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Old 07-29-2013, 09:56 PM   #16
Trooper8286
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Thanks for all the input. I see several strategies that help me think this through.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:00 AM   #17
JaneSparrow
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We're still figuring it out

We bought 200 BLT points direct in 2010. We planned to go every year but things happened and we've only been able to use our points twice in 2011 and again this coming December.

When we bought we already are going to visit my in-laws in LA in 2011 so why not add a stay at VGC right? So we stayed for a few nights there in 1BR and got my son's godmother a room at DLH too for 1 night since she arrived 1 night before our 1BR reservation.

Since we have those extra points from buying direct, we also have a trip planned for October 2011 for my son's 3rd birthday. However, my DH did not get approval on his vacation request so we had to cancel this trip. My stepgrandfather also passed away in May 2011 and my grandmother moved in with us. I also found out the day he died that I am pregnant. So we decided we really needed a break. DH company has a yearly shutdown the first week of July and as much as we promised ourselves not to go back in July (we were there in 2010 and son got sick) we had no other choice. Off we went to 2BR SSR. Since we needed 2BR to accommodate grandma, we also invited another godmother and her mom to occupy the additional beds.

2012 was not possible because our second was born, mom passed away and I got no vacation days left. Rented our points through David's rental. But the renter needed more than what we have left in 2012 so we had to borrow from 2013.

We are going back in December in 1 night BLT studio followed by 1 week in 2BR BLT (our first time home) and had to borrow 2014 points. We have no plans to go back until 2016 since there are plans to travel outside the country in 2014 and 2015 (different countries) but we'll see if we can squeeze it in.

So up to this point, we have not done what we planned when we bought. Which is every 1 week every 11 or 13 months to take advantage of using annual pass (and now TIW too) twice. We intended to stay at either 1BR or studio but we never sat down to figure this out because we have not done enough trips to determine when we want to go. We may need to add more points especially since we have yet to stay at a studio.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:29 AM   #18
holula
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We have 279 points split over four contracts, all at OKW. This year we bought the discounted PAP and borrowed a lot of points from our 2013 UY to make the pass worthwhile (our UY are Oct and Dec). We usually book a studio as its just me and BF and we tend to do shorter trips.

Next year we are having a Disney-lite year. We will probably try VB or go back to HHI (which we visited with my parents this year) with our 60 remaining 2013 points. Then the following year we are planning to get married at WDW - so we need points for that.

We do it by looking at when do we want to do WDW that year (Food and Wine, marathon weekend etc) and we use the bulk of our points for that. Any other points are generally used around cruises - staying a few nights before and one after.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:57 PM   #19
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We have one 100 point contract. The intent was to go every other year and use 200 points. When we bought the resale contract, though, it came with extra points, so we used 300 in one trip. Totally ruined us.

So now I'm budgeting to buy two more 100 point contracts, each at a different resort so we can do split-stay trips every year for 8 or 9 nights. In the meantime we'll wait it out another year to gather up the points.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:38 AM   #20
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2 night stays in a studio every other month. We are FL residents.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:08 PM   #21
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We don't have a set pattern for how to spend points. Have had DVC for 8 years. We have less points than needed for how often we vacation at WDW, it works for us as I like to switch things up and enjoy stays at the non-dvc resorts

First year we got a 2BR, since then its been 1BR or studio in Jan, April, July or August.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #22
mariafh
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Takes thought

When we first looked at dvc,my first question is how many points. At first a lot of guessing, but had to get down to the math. This is assuming you have a DVC location picked. I looked at the points chart for that resort and figured out how long we are likely to stay and what type of accommadations would be perferred. That gave the total points. Then divide by 2 since we go every other year. I was real tempted to buy more points than I needed because it sounds so exciting to spend more time there, but glad I bought just what I needed. Some years I needed more points and some I need less because of variations, but I just bank or borrow those small pieces. Excel works well for this if you are comparing resorts.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:11 AM   #23
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We bought enough points to stay a week in our home resort, in magic season, in a two bedroom. But of course after purchase, we make it a hobby to maximize those points! It works for us currently to stay 1 br at the resorts that accommodate five. And this allows us more time at disney, for the same point annual maintenance fees.

As kids get older, we may well move to the 2 br. The concept I would advise is to purchase what you can comfortably afford, realizing that your needs WILL change over the course of a 30-50 year contract. For us, by the time our youngest goes to college, we will be near or at retirement. Our points need won't change- we will just snowbird a month a year via DVC studios. But everyone is different.

So try to figure out what it would cost for the stays you want in theory next year. Then think in abstract, what those needs might be in ten year increments. If they will differ a lot, buy smaller contracts so you can flex easily by selling a portion or buying a small add-on.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:50 AM   #24
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We now have 425 points at 3 home resorts (OKW, HH and AKV). We do 2-3 shorter trips to WDW w/in a year (every odd year...like this year), using APs or PAPs...then the following year (even years) we do a beach trip using our DVC (saves us on APs and airfare and crazy Disney dining costs). Now that our kids are teens, we get a 2BR. We also use our points for MIL and FIL to take annual trips.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:20 AM   #25
lville23
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We typically go for 7 to 10 days sometime during Oct - Dec. We rotate first week of Dec with a trip in either Oct or Nov of the following year. This allows us to visit once a year but with the trips being just slightly less than 365 days apart we take advantage of the DVC AP savings by purchasing a pass every other year, which then covers two trips. We own contracts at OKW and BLT and rotate between the two resorts. By banking & borrowing and rotating resorts each year it allowed us to purchase fewer pts at BLT, which was an “add-on” for us. As we have enough points to stay at OKW on an annual basis we occasionally rent our pts. We are lucky in that we have plenty of friends who we rent to directly. We love the accommodations as DVC has changed how we vacation at Disney. I definitely advise you to purchase via the resale market. Good luck.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:51 AM   #26
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Pre-DVC: As full nesters we were doing moderates every 3 years but as empty nesters we were doing 3 or 4N stays twice a year at Y&BC. We'd also tried out WL and GF but we like the Epcot area. We explained all that to our DVC guide and she said 160 points would be good. We bought AKL for the incentives. DH REALY wanted to own BLT so we bought 100 pts the following year.

We like the studio's as I refuse to cook or wash clothes on vacation (been there/done that = young children). We share our points with our adult kids so between us all we've managed to use the 260 pts each year.

We started out with 5N stays in February but switched to March for WWS Spring Training and a 5N in the Fall for F&W. Sometimes we throw in a 5N over Memorial Day. DS went once for 5N at SSR and FL-based DD does 3 wkends over the year. Gradually we've increased our stays to 6/7N. This past March we did a family vacation for the 1st time in a dozen years in a dedicated 2BR at BLT and that used a years worth of points so we're pretty borrowed out until our next UY as we have a Spring week already reserved. Last year and this year we're staying at the Dolphin so we'll be in the Epcot area for our Fall week. Using not being able to get consistently in the Epcot area for our Fall week we just added on 55 points at BCV. So we're now at 314 points. Our youngest DD just grduated college and came 'on line' so I don't think we'll have a 'too many points' problems using the extra. We really enjoy the Dolphin so it's always a nice back-up for the Fall.

Needless to say we always do APs.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:55 PM   #27
auralia
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I only have 80 points and we so a studio for about 10 days every other year. My dh isn't disney crazy like I am so this was a compromise he picks where we go in the off disney year and then of course me being disney crazy I always pick disney so we got the dvc so we could stay deluxe at value prices. (When the math is calculated for the life of the contract it ends up Being very close to value room prices. We bought resale before they put restrictions on it)
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:49 PM   #28
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DH and I have 210 points at AKV. I purchased 210 instead of 200 because it was only a couple dollars more each month. Yep we financed. The extra 10 points were there to help add a night or just fill in a gap if needed...made sense to me.

DH has to pick his vacation for next year in November.....so it makes sense for us to plan a year out. I know all about the contract and how to maximize the points so he leaves it completely to me. He picked the resort, which I love.

We live in Mississippi and will never do WDW after the first week or so of May through Sept. Just too hot. We do not have children so our schedules are basically open as long as DH gets the vacation.

We know we want to travel Oct-Nov and have a early May trip each year. Now that we borrow forward we try to get a value studio at Jambo. So I always book first thing at my 11 month window. The values really maximize our point usage. So far I have been able to get 2 studios this fall, one for us and one for my parents. We missed a May trip so I had a few extra to spend. A night at BLT popped up for 10/31 this year so I snagged it for just DH and I.

I have also booked a May 2-9 trip for 2 value studios. My hope is that DH will get these dates as his first choice for vacation. Then this Nov when he gets a second pick I will reserve a fall trip just for us.

Just takes a little planning. I do love have the 10 "extra" points and as we age and enjoy these trips even more we will definitely add 100 points in the future. At some point our parents will no longer be able to travel with us and we will have those points to hopefully book a 1 bedroom.

I think once we book a 1 bedroom we will NEVER be able to handle a studio. We always do at least 7 days each trip and use APs as the other posters have mentioned to get the most out of them.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:01 PM   #29
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We have 220 points at VWL that we bought (and financed) last year. We got all the 2012 points, and only used 30 before banking them. We bought enough to do 6 nights in a one bedroom in August, yes, I know it is hot, but it works for us since my kids are 9 and 14 and my partners at work tend to do July vacations. This year, we did get the PAP deal so we are going in Oct but not on points since it is a business trip, and parent only trip in November and another in May to celebrate our 20th anniversary. I am determined to eat at V&A. We will go a week earlier next year to get the maximum use of the annual passes. We love going to WDW, as it is relaxing for us, with some planing but lots of flexibility.

Good luck on your purchase and welcome home!

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Old 08-04-2013, 06:03 PM   #30
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We have 100 points I had planned to use a little over 100 like 120 per year to get a studio for about a week depending on tie of year , And every 5 th year take a year off and catch up again . Also I wanted to keep a perpetual banking going since we got previous years points when I bought . Well I got a V1br at AKV and loved the 1BR I think we are going to do a small add on get like another 25 points and do a 1 br every 2 years . But we can alternate that too if we wanted .
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