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Old 07-06-2013, 04:25 PM   #1
julie <3wdw
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DVC pre-purchase advice

My husband and I have been going to DW together every year (married the past 3) for the past 6 years and we forsee us going every year in the future. We have stayed at Pop and BLT over the years and really liked BLT. We think it is time to take the plunge into DVC

We have done some research but need some advice. We typically visit DW in the slower times of the year; January/February/September and it is just the two of us; so we only need a studio. We will probably go in September most often.

1. We have it narrowed down to buy into BLT or SSR via resale. We are leaning toward SSR since it is cheaper, but fear if we do want to stay at BLT it will be hard to get a room in the above months. I don't know if it is a big deal since we plan on staying in multiple DVC resorts over the years like BCV/BWV/AKL at first. Here is how we ranked in order the resorts with the points we think we need:

Hotel Studio Points
Beach Club 107
Boardwalk 76
Bay Lake Tower 123
Animal Kingdom 102
Wilderness Lodge 107
Grand Floridian 123
Saratoga Springs 90
Old Key West 76

2. We think we need 110pts but that might be really hard to get. Would you get 120pts and be safe?

3. Is there a difference between TSS or ********** for buying dvc through?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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SSR is very big, so it has more availability on short notice.

With the points you are talking about, I would buy at the place you want to stay at the most. If you really like BLT, what if you can only get in once every 5 years?

If you are happy at ANY DVC, then buy the cheapest.

But look at the point totals you listed. If you buy 80 at BWV, you can not stay at BLT without borrowing, which shortens a future stay.

For me, resort is very important. I am not in a position to buy as many points as I want right now, so I will look for smaller contracts, even if I can only go every other year, as I build up the points
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:40 PM   #3
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I would say buy where you want to stay- BLT. The standard view rooms can be hard to get if you are not an owner. We had great experience with TSS & DVC by Resale (Shontell Crawford)
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julie <3wdw View Post
My husband and I have been going to DW together every year (married the past 3) for the past 6 years and we forsee us going every year in the future. We have stayed at Pop and BLT over the years and really liked BLT. We think it is time to take the plunge into DVC

We have done some research but need some advice. We typically visit DW in the slower times of the year; January/February/September and it is just the two of us; so we only need a studio. We will probably go in September most often.

1. We have it narrowed down to buy into BLT or SSR via resale. We are leaning toward SSR since it is cheaper, but fear if we do want to stay at BLT it will be hard to get a room in the above months. I don't know if it is a big deal since we plan on staying in multiple DVC resorts over the years like BCV/BWV/AKL at first. Here is how we ranked in order the resorts with the points we think we need:

2. We think we need 110pts but that might be really hard to get. Would you get 120pts and be safe?

3. Is there a difference between TSS or ********** for buying dvc through?

Thanks for the help!
In general, "buy where you want to stay" is probably the best advice. It's not that you won't be able to eventually book all the resorts but booking them at the 7-month window usually involves a bit of good fortune, especially if you are trying to book Studios.

In addition, the inexpensive studios during "off season" can be surprisingly difficult to book for 7 nights. For example, you might be able to book BLT but will be forced into a Lake View. Booking a Standard View Studio at BLT or BWV, or a Value Studio at AKV can be really tough at the 7-month window. For example, I own at BWV and, for Thanksgiving, all the Standard View Studios were gone right at the 11-month window.

Most DVC members end up wishing they had more points. Don't be afraid to purchase a bit more than you think you need. Even if you end up not using them in the current year, you'll appreciate being able to bank them and use them next year.

A couple of the DVC resellers really discourage negotiating price. These also tend to be the ones that offer the best service. I'm generalizing but you'll have to decide whether to want a smooth resale process or are willing to work with one of the less supportive resellers in order to secure a potentially much lower price.

For example, I recently closed on 160 points at AKV, offering $10/point less than the asking price and with the seller paying the 2013 Maintenance Fees. Some of the DVC resellers have reputations of being unwilling to even present such an offer. Their inventory turns over quickly so I understand why. My reseller didn't always keep me notified in a timely manner but, conversely, I saved $2500 on that contract, not a small sum of money.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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The point total you have listed for BWV is for a standard Studio which are difficult to reserve if you don't own there. January is not a slow time for DVC until after Marathon weekend. Also, February is in Dream or Magic season and requires more points.
We rented points for a studio at BCV for the last 3 years. Once we decided to buy resale this year, we settled on 150 points.

I wouldn't buy less than 125, unless you don't mind borrowing if you need to.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:36 PM   #6
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Buy 125 resale points at BLT. You can always add on in the future.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabas View Post
In general, "buy where you want to stay" is probably the best advice. It's not that you won't be able to eventually book all the resorts but booking them at the 7-month window usually involves a bit of good fortune, especially if you are trying to book Studios.

In addition, the inexpensive studios during "off season" can be surprisingly difficult to book for 7 nights. For example, you might be able to book BLT but will be forced into a Lake View. Booking a Standard View Studio at BLT or BWV, or a Value Studio at AKV can be really tough at the 7-month window. For example, I own at BWV and, for Thanksgiving, all the Standard View Studios were gone right at the 11-month window.

Most DVC members end up wishing they had more points. Don't be afraid to purchase a bit more than you think you need. Even if you end up not using them in the current year, you'll appreciate being able to bank them and use them next year.

A couple of the DVC resellers really discourage negotiating price. These also tend to be the ones that offer the best service. I'm generalizing but you'll have to decide whether to want a smooth resale process or are willing to work with one of the less supportive resellers in order to secure a potentially much lower price.

For example, I recently closed on 160 points at AKV, offering $10/point less than the asking price and with the seller paying the 2013 Maintenance Fees. Some of the DVC resellers have reputations of being unwilling to even present such an offer. Their inventory turns over quickly so I understand why. My reseller didn't always keep me notified in a timely manner but, conversely, I saved $2500 on that contract, not a small sum of money.
Since BWV and BCV are so high on our list and it seems difficult to get, do you think we should try and purchase there instead of BLT or SSR? Are rooms hard to come by in September?

If for example BLT is my home resort, can I book that at the 11month mark and then see what is available at 7months and switch the reservation if something is available? I just don't want to wait till 7 months out and nothing is available.

Thanks for all the help everyone!!
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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The times you travel are some of the slower times for DVC, and getting a room at BLT should be rather easy (although it might not necessarily be the view you want). But what you need to decide is how disappointed you would be if you could not get a room at BLT for your desired travel dates. If the answer is "very" then you probably should own there. However, if you are of the mindset that you would enjoy BLT but would be happy in one of several places (including SSR), then SSR could be a good choice. It all comes down to your risk tolerance, and how much you are willing to risk not getting a room at BLT at the 7 month window.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julie <3wdw View Post
Since BWV and BCV are so high on our list and it seems difficult to get, do you think we should try and purchase there instead of BLT or SSR? Are rooms hard to come by in September?

If for example BLT is my home resort, can I book that at the 11month mark and then see what is available at 7months and switch the reservation if something is available? I just don't want to wait till 7 months out and nothing is available.

Thanks for all the help everyone!!
Just saw this post after typing my reply. Early to mid September is not a busy time for DVC. End of September is the beginning of Food and Wine Festival, and booking at BWV and BCV becomes extremely difficult at this time. The situation you are in is that you want to try many different resorts. You can't own at all of them, so at one point in time or another you are going to be disappointed. You have been advised to buy where you want to stay, but in your case that's simply not possible, you want to stay everywhere. What I would recommend is buying where you would not mind staying, if you had to.

What I would suggest is buying at SSR (assuming that you wouldn't mind staying there) and booking a reservation there at the 11 month mark for your preferred dates. Then at the 7 month mark, see what is available. Odds are good that something at one of the many resorts you want to stay at is available. It just doesn't seem to make sense to spend all the extra money at BLT and then still be disappointed when you get shut out of the other resorts.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:22 PM   #10
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Another option is to buy 2 small contracts- 1 @ BLT & 1 @ BWV or BCV ?? Smaller contracts can be a bit more expensive & hard to find but they do come along. Takes some stalking of the broker's websites! We wanted to stay a BWV to take advantage of the lower point standard view studios & also like the resort so we bought there. We calculated the standard view in the points we would need for our annual trips. We also like BCV & would be disappointed if we could not stay there a few nights a year when we wanted. However, we did not want to own too many points there as some seasons are expensive in terms of points. We bought 100 @ BWV to use for our standard view studios & anything we would book @ 7mos. (not very frequent) & 50 points @ BCV so we are guaranteed 3 nights/year there during lower point seasons. We are ok trying other resorts but we know our preferences & where we mostly want to stay. Some of our schedule is not flexible due to school holiday breaks so SSR did not seem like a good option for our situation. We would be disappointed if we could not get our home resorts when we wanted them.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:35 PM   #11
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What I would suggest is buying at SSR (assuming that you wouldn't mind staying there) and booking a reservation there at the 11 month mark for your preferred dates. Then at the 7 month mark, see what is available. Odds are good that something at one of the many resorts you want to stay at is available. It just doesn't seem to make sense to spend all the extra money at BLT and then still be disappointed when you get shut out of the other resorts.
But since BCV and BWV are #1 and #2 on their list, why not try for BWV?

SSR might be less expensive but SSR is by far the easiest WDW DVC to book and near the bottom of their list. If they want to save money, just buy $40/point at Vero Beach. I know, higher MF but these are difficult to predict. Instead, pocket the $30/point difference now and it could be 20 years before the higher MF might end up costing more. And who knows, maybe never.

Conversely, BWV is selling for about $10/point more than SSR right now. SSR has a longer contract but, seriously, should someone be that concerned where they might be vacationing 30 years from now?

Long-term, paying more now could really pay for itself either in being able to book a Standard View (always difficult at BWV) or in being able to easily rent out points in years they don't use them. Since it's just the 2 of them, I suspect they'll really appreciate being able to book BWV for the Food & Wine Festival.

Due to the recent plummet in available inventory at BCV along with the corresponding price increase, I suggest staying away from trying to buy at BCV at this time.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:42 PM   #12
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But since BWV and BCV are #1 and #2 on their list, why not try for BWV?

Long-term, paying more now could really pay for itself either in being able to book a Standard View (always difficult at BWV) or in being able to easily rent out points in years they don't use them. Since it's just the 2 of them, I suspect they'll really appreciate being able to book BWV for the Food & Wine Festival.

Due to the recent plummet in available inventory at BCV along with the corresponding price increase, I suggest staying away from trying to buy at BCV at this time.
2 very good points. If the pool @ BCV (Stormalong Bay) is not a factor, then I would go for BWV for sure.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:54 PM   #13
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But since BCV and BWV are #1 and #2 on their list, why not try for BWV?
Simple. From reading her post it sounded like she wanted to try BWV once before moving on to other resorts. Speaking from experience I can say that it is less than ideal to have expensive BWV points and then use them for resorts that you can get any time, such as OKW, AKV and SSR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabas View Post

SSR might be less expensive but SSR is by far the easiest WDW DVC to book and near the bottom of their list. If they want to save money, just buy $40/point at Vero Beach. I know, higher MF but these are difficult to predict. Instead, pocket the $30/point difference now and it could be 20 years before the higher MF might end up costing more. And who knows, maybe never.
This is an argument that we have seen many times, and it does not hold water for two reasons. The first is that VB is not on property, so the possibility exists that if you own VB you can get shut out completely for your desired dates. Second, I would disagree with your assertion that maintenance fees are difficult to predict. We have a well established track record that tells us what we can expect maintenance fees to do with a high degree of probability. At the rate they are going, VB maintenance fees will erode all of the savings vs. a SSR contract in about six years. It's all downhill after that.


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Conversely, BWV is selling for about $10/point more than SSR right now. SSR has a longer contract but, seriously, should someone be that concerned where they might be vacationing 30 years from now?
BWV maintenance fees are a dollar a point more than SSR. That is a consideration. I also think that your $10 per point price difference is very generous. The supply for BWV continues to shrink while the prices continue to rise. SSR, on the other hand, is more readily available, at little risk of ROFR and, quite frankly, I don't think that buyers are pushing the envelope far enough on SSR. I think that if you look at the total cost of a contract (including banked points, which most BWV contracts do not have) you are looking at more like a $20-30 per point difference. That's a lot of lettuce for someone who considers price to be a major factor in their decision making process.

As far as the 30 years from now, maybe it is a concern and maybe it isn't. That's personal preference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabas View Post

Long-term, paying more now could really pay for itself either in being able to book a Standard View (always difficult at BWV) or in being able to easily rent out points in years they don't use them. Since it's just the 2 of them, I suspect they'll really appreciate being able to book BWV for the Food & Wine Festival.
Possibly, but this isn't what they said. They said that they wanted to try eight different resorts during very low demand times for DVC.

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Due to the recent plummet in available inventory at BCV along with the corresponding price increase, I suggest staying away from trying to buy at BCV at this time.
I would agree, but I would also add BWV to this list given their preferences and situation.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:12 PM   #14
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This is an argument that we have seen many times, and it does not hold water for two reasons. The first is that VB is not on property, so the possibility exists that if you own VB you can get shut out completely for your desired dates. Second, I would disagree with your assertion that maintenance fees are difficult to predict. We have a well established track record that tells us what we can expect maintenance fees to do with a high degree of probability. At the rate they are going, VB maintenance fees will erode all of the savings vs. a SSR contract in about six years. It's all downhill after that.

BWV maintenance fees are a dollar a point more than SSR. That is a consideration. I also think that your $10 per point price difference is very generous. The supply for BWV continues to shrink while the prices continue to rise. SSR, on the other hand, is more readily available, at little risk of ROFR and, quite frankly, I don't think that buyers are pushing the envelope far enough on SSR. I think that if you look at the total cost of a contract (including banked points, which most BWV contracts do not have) you are looking at more like a $20-30 per point difference. That's a lot of lettuce for someone who considers price to be a major factor in their decision making process.

Possibly, but this isn't what they said. They said that they wanted to try eight different resorts during very low demand times for DVC.
But combined, all of these suggest VB is the better option over SSR.

As you write, they are trying to go during low demand times. When is SSR not available at the 7-month window, especially at low demand times?

Right now, the median price at VB is $20-30 less than SSR. (Hard to believe but median asking price at SSR right now is $76/point!) For someone who is price sensitive, SSR is 50% more than VB. That's a lot of lettuce.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #15
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But combined, all of these suggest VB is the better option over SSR.

As you write, they are trying to go during low demand times. When is SSR not available at the 7-month window, especially at low demand times?

Right now, the median price at VB is $20-30 less than SSR. (Hard to believe but median asking price at SSR right now is $76/point!) For someone who is price sensitive, SSR is 50% more than VB. That's a lot of lettuce.
I have heard a big portion of VB MF is for Hurricane/flood Insurance. Being a Native Floridian, I would not buy VB. That is a huge variable in the MF. The prices of homeowners insurance goes up significantly annually in FL. I would go SSR or even AKL (value & concierge) for the lower priced resorts.
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