is!)

    OP - I am glad you have visited both and have a solid reason for your selection. We enjoyed VGC this past September. We rented a cabana for 2 days and enjoyed the pool and spent 4 days in the park...(and spent 3 nights elsewhere when we were not doing Disney)...self park is free for DVC which is a cost saving perk but its a good walk from the hotel so not all that practical to be leaving the premises if you are also having a park day...good luck with your purchase!!! Definitely plan to get enough for a 1 bedroom!
     
  12. Minniesgal

    Minniesgal DIS Veteran

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    I have to say we have been to both DLR and WDW and we would choose DLR anyway over WDW although we love both. This is why we own points on both coasts and for us it is independent of flights as we fly transatlantic to either option. We prefer DLR for the non Disney things we can do not too far away. What we did is we bought enough DLR points for every other year and enough AKV points for every other year so we can always book at least so e at 11 months.
     
  13. rosanab1031

    rosanab1031 Mouseketeer

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    I agree. Some things feel much smaller at WDW.

    I absolutely LOVED AK on my first trip to WDW just last year. Probably my favorite park :)

    But yes there is something about DLR that just makes it feel more magical. I am a born and raised SoCal girl and have always lived within driving distance of DLR. Even with an annual pass for two years no magic has been lost and I really miss me AP :(

    I currently own at Aulani and VGF. If I ever see a good resale for VGC I will snatch it up! I know without a doubt that DLR is where my family will always spend most of our time but it will be nice to take the family to WDW every once in a while too :D

    I agree! Glad the OP did the research. Granted I do not regret buying my DVC points at two different resorts site unseen. LOL!

    GREAT PLAN!!! So far no trouble for me booking at 7 months for a nice little stay at either resort but definitely glad to own at VGF for the 11 monthe window :)
     
  14. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I hear you and that's the beauty of Disney, something for everyone. :thumbsup2

    In my experience many folks don't try before they buy and they may settle on a DLR or WDW without spending time at both. They may also buy a resort interest without trying them out just because that is what Disney was selling. Getting caught up with Disney excitement is easy to do. :goodvibes

    Selling your resort later can be expensive if you decide to make a change. We found out the hard way. :sad:

    :earsboy: Bill
     
  15. DoleWhipped2

    DoleWhipped2 Earning My Ears

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    Can someone help me understand the nuances of trading points from other properties?

    What challenges would I run into if I bought points at VB (which I could probably get for $50/point) and tried to redeem them at VGC. I understand that I would have to wait for a certain time window. Would I ever be able to find availability? Or does VGC fill up too quickly?
     
  16. KAT4DISNEY

    KAT4DISNEY Glad to be a test subject

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    If your flexible in dates you can go and flexible in room sizes (ie - willing to book a 1BR instead of a studio, or even a 2BR) you'll probably have good luck at many times of the year. But keep in mind that VGC is the smallest DVC resort - only 23 2BR lockoffs (so max 23 studios and 23 1BR's) and 23 2 bedroom units plus 2 GV's so it's a risk.

    Also, VB has the highest maintenance fees so savings in purchase price can quickly disappear over the years of ownership.

    Getting a room at WDW at 7 months is quite a bit easier especially if you are willing to stay at any resort although there are a few times such as during Food and Wine and early December that are more difficult.
     
  17. DoleWhipped2

    DoleWhipped2 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks, KAT! This is very helpful.

    I'm actually starting to lean towards purchasing at Aulani, planning to stay there 5 days a year (or 10 every other year) and only going to VGC for a weekend a year. Any thoughts?
     
  18. wbl2745

    wbl2745 <font color=blue>I've gone over to the Silly Symph

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    I'm a little late to the conversation, but we're in the same situation as the OP. We live in Provo, Utah and own at VGC. I also agree (although my wife differs with me) that the DLR is better than WDW. Because of our proximity to DLR compared to WDW, we make to the DLR more frequently than to WDW.

    The biggest issue in my mind however is having the home resort advantage at VGC. I haven't had problems finding a resort at WDW, but getting what you want at VGC, given its small size, can be difficult. For instance I attended the D23 convention last August and since VGC is my home resort I was able to reserve at 11 months. By the time the 7 month window opened there were no studios available.

    Many people are able to find what the want at VGC at 7 months, but if I were going to guess, I bet there is in general less availability at VGC than at either Aulani or WDW. I'd encourage purchasing at VGC. (I probably shouldn't say that since I'm in the market for another 100 points myself.)

    In any case, we've loved our DVC membership and I think that where ever you decide to purchase, you'll enjoy the membership for years. (Now I sound like a DVC guide.)

    Good luck!
     
  19. GiantsNiners11

    GiantsNiners11 DVC Pro

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    This is preceisely why we bought at VGC.

    Our strategy was simple enough:

    1.) Points at AKV for AKV Value/Concierge (11-month necessary most of the time)

    2.) Points at VGC because we travel 3-day weekends and summer (11-month sometimes necessary)

    3.) Points at SSR because cheap dues and cheap upfront cost to allow us flexibility for 7-month trade-in at other resorts as well as the occasional Treehouse Villa.

    We were lucky to find a VGC 100 point at $103 point and just went to ROFR earlier this week on a $105 per point 125 point contract with same UY. I think we're going to stop there (for now....) :rotfl:
     
  20. Msmithmd

    Msmithmd DIS Veteran

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    This is one of the best thought-out strategies to DVC I've seen in a while. Props to that.
     
  21. KAT4DISNEY

    KAT4DISNEY Glad to be a test subject

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    You could buy at both - a larger contract at Aulani and smaller at VGC. But if your flexible then either would probably work but I'd buy at one or the other and not any of the east coast resorts. IMO VGC will have more difficulty at 7 months than Aulani and it has lower dues although you will probably have to pay a little more for it. There's a few variables such as wanting the lowest point studios at Aulani at busy times that might sway me the other way if a contract with subsidized dues could be found.
     

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