When you purchase a Disney Vacation Club contract you are effectively purchasing an allotment of Vacation Points that you gain access to on a yearly basis. The key currency for DVC is Vacation Points, so most folks want access to those points right away. However, in my case I purposefully sought out a stripped contract on the resale market.
Choosing To Purchase A Resale Contract
Purchasing a Disney Vacation Club contract on the resale market, compared to going directly through Disney, was a straightforward choice. There are very limited additional benefits when buying directly through Disney, most of which are incidental and can be taken away at any time. The added cost to have access to these membership extras though is astronomical. In my case, it would have cost over $8,000 more to buy a contract through Disney instead of on the resale market. At the end of the day your Disney Vacation Club contract only guarantees you points to book DVC accommodations; given this fact, I did not see the material benefit of buying through Disney. Buying on the resale market was an easy decision.
Preference For A Stripped Contract
My partner and I began saving towards our goal of owning a Disney Vacation Club contract, and a couple of years into this endeavor we realized a stripped contract would actually be preferable. A stripped contract has zero Vacation Points left for use in the current Use Year, and occasionally some points from the following Use Year have also been used by the current owner. Most of this realization and decision came down to timing.
Buying In 2020 For A 2021 Vacation
Our imagined 2021 Walt Disney World trip was planned to have DVC accommodations by renting points. We have rented points in the past and found the overall experience to be fantastic. But thanks to job changes and fortunate stock market investments, we were able to save enough money to purchase a Disney Vacation Club resale contract faster than previously anticipated. It became clear in summer 2020 that by seeking out a stripped contract we could become DVC owners sooner rather than later!
The timing of buying a stripped contract in 2020 worked well, since we weren’t planning on traveling to Walt Disney World until 2021 anyway. A perceived loss of the 2020 Use Year’s worth of points didn’t affect our vacation plans at all. For our 2021 trip we would still have access to the 2021 Use Year’s points, as well as the ability to borrow from the 2022 Use Year if needed.
Home Resort Booking Window
Going through the process of purchasing a DVC contract on the resale market in late summer 2020 also meant we would officially be owners with access to our points by early to mid Fall 2020. The planned 2021 trip will occur in September 2021, meaning the timing of gaining access to our Vacation Points also worked out perfectly. As long as the resale process concluded sometime in October 2020, then we would be at the beginning of the 11 month home resort booking window to utilize our 2021 Vacation Points in our ideal DVC Villa accommodations.
The savings from buying a stripped contract were fantastic! There was not another resale contract listed at the same time with my desired point amount and Use Year, but we easily saved around $10 per point. Logically, stripped contracts are usually priced more attractively since an entire Use Year’s worth of points won’t be available to the resale buyer. Although in many cases you may feel the current Use Year’s allotment of points is worth the extra price, for myself and my partner this discounted rate made purchasing the contract when it was listed feasible.
Our goal was to save $15,000 in cash before putting in an offer, and when we saw this contract listed we had saved about 85 percent of the aspired amount. Given the discount for a stripped contract, we could then afford to pay for the contract fully in cash!
Reassess The Option Of Buying A Stripped Contract
Overall buying a stripped contract was not the path I had imagined when first beginning to save for Disney Vacation Club, but it is the route that made the most sense. By targeting a stripped contract we were able to afford Disney Vacation Club on a timeline that allowed for ample planning for our next trip to Walt Disney World. It was also incredibly fortunate as we were looking for a small contract with a specific Use Year; with the discounted price due to a lack of points in the current Use Year we were able to snag the DVC contract that fit our long-term needs best.
In August 2020 my partner and I had saved up about $13,000 for a Disney Vacation Club purchase. A 90 point Bay Lake Tower contract with an August Use Year was listed with no points remaining in the 2020 Use Year. We went through the resale process, then gained access to our Disney Vacation Club accounts as new owners in October 2020. Then, we were able to swiftly reserve our ideal accommodations at Bay Lake Tower for our September 2021 trip. This vacation is longer than we would normally take; we did end up borrowing some points from the 2022 Use Year. But that built in flexibility of the Vacation Points system that allows for borrowing points and traveling during any time of the year is part of the beauty of Disney Vacation Club! Everything about this purchase worked out perfectly.
Although buying a stripped Disney Vacation Club contract may not sound ideal, keep an open mind! It is worth reassessing your thinking as you work towards the ultimate goal of owning Disney Vacation Club and taking those Disney Vacations you’ve been dreaming of.