Cost of Owning DVC through 2042  Interesting Calculations
First... Let me start by saying I'm not a DVC owner, but we are looking! :) I’ve been to WDW quite often (and plan to continue) so it should definitely be something for us to look at very closely.
Second... There are quite a few assumptions in the information below. Lots of variables that can be played with, but I tried to get as close to an 'apples to apples' comparison as possible. Third... I'm just sharing my calculations, so please don't flame me if you disagree! (Correction feedback would be welcome!) I'm hoping that some people out there might benefit from the info. Assumption #1: Purchase of 160 DVC points at the WDW DVC Resorts via resale. Full purchase price paid in cash (I.E. – No financing). Assumption #2: Current resale price average by resort. (This is certainly open to interpretation – Even if these averages are off by $5 per point, that would be a total difference of only $800 total) AKV  $65 BLT  $85 BCV  $70 BWV  $62 OKW (2042)  $57 SSR  $55 VWL  $60 Assumption #3: An end date of 2042 is used for all resorts regardless of when the actual end date is. (30 years total cost) Assumption #4: 2013 MF's (posted today) and a 3.6% annual increase is used for future years. The annual MF increases are definitely the wild card we cannot predict. An annual 3.6% may not be a good number, but it is what i used. Assumption #5: Closing costs are not included. 2012 MF's are not included. (These would be a tiny fraction of the overall cost anyway...) Assumption #6: Eight nights average stay per year. This would change significantly based on room type / view / season chosen, but eight is a good number to use for simple averages across all the resorts. The TOTAL cost should be somewhat close to actual, but the cost per night will vary widely if you average more than 20 points per night. Assumption #7: I am not offsetting any of the purchase costs by a resale at the end of 30 years for AKV, BLT and SSR. For calculation purposes, I am assuming all value is 'used' at the end of 30 years. People will be able to sell these 30 years from now, but I chose to not include this in my particular 'apples to apples' comparison. Your 'apples to apples' might be different. :goodvibes Here's what I came up with: AKV current average resale: $65/point AKV 2013 MF: $5.6749/point AKV total cost for 30 years: $58052 Cost per night, 8 per year, for 30 years: $241.88 BLT current average resale: $85/point BLT 2013 MF: $4.4972/point BLT total cost for 30 years: $51362 Cost per night, 8 per year, for 30 years: $214.01 BCV current average resale: $70/point BCV 2013 MF: $5.6458/point BCV total cost for 30 years: $58607 Cost per night, 8 per year, for 30 years: $244.20 BWV current average resale: $62/point BWV 2013 MF: $5.8409/point BWV total cost for 30 years: $58965 Cost per night, 8 per year, for 30 years: $245.69 OKW (2042) current average resale: $57/point OKW 2013 MF: $5.3447/point OKW total cost for 30 years: $53999 Cost per night, 8 per year, for 30 years: $225.00 SSR current average resale: $55/point SSR 2013 MF: $4.8129/point SSR total cost for 30 years: $49213 Cost per night, 8 per year, for 30 years: $205.06 VWL current average resale: $60/point VWL 2013 MF: $5.7931/point VWL total cost for 30 years: $58224 Cost per night, 8 per year, for 30 years: $242.68 I found it quite interesting that AKV, BC, BWV and VWL were SO CLOSE in total anticipated cost per night over the 30 years. Of those, however… AKV will be the only one with years remaining (after 2042) where some initial purchase price might be recoverable, although that is also debatable since MF’s will be pretty high at that point. LOL I ran the same simulations for 20 years and the numbers are still very close on a ‘cost per night’ basis: (Remember – This cost does not take into account any dollars recovered from possible resale at the end of 20 years.) AKV  $227.14 BLT  $213.49 BCV  $231.31 BWV  $228.89 OKW (2042)  $209.71 SSR  $192.51 VWL  $225.52 I’m not sure exactly what all this tells me yet. Clearly there are some cost savings by choosing SSR over the others, but I think most of us already knew that without my crazy spreadsheet. <wink> But is that savings enough on a ‘cost per night’ basis to choose a different resort where I’d really like to have the 11 month booking window? Definitely some interesting fodder for consideration. Nonflaming feedback is appreciated. :) Thanks, Mav 
Not really sure what conclusions you can draw by combining dollars which are based upon 30 years of inflation adjustments.
In 1982 the average wage was $14k and the average car cost $9k. Today those numbers are $33k and $18k. In 2042 it could be $60K salary and $35k car. I certainly did my share of running numbers before buying. But those average nightly costs don't really mean much if you're comingling dollars from present day along with 30 years of inflation adjustments. Any average overstates the financial burden in 2013 dollars and understates it for 2042. If you want to stick to simplistic analyses, I would recommend dividing the purchase price by 30 years and simply adding in your inflationadjusted figure for each year's dues. 160 BWV points x $62 / 30 years = $330 per year $5.84 dues x 160 points = $934.40 dues 2013 Total cost 2013 = $330 + $934.40 = $1264.40 / 8 nights = $158.05 IMO, that's a more accurate 2013 cost which will rise over time as dues increase. Saying that BWV averages $245.69 per night over a 30 years span doesn't really tell you much. 
If we look at the extreme example of comparing SSR (cheapest price) vrs BLT (best location) and assume no real difference in MF over the long run. Given the increases in MF for 2012 and 2013, it looks like if that trend continues BLT MF will be around the same as SSR MF in about 23 more years. So we assume that BLT MF and SSR MF are going to be roughly equal it really is just a matter of looking at your initial outlay.
Buying 160 points at SSR for $55/point will cost you $8,800. Buying 160 points at BLT for $85/point will cost you $13,600, or $4,800. So the equivalent options then are (1) Buy 160 points at SSR and have $4,800 in your pocket. (2) Buy 247 points at SSR (3) Buy 160 points at BLT Point cost for a 1 bedroom Dec 0108, 2012 SSR is 183 points BLT, standard view 194 points BLT, lake view is 222 points Is having the BLT location worth $4,800 in extra upfront costs worth it to you? For me it isn't, but for lots of other people it is. Now I did buy BWV which has a higher purchase price and higher MF than SSR, because I wanted that location, so there it was worth it to me. Although I justified it to myself that it was still going to be a good deal because of the standard view point cost at BWV makes those BWV points go further than a SSR point at SSR. One thing I can't tell is what did you use as the point costs for your stay? The point cost of staying at that resort or the same point cost for every resort. There is a big difference in the number of points to stay in the same sized room depending on the resort and view. AKV Value, OKW and BWV standard are really cheap on points. 
Great post, I love to get the benefit of other people's thinking when they spell out all their assumptions and calculations.
I think your analysis is generally sound, but I wonder if the conclusion is a little misleading (not purposely). You frame it as a cost per night over 30 years, and the differences come out to be only $40 from the lowest to the highest, which seems pretty small. But on an annual basis, it is $320, which is a decent chunk of a week's hotel stay. And on a 30 year basis, it is almost $10,000. So it is a considerable amount of money, but when you break it down to smaller pieces, that is somewhat hidden. You aren't trying to do that, you are trying to put it in relevant terms of "per night stay". But the same type of framing is used by marketers to describe things as only costing "less than the price of a cup of coffee" (every day), which really means separating you from $750 a year. The other thing important to recognize in looking at this is that it costs a different number of points to stay at different resorts and accommodation types and in different seasons. You've done a nice job of normalizing this by just assuming 160 points spent per year, because all you are saying is that by paying this extra amount you retain the right to an 11 month booking advantage. But you don't really get the same right to stay in the same accommodations at the same time of year in each of those resorts. I know, for example, that for the foreseeable future I will need a 2 BR villa. In Adventure season (which happens to be when we can take our trips), there is a 34 point cost difference between SSR (239) and BLT (273) even for the standard room (obviously that goes up if you choose premium views). So while I think the lifetime cost per point (or per 20 points) is a useful metric, at least as relevant is the cost per night by room type. It wasn't your intention, but showing the cost per 20 points by resort at least implies that you are getting to stay the same number of nights and season and room type at those resorts, which isn't the case. You'd have to buy more points to stay at BLT than OKW, and that widens the cost difference. Anyway, overall I like what you've done. For someone who doesn't know where they would like to stay but just knows they want to buy and spend 160 points per year, this puts the cost into perspective. In my case, that point total was 250, which (with varying and limited borrowing/banking) will get me a 2 BR at any of the WDW resorts for a week in Adventure season. And I decided the savings at SSR was worth it. Because it wasn't enough points to stay in such a room at BLT every year, even though I would in theory have the right to book 11 months in advance every year. 
I agree with bighoo on the room price differences. A better comparison may be to say you want 8 nights in a studio in the cheapest view, or the same for a 1 bedroom. By doing this, you will get the real cost per night (at current point allocations) for each resort. If this is done during Choice season for a 1 bedroom, then you would need 176 pts for Animal Kingdom, 224 pts for Bay Lake, 232 for Beach Club, ect. The difference in points cost will factor in greatly to the price per night for resort.
Effectively, what you've shown is the cost to stay in the same 20 point room at the same resort using the different points. It's a fine calculation, but if most buyers buy at their favorite resort (where they will try to stay), the calculation doesn't exactly pan out. If you do go into this greater detail, I'd love to see if your numbers turned out like mine. I did mine for a studio room, since it's just me for now. 
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Hi tjkraz, Thank you for the feedback! I agree that comingling the dollars from 30 years from now with dollars today muddies the water quite a bit. For my purposes I was simply looking at for a TCO (total cost of ownership) and I really couldn't get to a meaningful number for me personally by looking at a single year. The cost per night figures were more of a byproduct of the other research which I thought were interesting when doing the comparison. Quote:
Hey Doug, I just used an average point stay of 20 points per night to keep things simple for me. (160 points divided by 20 points per night = 8 nights per year) I know the points needed changes a ton by resort. I saw another thread recently that went into how many points it would take to stay X days in different resorts throughout the year. That got kinda confusing, so I just simplified for me. :) Quote:
Thanks bighoo93. You are very right. 160 points will go farther at one resort compared to another which would change the cost per night. A week in a value studio at AKV is significantly less points than a studio at BLT as an example. To your point... I'm one of those that wouldn't necessarily need to stay at my home resort every visit, but I think I would like an 11 month booking window on occasion for an AKL value studio to make those points go even further and extend my stay. Not necessaily every trip... But I'd like the option if that makes sense. The TCO difference between SSR and AKV for the 30 years, based on my calculations, is about $9,000. I will have to eventually decide if having that 11 month booking window for an AKV value studio on occasion is worth $9000. Decisions... Decisions! Quote:
undchefreak  This is a great idea and I will try to do that soon. Since my wife and I are empty nesters, the studio also fits us for now. I'm guessing all this work will eventually be in vain when we need a 2BR villa to house the future grandchildren one day. I haven't even purchased yet and wonder when the addonitis will set in. LOL :) Thanks everyone for your feedback! You have all provided great additional information that will be helpful in our decision making process. Mav 
My calculation was a bit more simple  is a DVC point a good value?
I was planning to take my family on a vacation to Disney in 2010 and realized that the $thousands I was going to spend could also be a down payment on a DVC purchase. I bought points at BLT instead of paying for a hotel stay. I have no regret. I'm used to traveling to firstclass accommodations. Disney offers fairly good service and quality for the money (compared to just about any childfriendly resort). According to my calculations, the payback period is about 12 years....and that uses a discounted DVC rate/point. What would any hotel room at a 'better' (nonDisney) resort cost? Is the entertainment as fun for children? Are children really the centerofattention at these other resorts? Have you calculated all costs (like plane tickets) in determining true cost of staying at these other resorts? DVC ownership really pays off for those of us who are OK with paying more than $200/night for a typical hotel room (I'm from NY). A 1 or 2bedroom suite in a prime location is costly at any resort. Frankly, I find most DVC options to be a good value. 
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It may be better to wait a bit before purchasing DVC (when, presumably, it will cost less $$ per point), until you need that 2BR villa ... :) However, a word of warning: after just staying in a 1BR villa, we're spoiled  so you may want to figure that into your thinking also ... 
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Personally I think taking a given years dues and running them out is a little dicey. One might want to look a little deeper. BLT is cheaper partly because they have been artificially kept down and partly because it costs more points so the per point cost is less. BCV is less mostly because there are less transportation costs, this could easily change. Structure and resort wise it's likely BLT will remain less but not as much as as it has been and SSR is likely to be the cheapest otherwise because of less amenities than some and a favorable structure makeup over say OKW. You'll also see that DVC is generally around double a comparable non DVC timeshare that works for the area assuming you only use the points for DVC/Orlando stays. 
Dean,
Thanks very much for your continued insight. I follow your threads and replies closely! :) I'm going to do more analysis on the 'same unit type' across the various resorts when time permits as this will not only give me a more common 'cost per night' figure, but will also help me understand if I need more or less points based on our current expected travel patterns. This obviously assumes staying at the same home resort all the time, which may or may nor be practical, but keeps the apples to apples in play. Thanks again! Mav 
I was just looking at what it would cost in MF to stay for 1 week in a 1 bedroom from Dec 18, 2013 at all the various resorts and views.
AKV value 139 points, $789 OKW 157 point, $839 SSR 178 points, $857 BLT standard, 194 points $872 BWV standard 154 points, $899 AKV standard 185 points, $919 BLT lake 227 points, $1,021 AKV savanna 185 points, $1,050 BCV 197 points, $1,112 BWV view 202 points, $1,180 VWL 204 points, $1,182 BLT theme 273 points, $1,228 AKV conc. 253 points, $1,436 I then took your purchase price for each resort, spread those costs evenly over 10 years and added that to the MF to get what each resort would cost. So here are the costs to stay in the same room based on buying exactly those points required to stay in the room. AKV value $1,692 OKW $1,734 SSR $1,836 BWV stand $1,854 AKV stand $1,972 VWL $2,406 AKV savanna $2,252 BWV view $2,432 BCV $2,491 BLT stand $2,521 BLT lake $2,950 AKV conc $3,080 BLT theme $3,548 You can see from this that purchase price does have a big impact. BLT was looking quiet reasonable even with its high point costs when just looking at MF, but once your initial buyin costs are factored in, it quickly becomes one of the most expensive resorts to stay at. Use a longer time period than 10 years and that reduces the importance of buyin costs and increases the importances of MF. Use a time period shorter than 10 years and the opposite happens. So as a sales tactic it is easy to see why Disney would want to highlight that you are buying something for 50 years and over that time MF are the most important thing by far, hence making that upfront buyin cost not seem so important. You can run numbers like this all day long. I certainly did before I bought. What convinced me to buy in at the end of the day was what was my breakeven point as compared to renting points. For most of my purchases it was around 67 years. Once the breakeven point is reached, my costs should be around half of what renting points would costs. That was something I could live with. Then it was a matter of deciding how much I wanted to spend and what that could get me at the various resorts. So that was all number crunching. Then picking the resort to buy based on those numbers was personal preference and I ended up buying SSR, OKW and BWV. SSR and OKW because they were the cheapest upfront purchase prices and BWV because I wanted the location and it was over $20/point cheaper than BCV. So for me upfront costs was the most important consideration. BWV I got for around $50$55/point so my upfront costs there was really good as well. 
Like you say, Doug, you can run numbers all day long.
What I find interesting about all this is the assumption of what happens after 10 years? Are the points being sold? If so, one does not know what the going price will be at that point but logic would dictate that BLT should command a higher price (compared to the other resorts) due to length of time left on the contract along with the desirability of location. Yes, you are paying more upfront today but probably would also get more back in 10 years. Only then would we know the true cost of the 10 year ownership. The desirability of the location may also make renting out the points that much easier for the years where one could not go. BLT may not be that expensive to own after all. 
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For me though the upfront costs were the most important factor in my decision on where to buy. With only X dollars, I was willing to settle for quantity (more points) rather than quality (BLT location). If I had tons of money and could buy whatever I wanted, I'd buy a house in Golden Oaks :woohoo: 
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Just for the heck of it, I checked out the rack rate for a Standard View room at AKL for the same time period: $2,574 ... a nice little savings for the DVC 1BR  plus, you get so much more in the 1BR villa! 
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