Help I Need to Know the GOOD, BAD and the UGLY about Purchasing DVC!

Discussion in 'Purchasing DVC' started by shaycamp21, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. shaycamp21

    shaycamp21 DIS Veteran

    Jan 14, 2005
    I am trying to decide if DVC membership is something for us.:confused3

    Some background we are a family of five DH, myself and our 3 dds ages 15, 14 and 2. I have always loved everything Disney and had the opportunity to visit Disneyland many times as a child, teen and young adult as my grandfather (now deceased) lived in California.

    Fast forward to 2005 when for the first time DH and I took our 2 dds to WDW and what I thought would be a once in a lifetime trip turned into 8 trips to WDW (some without DH ), 3 Disney cruises, a stay at Disney’s Vero Beach (combined with a cruise) and a trip to DLR. We have stayed at Value, Moderate and Deluxe resorts. I really enjoyed our last “true” visit (including park time) in 2011 to WDW staying at AKL and fell in love with the Deluxe experience:lovestruc. After our Fantasy cruise last year we did a night at POP (which I had enjoyed in the past) before flying home and not to be a resort snob I just couldn’t see myself staying there again. This year we didn’t do any Disney related trips, DH and I did a couples trip to New Orleans and we did a family trip to a resort in Jamaica which was nice but I found myself suffering from Disney withdrawl lol. When given the choice of another Disney cruise or WDW for our next trip in March dds unanimously chose WDW.

    Now DH is less of a Disney fan/freak as the rest our family but he does appreciate the Disney brand and is always comparing (especially the customer service) the experiences he’s had at Disney when we go elsewhere he is often disappointed and complains that they don’t do things like Disney. On the purchase of a DVC he is more on the fence as we initially contemplated purchasing a vacation home in Florida (we are Canadian) but decided that we really go to Florida to Disney and would miss out on staying on property. Now with another little girl in tow DH has resigned himself to the fact that we will be continuing to do more vacationing at WDW and once our older dd’s have children I can see us bringing grandchildren as well. Being a family of five soon our youngest dd will “count” in the room so I started thinking perhaps DVC would be the way to go instead of having to get two rooms or pay a ridiculous price for a suite. DH though is still not sure about purchasing a piece of the mouse.

    Now I have been researching purchasing DVC for a while now and am a little overwhelmed with all the information. I am leaning toward resale probably at SSR (which we don’t have a problem staying at—though it would also be nice to try other resorts) which seems like the best bang for your buck right now and seems to have lower yearly fees. We would most likely to go to WDW in March or August so not sure of use year?? We did rent points (privately though someone on the DIS) once to stay at Vero Beach and enjoyed it so that got the wheels turning about a DVC purchase.

    I know this is long winded and I appreciated anyone who takes the time to read this as I am just trying to figure out if purchasing DVC makes sense for my family. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.
  2. timandjanl

    timandjanl Mouseketeer

    Jul 26, 2013
    I am also in the process of considering whether to purchase. I started a similar thread a couple days ago. It shouldn't be too far down the page and is titled "would you purchase." You will find some good perspectives in there. I think we are definitely going to buy resale, but are going to rent points for a split stay so we can decide on a home resort. Good luck!
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  4. stampermom1564

    stampermom1564 Earning My Ears

    Jul 29, 2013
    HI! I am a 3 time purchaser of DVC. We love it. We live in Nevada and use it everywhere we can.
    A quick word about resale. We have been told (I have yet to do it as I currently have 610 points at DWL and SSR) that if you buy resale, there are limitations to the use. We have been told that you are not able to use the points ANYWHERE except the DVC. You cannot use them with RCI or The Disney Collections or anywhere else that I can use my points. You cannot trade them to go other places. This information was as of last year. Please check BEFORE you begin the process.
    DVC has changed the way we travel. We are so happy with our purchases that we are usually in a deficit each year. I would recommend the high quality and ease of use to any person looking into a time share. Disney is the benchmark to which all others should attain. They are professional and more flexible than any that we looked into. You would not go wrong if you purchased.
  5. zavandor

    zavandor DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2011
    This is wrong.
    You can you your points for RCI exchanges and a few others exchanges like club Intrawest.
    If you buy direct you can use your points for cruises, Adventure by Disney and regular Disney hotels rooms booking, for resorts that do not have a DVC resort attached (like the Poly).
    However before thinking that these option might limit you, please take a look at the points charts. I'm staying two weeks in September at AKV for less points that a 3 nights cruise would cost in points. ABDs are crazy expensive.
    Also, cruises and other exchanges are a perk, are not guaranteed by your contract, so Disney might remove them tomorrow. And booking is subject to availability, meaning that not all dates and categories are available for points booking.

    Neither RCI is a good use of points, if done on a regular basis. There are other timeshares that are sold for 1$ on ebay that have lower maintenance fees and give more trading opportunities than DVC (DVC can book only a subset of all RCI resorts).

    So in my opinion purchasing resales will not remove anything worth the price difference at the moment. Things may change in the future. Is double the price worth the peace of mind?
  6. twinsouvenirs

    twinsouvenirs Mother of Dragons :)

    Jun 22, 2013
    I think renting points will have given you a good idea of the product, so that is good. SSR is indeed the best bang for your buck right now. They say to buy where you love to stay; so if you buy thinking 'we'll stay at SSR usually but will try other resorts sometimes' I think you are safe. If you buy thinking 'we want to stay at BCV as much as possible' you may find it hard to get your reservations regularly. I guess my point is that home resort does have meaning in DVC so make sure you choose wisely. That said, we are buying SSR too and love the theming, location and two feature pools.We also want to try other places but will never feel 'stuck' there. We are also supplementing with a few direct points at GFV.

    If you have one on the way or even just a brand new one, it sounds like you'll have years and years of fun. You may want to consider if/when your resale point would be -- if you won't use it when the girls are in college, it's probably good to get SSR, GCV, AKV or another that has a longer contract life so you can resell with some years on it. Or use it on couples / grandparent trips :)
  7. disneynutz

    disneynutz DIS Veteran DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Dec 11, 2006
    The problem with being a newbie is that most don't know what they want and even after reading about the resorts and looking at pictures, your favorite will probably change after you stay at the different resorts a couple of times.

    DVC will change the way that you vacation and it will cost you much more than you expect. Yes there is no other place as great as Disney for vacations but it comes at a high price. DVC can save you money on your room but you will probably spend any savings at Disney.

    DVC also makes you see behind the Disney curtain and you will soon realize that they are like other companies putting profit ahead of customer satisfaction in many areas. Once you have a few problems with your DVC account or a MS CM who doesn't know what they are doing, or rooms with cleaning and/or maintenance issues you start to see the real Disney.

    Information is power, keep reading and learning as much as you can before buying, you will be glad you did.

    :earsboy: Bill

  8. tubtruck

    tubtruck Tubtastic

    Oct 11, 2006
    You can easily join for a Fist Full of Dollars.:)

    If you really like it you can then add on For a Few Dollars More.
  9. chalee94

    chalee94 <font color=green>I thought all sand was ground up

    Aug 14, 2006
    this is comedy gold... :rotfl:
  10. chalee94

    chalee94 <font color=green>I thought all sand was ground up

    Aug 14, 2006
    was it too much to ask that before you make your first post, you actually check to see if what you are posting is true?

    DVC can be a good value for onsite wdw stays due to the crazy prices for the onsite hotels. and it is a MUCH better value at resale prices than direct prices.

    trading out through RCI is EQUALLY AVAILABLE to resale owners as to direct owners.

    but it's also a similarly poor deal - like direct owners trading a new lexus for a hyundai elantra, while resale owners trade a used lexus for that elantra. there are much cheaper ways to accomplish renting other timeshares or taking cruises (or even staying at onsite wdw hotels) than by buying extra DVC pts to cover those trades. DVC pts are best used at DVC resorts. it's nice to have options but you are paying dearly for those expensive options.
  11. Sandisw

    Sandisw Moderator Moderator

    Nov 15, 2008
    We bought in 2009 because we had been visiting almost yearly since 1994 and knew that it was time since they added BLT.

    To be honest, there has not been much I have been disappointed with in terms of DVC. But, I went into the purchase after having learned all I could and knew what I was and was not getting.

    I knew I was buying a right to stay at my home resort only. While I doubt that DVC would ever remove one of the WDW from the "club", they can. So, I bought and own where I love to be--BLT and BWV-- and pretty much stay at those two every time.

    We have had luck trading out to other resorts and have tried, VWL, BCV, and AKV. While they were nice--AKV is probably my favorite in terms of the "resort" other than my homes--I missed the convenience of BLT and BWV.

    Most of my trips are planned 11 months in advance, and being a teacher, I travel in August ever year. But, my first year, I had no problem getting other resorts during that time 4 months in advance (when we bought). So, I think you will have a lot of flexibility to try other places.

    There are certain room types that are difficult if you don't own--AKV Value and Concierge and BLT and BWV standard view. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

    Having a UY just prior to when you typically travel allows for the most in terms of flexibility if you have to cancel or change a trip. So, given March and August as primary travel, a March UY is ideal, though February would work very well too.

    We are not bothered by the loss of daily mousekeeping. We most often stay in at least a 1 bedroom so washing the towels is no big deal. When we stay in a studio, if it is more than just two of us, I order the extra towel pack for $6--well worth it.

    The current DVC AP price makes it a great deal. While perks can come and go and this is not guaranteed, it really helps us get in several visits on one. For our annual summer trip, I just schedule it 51 weeks apart--going the 13th to the 20th this year and will go the 3rd to the 10th next year.

    We just love not having to worry about that aspect of our trip. We like that we can go in any room size, at any time of the year, and bring family and friends if we want.

    Not getting the Disney deals don't bother us either. We hated waiting and hoping for specials and never did get one of those elusive pins. Now, we don't have to worry. What we save in the long run is well worth not being part of "free dining" or any other promotion Disney is running.

    Good luck!
  12. lorie13

    lorie13 Mouseketeer DVC Gold

    Jul 1, 2010
    The GOOD - Disney is a fantastic place to vacation with your family and friends. It will provide many, many years of enjoyment even as the children grow older and start their own lives. If you find a year you do not want to go to Disney points are bankable and can be used the following year. Or you can rent your points out yourself or through a service. I have found renting points to be easy but it is time consuming.

    The BAD - Annual dues will always be there and they can and usually do go up ever year. Because you are coming from a long distance travel costs to get there can be higher some years than others, it is not as easy as hopping in the car for a weekend getaway. Disney raises each prices ever year on passes, dining and merchandise.

    The UGLY - It is a timeshare and timeshare are for profit.

    We purchase direct in 2008 and have added three other contracts, one was direct, two were resale. We only use the points for Resorts, it there comes a day we choose to do another cruise, we would probably do a cash reservation and rent out our points that years as do not receive as much value for your points when exchanging them for a cruise.

    Good Luck with your decision.
  13. ELMC

    ELMC DIS Veteran

    Jul 4, 2011
    Great questions. First off, a lot of what you say makes me think that DVC could be a good purchase for you. Your history of visiting Disney; your understanding that you want to stay on site and not in values; your needing to put 5 in one room; your having rented points before to try it out; all point to the potential value of DVC for you. Furthermore, your strategy of buying SSR sounds like a good one based on your priorities. You wouldn't mind staying there, but would like to try other places. That's the profile of someone who should be buying at SSR (as well as those who simply love it) because the low cost/maintenance fees will help you achieve the best long term value for your money.

    There are a couple of things you said that make me a bit nervous, as well as one thing you didn't say. First off, please know that you're not "buying a piece of the mouse". I know it sounds fun to think of it that way, but you're really just buying a timeshare. The fact that it's a Disney timeshare doesn't really change anything. Second, I'm always a little nervous when people talk about buying to satisfy potential future, future needs. Your daughters are 15 and 14. I think it's a little early to start making plans for grandkids. :)

    Finally, the one piece of information that you didn't share (and rightfully so) but something you should consider is the financial impact of a DVC purchase. DVC is a large chunk of cash up front, followed by smaller, but sizable payments each and every January. Then on top of that is the actual cost of the vacation itself, which definitely adds up. This is definitely something that you should factor into your thought process. I am a big advocate of giving oneself options. With DVC, the number one cause of problems is the realization that someone can't afford or doesn't really enjoy their DVC membership. Depending on how they purchased, their options might be incredibly limited and/or costly. By buying SSR resale, you will have significantly less risk should you realize in a few years that DVC is not for you. That being said, I agree with the other posters who suggest you read as much as you can. In the end, only you know if this is the right move for you or not. It certainly has worked out well for many, many people. Good luck! :)
  14. Deb & Bill

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

    Mar 20, 2000
    Fact: We are tight with our points, but don't usually stay in studios. So it is mostly one bedroom villas. BLT, GFV, AKV-Sav view (there isn't any other reason to stay at AKV) all require a large number of points. So these are not in our future. We did book BLT last fall because our son was dying to stay there, so we booked during his fall break from college. But Hurricane Isaac decided to come through Baton Rouge, so they canceled fall break. He still made it for a few nights, but not the full week like we had planned. It was okay for us, but now we are in a borrowing mode for this year.

    We have two upcoming trips planned to OKW (our first home and where we own the most points). And our points last us longer. And we really love it there.

    You have to look at the number of points required for your stays. The uninitiated also say "we'll book BWV standard view", but you won't unless you own there or are extremely lucky. They say "we'll book AKV-value studio and squeeze all four of us in the studio". Again, unless you own there, you probably won't be booking that at seven months out. Or, "GFV is new, so there should be plenty of villas available to book at seven months out", but unless that inventory is in points/DVC inventory, you won't be booking that on points. Until it gets sold and declared into DVC inventory, it's only available for cash booking.

    So, buy where you won't mind staying if that other DVC that you are longing to stay at doesn't show up at seven months out and you can't cancel and rebook your stay elsewhere.

    If your heart is set on GFV, buy lots of GFV points so you can book there. 50 or 100 points there are not going to go very far. Same with BLT and AKV-Savanna view.

    With your two older daughters in HS and the youngest three years away from school, you aren't going to get to use the lower point times for a long time. Plan on holidays, spring break and summers. And early December must be booked 11 months out because it is so popular with members. Same with F&W in October and Nov.

    Oh, and SSR one bedroom villa only has one king bed in the master and one queen sleeper sofa in the living room. They will allow five on the reservation, but you have to provide your own sleeping space (aerobed?) and any bedding/linens you will need for your fifth person. SSR, VWL, BWV and BCV do not have a sleeping space for the fifth person. DVC will not provide a cot or rollaway.
  15. Trooper8286

    Trooper8286 TK8286

    Jul 26, 2013
    I have been wrestling with some of these same issues and I have been reading hour after is overwhelming.

    What I have concluded based on all of the material I have read, it boils down to this for us:


    If you have 3 girls who are "Sold Out" Disney probably are.

    The Good: DVC gives you availability to be at on property resorts with flexibility. You get to be at Disney and all the fun stuff that happens.

    The Bad: Bill has said it a hundred times in the posts I have read.....Disney is expensive, and DVC will only fuel the tendency to spend money. You are likely to go more, want more points and spend more when you get there. You have to assign (as Bill has said) how much value being at Disney gives you. For us, it is sort of other words, I am willing to accept the expense for the benefit I get.

    The Ugly: First off, as I looked over the shoulder of a member while they walked thru the reservation process, it was a lot like "lets make a deal." There are trade-offs and compromises. A resort you want may not be available, buy you might be able to book somewhere else....You may have to stay a shorter time to stay in a nicer location....or split locations. All that mental gymnastics to participate in a timeshare. That is sort of ugly when compared with calling reservations and booking the hotel you want via they don't change the sheets everyday and all that....different from a hotel stay....

    For my family, the initial headache of learning the process and making reservations is worth it to me.....I want to see the Castle change colors at BLT. I want to be able to take my mom to WDW like she took me in 1974. I would NEVER book a 1 BR suite on cash to make that happen. I could not justify the expense. But if that expense is spread out over years of visits, it means more to us and is do-able.

    That has been my process and I hope that helps based on our similar struggle. We will be buying something at BLT soon. I guess that is a long-winded way to say, I have been thru the process you are in, determined that it meant enough to me to do it, and accept that it is not going to be like making hotel reservation.
  16. Deb & Bill

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

    Mar 20, 2000
    You won't be booking a suite on points either. Ever. You're booking a villa. Different type of accomodations.
  17. shaycamp21

    shaycamp21 DIS Veteran

    Jan 14, 2005
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I am aware that if I purchase resale I am limited to how I can use my points which I am ok with. I would purchase with the intention to stay primarily at WDW (maybe sometime at Vero Beach).
    For cruises I would just rent my points and use cash towards the cruise or just pay oop and bank the points for another time or even do the cruise and do WDW another time of year. We usually travel 2x per year so I wouldn't feel like I am limiting myself to only doing Disney.

    I have more flexibility than DH to vacation as I am teacher so though I am thinking that we would go in either March (our Spring Break here in Canada) or August I do have the option of going in July or December (Christmas Break). DH gets four weeks per year and picks his weeks every October but it varies from year to year which weeks he gets. However, as I mentioned before I don't have a problem going without DH, he not being as much of a Disney fan would probably welcome not having to go every year.

    The hardest sell for DH in the purchase is the maintenance fees.
  18. jerseyduke

    jerseyduke Home is just where you stay when not at WDW

    Jan 19, 2013
    Buy where you want to stay!

    Unless you just do not care where you stay as long as it is at WDW.

    The more points that are sold into the system (VGF, a possible Poly) the harder and harder non home resorts at the 7 month window will be to get.

    Personally, if it were me, and I "needed" to buy now, I would buy where I wanted to stay, even if it meant less points. The difference in price when factored over the length of the contract (at least 30 years) to me, is not worth settling on a different resort. You can add on more later..a small 50 pointer...whatever you need.

    If you get a loaded resale contract, great. Realize it is a sellers market.

    One thing I did not see mentioned in other's responses is about Use Year. If you have a "regular" vacationing schedule, it is advantageous to vacation EARLY in your use year, do to the rules about banking points. If you tend to vacation in March, and April UY would be the worst for you.
  19. disneymath

    disneymath DIS Veteran

    Jun 10, 2006
    The PPs have provided some great advice, so I won't repeat that. Like you, I'm Canadian and a teacher, I've owned DVC since 2010 and have recently added on. From that perspective, here are a few other considerations:

    1. Canadian $ exchange rate. We were at par when I bought in, and I also maintain a US account with a healthy enough balance to cover a few years worth of dues, just in case the value of the CAD$ drops significantly and unexpectedly. Last time I checked, the difference was only about $0.05 on a dollar, which isn't too bad. This might be something to factor in since you mentioned that your DH isn't keen on the maintenance fees, which typically increase each year.

    2. Your planned travel times will impact your non-accommodation costs and point requirements. Not sure where in Canada you are, or if you've flown to Orlando during Christmas or MArch Break in the past, but it can be pricey. We actually postponed our Fantasy cruise scheduled for last March Break (2013) because the airfare was going to cost more than the cruise. (I watched airfare from March 2012 until the day before our PIF date.). Also, the points requirements for Christmas week are as high as they can get at DVC resorts. They do drop to their lowest on January 1st, so depending on the school year calendar, a New Year's trip can work out nicely. We did this in 2011. Summerwise, July is busier than August, in late August many southern states are back in school and DVC point requirements drop mid month. Christmas Week and Spring Break are some of the busiest times at the WDW parks.

    3. That said, based on your predicted travel times, August is likely the best Use Year for you ... points need to be banked by the end of March so the points from any trips (especially March Break ones) that needed to be cancelled could be banked if cancelled more than 31 days out or could go into holding status to be used before July 31, if cancelled between 30 and 1 days out. The only "not so great" situation would be July trips since points cannot be banked within the last four months of your use year and you would not have much time to use points before they expire from a cancelled July trip. I opted for an August Use Year, since all things considered, the chances of needing to cancel a July trip (if I ever booked one) seemed the least likely to occur.
  20. dhorner233

    dhorner233 Disneyophile

    Jun 26, 2011
    I hope it's okay to jump in here with a basic question but, I have just started thinking about DVC.

    Where do you get resales?
  21. DizBub

    DizBub Totally Addicted

    Dec 9, 2010
    Look at the top of this page. The Timeshare Store is a sponsor here. There is also Fidelity and a couple other brokers, not sure they can be mentioned here.

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