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Newbie question about timeshare / DVC.

Loueloui

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Hi all,

My wife and I have been discussing purchasing a timeshare, probably in the $5-10K range. I have fairly generous amount of vacation time at my work, and we typically take several small and 2-3 'big' vacations per year. I also have a small child, so there are only 3 of us.

I don’t know too much about timeshares but being from Florida I know enough to buy them 'used'. I also understand the concept of maintenance fees and that some weeks are more desirable than others and may cost more $, points, wampum or whatever.

We are also big time Disney nuts. We have passes and go pretty often (16 visits last year). I am interested in DVC, however having lived in Orlando we both know the area well and go so often we feel we get more value from renting hotel rooms off property.

My Questions are:

Would it even be worth it for us to buy a timeshare seeing as there's only 3 of us and we typically don’t need or want cooking facilities? We enjoy dining out a great deal when traveling, and a fridge and a microwave suit us just fine.

We are interested in the points programs because of the flexibility, especially DVC even though we would not use it much for rooms. I had heard that they no longer third party owners to trade their points for cruises or other extras. Is this still the case?

In DVC, is it really a big advantage to paying more for a desirable home resort? What is the appeal?

How much should we expect to pay for points in a program?

Is renting a good way to judge whether we should purchase a timeshare? Is the experience comparable to staying somewhere you own at?

Which timeshare companies we should avoid?

Any help would certainly be appreciated. If anyone needs detailed info on Orlando or Central Florida, I would certainly be willing to return the favor.
 

rickandcindy23

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Buying DVC resale is a good choice, and I would contact Seth Nock to help with a purchase of DVC resale (I did that myself).

If you want to go to Oahu, Disneyland, Hilton Head, or Vero Beach, all as alternatives to Disneyworld, and you want to use your points only in the DVC system, you should definitely buy DVC. You should not use DVC to exchange into Maui or the Big Island, or Williamsburg, or New York, etc. Use the points for DVC resorts only. (That was advice given to me.)

For travel outside of Disney, buy where you want to go often, or buy into a system that will get you there. Wyndham comes to mind. They have resorts just about everywhere (not Maui, unfortunately). But when you have to exchange, make sure you are happy with the options within that system.

I bought Shell points to use occasionally in RCI for exchanging into DVC. Shell moved to Interval International, so that option is lost to me. :bawl: Giving Shell points away is almost impossible, so I will use them within Shell now. I have no choice.
 

Rob&Carol Q

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with the resale prices as depressed as they are, there is no reason to rush.

Yup, consider renting a week first to "Try It On" so to speak.
 

aliikai2

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It doesn't sound like you are a Timeshare person

Even with points, the extra room and the kitchens/washer/dryers are the main benefits. As you aren't interested in those you are better off doing what you enjoy and not buying anything.

jmho,
Greg
 

chalee94

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Would it even be worth it for us to buy a timeshare seeing as there's only 3 of us and we typically don’t need or want cooking facilities? We enjoy dining out a great deal when traveling, and a fridge and a microwave suit us just fine.
i like that DVC is scalable. if you are happy in a studio (basically a hotel room with a microwave/toaster/minifridge) for 12 nights each year, DVC will let you do that...

We are interested in the points programs because of the flexibility, especially DVC even though we would not use it much for rooms. I had heard that they no longer third party owners to trade their points for cruises or other extras. Is this still the case?
if you want to trade for cruises or other extras, DVC is not for you. those trades tend to be really bad deals. if you wanted to trade for a cruise once in a while for a change of pace...sure - but you'd be silly to buy DVC just so you could pay more than the cash rates for cruises...

buy DVC for stays in DVC resorts or else just rent once in a while.

In DVC, is it really a big advantage to paying more for a desirable home resort? What is the appeal?
3 things:

1) if you can book your home resort at 11 months out, you can virtually guarantee that you can get a spot...almost always in the villa-type that you prefer. at 7 months, you can sometimes trade for other resorts...but sometimes not.

2) home resort tells you how much your annual dues (maintenance fees) are per point.

3) home resort tells you when your contract expires (some expire in 2042...others in 2060).

(less likely possibility: if aulani turns into a complete debacle and DVC decides to spin off its non-park timeshares, owning at VB and HHI means you might be out of the DVC system.)

How much should we expect to pay for points in a program?
again, DVC is scalable. how many nights in what seasons at which resorts? here is a link to point charts for reference:

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-vacation-club/DVCpoints.shtml

if you only want 100 OKW pts each year, you can get in for $6500 or possibly less. BLT and BCV will cost more per pt.

Is renting a good way to judge whether we should purchase a timeshare? Is the experience comparable to staying somewhere you own at?
i would definitely suggest you rent a DVC studio to try it out. try a 5 night stay at BLT or VWL if you plan to hit the magic kingdom (i would recommend booking 9-10 months in advance if you want one of those resorts.)

take your time and do some research...

if you buy into DVC you would currently get a $100 discount on annual passes to the parks...but perks like that can come and go. it's really only worthwhile to buy if you want to stay onsite at DVC resorts...
 

Loueloui

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i like that DVC is scalable. if you are happy in a studio (basically a hotel room with a microwave/toaster/minifridge) for 12 nights each year, DVC will let you do that...QUOTE]



Hi Charles,

Thanks so much for the reply! I certainly appreciate it. We really LOVE Disney, but this is a long term financial arrangement, so I welcome all of the help I can get.

Having lived in Florida my whole life I have seen many people get burned from unscrupulous timeshare entities, or even just because they didn't understand the terms.
 

presley

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First off, only buy where you would be happy to stay. Buying with only the intent to trade will only work until your timeshare changes their partnerships.

From an economical point, DVC is only worth it if you use it for DVC resorts. However, if you plan to buy non-DVC in the Orlando area, you will not be able to trade into RCI for DVC.

Something that may work for you that worked for me is to buy a local resort that you love and would enjoy using. If it is accepted as a deposit in SFX, you can deposit it there and get up to 5 extra weeks of vacation. You'd pay an exchange fee or rental fee each time, but it works out really nice if you like to get away frequently. They have a higher level of membership that will let you trade your week towards a cruise or touring vacation.

Keep looking into options and by all means, take your time.
 

MichaelColey

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Based on what you've said, let's back into the numbers and see how DVC would work for you.

With $10k to invest, if you can find a resale contract for $50/point you could get up to 200 points. Your annual MF for 200 points would be roughly $1000 per year (more or less depending on which resort you buy at).

What would 200 points get you? About a week and a half in a studio (more or less depending on the resort and season) or about 4-6 days in a 1BR. For $10k upfront and $1k per year, I'm not sure that would be all that appealing.

You might do some similar calculations for other mini-systems (Starwood, Hilton, Wyndham) and also look into some good RCI traders.

Currently, DVC trades through RCI, but the trading power required has gone up considerably over the past year. Off site timeshares are much, much cheaper.

You might also consider just renting timeshares from a Wyndham owner. Those can be pretty economical (especially if you rent right at the 60 day mark, when Platinum VIPs get their 50% discount and free upgrades). In fact, I would encourage you to try a timeshare like this by renting from an owner before you ever consider buying.
 

JudyS

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...
We are also big time Disney nuts. We have passes and go pretty often (16 visits last year). I am interested in DVC, however having lived in Orlando we both know the area well and go so often we feel we get more value from renting hotel rooms off property...
One factor that hasn't been mentioned so far is the DVC discount on annual passes. It's a pretty big discount -- $100 per person off a regular pass, or $125 off a premium pass. However, if you are already getting a Florida Resident discount on your pass, then the DVC annual pass discount would be much smaller.

There are also some other discounts for DVC owners, but they are modest.

If you aren't interested in staying onsite, then the discounts would be the main reason for buying a DVC contract -- and any contract, even a teeny one, will get you the discounts.

As for off-site timeshares, there are many nice ones in the Orlando area. Even though you aren't interested in a kitchen, timeshares also often offer many amenities, such as a whirlpool tub and lots more space. Many of the timeshares in Orlando have multiple activities for kids, as well as elaborate pools. Many people here "exchange" into deluxe Orlando resorts using cheaper resorts that they own elsewhere. However, if you do short trips rather than week-long stays, then exchanging isn't as good of a deal (since it's usually for a whole week.) The best choice instead would probably be buying a points-based timeshare with nice resorts in Orlando. Either Wyndham or Bluegreen would fit the bill. Both are quite cheap on the resale market; no need to spend anything like $5k.
 

MichaelColey

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If you're happy staying off site, it's tough to beat those prices. If you like to stay on site, though, the points "cost" for DVC Studios are pretty close to the cost to stay in a Disney value resort.

For instance, AKV value Studios are 69 or 76 points for most seasons (and 95 or 118 pretty much anytime school is out of session). DVC Maintenance Fees are roughly $5/pt (depending on where you own) and if you spread the upfront costs of a $50/pt resale contract over 10 years, that's another $5/point. That makes it $690 or $760 for a week during the off season and $950 or $1180 in prime times. If you want to skip the upfront costs, you can pretty easily find points for rent for $12/pt, so just a little higher than those mentioned.

For off-site timeshares with stays less than a week, Wyndham Bonnet Creek might be the best bet. Rather than owning, I would suggest renting from a Platinum VIP owner. You can find some that rent their points for $5/1k, which pretty much just covers their maintenance fees. As long as you can do that, I see no reason to buy. 60 days out, Platinum VIPs get a 50% discount (and free confirmed upgrade if a bigger unit is available) and points (before the 50% discount) range from 84k to 166k for a 1BR Deluxe, so that works out to $210 to $415 for a week.

I used one week values just so you could see the averages and easily compare, but in both cases weekends take more points and weekdays take less, so depending on whether you're doing the short trips mid-week or on weekends, it could cost more or less.
 

chriskre

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I live in Miami and go to Disney 4 to 5 times a year.
If you're hitting Disney 16 times a year you are probably doing long weekends, no?

If so, you may want to consider buying a small DVC package and complimenting it with say an RCI points purchase or HGVC points purchase that would give you access to either Last calls in RCI or open season in HGVC. I probably wouldn't buy more than a biennial in either.

HGVC has nice studios in open season for a reasonable cost. Although you are just 3 today there may come a time when you will welcome the extra bedroom and kitchen. Having access to cheap last minute Orlando rentals and there are always nice timeshares that are available last minute, will upgrade your long weekends from just hotels to nice resorts. I wouldn't recommend Wyndham points as an owner for doing short Disney trips but just rent those from mega Wyndham owners or from ebay.

Owning HGVC also has the advantage of being able to book DVC thru RCI.

I love my DVC points and am always borrowing ahead. I'm not the greatest planner so use them to book whatever is available. If you are happy with Animal Kingdom and Old Key West you can vacation very cheaply using DVC points. There is usually good availability last minute at these resorts along with SSR but every now and then you get lucky and can upgrade to BWV or BCV if you are persistent and keep calling in for any cancellations. Hopefully with online booking that will get easier.
 
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