First Time Buyers

stacyrains

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Hello, my husband and I will be first time buyers for DVC. We live in SC and have three young children. My husband also serves in the military (not likely to move from SC in the foreseeable future). We are very interested in purchasing a small DVC contract to get our feet wet and learn the ins and outs of DVC. We would like to add on points at resorts in the future after we get a sense of what our family enjoys. We do currently enjoy many of the military advantages that come at WDW including SOG and discounted tickets. However, we are interested in pursuing DVC in case the military benefits run out or they outgrow our family. We would like to add another child to our family in the near future so that is another factor. We are convinced that we want to purchase resale at this time and at a resort that studios house 5 (current # in our family) but outside of that, nothing more has bene decided.

ALL THAT TO SAY, please give me any and all tips and advice that you would for a first time buyer. Again, small contract (possibly around 50 points), resale and any resort that a studio sleeps 5 is all that we have decided at this point.

Thank you!
 

Ginamarie

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
I would look into the Polynesian then. I've seen a lot of smaller contracts for the Poly lately, and it has a nice long expiration rate. (Beach Club and Boardwalk will sleep five, but their pricing is not much lower than Poly and has a much shorter expiration). Grand Floridian will sleep five but it's also priced the highest of the WDW resorts.
 

skippytx

Bay Lake Tower
Joined
Aug 24, 2015
My tips to a first time buyer

Make sure you 1000% understand what DVC is and isn't. The booking window, use years, how points work, things like that. Then take 2 steps back and consider if this is really where you want to park a decent chunk of capital. Even 50 points is going to run you 7500 bucks at the Poly (if you can easily find a 50 point contract), plus annual dues of several hundred dollars.

DVC works great for people who are committed to visiting WDW at least every other year, can book and plan their trips at least 11 months in advance (probably hard to do with a Military career) and can afford to tie up a significant chunk of capital into a timeshare program. I don't recommend financing DVC. Maybe if you can access a super low interest line of credit or a HELOC or something its fine, but please don't pay 12% or whatever on a timeshare.


I enjoy DVC and using DVC, but I've talked multiple family members out of buying into DVC in the last couple years. It's not for everyone. It's an awesome product, and we enjoy it and get great value from it, but it works best in a very narrow use case scenario.
We have family that love the All Star resorts and have no problem staying there. The room is just a bed to them. DVC doesn't make sense for them. Other family can't book trip before 11 months due to work scheduling issue. They're lucky to get 3 months to plan a vacation. DVC doesn't work for them either.

50 points even banking/borrowing for an EOY trip isn't going to go very far, and you can forget about it when you become a family of 6 which puts you into 2 bedroom units.
 

Marionnette

Children see magic because they look for it
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Hello, my husband and I will be first time buyers for DVC. We live in SC and have three young children. My husband also serves in the military (not likely to move from SC in the foreseeable future). We are very interested in purchasing a small DVC contract to get our feet wet and learn the ins and outs of DVC. We would like to add on points at resorts in the future after we get a sense of what our family enjoys. We do currently enjoy many of the military advantages that come at WDW including SOG and discounted tickets. However, we are interested in pursuing DVC in case the military benefits run out or they outgrow our family. We would like to add another child to our family in the near future so that is another factor. We are convinced that we want to purchase resale at this time and at a resort that studios house 5 (current # in our family) but outside of that, nothing more has bene decided.

ALL THAT TO SAY, please give me any and all tips and advice that you would for a first time buyer. Again, small contract (possibly around 50 points), resale and any resort that a studio sleeps 5 is all that we have decided at this point.

Thank you!
Well, you have a lot to consider.

The resorts where 5 fit in a studio are BCV, BRV, BWV, POLY, RIV and VGF. Once you become a family of 6 and the youngest turns 3, you will need 2BR villas or, in the case of Poly, 2 connecting studios. That’s going to take a heck of a lot more points! You might want to consider owning at another resort with a lower per-point price and then booking 5-person studios or 1BR villas that are available at 7 months rather than owning at any of those “5-person studio” resorts.

You will also want to take into consideration the expiration date for some resorts. BCV, BRV, OKW (unless extended) and BWV contracts will all expire in early 2042. That gives you only 21 years to enjoy your ownership. It may seem like a lot of years but with a 50-point contract, you’re probably looking at visiting WDW every other year...so that’s about 10 or so vacations (even fewer trips if you’re doing every three years). What’s really painful is that you get a bill every year for your dues whether you vacation the next year or not.

Small contracts are hard to find. They sell quickly and go for a premium price. It might make sense to wait and set your sights on a larger contract.

@skippytx made some excellent points about getting to know how DVC operates before you buy. Familiarize yourself with terms like banking, borrowing, wait lists, use year and point reallocations. You’ll be glad that you did.

Finally - and this comes from a mom with kids in their late 20’s/early 30’s - don’t choose a resort because your “littles” will like it or because it has easy access to the MK. Kids grow up and some day they’re going to want to be able to get to HS quickly instead of being a short walk from the MK. You and your spouse may become empty-nesters who enjoy strolling the World Showcase instead of plunging down Splash Mountain. Your family of 5 could unexpectedly become a family of 7. Choose a resort that makes sense for you both now and in the future.
 

What-r-ya Goofy?

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
If cost is more important to you than having an 11 month reservation advantage, I recommend buying at Saratoga or Old Key West. You will still be able to make reservations at some of the other resorts already mentioned, but not until 7 months prior to your trip. Depending upon the time of year, studios are often available at the Poly and AK at 7 months. Best of luck in finding the right resale contract. Be patient.
 

momto3pirates

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
You should also be aware right now and for the foreseeable future there are restrictions on borrowing. With a small contract and the restrictions you won’t get far.
 

AnnaS

DIS Sponsoor/Veteran
Joined
Jul 7, 2001
I don't know too much about Poly since I don't own there. Are the studios adjoining or connecting? Will DVC guarantee connecting (if they do)? This is something to consider if the kids are young and you have another baby. Poly only has studios.

After doing some research, If DVC is a good fit for you, I would consider another resort as long as you will be happy with it. You mention a small 50 point contract to start with, I would look at a resort where your points will go further.

Good luck!!!
 

Lumpy1106

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Family of 5 here. Not all 1br's sleep 5, and as the kids get older you are going to want a 1br. We own @ BLT FWIW.

You mentioned the military (THANK YOU for your service!). If you can't commit to booking at 11 months, you might as well just buy SSR. You'll find the best price per point, lowest maintenance fees and best availability there. You would lose any advantage owning anywhere else if you can't book at 11 months out..
 

MICKIMINI

Love the Mouse!
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
There is a way to make DVC work for most any family, but it is going to be a challenge if your goal is just 50 points. I agree with OP's to do your homework, make a list of all the important features you are looking for and consult the point charts. You can "plan" a typical vacation and look the charts over to see if you can attain your goal and find a resort that you love as well.

Buying too few points is worse IMO than buying too many. Putting five people and potentially six, in a studio or even 1 BR is maxed out before you even get a contract signed. Whatever you do, if you want to visit WDW on a regular basis, make this your initial step and plan to buy more points, otherwise I believe you will be disappointed. Choosing the right resort and UY at the beginning is key to adding on down the road. You don't need to buy it all at once, and I almost always recommend buying in smaller increments anyway (easier to flip if you need/want to). Keep in mind that closing costs for a 50 or 80 point contract might be the same, so if you can go a bit higher, it will average out less. ROFR thread is a must read!

Good luck and read as many disboards threads as you can!
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
@skippytx I couldn't have said it better! You need consider DVC's very strict booking and cancellation policies, which may not work for a military family. Cash bookings are MUCH more flexible, especially with military obligations. And there's nothing wrong with a Nemo Suite. I can tell you it's a lot less work and risk and not that far off financially for a contract this size. Maybe that flexibility is more valuable than a slightly better location DVC property and maybe saving a little bit of money, maybe not even that after closing costs and specials on Nemo rooms.

Take your time, DVC is not going anywhere. I actually think resale prices may drop when Disney starts foreclosing and stops buying through ROFR. I'd take my time and get a loaded up contract in early 2021.

If you really understand what you are buying, I'm hands down Poly for this scenario. You will always be able to sleep 5, location is hard to beat. Excellent rental (well, pre-Covid), should be easy enough to sell/rent if you change your mind or take a break. Landmark hotel with a lot of nostalgia and excellent transportations. Cons are the limited room choice, but that's a feature for you.

Poly points are also excellent overall value:
 

cometdad2010

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Many before me have made some great points. We're first-time buyers as well -- just closed on our first contract in October! -- so I'll share my experience:

Do. Your. Research.

Know DVC. In and out. Read the boards. Watch videos. Carefully research to make sure that this is not a decision you'll regret. We rented points first in 2015 and have been considering DVC since then... so all in, a five-year process.

Imagine your perfect contract. Learn the terms "use year," "home resort," "booking window," "banking," and "borrowing" inside and out. Figure out what use year would be best for your family and your travel habits. For us, we went once in July/August and decided NEVER AGAIN, so we looked for an October use year -- our banking window ends May 31, so we're planning for travel period from October-May. Decide which resort(s) you want as your home. Based on that, and research through the ROFR thread, come up with a per-point price range that you'd like to be within. Once you have your perfect contract, find one through the various resale brokers that fits those parameters. New contracts come up every day -- play the long game and find your perfect contract -- don't compromise. DVC is not cheap, even (and sometimes especially!) small point contracts. You may want to consider looking at 100+ points, if your budget allows, to give you more flexibility in booking different room categories.

I don't mean to scare you off, or talk you out of this, if it's right for you and your family. DVC is a dream come true for us and has a lot of that Disney magic. BUT, I'd hate to see you miss out on that magic by jumping in with the wrong expectations.

Good luck, have patience, stay the course (after you find a perfect resale contract, it's still a LONG process)... and most of all, use the wealth of knowledge on these boards and don't be afraid to ask for help or clarification at any point!
 

Winston Wolf

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Some of the truest words I’ve ever heard were “if you haven’t thought about this (DVC) for 6 months, then you shouldn’t buy. But...if I were in your shoes I’d be looking at Poly. Studios sleep 5 with Ann extra bathroom and with resale the $/years profile is better than most.
 

Deb & Bill

DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
I would look into the Polynesian then. I've seen a lot of smaller contracts for the Poly lately, and it has a nice long expiration rate. (Beach Club and Boardwalk will sleep five, but their pricing is not much lower than Poly and has a much shorter expiration). Grand Floridian will sleep five but it's also priced the highest of the WDW resorts.
I'd skip the Polynesian because there are only studios that sleep five or bungalows (that require tons of points) that sleep eight. With a family of six, you'd require a two bedroom villa as soon as your youngest turns three. That might be three years from now. You might be lucky enough to get two studios that connect (many do), but you might also just get really unlucky and get two that do not. DVC is about getting a nice sized villa and not just a glorified hotel room. Two bedroom villas are much nicer than two studios. And currently, the Polynesian is the only resort with connecting studios. None of the other resorts have connecting studios.
 

Ginamarie

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
I'd skip the Polynesian because there are only studios that sleep five or bungalows (that require tons of points) that sleep eight. With a family of six, you'd require a two bedroom villa as soon as your youngest turns three. That might be three years from now. You might be lucky enough to get two studios that connect (many do), but you might also just get really unlucky and get two that do not. DVC is about getting a nice sized villa and not just a glorified hotel room. Two bedroom villas are much nicer than two studios. And currently, the Polynesian is the only resort with connecting studios. None of the other resorts have connecting studios.
this is precisely why I never considered the Poly. We are a family of six. OP said she is a family of five, and wanting to stay i studios, so it may work for her.
 

Deb & Bill

DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
this is precisely why I never considered the Poly. We are a family of six. OP said she is a family of five, and wanting to stay i studios, so it may work for her.
Family of five might be six soon.
We would like to add another child to our family in the near future so that is another factor.
 

Scott 1072

Earning My Ears
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
I just joined DVC. I went the direct route for my initial contract so I can get grandfathered into the Club before any other restrictions come out, such as a raised minimum point purchase to qualify or something like that. The membership also potentially has great annual pass price benefits (I say potential because only existing pass holders can renew. New DVC members cannot buy passes at this time). Now, the military discounts are really good if I understand correctly, but your concern is if and when they ever end. If that happens, which even as non-military myself I hope they never end, you may want that ability to get those less expensive gold passes. The membership perks may be something to consider and make you reconsider what your initial contract is (direct vs resale). Personally, now that I have a direct contract I will be going resale moving forward. Good luck!
If you go 50 points via resale first, I'd go with the least expensive Disney World resort and consider the use year when making the purchase.
 

DebLovesPooh

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
I'm active duty and started with a 50-point contract at AKV. I quickly added on multiple times! I honestly don't think the military salute discount will ever go away. I used to call Disney on discount release day and reserve a villa wherever I could get the discount for the studio. Now I want at least a 1-bedroom, maybe a 2-bedroom as my DD becomes a teenager. Despite it being a great discount, I got tired of waiting for that one day to call and be on hold for hours and not know where I could book. With owning, I have more say as to where I can stay when I want to go.

I would definitely recommend buying resale; the math of direct will always work out worse financially than the salute discount. If you're only going every other year, I'm not sure if it's cheaper to use the salute discount or to buy resale.
 

Lumpy1106

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Just FYI and the OP may have already figured this out. Small resale contracts are elusive, pricier and often get bought back through ROFR. You could buy that small contract direct, but you would get a larger resale contract for the same price. Small direct contracts don't get benefits either - just really not a good idea.
 

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