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Old 04-15-2009, 07:05 AM   #1
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Arrow Choosing Your DVC Home Resort

One of the first decisions a prospective Disney Vacation Club member has to make, after deciding to buy into DVC, is which resort they should purchase and make their home resort. DVC members who wish to add-on face the similar issue of choosing which resort to add-on points at.

DVC members can book their home resort(s) up to 11 months prior to the check-in date, while being able to book other DVC resorts only 7 months prior to check-in date. This 4-month booking advantage is important for certain high-demand periods or certain room types. An example is the concierge rooms at AKV.

Prospective DVC members may not be aware that they are not limited to just the resorts that DVC is actively marketing, but that it is possible to buy into any of the DVC resorts, even the older “sold-out” resorts. You can buy these resorts on the resale market, as well as direct from Disney (once you convince your guide that you simply are not interested in the resorts DVC is actively marketing).

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Now, what factors should one consider in choosing their home resort? People consider a wide range of things when deciding to choose their home resort. This includes (in no particular order):
  • The time of year you travel and whether you are able to plan your vacations 7 - 11 months in advance
  • Purchase price
  • Maintenance fees
  • Points charts: The number of points required to book certain accommodations will vary from resort to resort and season to season.
  • Years remaining on contract
  • Theme/decor of resort
  • Room sizes and layouts: OKW has the largest rooms. BLT, VGC and AKV have extra bathrooms (1BR and larger). PVB has the largest studios.
  • Location: Proximity to a particular theme park, entertainment center, or even animals may factor into your decision.
  • Resort amenities: Recreation and dining options differ from resort to resort.
  • Style: Some people prefer a condo-style resort with exterior walkways. Some folks prefer interior hallways and valet parking.
  • Resort size: Some people prefer resorts that are smaller and less spread-out.
  • Type of accommodations: Not all resorts offer 3BR Grand Villas. Only AKV offers concierge bookings and value villas. PVB lacks 1BR villas.


Everyone’s personal tastes and individual preferences are different. Some may value certain factors more than others or not at all.

PURCHASE PHILOSOPHY

In addition to these individual factors, there are a few popular philosophies that you’ll hear from DVC members.

The most popular philosophy is Buy Where You Want to Stay. If you really love a particular resort, then buy into it. There are some people who have a particular fondness for a resort and really want to stay at that particular resort, and they would be unhappy if they were not able to book there. These folks should buy where they want to stay, provided that they can reliably plan and book to take advantage of the 11-month home resort booking advantage.

If a specific resort (theme/style, location, villa type and/or view) is really important to you and you can take advantage of the 11-month home resort booking advantage, then buy into that resort. The need for the home resort booking advantage varies by resort, villa type, view and time of year that you most often vacation.

If you don’t have a particular fondness for a certain resort, or if you’re not a planner and anticipate always booking at the 7-month window (or less), then one of the next two philosophies may be best for you.

One alternative philosophy states Buy Where You Wouldn't Mind Staying. This view states that people should avoid buying at a resort that they really wouldn't be happy staying at. Since the resort you buy into will be your default location should your other options fall through at the 7-month window, you should pick a resort that you would wouldn’t mind staying at; i.e., it would not make you unhappy.

Finally, others promote the idea of Buy the best deal; that is, whatever resort has the lowest overall cost. If any resort is fine, then buy where you get the best overall deal for total cost of ownership. Recognize that the variables for that depend on purchase cost (price, closing costs and finance charges), annual dues, expected length of ownership and likely resale value upon disposition. Keep in mind that any savings in upfront purchase cost will probably be offset by the difference in maintenance fees.

Some members may decide to purchase at more than one resort, giving them multiple home resorts. Typically, the reason is that the owner wants the 11-month booking advantage of the Home Resort Priority Period in order to make it easier to get the resort they want, at the time they want, with the accommodations they want. This reduces any possible frustration at the 7-mo window, wait-listing, or having to “settle” for another reservation while missing out on the one you really had your heart set on.

Keep in mind that if you have more than one home resort, all vacation points being used to make a reservation during the Home Resort Priority Period must be associated with that home resort. That is, you cannot combine points from multiple resorts to book one resort during the Home Resort Priority Period. You may combine all the points you have at all your home resorts and book any DVC resort only at the 7-month window.

If you own 150 points at BLT and 200 points at VGF, for example, you can use those 150 BLT points to only book BLT 11 months in advance, and those 200 VGF points to only book VGF 11 months in advance. You could not, however, combine your points 11 months in advance to have 350 points to stay at either resort - you must wait until seven in advance to do so.

Some folks purchase small add-ons at other resorts and then, by banking and/or borrowing, book a vacation there at the 11-month window every 2 or 3 years.

Last edited by DVC Information; 07-26-2015 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
disneyistheone
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Great read, Mike.
I just commented in another thread a summary of what I just read here, actually before I read this thread.
I know that you are probably a 11 month booking type. I am just the opposite; I tend to book at 7 months and later. My first two contracts were at AK because I like the resort but I probably will never book at 11 months. On the other hand, my third contract was at BLT and was more due to the lower MF there than anything else. I did just read somewhere that BLT was pretty well sold out in the first three months that it will be open but I believe that that was expected. Daitcher commented that maybe all the units will not be declared at opening time and that may be true as well.
I am hoping that BLT will be available at slower periods of the year at the 7 month window. I've got some points there but will have to combine those with my AK points to do what I want to on my ressie.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:01 PM   #3
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Great summary, Mike.
-Brian
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for a great post! We already did our purchase at BLT, but it's nice to see that we considered a lot of what you wrote when we made our decision.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for the summary Mike...great info for new DVC owners, as well as prospective owners or those looking to add-on.
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:44 PM   #6
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Great post, Mike! Very helpful resource.
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:00 PM   #7
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Very Nice! Thank you!
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riley70 View Post
Very helpful resource.
If anyone would want to post ay other factors I may have missed, I'll be glad to update my post.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:24 AM   #9
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Same sentiments from me Mike, some sound advice given to potential purchasers - including most of what we thought about before buying into SSR ~ a decision we will never regret
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:49 AM   #10
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Only suggestion I can think of is to give the new resorts a little time for the MF to settle in. The BLT and VGC are low because they are new, how much they increase is yet to be seen. So far SSR has stayed low, it may just continue since it has the most members to spread the MF's over, but it's also the largest resort so that may come into play later on.

I'd love to buy at Hawaii when it comes out, but the MF potential scares me.....
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