Two small contracts and is this reasonable?

Momtomouselover

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
I’m still considering purchasing but have changed my mind on Riviera. Two things holding me back from Riv and that is the high MFs and the resale restrictions. So, now I’m considering two smaller contracts of say 100-120 at one resort and another 75-100 at AK. The AK I’m thinking of buying direct so I can get the direct benefits and book at future resorts (and I like the AK :)). So here are some thoughts I have and would like input.

1. I would like the 100-120 at VGF because I like the idea of 1-bdrms although I may not ever book one (if I ever find a contract) and 75 at AK. Maybe I should consider Poly instead of GF. Is it reasonable to expect to be able to book studios every other year and switch between them? So a stay every year but one year AK, next GF. I assume I would have to take advantage of the home resort booking window. Primarily travel May/June and occasionally in Oct or Dec. Am I buying enough points or setting myself up for disappointment? I’m thinking a Dec. use year on both contracts would be best.

2. How likely is it to get AK CL studio sometimes? Maybe just part of a trip? Any advice here

3. Swapping out at 7 months how does that work? I mean can you book at your 11 month window and then at 7 months change if there is availability elsewhere of interest? Can you change just part of a reservation and have a split stay?

4. Are the DVC rooms kept in reasonably good condition? When staying in a hotel I’m usually disappointed with chipped furniture, unworking drawers or refrigerators, etc., or visible grime. If you get a room in bad condition can you request a change?
 
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Momtomouselover

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
One more thing..I have been watching the DVCstore for the VGF contract and a couple other sites as well. How do you tell of a broker is a valid broker? Are there any red flags or advice on who to stay away from?
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
4. Are the DVC rooms kept in reasonably good condition? When staying in a hotel I’m usually disappointed with chipped furniture, unworking drawers or refrigerators, etc., or visible grime. If you get a room in bad condition can you request a change?
I have never, in 15 years of ownership been in a room that didn't have broken drawers, chipped furniture, broken tile, pancake batter between the glass in the stove, torn curtains, slightly ripped lampshades or some other small defect. You can request to move - it will cost you the cleaning fee for the room you vacated, and the chances that the new room is in the same shape or worse are pretty high.
 
  • Momtomouselover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2009
    I have never, in 15 years of ownership been in a room that didn't have broken drawers, chipped furniture, broken tile, pancake batter between the glass in the stove, torn curtains, slightly ripped lampshades or some other small defect. You can request to move - it will cost you the cleaning fee for the room you vacated, and the chances that the new room is in the same shape or worse are pretty high.
    I guess it is a matter of degree. Like a messed up lampshade and a broken drawer somewhere may not bother me but all of the above would. Maybe I should try and find some photos.
     

    _auroraborealis_

    I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2015
    I’m still considering purchasing but have changed my mind on Riviera. Two things holding me back from Riv and that is the high MFs and the resale restrictions. So, now I’m considering two smaller contracts of say 100-120 at one resort and another 75-100 at AK. The AK I’m thinking of buying direct so I can get the direct benefits and book at future resorts (and I like the AK :)). So here are some thoughts I have and would like input.

    1. I would like the 100-120 at VGF because I like the idea of 1-bdrms although I may not ever book one (if I ever find a contract) and 75 at AK. Maybe I should consider Poly instead of GF. Is it reasonable to expect to be able to book studios every other year and switch between them? So a stay every year but one year AK, next GF. I assume I would have to take advantage of the home resort booking window. Primarily travel May/June and occasionally in Oct or Dec. Am I buying enough points or setting myself up for disappointment? I’m thinking a Dec. use year on both contracts would be best.

    2. How likely is it to get AK CL studio sometimes? Maybe just part of a trip? Any advice here

    3. Swapping out at 7 months how does that work? I mean can you book at your 11 month window and then at 7 months change if there is availability elsewhere of interest? Can you change just part of a reservation and have a split stay?

    4. Are the DVC rooms kept in reasonably good condition? When staying in a hotel I’m usually disappointed with chipped furniture, unworking drawers or refrigerators, etc., or visible grime. If you get a room in bad condition can you request a change?
    1. October and December, assume you will stay at your home resort, hard stop. December can be hard to get studios at VGF, and 1BRs are not much easier.

    2. Sometime? Maybe. But there are only 5 and they are really hard. People walk them. On your target check in date, none may be available because no one is checking out. You have to own AKV to have a chance, but do not buy AKV expecting CL bookings with regularity.

    3. You cannot modify one part of a stay online easily. You should book as two stays if you want to try to split it at 7 months.

    4. DVC units are regularly beat up. Refurbs are ona 7 year soft / 14 year full cycle. DVC is not a deluxe resort room. It is a timeshare unit.
     

    Momtomouselover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2009
    1. October and December, assume you will stay at your home resort, hard stop. December can be hard to get studios at VGF, and 1BRs are not much easier.

    2. Sometime? Maybe. But there are only 5 and they are really hard. People walk them. On your target check in date, none may be available because no one is checking out. You have to own AKV to have a chance, but do not buy AKV expecting CL bookings with regularity.

    3. You cannot modify one part of a stay online easily. You should book as two stays if you want to try to split it at 7 months.

    4. DVC units are regularly beat up. Refurbs are ona 7 year soft / 14 year full cycle. DVC is not a deluxe resort room. It is a timeshare unit.
    Thank you. These answers are really helping me gain perspective. Admittedly I was thinking of the rooms more like a deluxe hotel room and now I know that is setting myself up for issues. When you say GF studios are hard to book in Dec. is that even with the 11 month window? I had read that is also true of CC. Do you know of other DVC resorts where studios are hard to book even with the home resort window?
     

    _auroraborealis_

    I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2015
    When you say GF studios are hard to book in Dec. is that even with the 11 month window?
    Yes. Absolutely. People walk VGF studios for December. There are a maximum of 47 studios and a lot of people who bought smaller contracts with intent to book December.

    Do you know of other DVC resorts where studios are hard to book even with the home resort window?
    Early December can be hard all over. Ya snooze, ya lose, and even if you don't snooze, VGF and CCV are especially challenging. In a broad general sense, even at 11 months, it can often be a challenge to get BWV Standard Studios and BLT Standard Studios much of the year. AKV Value and AKV Club are very difficult all year long.

    I expect Tower Studios at Riviera to be a hard get especially once resale restrictions start playing ball with availability. Only 24, and that's a resort selling lots of small contracts.
     

    Momtomouselover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2009
    Is there somewhere you can read the actual contracts before buying? Also, when do they release the point charts and MF numbers?
     

    MICKIMINI

    Love the Mouse!
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    Have you looked at point charts yet? The least expensive VGF 1 BR is 33 points per night. 100 points would only get your three nights. AKV is much less per point with the Value 1 BR as low as 18 points per night. A Value Studio can be as low as 8 points per night but are competitive to book. David's DVC Rental has a great calculator for points so you can choose dates and see how many points each resort and villa size "costs". It may help you calculate a realistic number of points to buy and at which resort(s).

    IMHO from the information you provided, I would consider buying two AKL contracts both resale so you have the option to sell one down the road. You will have more "buying" power with your points in the near future and you can waitlist to try to get CL availability or you can try to rebook at 7 months at another resort if you want. When a new DVC resort opens you can sell one of your contracts and buy if you decide that works for you. Good luck!
     

    Momtomouselover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2009
    Have you looked at point charts yet? The least expensive VGF 1 BR is 33 points per night. 100 points would only get your three nights. AKV is much less per point with the Value 1 BR as low as 18 points per night. A Value Studio can be as low as 8 points per night but are competitive to book. David's DVC Rental has a great calculator for points so you can choose dates and see how many points each resort and villa size "costs". It may help you calculate a realistic number of points to buy and at which resort(s).

    IMHO from the information you provided, I would consider buying two AKL contracts both resale so you have the option to sell one down the road. You will have more "buying" power with your points in the near future and you can waitlist to try to get CL availability or you can try to rebook at 7 months at another resort if you want. When a new DVC resort opens you can sell one of your contracts and buy if you decide that works for you. Good luck!
    Yes, I have looked at the point charts. I’m primarily looking at studios (any view/category) for both VGF and AKL. It would also be every other year and alternating. So, if I had 100 VGF points I would have 200 by banking one year and could get either a standard or lake view for one week during all seasons except premier. Or at least that is my understanding. Same with AKL but their maybe 75-100 points so every other year I would have 150-200. However, I have considered buying just two contracts in one resort but I don’t want to be at the same resort year after year and this way I would at least be able to alternate home resorts unless I get lucky at 7 months or WL.

    By the way, if you bank points can you then transfer and use them at the other resort with an 11 month window? Now, I may be getting confused 🤷‍♀️ .
     

    _auroraborealis_

    I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2015
    Yes, I have looked at the point charts. I’m primarily looking at studios (any view/category) for both VGF and AKL. It would also be every other year and alternating. So, if I had 100 VGF points I would have 200 by banking one year and could get either a standard or lake view for one week during all seasons except premier. Or at least that is my understanding. Same with AKL but their maybe 75-100 points so every other year I would have 150-200. However, I have considered buying just two contracts in one resort but I don’t want to be at the same resort year after year and this way I would at least be able to alternate home resorts unless I get lucky at 7 months or WL.

    By the way, if you bank points can you then transfer and use them at the other resort with an 11 month window? Now, I may be getting confused 🤷‍♀️ .
    No. You cannot use AKV points at 11 months at VGF ever. No matter what you do to them (bank, borrow, transfer, set on fire).
     

    TCRAIG

    Member Since 2010 SS/OKW/HH/BCV/WLV/BLT/GF
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2011
    2018 I had to waitlist a 1br at VGF for first week of December at 11 months out...
     

    Deb & Bill

    DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2000
    I had to waitlist an OKW studio for the second week of Dec at nine months out. I got it about six months out, but I waitlisted the two nights I needed (I had the middle night of three) separately. One night is easier to get with a waitlist than three nights.

    Be aware that your 75 points at AKV won't get you many nights at the future resorts. You won't be able to use the points from your resale contract for those stays. And don't plan on getting a GFV studio anytime at seven months out. I've gotten a one bedroom in early May twice, but I booked those exactly at seven months out. Those five nights I had booked used up a whole lot of points.

    If you plan on going often in October, don't buy a Dec contract. If you need to cancel, you only have until the end of Nov to rebook something. And October needs seven to eleven months out. So in May you decide you can't go to that October F&W Trip, you have pretty much lost those banked or borrowed points unless you can use all those points to book something in August since Sept, Oct and Nov will probably all be booked. With mostly May/June trips, you probably want an April UY (there is no May UY). Plus banking and borrowing points cannot be reversed. If you borrowed all your next UY points and banked all your previous UY points, they all expire at the end of the UY you banked and borrowed into. Cancelling a Dec trip with an Apr UY would give you Jan, Feb and Mar to rebook. There would be a lot more vacancy during those months.

    Most of the time when you go online to book an AKV CL villa exactly at eleven months out, they will already be gone. You have to "walk" that reservation. That means you book it a month or two before you really need it and then modify that reservation every day or so to drop nights at the beginning and add nights to the end until you have the nights you need.

    The only time the DVC villas are in perfect shape is either right when they open up as brand new or right after they have been renovated. Even then, with renovations, they might not do a full renovation and leave part of the villa as it was before the renovation. Occupancy is high for DVC resorts and owners pay for every bit of maintenance and operational expenses. They don't get a full cleaning every day like the hotel rooms. Plus some guests are pigs and allow their children to do stuff they wouldn't allow in their home. (For example, guests have found all sorts of writing on the underside of the coffee table at OKW like kids were putting their names on the coffee table in crayon.) So if they don't have all the money they need to do a 100% renovation, they might do an 85% renovation. Every villa will be touched, but not all the villa will be changed. Or they will paint existing furniture and reuse it, reuse the kitchen cabinets as they are, not replace the appliances unless they are broken.
     
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    murphy625

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2016
    I can't ever remember having anything broken or dirty (almost 20 years DVC owner). Only once I had to request a room change. We were at Boardwalk and the smell in the room was nauseating. We checked in late so i called the front desk and they brought industrial fans right away but it didn't help. The next day I requested to change rooms and they (eventually) accommodated us.
    I just yesterday changed my 2 bedroom value AKV for a value studio for April vacation 2020. I was surprised there were any values available. I heard they are hard to get, but I am still outside the 7 month window. I'm not sure about CL studios.
    I plan to try to do an opposite year/home resort booking between BRV (200 points) and AKV (60 points). I was going to add a 3rd and try to do a 3 year rotation with bank/borrow but from the feedback on here it seems that can be a lot to manage and theres more risk of losing points. If I get more points I'll do AKV with the same use year.

    Also we like split stays and someone on here recommended do the 11 month booking in two reservations at your home resort and then it is easier to modify on reservation at 7 months if you want to try for another resort.
     

    Sandisw

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2008
    If you want to travel during October occasionally, then I do not recommend a Dec UY. Traveling within the first 8 months of a UY allows you to still bank points if you had to cancel at least 31 days in advance...less than that and points go into holding which puts restrictions on them.

    If you ever had to cancel or adjust an October trip, with that Dec UY, your points would most likely be lost because you would not only be beyond your banking window, but fall availability is hard to come by and you would have a very difficult, if not impossible time, rebooking before those points expire. Given that your plan is to use banking every other year to book at resorts, I would maybe consider Feb or March UY for your preferred times of travel.

    In terms of Poly and VGF, getting in there at 7 months isn't easy, but I have been lucky, as I went on exactly at 7 months. I traded in to a studio at VGF for this past August . I just traded into a studio at 7 months for March 2020 at VGF again. I got Poly right at 7 months for January, but it took stalking the website to do it, but VGF wasn't even available at all.

    So, if you have AKV and VGF or Poly, I think you'd have an easier time getting AKV at 11 months for those December trips and the other places at 11 months. The key to all of this and staying elsewhere with your points is planning! You have to be willing to book at 11 months to secure a room at your home resort, and then be ready right at 7 months to switch it out, even sometimes, needing to go on the website a few times that first day since at 8 am, a lot of people are changing and I have found that things that were not there to book at 8 am were available around 10 am (after others had switched out!).

    Good luck!
     

    MICKIMINI

    Love the Mouse!
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2003
    Also we like split stays and someone on here recommended do the 11 month booking in two reservations at your home resort and then it is easier to modify on reservation at 7 months if you want to try for another resort.
    Smart strategy as you "win" either way and DVC will link your reservations so you don't need to change rooms if you do end with those two consecutive bookings at the same resort (you have to call on that). It's all in the details!
     

    Momtomouselover

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2009
    Sorry to digress but quick question...what does it mean if a resale contract has some points in “holding”? Does that mean they can’t be banked?
     

    Deb & Bill

    DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2000
    Sorry to digress but quick question...what does it mean if a resale contract has some points in “holding”? Does that mean they can’t be banked?
    Yes, they cannot be banked. It means the owner cancelled a reservation 30 or fewer days out. Holding means you cannot use those points except to book 60 days or less out and they expire at the end of the UY. So you can't use them to book at seven months out, just two months out.
     

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