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Going for a DVC... Change my mind?!

tgropp

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Only you will know on whether DVC is for you. As others have pointed out....how often do you plan to visit WDW, will you go there when the children get older etc..... my advice

Buy resale For the 2042 resorts. This way you are only tied into it for the next 21 years. Who knows what the future holds when 2042 comes. If today’s events happened in 2041, I am sure that Disney would be offering extensions and begging owners to purchase extensions, but we don’t know what the future holds.

in 2008, I purchased a 50 and 75 point contract at Beach Club and 100 points at Wilderness Lodge. All for a bit less than $20,000. We have had some amazing family Christmas vacations. This upcoming Christmas (Dec 18-26) we have a 2 bedroom villa WL at approx $3,000 in maintenance fees. If you were to purchase direct from Disney it would cost $17,280.
If you like going to Disney and staying in their deluxe hotels, do it. The savings are incredible
 

heitmullerj02

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Have you checked their resale site? DVC resale.com, could purchase a shorter contract. Just watch the renewal month, my sister complains about December since if you rescheduled points must be used that calendar year.
 

Limace

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Have you checked their resale site? DVC resale.com, could purchase a shorter contract. Just watch the renewal month, my sister complains about December since if you rescheduled points must be used that calendar year.
With the exception of OKW, resale contracts don’t have different contract lengths than direct for the same resort. Use year points don’t expire during the calendar year-I think your sister misunderstands how use year works.


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Deb & Bill

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Have you checked their resale site? DVC resale.com, could purchase a shorter contract. Just watch the renewal month, my sister complains about December since if you rescheduled points must be used that calendar year.
Points expire 12 months after they are initially available to use, unless you borrow them or bank them. It's just that Dec can be confusing to so many people. For example, for DVC owners are currently in their Dec 2020 UY and these points will expire on Nov 30, 2021 unless they are banked into the Dec 2021 UY and then they expire on Nov 30, 2022. One of my contracts (a 50 point at OKW contract) is a Dec contract and it works out nicely for an annual early Dec visit.

But to the original point, DVC points are very expensive. We bought nearly 24 years ago and paid $50 a point for our original 175 at OKW. Once DVC points hit $100 a point direct, I was not recommending direct purchase. Even resales are in the $150 or higher for some resorts. Our original member fees were around $3 a point and are now over $8 a point for OKW without the credit from 2020.

One more thing, there is only one tower at Bay Lake Tower. Should DVC decide to tear down what was formerly known as the South Wing, it would probably be a separate resort from Bay Lake Tower since the start year would be so different from BLT. Kind of like Copper Creek and Villas at Wilderness Lodge (now known as Boulder Ridge Villas).
 

JohnB3

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@SunsetMaven good luck with your purchase. There is a bunch of great advice in this thread. I own points at SSR and a few other timeshares (I've got my habit under control I promise). My family enjoy staying in the bubble at WDW and go at least once a year. We can and do trade into SSR via RCI and we also have access to some great resorts in Orlando via II. My thoughts to anyone thinking about DVC where shaped by folks like @Dean & others. I think its quite important that the buy in price is manageable with cash on hand. I liked the fact that the points are relatively easy to rent or sell and that made the decision easier for me. The comments about planning are spot on and I agree that I'd not try to make a business out of renting the points every year. This is like most luxury purchases, no one needs a BMW but some folks buy them anyway, for the folks who are taking cash from something important its a poor choice but for others its just how they spend their discretionary cash. My family are happy with this particular luxury item, but it's important for us, at least, to think about it that way.
 

iowateach

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Let me offer another thought. I have owned timeshares since the '80s. I figure the cost of everything per night timeshare vs. per night rental. I think $30,000 is a lot to spend plus unknown MFs. On top of that you're stuck going to the same place. As your children get older, you may have different goals or interests, and then you'll have to spend more money with a company such as RCI or II to trade into someplace else. Rentals give you the luxury of choosing each year where you go and what you spend--or spending nothing at all, as I think 2020 has taught us. I am now 60 and considered buying a condo in Florida. Then I thought about how many years I could rent for the same money and how much flexibility I would have. I use every Accommodation Certificate Interval gives me at a cost of about $45 a night. If I wanted to spend a month in Florida in the winter, it would cost me roughly $1200 with no initial output and the flexibility to travel to someplace different each week if I wanted. I still own three timeshares that altogether cost me less than $10,000. I have enjoyed each one, but in hindsight I would do some things differently and would definitely not buy another one. Weigh things out carefully.
 

JohnB3

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Let me offer another thought. I have owned timeshares since the '80s. I figure the cost of everything per night timeshare vs. per night rental. I think $30,000 is a lot to spend plus unknown MFs. On top of that you're stuck going to the same place. As your children get older, you may have different goals or interests, and then you'll have to spend more money with a company such as RCI or II to trade into someplace else. Rentals give you the luxury of choosing each year where you go and what you spend--or spending nothing at all, as I think 2020 has taught us. I am now 60 and considered buying a condo in Florida. Then I thought about how many years I could rent for the same money and how much flexibility I would have. I use every Accommodation Certificate Interval gives me at a cost of about $45 a night. If I wanted to spend a month in Florida in the winter, it would cost me roughly $1200 with no initial output and the flexibility to travel to someplace different each week if I wanted. I still own three timeshares that altogether cost me less than $10,000. I have enjoyed each one, but in hindsight I would do some things differently and would definitely not buy another one. Weigh things out carefully.
I do agree @iowateach that no timeshare contract is something one should enter lightly, and value is very much in the eye of the beholder :). I enjoy the option of booking the resort and room size combos I can get with my DVC points but using RCI to trade into SSR 1 beds with my Grandview points is a much cheaper way to get the Disney experience. I think when someone chooses to pay up for control as long as its an informed choice I'm all good. One of the secondary things I like about resale DVC is the contracts hold some value and the market is (at least now) fairly liquid, as a result as long as using $30K or so on a timeshare does not disrupt your finances its not really spent so much as less liquid/lower return use of cash (although if it was sitting in checking or savings account a DVC contract might have higher return :)). I think if one decides that a timeshare fits their vacation style and learns the difference systems a great high end vacations can be had at value. However like most luxury purchases no one should make the buy decision emotionally.
 

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My two cents......

We really don't know how the pandemic will affect Disney World or timeshares in general. Long term travel might drop once the pandemic is over due to loss of business/jobs. High cost vacation might decrease based upon same. People might start to unload DVCs as finances become tighter or they just don't use them. Could affect resale pricing or rentals.

Disney will find a way to squeeze more money from owners - They already have them on the hook - they have nothing to lose and already do it constantly. If you default - they can take back your points and resell.

Maybe none of this will happen --- Maybe all. Who knows?

Personally - I would never spend $30K on a timeshare. Especially when we are in flux like this.

What I did....when my kids were young and I wanted to stay at DVC, I bought a timeshare for just trading into DVC for $500 on Ebay. I paid around $350 a year in maintenance for an odd year Governor's Green timeshare (traded in II vs RCI). I used the points in II to trade into DVC around 4 times over 5 years. Always a 1 bedroom. My total cost (Purchase, maintenance, trade fee and DVC BS fee) for those stays were a little over $3K. And by the time my kids were 10 or 11, no one wanted to go there anymore. I held onto the TS until right before the pandemic when I gave it and my other Wyndham TS back to Wyndham - my maintenance fees had doubled over the 14 yrs of ownership.
 

elaine

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We owned DVC, but also traded in via RCI 5X-gotta love it! We sold our larger DVC contract in 2020 (still have a 35 point DVC) to free up case for renos (recouping capital +20%). My heart (which still has that pixie dust in it) was thinking of rebuying as we envision using for weekend studio stays in retirement to enjoy resorts. Put in 2 sorta low ball offers--rejected. It's a sellers market--pricing is $5-15/point more for AKV than when we sold! So, my head decided to pause on repurchasing and just do longer trips via RCI 1BR, stay at a HGVC or Marriott, or get a DVC points transfer if needed, and re-evaluate in a year or two. Plus, with annual passes paused, we'd likely swap to EOY one week trip with family anyway.
 

presley

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or get a DVC points transfer if needed, and re-evaluate in a year or two.
I am right there with you. I am buying a very small contract knowing that I might need to rent extra points here and there. I figured between the 24 points/year that I can rent from Disney for a reservation and owners who are willing to transfer points, I don't need to buy more than I am. I will be looking at the Disneyland Hotel wing when that comes up for sale. That's the only additional contract that I imagine I'll want or "need" in my lifetime or that actually makes any sense.
 

Dean

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A DVC buyer is not your typical timeshare buyer. Most are looking at the choice of staying on property in a hotel or buying DVC to accomplish on property at either a savings or with additional options like space, kitchen, W/D. It is not for someone where the cost is the number one priority or to use for DVC AND other travels. As such for that group of people it's often a good choice to buy, esp resale. As for squeezing it's owners, I'd say that after the initial purchase DVC has been better than most, including MVC and Bluegreen that I have direct experience with.
 

JohnB3

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A DVC buyer is not your typical timeshare buyer. Most are looking at the choice of staying on property in a hotel or buying DVC to accomplish on property at either a savings or with additional options like space, kitchen, W/D. It is not for someone where the cost is the number one priority or to use for DVC AND other travels. As such for that group of people it's often a good choice to buy, esp resale. As for squeezing it's owners, I'd say that after the initial purchase DVC has been better than most, including MVC and Bluegreen that I have direct experience with.
@Dean you said it more clearly than I could :). I'm happy with my DVC contract but I realize that there are cheaper ways to get much of the experience. I'm at a point in my life where I can afford the price and being at Disney in the bubble makes my girls happy (which in turn makes me happy :)). The cost and room options iare better than staying at the deluxe hotels on property, which is where I'd be otherwise. My take away is if you look like me DVC has good value.
 

Dean

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@Dean you said it more clearly than I could :). I'm happy with my DVC contract but I realize that there are cheaper ways to get much of the experience. I'm at a point in my life where I can afford the price and being at Disney in the bubble makes my girls happy (which in turn makes me happy :)). The cost and room options iare better than staying at the deluxe hotels on property, which is where I'd be otherwise. My take away is if you look like me DVC has good value.
I do both and am happy with both. Most of my stays have been on exchanges the last 20 years, probably 60-70 units or more over the years. We intended to sell all but 25 to keep the benefits but never got around to it. With the newer resorts and grandkids, we likely won't even though financially it'd likely be the best choice.
 

JohnB3

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I do both and am happy with both. Most of my stays have been on exchanges the last 20 years, probably 60-70 units or more over the years. We intended to sell all but 25 to keep the benefits but never got around to it. With the newer resorts and grandkids, we likely won't even though financially it'd likely be the best choice.
You've been at it longer than me but I'm about 50/50. The girls like SSR and the easy walk to Disney springs so we usually book that thru RCI but its good to be able to do the other resorts as well and we do like to get a two bed on occasion
 

elaine

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DVC is quite cost effective for studios IMHO, assuming recoupment of capital outlay later. That would be the only reasons we'd repurchase-to enjoy AKV studios for 2-3 night stays added onto other travels in FL. Annual fees per points used are cheaper than paying for a WDW value.
And, yes, it's definitely a specialty product--our kids (now in college) would rather squeeze into a DVC 1BR vs a 2 or 3 BR Marriott/HGVC, etc. As an owner, I did not feel any squeeze in the past 15 years, except for WDW ticket prices!
 

Dean

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DVC is quite cost effective for studios IMHO, assuming recoupment of capital outlay later. That would be the only reasons we'd repurchase-to enjoy AKV studios for 2-3 night stays added onto other travels in FL. Annual fees per points used are cheaper than paying for a WDW value.
And, yes, it's definitely a specialty product--our kids (now in college) would rather squeeze into a DVC 1BR vs a 2 or 3 BR Marriott/HGVC, etc. As an owner, I did not feel any squeeze in the past 15 years, except for WDW ticket prices!
I think that proves the point of it depends on what you're comparing to. If you're comparing to on property hotels even at discounted prices of say 20% (pretty standard except certain times), DVC is roughly break even for a moderate and a savings for deluxe comparisons. All things considered it's still more than a value room because you can't ignore the up front costs. But I can get a studio or even 1 BR at a nice off property resort for normally around $300-400 all in costs and not much more for a 2 BR for most times.
 
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joestein

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Based upon these discussions, I google costs of DVC ownership. I found the link below. This was a message posted in 2005 by somebody called Disneyberry. He attempted to figure out what the cost of a DVC timeshare would be over its lifetime. Based upon 150 point purchase at Saratoga Springs and he applied a increase by year based upon historical fee changes. At the end of a 40-year life - you have spent a total of $252K.

He projected maintenance at SS for 2021 at $7.64 while it is actually $7.11. So he is around 7% too high. I also think his increases for the later years are very high. Lastly, we really should be looking at the NPV of the $252K.

However, just that amount spent over 40 years is crazy. Also, if he is right, that averages $6,300/yr for 150 points. Plus what do you really get for 150 points - a week in a studio or maybe 6 days in a 1 bedroom during value season?

Joe

DVC Lifetime Costs - My Spreadsheet | WDWMAGIC - Unofficial Walt Disney World discussion forums
 

elaine

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However, just that amount spent over 40 years is crazy. Also, if he is right, that averages $6,300/yr for 150 points. Plus what do you really get for 150 points - a week in a studio or maybe 6 days in a 1 bedroom during value season?
160 got us 10-15 studio days at AKV, or 5-7 nights in a1 BR except week after xmas/Easter. However, assuming one does not keep DVC for 40 years and sells/recoups capital at some point, you're essentially staying on annual fees. The "assume recoup capital" is a big A, but DVC has held it's value and even after 9/11 and 2008, if one held for a few years longer, capital could still be recouped. DVC has a unique niche and it's hard to find another TS with that track record. Of course, you've got the lost opportunity of investing the difference....
I was surprised resale DVC pricing ROSE during Covid when WDW was shut down. I assumed it'd be another downturn. Minus our capital outlay, every studio stay was less than a WDW resort value room. A 1BR was a "doable luxury" for us. No regrets, but now it's time to trade via RCI or transfer DVC if we still need a bigger DVC fix than our remaining 35 points provides. We'll keep those until they expire in 2042. Our amortized "all in" is currently $12/point, up from $9 10 years ago (from rising annual fees).
 

JohnB3

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@joestein my guess is that a similar analysis on any timeshare would look the same or worse. for me I've tied up some cash which I expect to get back in a few years with a small return and I was going to go to Disney and stay onsite at a deluxe resort anyway, so with that being true, DVC works for me financially.
 

joestein

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160 got us 10-15 studio days at AKV, or 5-7 nights in a1 BR except week after xmas/Easter. However, assuming one does not keep DVC for 40 years and sells/recoups capital at some point, you're essentially staying on annual fees. The "assume recoup capital" is a big A, but DVC has held it's value and even after 9/11 and 2008, if one held for a few years longer, capital could still be recouped. DVC has a unique niche and it's hard to find another TS with that track record. Of course, you've got the lost opportunity of investing the difference....
I was surprised resale DVC pricing ROSE during Covid when WDW was shut down. I assumed it'd be another downturn. Minus our capital outlay, every studio stay was less than a WDW resort value room. A 1BR was a "doable luxury" for us. No regrets, but now it's time to trade via RCI or transfer DVC if we still need a bigger DVC fix than our remaining 35 points provides. We'll keep those until they expire in 2042. Our amortized "all in" is currently $12/point, up from $9 10 years ago (from rising annual fees).
From the 252K number, only around $16K is from the purchase, the rest is maintenance fees.

My comments on resales:

1 - helped to be artificially high due to Disney buying back.

2 - Price is based upon supply and demand. As Disney has built more and more timeshares, the demand has kept up. However, there will be a point where it doesn't, because of COVID, oversupply or some other factor. When that happens Disney will stop buying back and the market will crash big time.

3- Once again supply and demand. The overall supply is much greater than 2001 or 2008. In 2001, there were 1,806 DVC Units. In 2008, there were 3,684. Today there is 5,527. More supply that demand has to keep up with. I am sure in 5 years there will be another couple of thousand units online.

Overall, I guess it is where your priorities lie. Personally, there is vacation destination that I would want to go on a yearly basis. Possible exception is if it due to proximity to family - like parents/grandparents.

Joe
 

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Joe, excellent advice for anyone considering DVC--when will the DVC bubble burst? IMHO, if Covid didn't do it, not anytime soon. But, easy for me to say, as I just cashed out.
 

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I think demand for DVC has not been met yet and I don't see that Disney's approach looks like overbuilding as DVC is a small part of a larger enterprise and they generally are winding up one resort while bringing on the next one. They tried to build non park DVC and its struggled to sell (HHI, Vero and Oahu) and ultimately there is only some much real estate available at the park locations. It seems like Disney is pushing to devalue resale and if that trend continues I'd expect to see pricing begin to retreat (and I might sell my contract if and when that happens). I also think it will be interesting to watch pricing for the 2042 resorts as the contracts get closer to expiration. I know that Disney is an international aspirational brand and that helps keep demand higher that you might normally expect with Primarily US based hotel branded Timeshares. I don't find DVC maintenance fees much higher than Marriott but both are likely a bit above average. In general I don't think anyone ought to buy or even take a timeshare for free if the annual commitment is likely to create financial stress.
 

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Staying in a DVC property is an amazing enhancement to a Disney vacation. More than one would expect. If you can afford it and are planning to go every year or every other year go for it. But even though it's a very good value, it's expensive. If cost is an issue, then consider buying through re-sale or if you are willing to compromise, an alternate property to consider is Wyndham Bonnet Creek. It's a beautiful facility on the Disney property but owned by Wyndham.
I stayed in both DVC units and in Bonnet Creek. DVC is definitely a great experience and the Bonnet Creek was a good second option for us.
 

joestein

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Staying in a DVC property is an amazing enhancement to a Disney vacation. More than one would expect. If you can afford it and are planning to go every year or every other year go for it. But even though it's a very good value, it's expensive. If cost is an issue, then consider buying through re-sale or if you are willing to compromise, an alternate property to consider is Wyndham Bonnet Creek. It's a beautiful facility on the Disney property but owned by Wyndham.
I stayed in both DVC units and in Bonnet Creek. DVC is definitely a great experience and the Bonnet Creek was a good second option for us.
I don't know if I can agree that it an amazing enhancement today.

Back when we traded into DVC there were significant benefits to DVC, other than the proximity:

1 - ability to buy dining plan (prices have become obscene)
2- Magical Express (eliminated)
3 - Extra magic hours (by far the best benefit - now eliminated - just 1 hour early)

Purely as a TS, the DVC units are nothing special. Other than Key West, the units are tiny. Some properties have very nice amenities - though not anything that can't be found at other TS. Personally, I have always thought the theming is overrated - but that is my taste.

I use to buy the dining plan when it was $39/adult $9/kid. - the prices today are obscene. I would never buy the dinning plan now. In the past, we would go early before rope drop and stay in the parks until early afternoon and have a CS lunch. Go back to the unit and go for a swim and maybe a nap. Shower and get dressed for dinner using a full service credit and then spend the evening at one of the parks (usually the one that had extra magic hours as we didn't go back to 8pm or so). However, It would be just as easy to go to an outside restaurant as one in WDW. And I don't even think they have late hours anymore. They are now reserved for special events.

I guess we will see how they do after the pandemic is over, but between what I mentioned above and fast pass plus - It seems that they are figuring out ways to suck the fun and any chance of relaxation out of that vacation. Additionally, it is hard to discuss Disney without giving a shoutout to the skyrocketing costs which don't help when combined above.

My Disney experience today would be to attend 1 or 2 evening special events when I am in the area. Which we would have done this summer if our plans were not canceled due to COVID.
 
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