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Old 06-10-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
MadHookUp
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Interested in DVC, need advice.

I am not asking too many direct questions. Just laying out my situation to see if anyone can offer some advice. I love the forum, and its been very helpful for me.

My wife and I have a 2 year old, and a 2 month old. And we decided that we were interested in getting a DVC membership. Neither of us have visited Disney much in our lives, so our knowledge is limited. My family always went to Disney the first 2 weeks of December due to the Christmas Decorations and small crowds.

Saratoga Springs appeared to be the best "bang for your buck" membership. We were thinking about getting a 200-250 point membership and travel to disney every other year and take some friends/family with us. I figured that the "home resort" was irrelevant due to us going on what I thought was considered a down time of the year. But due to "drusba" post from another thread, I learned its actually the highest demand week there is...

At the same time my entire family of 13 planned(not booked) out a disney trip in 2015. Where we would spend 5 nights from December 4th-9th, using the DVC membership we get at a WDW resort. Then take a 4 day disney cruise out of Miami. We were hoping to use our SSR points and stay somewhere near the Magic Kingdom like Baylike or Wilderness Lodge. This now seems impossible for this trip.

Assuming my family is absolutely going to Disney during the first 2 weeks of December for years to come, I have a couple options.

1.) Home Resort becomes much more important. And I now have to try and figure out which one I like best without actually getting to see them. Which seems scary to me for a 15k+ purchase.

2.) Accept the fact that unless I get lucky, I will be staying at Saratoga more often than not.

3.) Change the dates that we like to travel to late January/Early Feb.

If anyone has any tips or suggestions for my situation, I would appreciate it. For the family trip of 2015 to even be economically possible, it requires my wife and I to purchase a DVC membership and charge $5 a point to my other family members for their rooms. So there is quite a bit of pressure on me at the moment.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:44 AM   #2
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Rent points.

Spend a few years renting points - you won't spend that much more money over owning. You get the flexibility of "owning" anywhere - as long as you can find an owner to rent from. You'll get a feel for your level of long term commitment to Disney (people DO burn out) and figure out if a membership is really for you.

In the blink of an eye your kids will be school age. And then you'll blink again and they will be in middle school or high school - and that will likely force changes in your travel patterns - they may prefer other places, it may not be easy for you to go when school is in session.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadHookUp View Post
I am not asking too many direct questions. Just laying out my situation to see if anyone can offer some advice. I love the forum, and its been very helpful for me.

My wife and I have a 2 year old, and a 2 month old. And we decided that we were interested in getting a DVC membership. Neither of us have visited Disney much in our lives, so our knowledge is limited. My family always went to Disney the first 2 weeks of December due to the Christmas Decorations and small crowds.

Saratoga Springs appeared to be the best "bang for your buck" membership. We were thinking about getting a 200-250 point membership and travel to disney every other year and take some friends/family with us. I figured that the "home resort" was irrelevant due to us going on what I thought was considered a down time of the year. But due to "drusba" post from another thread, I learned its actually the highest demand week there is...

At the same time my entire family of 13 planned(not booked) out a disney trip in 2015. Where we would spend 5 nights from December 4th-9th, using the DVC membership we get at a WDW resort. Then take a 4 day disney cruise out of Miami. We were hoping to use our SSR points and stay somewhere near the Magic Kingdom like Baylike or Wilderness Lodge. This now seems impossible for this trip.

Assuming my family is absolutely going to Disney during the first 2 weeks of December for years to come, I have a couple options.

1.) Home Resort becomes much more important. And I now have to try and figure out which one I like best without actually getting to see them. Which seems scary to me for a 15k+ purchase.

2.) Accept the fact that unless I get lucky, I will be staying at Saratoga more often than not.

3.) Change the dates that we like to travel to late January/Early Feb.

If anyone has any tips or suggestions for my situation, I would appreciate it. For the family trip of 2015 to even be economically possible, it requires my wife and I to purchase a DVC membership and charge $5 a point to my other family members for their rooms. So there is quite a bit of pressure on me at the moment.
Due to the fact that the first 2 weeks of December are high demand for DVC, then by all means, buy where you want to stay. If you feel that your pattern will change (do F&W fest, Flower and Garden fest, Star Wars weekends, etc), then SSR is a good choice.

SSR is my home resort and its really no big deal to hop a bus and go the MK or any other park. You'll also be within walking distance of DTD where you can participate in some family activities such as going to a movie or bowling.

Good luck on your decision!!
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:01 PM   #4
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Absolutely, rent points.

Since that's probably a new term for you, what it entails is renting a reservation from a DVC member. You can do this by making arrangements with a DVC member directly (see our Rent/Trade forum), or by working through a broker who will find a member to work with you, handle payment, provide a rental agreement that spells out the member's responsibilities and yours.

Given the large number of points you'll need for your 2015 trip, you'll likely need to work with a couple of members. With that, and since you're new to DVC rentals, I'd recommend working with a broker. I've used dvcbyrequest.com to rent my own points, and would highly recommend them.

By renting, you get to stay in a DVC resort for much less than you would pay by booking through Disney, and you don't have the 40-year commitment that goes with ownership.

DVC is a long-term proposition. Don't let one trip pressure you into making that 40-year commitment until you're ready. Hang out on these boards, ask questions, visit the various resorts while you're at WDW, and take your time deciding what's best for your family.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:09 PM   #5
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Buy SSR, see if you like WDW, DVC, and which resorts. Sell SSR later and buy your favorite resort(s).

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Old 06-10-2014, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadHookUp View Post
....
If anyone has any tips or suggestions for my situation, I would appreciate it. For the family trip of 2015 to even be economically possible, it requires my wife and I to purchase a DVC membership and charge $5 a point to my other family members for their rooms. So there is quite a bit of pressure on me at the moment.
I am confused about this statement - do you mean for the family trip to be feasible for them you need to subsidize their stay and only charge them $5 per point (David's DVC rental charges $14 per point, BTW) or do you mean for you to purchase DVC you must charge family members $5 for the points they use for this 2015 vacation?
Be aware that if you buy you will most likely be paying your 2015 MF in January and that they will probably cost almost $5 per point (currently SSR fees are $4.73 per point, but will likely go up in Jan. 2015.)
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sndral View Post
I am confused about this statement - do you mean for the family trip to be feasible for them you need to subsidize their stay and only charge them $5 per point (David's DVC rental charges $14 per point, BTW) or do you mean for you to purchase DVC you must charge family members $5 for the points they use for this 2015 vacation?
Be aware that if you buy you will most likely be paying your 2015 MF in January and that they will probably cost almost $5 per point (currently SSR fees are $4.73 per point, but will likely go up in Jan. 2015.)
For this large family trip to work moneywise, it would require for us to purchase a 200 or so DVC membership and sell points to my family at a rate of $5 a point. Renting points from other members would probably end up costing $10+ a point, and then this trip would probably end up being too costly for them.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:48 PM   #8
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Don't buy with the plan to take family and have them "pay" for their rooms. I'm in a similar situation. Grandparents like to join us. If it was just us, we'd get a 1bedroom. With grandparents, it's a 2bedroom. And then my brother and his family of 3 may or may not spend the night. They live 50mins away.

So how does one plan a vacation? I always book a 2bedroom assuming someone will tag along. When they cancel, then I'll see if I can find something smaller with less points. For this fall, I've double booked because grandparents have mentioned maybe flying out to CA during our trip. So I'm holding a 2bd and a 1bd.

We also do not charge our family, we just eat it. This is because if they cancel last minute, then it becomes potentially big fight for refund.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadHookUp View Post
For this large family trip to work moneywise, it would require for us to purchase a 200 or so DVC membership and sell points to my family at a rate of $5 a point. Renting points from other members would probably end up costing $10+ a point, and then this trip would probably end up being too costly for them.
From watching a LOT of these deals on this board....be very careful. You are better off just plain old subsidizing them. You'll plan the trip and then - if money is that tight, someone will back out due to the cost of park tickets. Or someone will not be able to go because they can't get vacation. My family trip was postponed twice - the first time my sister got pregnant and we decided to postpone until the baby was older, than she got breast cancer - and we postponed until she was through chemo and had her strength back. Then my baby sister decided not to go - she'd made some poor life choices (she's a recovering alcoholic) and was at the point where she didn't want to look at her sisters, nephews and niece - we were a reminder of what she'd given up for the bottle.

To buy a lot of points so your family can pull together a family reunion trip is a high risk proposition.

Rent a pool home offsite - they can be had for a song.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:01 PM   #10
HokieGCC
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I would learn much more about Disney and DVC buying in.

I have looked at this up, down, left and right and have basically concluded that the following is true - "If you buy DVC resale cash you might break even in the 8 to 10 year mark." It takes quite a bit of precision to actually make DVC a cost savings for you. Conversely, you can always pay cash to go to Disney and there is no way putting it off for a few years until you are sure about things will cost you significant money over DVC. Start a small DVC savings account and just purchase your trips for a few years while you study the situation.

Not that you should copy us but we just bought a 50 point BWV contract a year ago via resale. This gets us 5 nights in Jan and a good Season Pass discount. We pay for our May trip the old fashioned way with cash (watching for deals). We have gone to Disney each of the last 18 years, sometimes twice and often for a couple of weeks at a time and have pondered DVC for almost 20 years but just couldn't see tying up all that money. We may buy more later or may not ... but we'll be going to Disney.

You can go to Disney anytime you want regardless if your are DVC or not.

The main point I guess I am trying to make is to don't jump in with emotion and be able to point specifically with accuracy to what DVC is getting you that is better than just paying cash (or renting from other members).
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadHookUp View Post
I am not asking too many direct questions. Just laying out my situation to see if anyone can offer some advice. I love the forum, and its been very helpful for me.

My wife and I have a 2 year old, and a 2 month old. And we decided that we were interested in getting a DVC membership. Neither of us have visited Disney much in our lives, so our knowledge is limited. My family always went to Disney the first 2 weeks of December due to the Christmas Decorations and small crowds.

Saratoga Springs appeared to be the best "bang for your buck" membership. We were thinking about getting a 200-250 point membership and travel to disney every other year and take some friends/family with us. I figured that the "home resort" was irrelevant due to us going on what I thought was considered a down time of the year. But due to "drusba" post from another thread, I learned its actually the highest demand week there is...

At the same time my entire family of 13 planned(not booked) out a disney trip in 2015. Where we would spend 5 nights from December 4th-9th, using the DVC membership we get at a WDW resort. Then take a 4 day disney cruise out of Miami. We were hoping to use our SSR points and stay somewhere near the Magic Kingdom like Baylike or Wilderness Lodge. This now seems impossible for this trip.

Assuming my family is absolutely going to Disney during the first 2 weeks of December for years to come, I have a couple options.

1.) Home Resort becomes much more important. And I now have to try and figure out which one I like best without actually getting to see them. Which seems scary to me for a 15k+ purchase.

2.) Accept the fact that unless I get lucky, I will be staying at Saratoga more often than not.

3.) Change the dates that we like to travel to late January/Early Feb.

If anyone has any tips or suggestions for my situation, I would appreciate it. For the family trip of 2015 to even be economically possible, it requires my wife and I to purchase a DVC membership and charge $5 a point to my other family members for their rooms. So there is quite a bit of pressure on me at the moment.
It doesn't seem you're ready to buy in, I'm in the rent points camp. If/when you do buy, I still think SSR will be your best value unless you end up with on favorite and one only and buy there. While you may get stuck at SSR at times, you'll have successes to other resorts as well enough to make it a non issue I believe.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisi View Post
Rent points.

Spend a few years renting points - you won't spend that much more money over owning. You get the flexibility of "owning" anywhere - as long as you can find an owner to rent from. You'll get a feel for your level of long term commitment to Disney (people DO burn out) and figure out if a membership is really for you.

In the blink of an eye your kids will be school age. And then you'll blink again and they will be in middle school or high school - and that will likely force changes in your travel patterns - they may prefer other places, it may not be easy for you to go when school is in session.
^ THIS.

Your love of family and desire to make a trip possible for them is very touching.

However, if they can't pay $11-$14 per point to rent their own accommodations -- how in the world are they going to be able to pay travel expenses, $300-$400 per person for park tickets, food, trinkets, AND a cruise???

Not trying to be nasty here, but we have seen this happen over and over and over. The relatives who are getting free or nearly free lodging think it's a free trip. When they start adding up their real-world costs of a WDW vacation, they get mega sticker shock. And they bail out on the poor DVC owner. We've all seen this phenomenon literally dozens of times on these boards.

At the end of the fiasco, you end up holding the bag for a DVC membership, plus your trip expenses. Not only the purchase price of your contract, but the DVC membership will cost you at least $1,000 per year in annual dues.

I would rent points for your immediate family only. Go to WDW and see how you like it. Check out the resorts you might like to buy. Research other options for lodging at WDW, including both cash deals and non-Disney timeshares.

Don't be blown away by pixie dust and a noble desire to do something wonderful for your family. Be realistic and be an informed consumer.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:05 PM   #13
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Renting 200 points can cost you $2800, you can buy 200 points for $14,800. Renting a few times can equal your SSR purchase cost.

I would only recommend the SSR purchase strategy if you are serious about vacationing at Disney and have the monetary resources available for the purchase, dues, travel, food, and admission.

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Old 06-10-2014, 07:07 PM   #14
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Reminds me of our sweapstakes trip...

Quote:
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The relatives who are getting free or nearly free lodging think it's a free trip. When they start adding up their real-world costs of a WDW vacation, they get mega sticker shock.
Made me think of our first trip as a family of 4 (about 18 years ago). We actually won a sweepstakes that we didn't realize we entered when we changed our telephone plan. We won an all expense paid trip to Disney World, 4 days, 3 nights. They paid our flight, meals, tickets, put us up in the Beach Club - the whole thing was free for us. We had coupons for mini-golf, horse back riding and dozens of thing we just didn't have time to make use of (kids were 5 and 2). It was amazing.

Well, we eventually got our tax forms from Disney and by the time I had figured the value of the trip into our taxes this free trip cost me over $3K in extra Federal and State taxes. WOW what a shock - and a reminder of the tremendous expense of Disney.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:34 PM   #15
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My advise would be to NOT purchase DVC in order to "sponsor" family trips. DVC is an expensive timeshare, especially if you do not visit Disney as often as you thought you were. Do NOT purchase DVC for your children, purchase it for yourself and share it with them.

If you get a two bedroom and family starts dropping off before the trip you are stuck. Banking and borrowing points comes with rules. The safest bet is to rent or stay offsite in this situation.

I hope this does not come across as harsh---maybe the family you want to take cannot afford to go to Disney--meaning, meals, tickets and souvenirs as well as travel. It might put undue pressure on them to participate when they really can't and don't know how to tell you.

As an aside we love our DVC and have found it worth every penny. We do not have children and can go when we want. We do not plan on canceling DVC reservations (there are rules here too) and can pick our vacation 11 months in advance. Disney is really the only vacation spot for us so that is where we choose to spend our money. You are still a young family with very young children and have oodles of time to make this decision without the "pressure" of family.

We do take my parents and MIL in alternating years....I would never think of charging them for lodging. They purchase their own tickets, tansportation and food.
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