Questions About Becoming a DVC Member

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Questions About Becoming a DVC Member

So I actually grew up a DVC member. My grandparents were members and we would get annual passes and go every year or twice a year. It was supposed to be handed down to me when they passed but they have had a lot of financial difficulties and had to sell it, which is a shame because my mom offered to buy it from them since it was almost paid off but they needed the money and sold it instead.
I am getting married next year. I work at a really good job and I also run my own business. We bought my fiance's parents house and there is less that 50,000 owed on it. So we a pretty good off when it comes to finances. But I have no idea how much a DVC membership costs. When I look into it on the computer it only shows Hawaii or the Polynesian Resorts available. I would love to try and get a "used" on for the Wilderness Lodge. I have heard that sometimes you can get a "used" on for a good deal.
We would like to be able to go on a trip at least every other year and soon we would be having kids and I would love our kids to have the same magical experience I had growing up.
Do you think that we would be a good fit for a DVC membership? Does anyone know how to go about getting a "used" membership? And about how much does a membership cost?

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You will usually save a boatload of dough buying resale. I have bought direct and also used two resale brokers and can recommend them both to you. You can browse their websites and get an idea of the going prices.

If you are not picky about where you stay, I think SSR is probably the best buy right now. They seem to have the best combination of resale price, annual dues and contract expiration. You can always book SSR and then switch to another resort at the 7 month mark providing something is available.

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Totally agree with The Colonel. I have not purchased DVC points on the resale market, but what I've seen, the prices are right! awesome

Make sure that your contract expiration year (2042 - 2066) meets your future vacation needs; expiration date depend on the resort (older DVC resorts expire first).

Recommend selecting a "use" month that is your likely vacation time period (for the foreseeable future) mickey , that will be the month that all future points (under that contract) will be renewed (each year).

Best of luck.

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The Colonel wrote:
You will usually save a boatload of dough buying resale. I have bought direct and also used two resale brokers and can recommend them both to you. You can browse their websites and get an idea of the going prices.

If you are not picky about where you stay, I think SSR is probably the best buy right now. They seem to have the best combination of resale price, annual dues and contract expiration. You can always book SSR and then switch to another resort at the 7 month mark providing something is available.

Yes please! I would like to look into it a bit. I have stayed at SSR once before and it is a nice quite resort. Looking up online at a few sites, I noticed Animal Kingdom had a few that seemed low priced too like $84 a point.

Emilio wrote:
Totally agree with The Colonel. I have not purchased DVC points on the resale market, but what I've seen, the prices are right! awesome

Make sure that your contract expiration year (2042 - 2066) meets your future vacation needs; expiration date depend on the resort (older DVC resorts expire first).

Recommend selecting a "use" month that is your likely vacation time period (for the foreseeable future) mickey , that will be the month that all future points (under that contract) will be renewed (each year).

Best of luck.

Ideally I would love to go in September all the time. Winter it out because my fiance works as a town worker so winter time is busy season with plowing snow. It would be a couple of years before we have kids and then we would have them for 6-7 years before they started school. So I could see September working for at least 10 years. Usually they start school the last week of August first week of September, so we could always go the first week. The fist work is always nonsense and never even a full week anyways because Labor Day is that weekend.

I don't know if we will buy now but it is something I definitely want to do at some point. I want to be in the "know" and keep my eyes peeled for a good deal.

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I sent a PM.

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FutureMrsHurst wrote:

Yes please! I would like to look into it a bit. I have stayed at SSR once before and it is a nice quite resort. Looking up online at a few sites, I noticed Animal Kingdom had a few that seemed low priced too like $84 a point.

The only thing to watch out for at AKL is the dues per point. Because the dues has to cover maintenance of the animals, it caries one of the heftier price tags. The buy-in price regardless of resort, works out to $1-3 per point when you amortize it over the life of the contract. The annual dues starts at over $4 per point each year and it increase annually. Especially if you are buying a large contract, pay close attention to the current dues.

When it comes to using your membership, AKL does have the rooms that are the best "bang for your buck" if a studio can accommodate your party. They have a value studio for 9 points per night in the least expensive season. I've checked for a reservation there several times and haven't been able to snag it, so it seems to be one of those that you have to own at the resort to get it. The next two best point per night rates are 10 each for Boardwalk and Old Key West. These are for weeknights in the least expensive season, which is usually early fall, early December, and most of January. Because they are older, OKW and Boardwalk also have relatively high dues. Aside from Boardwalk during food and wine, we have had good success with booking boo Boardwalk and OKW at the 7-month booking window.

Other resorts have proven (at least for us) to be difficult to get during the times that we've traveled so far. Wilderness Lodge and Beach Club are very small and very popular. If you don't own there, count on only getting to stay there by virtue of doing a short trip, a split stay, booking a larger room than you actually need, or by traveling during a higher point-per-night time or year. Grand Floridian and Poly have eluded us thus far, but they are still new. SSR and OKW have virtually no advantage when it comes to booking window because they are large resorts and almost always have availability well past the 7-month window.

Hope that helps--happy to address any follow-up questions. I have always been VERY anti-time share, but DVC was hands down the best purchase we ever made. The thing that impressed me the most was that the sales reps never approached you to talk about the product. There are no high pressure sales tactics. If you don't need pressure to sell it, it must be a great product. On our first DVC year, we spent 35 days at WDW over the course of 5 trips and spent just over double out of pocket what a week would have cost us previously. We were able to take family members along on two of those trips, enjoy merchandise and AP discounts, and stay in deluxe accommodations instead of our usual moderate resorts. I really can't say enough about how much more Disney time we've been able to enjoy with DVC than we ever could have as cash visitors and how much more posh it has made the Disney experience for us. If you can make it work financially, I believe that it is a very solid investment.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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Also beware that AKL is pretty much out in the bush location-wise.

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I'm jumping into the conversation. All of your responses were very helpful. We've been debating this for months. Not sure if it's in the budge right now but I'm doing as much research as I can.

So my question for all of you DVC people is: If you could do it again would you a.) Purchase in at a different location? b.) Would you buy direct or resale?

My DH seems to think that direct is the way to go, but I know the cost of the other perks (cruises, Hawaii, etc.) is really high so we probably wouldn't be going on them any time soon. Plus with the amount you save on resale you could afford to pay out of pocket for one of those trips. So I'm not sure which seems like the best deal.

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We went resale around May last year. We've already used it 4 times and have one trip planned right now. We LOVE it. Several people on this site and a couple of our friends convinced us it was the way to go.

We own at AKL and love to be "out in the bush" as Colonel pointed out laugh

I would have been happy owning at a value if that were available silly But Joe was set on AKL and I let him go with it, I'm such a good wife. We weighed the pros and cons (price, location, dues) but it worked for us and we got a really good deal on ours.

We are already talking about adding on. I would love to go for Poly and maybe this time I will give my input. I also fell in love with Wilderness Lodge when we visited the resort in September so we shall see.

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I would absolutely buy in again awesome , but I would buy on resale market through a timeshare broker. With the money you save, you can buy more points mickey .

Besides, when using your points for a cruise, you end up paying more. sad

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We still think about buying DVC, but right now it's completely out of the question due to the Canadian/US dollar exchange rate. Everything in the US is multiplied by almost 1.5 right now. Shoulda bought in when we were at par.

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JMed wrote:
We are already talking about adding on. I would love to go for Poly and maybe this time I will give my input. I also fell in love with Wilderness Lodge when we visited the resort in September so we shall see.

Thanks! Brings me to my next question. So you can buy in at more than one resort but combine your points?

Emilio wrote:
I would absolutely buy in again awesome , but I would buy on resale market through a timeshare broker. With the money you save, you can buy more points mickey

My thoughts exactly!

Emilio wrote:
Besides, when using your points for a cruise, you end up paying more. sad

I didn't know that! That's very good to know!

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I would absolutely buy resale again. We had a very smooth and easy transaction. As an initial investment, I would probably either buy at or consider buying at Saratoga again. It's not my favorite DVC resort (in fact, as awesome as the others are, it's probably one of my least favorite WDW DVC properties), but it's a great combo of low dues, low price per point, and reasonable points per night to stay.

If we were to add on, my first choice would be Wilderness Lodge just because we love it there and it can be tough to get in because it's such a small resort. After our upcoming trip in March, I might feel the someway about Beach Club. When we bought, I really wanted BLT for location and lowest annual dues at the time. Unfortunately, at that time BLT was the new kid on the block and the price per point buy-in cost was the highest of any resort. We would have made up the difference what we would have saved in annual dues, but that matters very little when you don't have the cash upfront to fritter away. I still feel like BLT is a great combination of the factors that we like, but it's not my favorite resort and I dislike the higher point cost per night.

If it wasn't for the high dues, I'd say that I wish we had bought at OKW or Boardwalk. I like that the points per night are low at both places, do when you book at 11 months with intent to switch at 7 months, you don't have to worry about whether ornate you banker borrowed those points and they're now in the wrong use year if you don't use them all when you switch your booking to different resort.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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alicemouse wrote:
FutureMrsHurst wrote:

Yes please! I would like to look into it a bit. I have stayed at SSR once before and it is a nice quite resort. Looking up online at a few sites, I noticed Animal Kingdom had a few that seemed low priced too like $84 a point.

The only thing to watch out for at AKL is the dues per point. Because the dues has to cover maintenance of the animals, it caries one of the heftier price tags. The buy-in price regardless of resort, works out to $1-3 per point when you amortize it over the life of the contract. The annual dues starts at over $4 per point each year and it increase annually. Especially if you are buying a large contract, pay close attention to the current dues.

When it comes to using your membership, AKL does have the rooms that are the best "bang for your buck" if a studio can accommodate your party. They have a value studio for 9 points per night in the least expensive season. I've checked for a reservation there several times and haven't been able to snag it, so it seems to be one of those that you have to own at the resort to get it. The next two best point per night rates are 10 each for Boardwalk and Old Key West. These are for weeknights in the least expensive season, which is usually early fall, early December, and most of January. Because they are older, OKW and Boardwalk also have relatively high dues. Aside from Boardwalk during food and wine, we have had good success with booking boo Boardwalk and OKW at the 7-month booking window.

Other resorts have proven (at least for us) to be difficult to get during the times that we've traveled so far. Wilderness Lodge and Beach Club are very small and very popular. If you don't own there, count on only getting to stay there by virtue of doing a short trip, a split stay, booking a larger room than you actually need, or by traveling during a higher point-per-night time or year. Grand Floridian and Poly have eluded us thus far, but they are still new. SSR and OKW have virtually no advantage when it comes to booking window because they are large resorts and almost always have availability well past the 7-month window.

Hope that helps--happy to address any follow-up questions. I have always been VERY anti-time share, but DVC was hands down the best purchase we ever made. The thing that impressed me the most was that the sales reps never approached you to talk about the product. There are no high pressure sales tactics. If you don't need pressure to sell it, it must be a great product. On our first DVC year, we spent 35 days at WDW over the course of 5 trips and spent just over double out of pocket what a week would have cost us previously. We were able to take family members along on two of those trips, enjoy merchandise and AP discounts, and stay in deluxe accommodations instead of our usual moderate resorts. I really can't say enough about how much more Disney time we've been able to enjoy with DVC than we ever could have as cash visitors and how much more posh it has made the Disney experience for us. If you can make it work financially, I believe that it is a very solid investment.

AliceMouse,

Thanks for your informative insight on DVC.. I too am shopping around for a resale. BWV is my first choice and then maybe VWL. I'm still in the infancy stage of actually buying right now, but just doing my research and weighing all aspects of the whole time share thing and if works for us...

LouisianaMike

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TinkASL wrote:
So my question for all of you DVC people is: If you could do it again would you a.) Purchase in at a different location?

Maybe, but only because there are new locations now. If I just had the same choices I did when I bought I would still make the same decision I did with our home resort.

TinkASL wrote:
b.) Would you buy direct or resale?

Direct if it was my initial purchase.

There's only 1 thing that I would do differently if I could do it over, and that would be to purchase more points than I did. I've added on once, and will be adding on again probably in another 2 years when my contract is paid off.

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Kristen K. wrote:
TinkASL wrote:
So my question for all of you DVC people is: If you could do it again would you a.) Purchase in at a different location?

Maybe, but only because there are new locations now. If I just had the same choices I did when I bought I would still make the same decision I did with our home resort.

May I ask what your home resort is? (Nevermind! Just saw in another thread that it's AKL) Smile

Kristen K. wrote:
TinkASL wrote:
b.) Would you buy direct or resale?

Direct if it was my initial purchase.

Very interesting! Why is that? The ability to use them elsewhere?

I'm still a little fuzzy on the adding of points. So if we buy direct and then add resale points how does that all work with the "perks"? And if we add on points (regardless of direct/resale initial purchase) can we add on with a different resort? Does that mean we now have 2 (or more) home resorts? And then do we get the early reservations at both of them?

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