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Old 06-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #16
dmunsil
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Originally Posted by disneynutz View Post
[COLOR="Blue"]Exterior maintenance at the ocean resorts seems like they would/should be higher due to the salt air and storm damage not covered by insurance.
Right, but will it accelerate at a higher rate than other costs? That would be an argument for the fees always being higher than other resorts, but not for them increasing faster.

If storms get worse than predicted, via climate change or something, that could cause an unexpected acceleration, but otherwise it's just reasonably predictable maintenance of oceanfront property.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:27 PM   #17
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I think you all are right about the design of the resort itself leading to lower costs. It also seems like Disney has moved to more of a "skyscraper" design for all the resorts lately, rather than expensive, spread-out buildings. Even the new rumored Poly resort is supposed to be taller 5-story buildings instead of 2-3 story longhouses. Thus, since BLT is clearly the tallest & most simple building, costs would probably be lower.

I assumed the same thing disneynutz did about the ocean resorts - maintenance is more expensive there because of the salt air. However, I'm startled by the point increase after actual storms. Doesn't Disney have insurance for storms and floods? What would happen if a major hurricane hit Vero Beach or Hilton Head and put the resort out of commission for a few years?
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:30 PM   #18
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The lower fees at BLT is one of several reasons we chose it over AKL for a resale purchase. Still not owners yet though...contract is in ROFR for another week or so.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DPCummerbund View Post
I think you all are right about the design of the resort itself leading to lower costs. It also seems like Disney has moved to more of a "skyscraper" design for all the resorts lately, rather than expensive, spread-out buildings. Even the new rumored Poly resort is supposed to be taller 5-story buildings instead of 2-3 story longhouses. Thus, since BLT is clearly the tallest & most simple building, costs would probably be lower.

I assumed the same thing disneynutz did about the ocean resorts - maintenance is more expensive there because of the salt air. However, I'm startled by the point increase after actual storms. Doesn't Disney have insurance for storms and floods? What would happen if a major hurricane hit Vero Beach or Hilton Head and put the resort out of commission for a few years?
The owners would lose their points for the time period the resorts were being reconstructed if insurance covered it otherwise if they decide not to rebuild the resort than the insurance money is given out to owners based on the number of points they own and they are no longer DVC members if this is there only resort. This has been a caution offered to people that decide to buy one of these resorts with the main purpose being to reserve rooms at WDW.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:04 PM   #20
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The lower fees at BLT is one of several reasons we chose it over AKL for a resale purchase. Still not owners yet though...contract is in ROFR for another week or so.
But you also need to consider points/night. Simplistically, for a week in September:

- BLT Standard View Studio: $4.4972/point X 102 points = $458.71
- AKV Standard View Studio: $5.6749/point X 81 points = $459.67

Theoretically, you could have purchased fewer AKV points for the same week-long vacation and ended up paying about the same amount annually. As you allude to, there are many reasons someone might pick BLT over AKV but MF is not one of them, especially since, BLT's fees have gone up 15% in the last 2 years. Long-term, counting on one resort's MF to be less than others can be a dicey proposition.

Once you get to the 7-month window, it seems to me that a point is a point. So if you intend to frequently stay at non Home Resorts, a low MF is excellent. In this sense, you're BLT points are much better than AKV points.

I'm one of those who prefer to buy where I want to stay the most. The one thing I've had to get used to as a DVC member is booking vacations at my Home Resort 11 months out and then hoping for the best at the 7-month window if I want to stay elsewhere.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:45 AM   #21
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As you allude to, there are many reasons someone might pick BLT over AKV but MF is not one of them, especially since, BLT's fees have gone up 15% in the last 2 years. Long-term, counting on one resort's MF to be less than others can be a dicey proposition.

Once you get to the 7-month window, it seems to me that a point is a point. So if you intend to frequently stay at non Home Resorts, a low MF is excellent. In this sense, you're BLT points are much better than AKV points.

I agree with this second part. Honestly, the 11 month window doesn't interest me that much. I have yet to actually plan a vacation 11 months out - what with work schedules, family schedules, and such, I'm lucky if I can narrow anything down to 6-7 months. As a "renter", I've never had an issue getting the resort I've requested at the 7-month window. So, the "home resort" aspect of DVC doesn't really appeal to me.

To that end, although we're not going to buy in to DVC any time soon, I've been thinking about whether VB or HH would be a better buy - they're way cheaper in resale. On some (admittedly emotional) level I'd rather own at WDW than at either of the other two, which I'd probably never visit. However, this thread has confirmed my fear that the maintenance fees at the other resorts appear to be a lot higher than the WDW resorts- not just over the last few years, but throughout their history. So, using the rough guide that each extra dollar in maintenance fees is roughly equivalent of $20 on the original contract, any perceived "bargain" at the beach resorts just doesn't hold up. Their increased risk of a major hurricane just makes it much worse in my eyes. I'd REALLY hate to buy there & lose my points for any amount of time due to storm damage, especially if WDW itself remained unaffected.

Lastly, although BLT fees may have gone up in the last few years, the reasoning behind the logic for their lower fees is sound. It's something I'll keep an eye on over the next few years.

However, if Disney does build a DVC resort at the Poly, and it has studios with a layout similar to the new ones at VGF, plus the rumored lazy river pool, then all of this logical thinking about BLT will get thrown out the window...
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:42 AM   #22
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Besides the fact that the outside WDW resorts are much higher maint fee . Your not going to want to get "stuck there " if you can't book anywhere else and your main intention is to stay at WDW .

IMO comparing availability at 7 months as a renter isn't a good gauge you could have multiple people trying to get you the reservations if you use a broker .

SSR is the cheapest resort pp an MF . that's why I bought there cause the 11 month window seems to be of little value to me also, but for different reasons. But if those outside resorts were cheaper I'd probably want to have a property at WDW .
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:54 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Nabas View Post
But you also need to consider points/night. Simplistically, for a week in September:

- BLT Standard View Studio: $4.4972/point X 102 points = $458.71
- AKV Standard View Studio: $5.6749/point X 81 points = $459.67
I assume your math is correct (as far as it goes), but there are a couple of other important considerations:
  • You are choosing the least expensive accommodations, which are very limited and difficult to get. If you change your accommodations to a one or two bedroom during a higher points cost season, your results may change drastically.
  • You ignored acquisition costs, which depending on whether the person purchased resale or direct, could greatly affect the true cost of the stay. If you include acquisition costs, assuming paying cash resale (the least expensive route), you will probably add $1.50-$2.00 per point to your costs...maybe more.

    If one chose the most expensive path to ownership (financing a direct sale) their acquisition costs could make the overall cost of a particular stay considerably higher than your example.
  • There are obviously several options besides using your points at your home resort. For example, a person who bought SSR for $50 and paid cash could potentially pay less for the same room than a home resort owner.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:06 AM   #24
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SSR is the cheapest resort pp an MF . that's why I bought there cause the 11 month window seems to be of little value to me also, but for different reasons. But if those outside resorts were cheaper I'd probably want to have a property at WDW .
I agree with you here that SSR is the best value (resale purchase costs + MF) for the money for someone that wants to stay at WDW and doesn't mind staying at SSR. That's why I bought there as well.

Now I did also buy at BWV cause I wanted to make sure I could stay there when I wanted to, but most of my points are at SSR.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:56 PM   #25
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I agree with you here that SSR is the best value (resale purchase costs + MF) for the money for someone that wants to stay at WDW and doesn't mind staying at SSR. That's why I bought there as well.

Now I did also buy at BWV cause I wanted to make sure I could stay there when I wanted to, but most of my points are at SSR.
Ideally the best bet is to buy SSR for the lowest cost per point/maintenance fee combination and then use those points to stay at AKV value studios or BWV standard studios. The only problem is that those room categories are rarely available at the 7 month window, which is when you would need to book because you own at SSR. It's a DVC Catch 22.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:54 PM   #26
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Besides the fact that the outside WDW resorts are much higher maint fee . Your not going to want to get "stuck there " if you can't book anywhere else and your main intention is to stay at WDW .

IMO comparing availability at 7 months as a renter isn't a good gauge you could have multiple people trying to get you the reservations if you use a broker .

SSR is the cheapest resort pp an MF . that's why I bought there cause the 11 month window seems to be of little value to me also, but for different reasons. But if those outside resorts were cheaper I'd probably want to have a property at WDW .
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Ideally the best bet is to buy SSR for the lowest cost per point/maintenance fee combination and then use those points to stay at AKV value studios or BWV standard studios. The only problem is that those room categories are rarely available at the 7 month window, which is when you would need to book because you own at SSR. It's a DVC Catch 22.

I think if we ever get around to buying DVC, we won't buy at HH or VB, for fear of being entirely locked out of WDW if we decided to go at a popular time. We won't necessarily buy at our most favorite resort, either. Instead, we'll make a list of all the "acceptable" WDW resorts - ones we'd be perfectly happy in if we had no other choice - and pick the cheapest one to buy & maintain at that time. Or, even better, split our points between one of our favorites at WDW (which we could book at 7+ months) and the cheapest resort available, which could use for any reservations less than 7 months, or for reservations outside WDW.

As for being a renter - I've only used the boards here, and have had great success. One thing renting offers that owning doesn't is that I can make a reservation at 7+ months with anyone who happens to have points at the resort of our choice, thus giving us a "home resort" wherever we want.

One great thing about DVC is that the more resorts they build, the more choices I find acceptable. So, although I have some favorites, the ones I like slightly less are still really good...
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:49 AM   #27
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The tower set-up will always work in BLT's favor when it comes to keeping MFs low. There's less upkeep and landscaping. Though since the (since departed) head of DVC did most of the BLT decor on the cheap, there will likely have to be refurbs ahead of schedule. And that could drive the MFs up significantly.

But one caveat I will urge you to look at is the points cost per night. BLT's MFs may be low, but since it costs more points to book a room their than any of the other resorts (until VGF), the point value begins to fall in line with the other resorts.
To say that management decorated BLT on the cheap is the understatement of the year. We do not own BLT but stayed there a couple of years ago and if we do not return it will be too soon. We found the room(studio) to be very small as compared with the other resorts and even though the resort was only a few years old, the furnishings were chipped, worn and looked like they had 20 years on them.

Other than the location, we found nothing at BLT that would bring us back.
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