Am I a good DVC Candidate?

Discussion in 'Purchasing DVC' started by ::danielle::, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. ::danielle::

    ::danielle:: DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2011
    I have been researching and reading about DVC purchases for a long time. I've payed particular attention to the threads where people rationalize their decision to purchase DVC. I'm always impressed at the insightful answers given by DVC owners. I would love to get some insight about if we would be good candidates and if there are other things that we are not taking into consideration.

    Here's some background;

    Family: Myself, DH, DS8, DD4

    Vacation history:

    We travel every year, taking approx. (2) 1-week long trips at different times of the year. We usually rent a condo with a kitchen and 2 bedrooms. We only stay in hotel rooms when absolutely necessary (DH is a night owl, I'm an early bird. It's better for our marriage if one of us can sleep in peace while the other one can enjoy their prime time).

    Disney history:

    2009 to DL (here's where we learned that a hotel room is too small for us!)

    2012 to WDW split stay - POP (1 night - torture!), WBC (2 bedroom condo, 6 nights - heavenly), POR (1 night - doable but not enjoyable)

    DVC thoughts/plan:

    Although we take 2 trips a year, it is unlikely that DH will make WDW an annual vacation. In order to see/experience the parks at different times of the year, I would like to go every 18-24 months. I estimate that we would need about 150 or so points (used biyearly to equal 300). Some years we would need more, others we would need less (depending on the season/unit size). I haven't decided an ideal UY but I'm leaning towards February-June. I am also heavily leaning towards BLT (for the location) Right now, our kids are little so we focus on MK. Our second favorite park is Epcot. We hated the 20 minutes it took to ride the buses to and from the parks (we came home mid-day to all take naps). Not sure how this will change in the future.


    We would pay in full for a DVC resale contract. I did a calculation to see how purchasing DVC would compare to renting points ($13/point). My simplistic calculation is that the cost of purchasing BLT (including annual MFs) would reach the break even point in 10-12 years (or 5-6 vacations). This puts my kids at college age.


    I can sort of predict our lives for the next 10-12 years while the kids are still in school. I don't know how part-time jobs and waning interest will affect their ability/desire to vacation at Disney. I imagine that after college, with new careers and limited vacation time they may not want to go at all.

    My Internal Struggle:

    As a general commitment-phobe, it seems that I should just rent DVC points for the next 10-12 years. My struggle with this is one of control. I hate that I have to relinquish control of my reservation to a complete stranger. I can tip the bowl in the favor of a purchase by justifying that I may be able to sell the points at the end of it's useful life for our family (I realize that it's not a guarantee). Of course, I may just be trying to find a logical reason to justify my emotions. :scratchin

    I would love to hear insightful advice about my situation (no flaming, please). In particular if you're 10 years into your contract and now have college age kids, I would love to hear how you feel about DVC now.


    **Note: purchasing a non-Disney timeshare is not an option. While we loved staying at WBC, we missed the Disney feel. It's DVC or nothing!
  2. lions1995

    lions1995 DIS Veteran

    Apr 23, 2010
    Well, you seem to have thought it through and still gotten to the point of incertainty. I would first say, that a timeshare is not really about saving money, but rather having a place to go for vacation. That said, if you think you will at least break even and may not have use for it after that, you can always sell it or rent your points out.
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  4. fredtom

    fredtom Mouseketeer Freddie

    Oct 31, 2003
    Danielle... After reading all your details, I really don't believe you have a reason not to join. Although my DW and I do not share your same family demographics, we have been DVC members since 2003 and it's the best investment we ever made.

    Just a note that your UY has nothing to do when you can use your points. It's when your new points for the year are allotted and become available to you.

    Good luck to you and we hope to welcome you to the neighborhood soon!
  5. DannysMom

    DannysMom DIS Veteran

    Jun 1, 2007
    My one question for you is would be able to plan your bi-annual WDW vacation 11 months in advance, or at least 8--11 months in advance. If so, & you really want to stay at BLT, go ahead & pay the premium price for it.

    If you can only plan 7 months or less in advance, your home resort will have very little bearing, outside of your initial buy in price, since you would not be able to take advantage of your home resort booking advantage. Then you might want to look at the less expensive resort to buy in at.
  6. spears2008

    spears2008 Earning My Ears

    Oct 16, 2012
    If you'd rather rent points to avoid the big up-front cost, but are concerned about handing over control of your reservation (I totally understand this), then consider buying a small dvc contract of 25 or 50 points via resale to get your foot in the door. You can then rent points to be transferred into your dvc account to get enough points to take the vacations you want. *you are allowed one transfer per use year* This allows you to pay as you go at $13 per point or whatever the going rental is without the large up-front fee, without having to turn control over your reservation to a stranger. Also, you'll be a member and be able to take advantage of member pass discounts, etc. Finally, with banking and borrowing, you should have enough points every 3 years to use the small contract for a stay.

    just something to think about...
  7. ::danielle::

    ::danielle:: DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2011
    Thank you all for replying!

    DannysMom - yes, I would plan the trips 11 months out. Location is important to us. I like the BLT is on the monorail so we can get to 2 of the 4 parks quickly. But, as you mentioned, there is a premium to pay for that! I haven't stayed there yet. We may get there and end up not liking the modern feel of the resort.

    Spears2008 - I thought about purchsing a small number of points then paying to have another owner transfer their points to me when I wanted to make a reservation. When I started a thread about it here the people who replied made it sound like it was a terrible, impractical idea. Do you have any experience with this? If so, I'd love to hear about it!
  8. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

    Jan 18, 2009
    It sounds like you have thought things out very well. I would take your research one step further. Take your next Disney vacation by renting points at BLT and see if you like the resort and also take the opportunity to check out the other resorts too make sure you love BLT before paying the premium to own there. It will also give you a hands on feel for how renting points works and whether you're comfortable with the process.
    Good luck with your decision!
  9. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

    Dec 30, 2004
    My struggle with this is one of control. I hate that I have to relinquish control of my reservation to a complete stranger.

    This in a nut-shell is why I bought vs renting

    You could go the small resale route and have points transferred into your account but despite all the assurances if something goes south with the other members account (doesn't pay dues, etc.) it could be a problem imo. i have control issues too, but note that i have been both the renter and rentee of points and never had an issue dealing with other DVC members.:thumbsup2

    My DSs loved disney as kids, as teens not so much:sad2:likely a case of OD'ing on pixie dust. Once the older two acquired significant others they cam running back into the fold to use 'my' points:rolleyes1:laughing:

    If you're interested in going resale to save $ consider looking for a smaller contract with banked points and you can borrow if you don't want to make such a large up-front commitment. If it's a fit for your family, you can always add on via another resale or directly thru DVC if your UY is available. If you are interested in using points on DCL a resale won't work in your favor unless you rent your points and use the cash (works out better $ wise anyway).
  10. Dean

    Dean DIS Veteran<br><a href="

    Aug 19, 1999
    I'd vote nothing at this point if I understand your post correctly. You've been to WDW once and DL once and only stayed on property for two one night stays at WDW. Personally I'd rent for your next trip or 2 and stay at a DVC resort (best BLT given your post) then you'll have more and better info on which to make an informed decision. You can always buy in later and the price will be less than now for all but any new resorts. While you state a preference for BLT, I didn't pick up on anything that actually gave you a basis for your preference. Consider that buying in to Wyndham or Bluegreen for enough points for a 2 BR yearly might cost you $1K, for SSR for a 2 BR yearly would be more in the range of $15K and for BLT, maybe $25K. A 2 BR at Marriott's Grand Vista maybe $4K. Yearly costs will also be more for DVC than the rest on a comparable basis. Just so you realize those choices come with a hefty price tag both up front and yearly.
  11. joelp

    joelp DIS Veteran

    Aug 13, 2007
    I agree - and not only stay at BLT, but also tour the other DVC resorts and see which one you want to make your "second home". Personally, we LOVE the Animal Kingdom Lodge/Villa - but we didn't buy into DVC until we stayed there twice.

    "Fast transportation" to the parks also seem to be a major concern for you, so be sure to factor that into your thinking. However, it seems that as we go more and more to WDW, getting to the parks "fast" is not that important - relaxing and having fun is!!

    Also, it sounds like you will probably want a 2BR villa for each trip - check out the point charts: at BLT, unless you are travelling during the school year (a problem when the kids get older), you'll need more than 150 points a year for a week-long trip every two years (you can borrow from future years, but eventually that could mean you'd have to wait 3 years for a trip ...) In contrast, for example, you could get a 2BR Standard View at AKV for less than 300 points a week all year (except Christmas and Easter week).

    But also look at the 1BR DVC rooms - that could work for you, too ...
  12. bighoo93

    bighoo93 Mouseketeer

    Dec 30, 2011
    You mostly fit the profile where DVC makes sense, but this final point gives me pause. If this really is a struggle for you, I would say go ahead and just rent the points as you need them. You have a lot more flexibility because you haven't bought anything, you can just go when you decide you'd like to go. The thing about giving control over to a stranger on your reservation really isn't a big deal. Go through an intermediary, pay $13/point, and you won't even notice the difference. You'll give them your request and the reservation will appear. No big deal.
  13. JimMIA

    JimMIA There's more to life than mice...

    Feb 16, 2005
    I agree with Dean; with this premise, I would buy nothing.

    My reasoning is quite simple. DVC is a timeshare. If you don't want the longterm committment to a timeshare, don't buy one...from anyone. If you want longterm vacation lodging, a timeshare may or may not be for you -- but it's a mistake to put DVC on a pedestal like it's something different. It's a timeshare.

    My personal opinion is that DVC is a very good timeshare for people who are confident they are going to return once a year to Walt Disney World for the foreseeable future (10 years or so) -- AND who will not be happy staying anywhere but onsite in a Disney resort. Yes, there are other DVC locations, but in each of those there are better, much less-expensive, timeshare options.

    By my reckoning, DVC offers my family 7 resorts, soon to be 8. Wyndham, for example, now offers more than 90 with a very wide geographic spread. Disney has one timeshare (poorly located) in Hawaii, Wyndham has 11-12 on at least 3 islands. I'm not saying Wyndham is the one for you, but for your vacation pattern, one of the other major systems may fit your family's needs better than DVC.

    Before you say "No way" to other timeshares, I'd check out at least Wyndham, Bluegreen, Hilton, and Marriott. With any of those, you can buy in (resale, of course) for a fraction of the cost of DVC -- in some cases literally $1 on eBay.

    What might be an even better alternative for you is renting not only DVC vacations, but also lodging in other locations from owners of the systems listed above. No initial cost, unlimited flexibility, and very reasonable rates.
  14. JimMIA

    JimMIA There's more to life than mice...

    Feb 16, 2005
    One caution I would offer with this timeline is that other interests may intervene long before college. Once your children get a little older, sports and other extra-curricular activities may put severe limitations on your ability to plan vacations like you do now.

    I'll give you a personal example. We bought DVC when DD was 3. She is 10 now, and she is a REAL ice princess herself and only mildly interested in make-believe princesses.

    Unlike 7 years ago, our lives now rotate around her school committments, skating lessons, power classes, dance classes, off-ice conditioning, skating summer camp, skating competitions, and seasonal shows. For vacation, she still wants to go to WDW occasionally (we did not go this year), but more and more she wants to go places she has not been and do things she has not yet done. Our last four vacations have been to Washington, DC and Shenandoah National Park, WDW, Great Smokys National Park, and Cape Cod. I'm sure that trend will intensify as she gets older.

    Kids grow up long before college.
  15. Pirate Granny

    Pirate Granny DIS Veteran

    Sep 5, 2007
    We rented points at OKW before we bought. I wanted our adult daughters input, as in the end the points will be theirs...they loved we bought a 220 point OKW before Disney started actively ROFR at OWK...I love it...youngest loves that it is totally removed from the parks and can unwind...middle daughter loves BLT, which we got a 2 bedroom theme park view for one night this June at the 7 month mark...I also got a studio there for the last night of our October's nice, beautiful...but not to my decorating preference...too cold...we then bought BCV (164 points),cause I love the pool there and the walk to EPCOT...right now we're in a studio at VWL...Christmas here, sigh, what can I say but beautiful....but a bit tricky to get at the 7 month mark at Xmas. VWL is in the running for our last add on...or BLT...since we have three daughters ( all who would love a yearly vaca at Disney --who said anything that it has to be a park everyday trip!). We want to leave three contracts... It's a personal decision...just hubby and I take trips...he golfs every morning, I chill at whatever DVC we are at until he's done...then eat lunch in the Villa and head out to the parks...we have annual passes, which will see 41 Disney days in the 365 time for us, it didn't matter about the girls...we couldn't afford until they were outta collage and two were married way would we finance this kind a purchase. Good luck in your decision I would rent point at BLT before I bought though...make sure that's the one for you...
  16. cvjw

    cvjw DIS Veteran

    Dec 22, 2005
    We have been DVC owners for 4 years, but visited Disney annually for the 10 years before that. My boys (now almost 17 and 13), have been raised Disney, and love all things Disney. They want to visit Disney as much now as they did when they were younger. I know it will get harder and harder to coordinate vacation times when we are dealing with high school and college schedules, and eventually work times off. When we cross that bridge, it may be time to sell some points, but for now, we are happily enjoying our DVC.
  17. tigergrad

    tigergrad DIS Veteran

    Feb 21, 2007
    I'm not going to get into the money aspect of purchasing DVC. I will tell you why we decided to purchase and are currently waiting to pass ROFR. I am 48 and my husband is 52. We have 3 children ages 28,22, and 16. We also have a 2 year old grandson. We have taken many trips to Disney over the past 30 years. We've done everything from staying in a motel on International Drive to paying to stay at Beach Club for a short free dining stay. We've rented condos outside the World and stayed in value, mod, and deluxe WDW resorts. Our kids have grown up with Disney vacations. We never really thought about DVC when they were younger, we thought they'd outgrow the desire. They have not. We still take a family vacation every year or every other year together. The 2 oldest are married and still want to go to Disney when asked where they want to go.We will be able to go as a family or divide up points for separate stays. It just made sense to us. We are waiting on our contract to pass ROFR. Hopefully just a few more days. It's 255 points at SSR. This April we will have 420 points to use until April 2014. Hopefully we will be able to take everyone down this summer.. I'm a teacher, to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We bought resale because of the much cheaper price and did not want to use points for anything but DVC properties. Best of luck deciding.
  18. momtofour

    momtofour Mouseketeer

    Feb 27, 2004
    My children are 24,20,18 and 15. We take an annual trip with our points and we all look forward to it more than ever. Their lives are busy, 2 in college, one graduated and working out of state. It is something that connects us and brings us together. We've owned since 2002 and I really wish we would have done it much sooner. You will probably find that your lives will really change over time but there will still be a place for the vacation points. Next week I am meeting my out of state daughter at WDW for 4 nights and cannot wait. It really has given us many wonderful memories. Best of luck with your decision.
  19. k3chantal

    k3chantal DIS Veteran

    Sep 7, 2011
    You sound like a perfect candidate. You understand your travel needs, have a good fundamental understanding of how DVC works, and anytime you are about to spend THAT much money, whether it is resale or direct, I would hope, one would think twice about it thus your reluctance.

    I have a 13, 9, and 3 year old. Already the 13 year old is saying he needs to stay home when we make reservations during school (wants to keep his straight A's). So the 'problem' of having the kids not being 'interested' can happen earlier.

    This has not dimmed my own interest in using our points. In fact, there is a part of me that is looking forward to when its just the husband and me and we can use our points for just a studio and stay longer.

    My 'biggest' concern for you is your location. You will have to fly anytime you use your points whether that's DL or WDW. There have been some years when we say "let's save on airfare and go to DL". So if you decide to go ahead, you will need to factor in the costs of travel since it will be more consistently higher. Perhaps people who live in other locations that are similar can chime in and let you know whether it is a real problem.

    In any case, good luck! I don't regret my purchase just would like more points so we can go more often!
  20. ::danielle::

    ::danielle:: DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2011
    Again, thank you to all for your insightful thoughts!

    I think I will follow the advice of many and hold off on a purchase until I have stayed at and explored some of the resorts. We were planning to stay at BLT for our next vacation in December 2013. While we're at WDW I will make it a point to explore some of the resorts that sound initially appealing (VWL, BWV, AKL) as well as a couple that don't jump out at me but may be the perfect fit for our family (SSR, OKW).

    From what I can tell, for some families (kids) Disney enjoyment wanes early, some not at all. I cannot possibly predict how it will end up for us. However, I should prepare myself for the fact that Disney may not be the "happy place" for my kids as it is for me.

    You have all been so wonderful and kind. I cannot thank you enough!
  21. Brian Noble

    Brian Noble His Curmudgeonly Highness

    Mar 23, 2004
    The ultimate question is: given the choice, would you rent a 2BR at Bonnet Creek from a Wyndham VIP owner, or would you rent a 2BR DVC unit from a DVC owner---recognizing that the DVC unit costs about 3x as much?

    If your answer is anything other than "Rent the DVC unit, each and every time" you should not buy DVC.

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