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Thread: DVCNews Debates: Due Diligence

  1. #1
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    Default DVCNews Debates: Due Diligence



    A Disney Vacation Club purchase is a major financial committment for most poeple. As such, it requires a fair amount of research. Some people recommend touring some or all of the various resorts before buying. Some suggest renting points to experience a resort first hand. Others claim that being an experienced Disney resort guest is sufficient to gain an adequate understanding of the DVC lifestyle.




    Topic: How thoroughly should buyers research a resort before committing themselves to a specific "Home"?

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  2. #2
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    We bought at BCV, which actually surprised me - I had fully expected us to end up at VWL. It was doing the due diligence that made us realize that BCV was really a better option for us.

    We had rented points three times at two other resorts (VWL twice, BWV once), and had had the DVC sales pitch for BCV 10+ years earlier. But we hadn't set foot there, really.

    I think in our case, we knew the DVC system well enough that we knew what we were getting into. The exact theming may vary, but a DVC room is more or less a known quantity to us wherever it is. We could focus on the things outside the room - location, amenities, etc. I've got a couple large Google docs where my wife and I went through the pros and cons of all the resorts, and then narrowed it down to VWL vs. BCV and went over the pros and cons in detail. Restaurants, pools, transportation, price per point, dues, etc.

    There were two factors that finally pushed us to BCV. My younger son loves swimming, so Stormalong Bay was a huge factor. And my daughter loves Reflections of Earth, so being that close to Epcot meant she could go see it any night we got back to the room early.
    [WDW visits: DxL 1/98, VWL 1/03, WL 6/03, VWL 1/08, BWV 1/13, BCV 1/16, POFQ 4/17]
    [DL visits: 7/90, 11/93, 11/94, 11/95, 11/96, 6/97, 11/97, 11/99, 12/00, 8/01, 1/06, 2/08, 2/12, 6/14, VGC 7/16, DLH/VGC 1/17]
    [Family: me45, wife45, daughter18, son16, son13]
    [Races: 2016 WDW 10k, 2017 SW Light Side Rebel Challenge, 2017 SW Dark Side Half]

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  4. #3
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    We didn't do near that much work.

    When we bought in, they were selling BLT and AKL. BLT wasn't open yet and AKL only had Jambo House (which we'd never been to). We bought AKL solely on the difference of the model rooms... we preferred the decor at AKL.

    Now, one might think we'd regret this. We don't. We still love AKL. We've added on elsewhere since then so we will get some variety in our options, but AKL will always be "home" for us.

    I like the advice that says "Don't buy where you don't want to stay." It's not that you have to buy in where you want to be (although that's obviously a good idea), but don't buy in at a resort where you doubt you'll be staying all that much. Go to WDW a lot? Aulani's a bad choice. Don't like the spread out nature of SSR and prefer to be in the middle of the action? Yeah, don't buy SSR and AKL may not be for you either. Then you're going to be one of those complaining all the time about how you can't book other resorts at 7 months out, and that's no way to be.

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  6. #4
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    I profess my ignorance! I knew nothing about DVC. On a trip to WDW, in 2010 I brought some friends. While in the parks We noticed the DVC kiosks, I stopped and asked a couple questions. This was my third trip to WDW, (lifetime) and 1st trip ever staying on property (Coronado Springs) that evening after we returned to our rooms I watched the DVC channel and learned a little more about the club. Finally on the second to the last day I went to another Kiosk the guide said they could pick us up right where we were take us to the preview and they would brings us right back. We went on the preview tour and I purchased right then. And they returned us to the same spot we left in the park with a number of VIP fastpasses so we didn't miss a thing in the park. It was great, and I never fretted. At my sales meeting I was told of the secondary market and Disney's ROFR and the point system as opposed to the purchased week program other timeshares used and that was enough to satisfy me. While I eventually sold my initial purchase VGC for a nice profit, I bought 3 other resorts and always think about buying more. I went from seldom taking a vacation to taking a trip about every 9 months. I don't know what I would have done if I spent so much time researching. I think I would have given up and forgot about it and went back to maybe taking a trip every 6 or 7 years. So my advice don't over analyze it, you wouldn't be thinking about it if you didn't think you could enjoy it. And so far, most that I have heard from, only end up enjoying it more than they had expected.

  7. #5
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    Red face Love and knowing ourselves are Keys to select

    We could not do much of the due diligence in person to select our home resort, but we know what we love and where we could be mostly.

    We first learned about DVC from our honeymoon cruise. After the cruise, we did lots of research on-line to check out comments from DVC members about the membership, and ensured we are financially ready to commit. We didn't rent points nor take an official tour prior to our commitment as we live in Canada. We chose AKV as our first home resort based on the following.

    1. Location - AKV is in Florida, less than 3-hour flight to visit;
    2. Resort Theme - Living in a big city, we are not outdoor persons, and do not think we will visit the true Africa in person. AKV gives us the chance to get a taste of it, and it is clean. We love Giraffe and animals. Watching them from balcony and savanna is one of a kind experience. Loving it!

    We have stayed in other DVC resorts since we joined. We love them all, but AKV is still our favorite.

  8. #6
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    Default Due Dilligence

    I use to tell people to buy into the resort with the lowest maintenance fee because you can usually get what you want 7 months out. This is definitely no longer true. I've rearranged my contracts a few times over the years to have the resorts I want regardless of annual maintenance.

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  10. #7
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    I think you can decide without seeing a resort, but you really need to research it. If you stay at resorts in advance to see if they are the right one you will spend over $3000 in a studio for a week per resort even after the discounts Disney offers. That money could go towards a down payment instead. But you need to have visited WDW before buying into DVC, as it might not be the vacation you want for the next 30-50 years.
    --Denise

    Scheduled upcoming Disney trips:


    11/30/17 - 12/14/17 - Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort
    03/01/18 - 03/08/18 - Copper Creek at the Wilderness Lodge

  11. #8
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    I thought I was doing my due diligence - researched the Vacation Club from afar many times - lots of materials sent to the house; books, tapes, discs depending on the years. When on vacation we like to stop working and the club seemed all about laundry and meal prep space which was kind of a turn-off. Stayed at OKW once and didn't care for the location/bus transportation so the vacation club was scratched off the list again. Around 2005 we started vacationing 2 to 3 times a years at WDW. '08 we walked thru the open house at the BW and finally agreed to talk to a guide. When DH learned of all the purchasing incentives and perks being offered plus the knowledge that we could stay at the walk-able venues for such a reduced price he said we should've talked to a guide earlier .

    When we bought worked for us financially as we've not the patience for re-sale. We also ran into the 7 month window drying up and now own at all the places we enjoy the most. I am glad our many visits to WDW helped us understand our preferences but I do feel you have to actually own to truly understand the program but we're more 'hands-on' learners.

    Janet & Dan


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  13. #9
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    Being a DVC member requires a significant financial outlay, both in terms of the initial buy-in as well as ongoing expenses (yearly maintenance fees, Park tickets, transportation costs, etc). A DVC family of four could easily top $100,000 in just a few years of membership. To paraphrase former Senator Everett Dirksen "ten thousand here, ten thousand there, pretty soon it adds up to real money."

    So, its wise for prospective members to know what they are getting into if they buy DVC.

    Most DVC members don't need to know everything about DVC in order to get maximum enjoyment out of their membership. Understanding the booking windows, how to make reservations, and the banking and borrowing rules cover about 80% of what most members need to understand.

    When it comes to picking a home resort, buy where you don't mind staying. DVC has so many resorts (Copper Creek is the 14th in the system and the 10th at Walt Disney World), its virtually impossible to try out each one before buying. As a prior poster said, the DVC villas are quite similar, so it comes down to amenities, restaurants, location, and theming. But here is the catch: The things that work best for you today might not be the same in 10 years. So don't worry about trying to find the perfect resort today.






  14. #10
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    Default A little on site research helped, but the right guide made the difference

    We had been visiting WDW about twice a year rotating between the moderate resorts (mostly PO~FQ) for several years. We did stay at SSR once. Once was enough. We hated it (and still do). We also stayed at AKL (during DVC construction right above our heads) and although we did enjoy it, it wasn't as convenient as PO. Friends of ours who owned at BWV had told us the value of DVC ownership. It sounded good. Our concerns at that time were that we would fly in for each trip and that DVC was not eligible to use Magical Express (which we came to rely on when it was introduced in 2005). Also at that time, DVC was unable purchase Dining Plans. Back then the DDP was a great deal, a much better value than the current one offered. So we met with our friends sales guide, Patty D. who gave us a tour, a pitch, told us about current sales at SSR and AKL and wanted to start drawing up a contract (the minimum buy-in at the time was 160 points). Of course, we wanted neither of these resorts. I then inquired about what other options I had and she told me flatly; None. I asked about the VWL specifically. She said that it was sold out. I also hypothesized the possibility of any Polynesian or Contemporary expansions as I had always wanted to stay at these resorts. She laughed and said that those properties are Flagship resorts and would never add DVC rooms. We opted to think it over. She seemed perturbed that we were not ready to sign. Over the coming weeks then months, I called several times with questions. Leaving messages, I would not receive return phone calls. We were still interested, but the service was off-puting. I finally called and got a return call from a sales manager. I explained the situation and was told that a new guide would contact me shortly. Later that day, the most wonderful sales guide called me. Sue S. was nothing short of amazing. She explained to me that VWL was in fact not sold out, that there was actually repurchase inventory available. She also explained that within the upcoming year, DVC members were going to be able to utilize DME and add DDP's. Was it a miracle? No, Patty was just a pushy, unfriendly, sleezy sales person. Ok, new guide, new info, new outlook. By this time, we had another trip coming up soon in November. This was out first 3 visit year, and DVC was really looking like a money saver. Sue suggested that we visit VWL on this trip and make sure we'd want to own there. We decided to try to move some of our days from PO~FQ to the VWL without success. We did get 5 nights at OKW instead. So our trip came, we spent the first 5 nights at PO and moved to OKW. Upon entering our booked Deluxe Studio, we walked into a full kitchen and living room. Something was wrong. I called he front desk to report the mistake and was kindly told that a Cast Member had arranged for an upgrade to a 1BR. I didn't know any Cast Members. Then I noticed the message light on the phone. Sue had left a message welcoming us home. I was stunned. I called her back and told here that I WAS home! I said, "if you can get me 200 points in OKW, I will buy today". She called me back within the hour and had a 200 pt contract with 2057 end date in the process of RFR that would be available to take ownership the following March. It came with the full current year's points to be banked in. Jackpot! It was an amazing trip. We got an amazing deal. We formed a great relationship with our guide (who continued to call us on EVERY visit, invited us to meet her wheneve she was around, and even sent small gifts to our rooms, up until she took another position). We started visiting more often (now up to 6x a year). We added on 11 more times at 8 different properties and are currently in closing on another BCV contract and adding a HHI contract that will bring our 1100 points to 1375 at 9 different resorts (14 contracts, 10 properties).
    So in summary for us, who visited multiple times a year already, the cost savings was self evident. Once the perks were in place, the convenience was also undeniable. Having the right guide, however, is what helped determine where to call home. If it had not been for ability to get a helpful sales guide, we may have never bought in. We would most likely not have stayed at another Deluxe resort and gotten to see what DVC truely had to offer in the way of accommodations. Ultimately, it was staying at OKW that made the decision for us. Research that paid off in that OKW is so beautiful and I am so happy to call it my first HOME away from home.

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