Looking to buy direct - 50 points (after 10 years waiting)

mrt3o3

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Hello all!

I first learned about DVC about about 10 years ago through one of their tours after signing up in then Downtown Disney. Instantly fell in love but being in college, I couldn't afford it. Fast forward ten years later, I just bought a house, and I still can't afford it! Seems like there will never be a good time (financially) to get it, but I am highly considering it. I am going to be taking a trip to Celebrate my 30th the 2nd week in December, and it makes the most sense to me, to put the money from the trip towards the DVC and start using my points now.

I could only afford (sort of - depleting my bank account nearly completely) 50 points now, and after much thought, consideration, and investigation, want to buy direct (with hopes of getting to 75 points within the next few years)

I am struggling to try to figure out which resort. Initially I was attracted to Vero beach for the low cost per point, $110 and be able to buy in @ 5500. That sounded great until I did further research and calculated the true cost per point and factored in the annual dues. Long story short, I am stuck on Animal Kingdom Lodge, Old Key West, and Saratoga.

Strictly financially speaking, it seems like Saratoga is the best valued DVC resort you can buy, based on years remaining, cost per point, and annual dues. They are at $160 a point currently while Old Key west is a little less @ $155 and has an additional 3 years on the contract.
However, my favorite resort has always been AKL, which is up to $176 per point and has a slightly higher annual due as well.

I am just trying to figure my best option out there and would love to hear from you guys. How much issues have you faced when trying to book 7 months out at a resort different from your home resort? Will it make a huge difference and better off spending a little more to get my favorite resort, or will it not really matter most times at 7 months out and be able to get in anywhere most likely?

Also, back to financially, is it not a smart move to lose all my cushion money, in case anything goes wrong (medical, car goes, etc)? It would be a roughly initial few months, but hopefully early next year, I would be able to start accruing more money to be set again.
But at the same time, is it dumb NOT to get DVC now, since I'd spend X amount on a resort anyway in December?

Any insight is greatly appreciated!
 

zavandor

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
I would suggest you to pause a bit and rethink your plan.

Buying now and trying to book the second week of December you won't find any availability, that week has been booked solid at 11 months and Riviera won't be open yet even for the welcome home reservation.

Why direct? 50 points wouldn't even be enough to get the benefits and the minimum for mew purchasers is 100 anyway. SSR resale would be under $100 which would allow you to afford a bit more points.

I am avert to risks and I wouldn't be comfortable emptying my bank account, I would wait a bit and save more money to be able to buy a larger contract resale (small contracts demand a premium).
 

sndral

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
I actually took the $12,000 I would normally spend on an annual WDW trip that we were skipping and bought my first set of DVC points (resale) instead several years ago, so I get the appeal.
However, in your case you most likely will not be able to use your new points for a stay for the second week of this December - I just looked at studio availability at all WDW DVC resorts and during the second week of this Dec. there is literally only one night at one resort open. Sometimes your guide can magically find a villa for you & if you decide to move forward make that a condition of buying.
Personally I would adjust to home ownership for awhile before I spent several thousands more. Ironically I had hefty car repair bills arise in the midst of buying the first two of my 3 contracts, in fact when I bought my 3rd contract this spring I was surprised to not have a car problem :rotfl2: - fortunately I had sufficient cash reserves and didn’t need to liquidate any investments or use a credit card, but you’re smart to hesitate.
Finally, realize the cost of those points are just a drop in the bucket in the total cost of WDW vacations. If you love WDW and see yourself going every year or every other year and you can afford DVC then it’s a way to lower your room cost, but tickets, meals and transportation will all continue to go up as will the MFs on your points.
BTW, here’s a link to the thread on DIS of people currently buying resale and the prices they are paying FYI https://www.disboards.com/threads/rofr-thread-april-to-june-2019-please-see-first-post-for-instructions-formatting-tool.3743908/
There are pros and cons to buying resale v. direct - but it doesn’t hurt to know all of your options.
 
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  • mrt3o3

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2013
    Thanks for the responses guys. But yes, availability is booked for December, however your first trip in getting membership through Disney is called your 'welcome home' trip in which they can essentially work the system to get you in to your desired resort, despite it being booked up already, which is major in trying to go this year. I would not be able to use resale points on this trip if I did go that route
    Also 3 separate accounts?! Is that just for giving yourself 3 different options for a home resort rather than just increasing your first account points?
     

    Minniemoo15

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2016
    I don’t believe that you can purchase just 50 points direct as a new member. When we did the tour in March the minimum was 100 points.

    We ended up buying resale and saved tens of thousands of dollars (though the difference will be less on a smaller contract). Also look at what such a small number of points will get you (in a lot of resorts...not very much)
     

    StitchesGr8Fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2009
    You can’t buy just 50 points direct. And if the resorts are full then they can’t work any magic to get you in for December. They aren’t going to cancel someone else’s reservation to set up your first trip.
     

    AnnaS

    DIS Sponsoor/Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2001
    My advice is to please, please buy only what you can afford/when you can afford it and do not empty out your bank account (you need emergency funds/house/car, illness, job, etc.). Life happens...........

    Also, "strongly recommended" to buy where you will be happy staying most of the time. Do not count on switching to the resort you like/want when your 7 month window opens up.

    If you are going to buy direct, buy 75 points so you can get whatever perks (yes they come and go at anytime) are being offered (AP discount, etc.).

    I personally would stay away from a Vero Beach contract - high fees and you will be disappointed when you can't get the resort you want/like/prefer when the 7 month window opens up. If you want to gamble on this - then you might as well buy OKW or SSR - which are also great resorts if you don't mind staying here most of the time.

    DVC is not going anywhere (yes prices will go up). Save a few more $$ and then go for it. Good luck!!
     

    CookieandOatmeal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2014
    I'm only a few years older than you and want to advise you to pump the brakes just a bit. I get the excitement of owning DVC and the allure of going during Christmas time on points if you were spending the money already. Being a homeowner comes with unforeseen expenses that you can't predict and you saying that if you were to go and purchase DVC right now, it will make a big dent in your emergency savings. Please, please save that money for an emergency house fund instead and opt to start a savings account for your DVC purchase instead. Also, don't forget that points comes with maintenance fees every year that you are on the hook to pay for. Would you be able to swing that if something else comes up (house, car, health, etc.) that you have to pay for?
     

    _auroraborealis_

    I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2015
    The Welcome Home trip is NOT guaranteed, especially on a 50-point contract. I know people who bought CCV in the last month who asked for any availability in December and got a sad no.
     

    Best Aunt

    "That's the best-est present ever!"
    Joined
    May 1, 2009
    OP, you say that you just bought a house. How recently were things replaced? Furnace. Air conditioning unit. Hot water heater. Washer/dryer/fridge/oven/dishwasher. The roof. Things like this do not last forever, and if you own the home it's your responsibility to pay for replacing them. I agree with @AnnaS about adjusting to homeownership before purchasing DVC.

    I agree with @_auroraborealis_ that the Welcome Home Trip is not guaranteed.

    I agree with @sndral that there are costs affiliated with a Disney trip apart from the room - such as food, park admission and transportation.

    If you first learned about DVC 10 years ago, you need to realize that things have changed since then. A lot. Disney added events during times which had been considered "quiet" so that more people are booking. Lots of owners, not enough studios. People are finding that they sometimes have trouble booking what they want even at exactly the 11 month mark.

    If something comes up, you can cancel a hotel room you have booked for December and get a refund of your deposit. You can't cancel a DVC contract that you have purchased and have all of the money magically re-appear in your bank account. You can't cancel maintenance fees for that contract.

    I, personally, think you should not be purchasing a DVC contract at this point in time.
     

    kniquy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2014
    You bring up many factors which need to be addressed.

    I am just trying to figure my best option out there
    You best option would be to buy resale -- You are often spending 40% more on direct. You didn't mention how often you plan on visiting. Honestly buying direct really doesn't offer enough incentives to make it worth the extra $$ you would be paying. If you visit yearly you can get an AP and have pretty much the same discounts as DVC. I just bought a Poly resale - had I gone direct to get the "perks" I would have had to shell out $9000 more. there is no way there are any DVC perks that are worth that amount of $$.

    How much issues have you faced when trying to book 7 months out at a resort different from your home resort?
    I am guessing you are looking for studios. I have been tracking 7 month availability for almost a year. Studios are typically gone at most resorts. So for example today I looked at 7 months which would be Jan 18th for 7 nights. This is now getting into the slower DVC time (high demand time is Mid September to mid January). So at 7 months today the only studios on property are at SSR.

    But at the same time, is it dumb NOT to get DVC now, since I'd spend X amount on a resort anyway in December?
    It isn't dumb to buy DVC if you visit frequently and you prefer to stay in moderate or deluxe rooms, but it might not be the best option to buy direct.

    You are considering buying 50 points (which won't get you much for a room). If you were to buy 50 points direct at SSR it would cost you $8000. Where on the resale market you could get probably 80 points. For roughly the same amount. I would wait to buy. If you think you can afford DVC now then set up a separate savings account, put $300-500 per month away for 2 years. After 2 years you will now have $7200-12000 to use to buy a DVC contract. In that time maybe put off Disney vacations and put that money aside to buy. This will accomplish 2 things 1. Know that you are serious and can actually afford your DVC purchase 2. It won't touch that cushion money which you will need for things that go wrong in the house or renovations you want to do.

    The one major red flag that I see is that you just bought a house. I would be in that house for a couple years before i took on another financial commitment. You never know what that house will throw at you -- unless it is a brand new construction an older house will most certainly have something go wrong and you will need that cushion money to fix the furnace or replace the fridge or fix that leaking shower.
     

    MickyLynn

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 5, 2019
    We set aside a down payment in a high yield savings account, then added $X/month to make sure we could comfortably cover the monthly cost. If you do this for 6 months you will be in much better shape to buy 75 points direct (which you can do).

    ETA: Or do what kniquy said and save it up for 2-3 years.
     
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2019
    Please listen to the other posters advice, take a step back and ask yourself what would you say to a friend asking your advice about buying into a project that could possibly create financial struggles for them for years.
    Maybe consider renting points for Disney trips for a few years, putting the money you save away in an account dedicated to a future DVC purchase.
    Whatever you decide to do @mrt3o3 I wish you all the best... don't give up on your dream - as my avatar says......Think, Believe, Dream & Dare :-)
     

    SG131

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2017
    Thanks for the responses guys. But yes, availability is booked for December, however your first trip in getting membership through Disney is called your 'welcome home' trip in which they can essentially work the system to get you in to your desired resort, despite it being booked up already, which is major in trying to go this year. I would not be able to use resale points on this trip if I did go that route
    Also 3 separate accounts?! Is that just for giving yourself 3 different options for a home resort rather than just increasing your first account points?
    They CAN, but that doesn't mean they will. Disney owns a certain percentage of the DVC resorts and that coupled with people using their points for cruises and whatnot allows them to sell some rooms for cash. If there are cash rooms available they may pull one of those rooms for your welcome home visit, but if you're buying in with so few points they are less likely too. Plus just taking a look at the first week in December, a lot of DVC resorts are full even on the cash side. It looks like only OKW and SSR have studios available, so if the resorts are that full it is even more unlikely that they will get you a reservation. I wouldn't factor a December welcome home trip into your decision as it is a long shot.
     

    katandmouse

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2019
    Happy early Birthday! I agree with PP, use this year to set aside the money you want for DVC in a high interest savings account and add to it each month. See if you can live comfortably without that money, and not paycheck to paycheck (but it would still be accessible if it turns out you need it.) Set a goal to save up enough for a larger contract at your favorite resort, which sounds like AKV. And then use the time to research more about DVC these days - the point charts, studio availability, seasonal demand, resale vs direct, etc. When you go on your trip in December you could maybe go on another tour to get a feel for what DVC is like now. But I wouldn’t recommend going with the idea of purchasing - still work to save as much as you can and make sure you won’t be stretching your budget. I’d maybe make it a 33 or 35 year old (or pick another year) birthday gift for yourself: so your 30 year old self is making a present for your future self.

    ETA: I forgot to ask what your usual travel plans are: how often, what time of year, and for how long do you usually go to WDW? Where do you typically stay now? That’ll influence how many points you’ll probably need.
     
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    Deb & Bill

    DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2000
    Thanks for the responses guys. But yes, availability is booked for December, however your first trip in getting membership through Disney is called your 'welcome home' trip in which they can essentially work the system to get you in to your desired resort, despite it being booked up already, which is major in trying to go this year. I would not be able to use resale points on this trip if I did go that route
    Also 3 separate accounts?! Is that just for giving yourself 3 different options for a home resort rather than just increasing your first account points?
    I had two waitlist for single nights at OKW in a studio during the second week of December. I had the night between the two booked. I put the waitist in a month or two before the seven month time frame and the two nights finally came in individually about a week ago. The OP is not going to get a studio at OKW for the second week of December. Or maybe any other DVC resort during that time. Magic can't make one appear for several nights when they just don't exist.
     

    sndral

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 3, 2008
    ...
    Also 3 separate accounts?! Is that just for giving yourself 3 different options for a home resort rather than just increasing your first account points?
    Actually it’s one account/member number because all 3 are the same use year. We can combine them at 7 months, but usually book at 11 months at their respective home resorts.
    Yes, we wanted 2 different home resorts (AKV & VGF.) We also added on recently at AKV to enable us to book more nights or a larger villa there.
    My first purchase was AKV - I bought half the points I thought I’d eventually want, I took a couple of trips on those points - to really see if DVC was a good fit for me, if not, I was limiting my potential loss. Well, I liked the program, so after using those AKV points, I bought my second set of points at VGF, and then finally added the extra AKV points, I still may add some points at VGF as well, but am not in a big rush to do so.
     

    bumbershoot

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2007
    So....

    We bought Dvc when we were spending lots to go to Disney, but couldn’t afford the full purchase (because of the trips). We bought direct and financed.

    Just after the 10 day period ended, my then husband found out about a layoff.

    We bought a house with no emergency fund, and within one year found out we had a water leak and had to have a new water line put into the house. Ouch.

    Things happen. Here I am, 2 years after the water line, divorced, and my water heater is toast.

    Things. Happen.

    Don’t empty your bank account for this.

    Personally I would adjust to home ownership for awhile before I spent several thousands more.
    Yep.

    however your first trip in getting membership through Disney is called your 'welcome home' trip in which they can essentially work the system to get you in to your desired resort, despite it being booked up already, which is major in trying to go this year.
    That’s almost certainly not going to be possible at this time for that time of year.
     

    mrt3o3

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2013
    Wow thanks so much for everyone's responses!
    Sorry if I miss some things here.
    Yes you can buy direct for 50 points (older resorts only, min is 75 for Riviera)
    How often i go, I'd love nothing more than to be able to go every year, even if it's not a full week, or to go every other year is fine. I've done many trips with my wife but only 2 days in the parks (value resorts) and one Disney springs day, because that's all we could afford at the time
    In terms of resale, financially it makes sense, but I do have concerns. To me, part of the whole thing with being a member is to really feel part of it, and having a membership card to show for it. I'd love to go to Riviera and whatever new resorts they offer in the coming years and I cant do that with resale. I do get it financially though, it makes a lot more sense. Ideally get 75 points direct for benefits then add on a resale account for future points (very long term)
    I also would 100% not be able to book for December through resale. I see it sounds slim to still get my welcome home trip booked if buying direct, but my DVC agent did say he could call and try to find a room for me and hold it before committing to buying.
    Finances speaking, it does seem like a bad time, but it seems I never will have an opportune time, as I expect child 1 within the next couple years and my car is getting up there. Once those happen, it just seems like itll continued to be pushed back. This has been my dream since my initial tour, to truly feel part of the magic as a member and seeing how much I'd save longterm. So I feel if I hold off now, itll be holding off for another 5, 10, or maybe even ever.
    And bumber, sorry to hear all that... I hope things are going better for you now
    I do take all your suggestions into consideration and maybe I should reconsider resale for now and accept I cant use it this upcoming trip.
    But thank you again guys, sounds like I should hold off, at least on direct unfortunately but I get it and was just getting too excited again =/
     

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