One of the first things I learned upon purchasing our Disney Vacation Club contract was “buy where you want to stay!” While this frame of mind is true, through my experiences with DVC stays, I have found there is more to take into consideration before making a purchase based solely–or mostly so–on which resort you yearn to call “home.” Here are what I believe to be three key elements of a DVC contract to consider before buying:
Location, Location, Location
This is especially true for members who live by the 11-month reservation window. Being that I am a teacher from New Jersey, my family and I are often restricted to the time of year we can visit Walt Disney World. I don’t have the luxury of logging on four or five months out and grabbing a random open week. I am pigeon-holed into two key times a year: Summer or Jersey Week.
If travel times are limited for you as well, you will most likely begin to create a pattern of visits. For us, we know we will visit in August. So come September each year, we are anxiously waiting online at exactly 11-months out to make sure we get the week we wish to visit.
At the 11-month window, you can book only at your home resort. This is where the adage, “Buy where you want to stay,” comes into place. For those prospective buyers who will be restricted by when you can travel, booking at 11-months will be imperative. If that 11-month window matters for you, seriously consider buying where you truly want to stay.
As add-on-itis has struck my husband and me, we are now thinking of purchasing another contract. While doing our research on resorts, I noticed that not only should you buy where you want to stay, but it’s important to purchase the correct amount of points. If you have the right amount of points, it may be easier for you to stay at DVC Resorts other than your home resort, which is important to us.
At the 7-month window, it is terribly difficult to come across a full reservation at popular resorts like Disney’s Beach Club Villas, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, and Bay Lake Tower. However, I have noticed that although it’s difficult booking a deluxe studio, a one-bedroom villa is more attainable at the 7-month window.
To figure out how many points would be right for you, determine what season you tend to travel during the most and calculate how many points you would need for your average length of staying in a one-bedroom villa. The DIS has a wonderful calculator tool that makes this quick and easy! For example, if you made a reservation at your home resort at 11-months, but you have always wanted to stay at Disney’s Beach Club, you can modify your reservation at 7-months. While a deluxe studio will be nearly impossible to obtain, one-bedroom villas are often available. So when you are ready to purchase a contract, buy one based on how much it would cost to stay at a desirable one-bedroom. Also, the luxury of being in a one-bedroom versus a deluxe studio is something we fell in love with the first time we experienced it, and I believe you may feel the same!
Length of Contract
If you decide to buy a direct contract through Disney for a new DVC property, this may not seem like too much of a game-changer. However, if you want to purchase a resale contract or be waitlisted to purchase a sold-out resort direct from Disney, you will want to be aware of when the contract ends. For instance, a contract at Disney’s Polynesian Resort ends in 2066, while a contract at Disney’s BoardWalk ends in 2042. For some, this doesn’t affect a purchasing decision; however, I find it necessary to consider the end date of the contract. Buying a contract is a commitment that I know my family and I will enjoy for years to come. We hope to be able to enjoy all that DVC has to offer well into our retirement. Also, we see our contract(s) as something we can pass down to our son and later to his family–a legacy.
What are your major considerations when purchasing a contract–or adding on? I would love to hear your thoughts as well!
3 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home: What to Consider When Buying DVC”
I worry when folks say “I’m doing this so I can pass it down to my children”. Are you sure your kids are going to want to be paying 2 or 3 thousand dollars a year in maintenance fees because of your “generous gift?”. Kids today are going to be lucky to get into their own home let alone be saddled with paying the fees on a second one.
Thank you for your input.
The main ideas I suggested considering were location, point allotment, and length of contract. I don’t propose buying into DVC simply “to pass it down to my child.” For me, it’s a bonus of owning to be able to pass it down to my son, who like us, is an avid Disney fan. We don’t know what the future holds for him, but God willing he will be able to have a second home to share with generations to come for our family.
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