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Old 11-16-2012, 10:58 AM   #16
tjkraz

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Originally Posted by Jasonkat View Post
As for your comment it's a 30+ year commitment I don't agree. I think it's a 10-year commitment. None of us really know what we'll be doing in 30 years so it's silly to try to plan out your vacations that long in advance.
No, nobody knows what their situation will be in 30 years. However, I suspect most people making the financial commitment to DVC do so with belief that that they will still enjoy the parks and/or accommodations indefinitely.

Coincidentally, we bought into DVC when our kids were 2.5 and 6 mos old. Today those kids are 11 and 9. But in our case, my wife and I have every intention of using our points for Disney trips well after our kids have left the nest. If you see yourselves as returning to the Vegas routine as soon as kids will allow, personally I view that as a sign that this isn't the wisest purchase for you.

Even on a resale buy, it will take the majority of those 10 years just to break even. Resale value in 2023 is a complete unknown. DVC is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition...and 400-500 points is an awful lot to use.

Strikes me as a pretty 'low reward' purchase if you are viewing DVC as only having value for 10 years.

Feel free to disagree. Personally I've been around the block long enough to see many people make hasty decisions which result in points lost due to poor planning and contracts sold (at a loss) when interest wanes. Committing to three trips per year as someone who has only been to WDW twice and doesn't come across as an avid Disney theme park fan....let's just say that sets off a few alarms. You can still treat the family to Disney vacations without committing to spend $100,000+ over the next decade.

The DVC product will be around for a long time and resale prices are unlikely to rise. My advice would be to try taking those 3 trips per year for a couple years and see if that's really a pattern you are willing to commit to over the long haul. There are a lot of other family vacation destinations which do not involve beaches or wilderness.

That's my $.02. Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:06 PM   #17
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Personally I'd rather stay at work than go to the beach
I'd rather just stay home than go on a beach vacation.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:25 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=

Strikes me as a pretty 'low reward' purchase if you are viewing DVC as only having value for 10 years.
.[/QUOTE]

I'm going to quickly jump in and pleasantly disagree here. You can't discount the emotional reward that owning DVC for even 10 years can bring the OP.

I'm a math person, and I'll work the numbers over and over again. But I have yet to find the actuarial value of happiness.

If OP goes to WDW even just once a year, stays in a 1BR, spends time with his family, and has 10 years of great vacations, his venture will have been successful. Coupling that with his accountant nature of making a calculated choice will give him greater success.

I think he's being realistic in calculating 10 years of enjoyment based on the ages of his children. Anything after that is just a bonus. If he chooses to then sell his DVC, and only gets half of his investment back (and that would mean an SSR resale value of 25-30$/pt), he'll still be better off than paying rack rate.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Lizard Valley View Post
I'm a math person, and I'll work the numbers over and over again. But I have yet to find the actuarial value of happiness.
There is plenty of opportunity for happy Walt Disney World vacations without making a DVC purchase.

One could even argue that foregoing a DVC purchase is more beneficial since you aren't limited to spending the number of points purchased, blocked from resorts which are not part of the DVC family, 7/11 month booking restrictions, not taking advantage of Disney promos and package deals, don't suffer from poor trade-out values, aren't beholden to resale restrictions, etc.

The point of buying DVC should be to save money. Non-members have the ultimate flexibility and visit knowing that Disney has to work a little harder each time to earn their return business.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jasonkat View Post
As for your comment it's a 30+ year commitment I don't agree. I think it's a 10-year commitment. None of us really know what we'll be doing in 30 years so it's silly to try to plan out your vacations that long in advance. All I know for sure is that for the next 10 years I'll have two kids below the age of 13 and Disney seems like a really good idea for our family considering beach/camping type vacations are a no-go.
DVC is a 50year contract, why would you view it as a 10yr or even 30 committment? Agree that many 'get their money's worth' by the 10 or 30yr mark, but you will still have to pay dues until the 50 yrs is up (or whatever your specific term is). DVC currently has a strong resale market due to ROFR, but that could change in the future, so it's risky to purchase assuming you can resell at a good price in 10yrs. We purchased with the expectation that we'd be using (or at least paying for) our points for 50 yrs. We are trying to ensure we are getting our money's worth in the first 10yrs, so that if we don't use it as much after that, or end up trying to resell and get low $$ for it we won't be disappointed.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:56 PM   #21
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DVC is a 50year contract, why would you view it as a 10yr or even 30 committment? Agree that many 'get their money's worth' by the 10 or 30yr mark, but you will still have to pay dues until the 50 yrs is up (or whatever your specific term is). DVC currently has a strong resale market due to ROFR, but that could change in the future, so it's risky to purchase assuming you can resell at a good price in 10yrs. We purchased with the expectation that we'd be using (or at least paying for) our points for 50 yrs. We are trying to ensure we are getting our money's worth in the first 10yrs, so that if we don't use it as much after that, or end up trying to resell and get low $$ for it we won't be disappointed.
There is some risk to any kind of projection looking 50 years out. Honestly, even 10 years out. You really have to bake that in. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and your up front purchase is buying that risk in exchange for part of your cost savings.

You actually can derive a purely objective financial value for DVC ownership by modeling costs and savings over a period of time and discounting to present value, etc. It doesn't really matter what that value is for my point, which is that while you can't know for sure what your DVC membership will sell for in 10 years, you do know that you will still have at least 2 decades of DVC benefits remaining (and more for longer-term contracts), so there will be at a minimum that value. This assumes that Disney and DVC are still going concerns and attractive destinations 10 years from now, which is something that I view as an exceedingly low risk proposition.

As far as other determinants of value, well, we're in a pretty much crap economy right now. Nobody can promise you what it will look like precisely in 10 years, but historically we are sitting in the middle of a very low point, so looking again from a risk probability perspective, while possible, it is relatively unlikely to be worse in 10 years.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:36 PM   #22
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Growing up my parents took us to Disney frequently but we never stayed on property. My dream was to someday stay at the resort where the monorail runs through.

Fast foward a number of years and we started taking our kids yearly to Disney. Yes, we stayed on property, usually the All Star Movie Resort. Then a couple of years ago, when our Canadian Dollar was finally on par with your American Dollar, I told my husband that it was time to try the Contemporary. We chose BLT because it was the newer building and fell in love with the place. We subsequently learned about DVC and that BLT was in fact a DVC property and purchased resale because we wanted to be sure that we could stay there anytime we chose. It also allowed us to lock it a portion of our future vacation dollars at par.

Although we usually rent a car when in Florida (we do the beach thing after our Disney trip) we keep it parked when at BLT. We love riding the Monorail around the loop and enjoy walking over to the MK bus depot to hop on a bus to anywhere else on property. There is something to be said for that.

We would be heartbroken if we had to go to Disney and look at BLT without being able to stay there.

Our daughters,18 and 16 now, are avid Disney fans with MK being their favorite park. They are already talking of taking trips with their friends and any future children. My husband and I are looking forward to our retirement visits in the future.

I believe our points will remain in our family for many years to come. In fact I believe we will have to add to them at some point although I plan to borrow from future years before I rush into that.

If you know you really love a particular location, it is important to buy there. If you do not care then I guess cheapest would be the most logical way to go.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:52 PM   #23
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I agree with the PP that said to start out with less points. When buying resale you can often find loaded contracts. That is, a contract with banked 2012 points, as well as all 2013 points. If you start out with a 200 or so point contract, that is loaded, you would have a few more trips under your belt, with more experience at DVC resorts, so garnering more info as to which resorts you prefer & if it would be worth a premium (to you) to stay there, before you ran out of points. Then if more points are needed you can shop with more confidence.

Also be sure to check out the ROFR thread, to have an idea of what contracts are currently selling for.

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Old 11-16-2012, 03:40 PM   #24
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I'll echo what somebody else mentioned ... there's always the possibility of smaller contracts with multiple resorts. If you really want MK, buy half the points you think you'll need at VWL/BLT. Stay there, see if its worth it. Tour SSR/AKV/OKW while there and see if you might want to do some of your other stays at one of those, then pick up a second contract at one of the cheaper ones.

Particularly because you're considering multiple trips, you might not want to stay near the MK every trip. You might find you want to do your two long-weekend trips (Memorial Day and Labor Day) close to the MK, then do your week long trip in July someplace with a spectacular pool (BCV or AK?).
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Jasonkat View Post
I am going to purchase into the DVC early next year. I began looking into the DVC a few months ago and I've learned a ton about it (thanks to all of you and thanks to Youtube for all of the videos about each resort). I'm having one big problem: deciding where to buy. My family has gone to WDW once in 2010 and stayed off site and once in 2011 and stayed at All Star Movies. Naturally any of the 7 resorts would be much better than those two options so we'd be happy pretty much anywhere (we're not picky).

That being said the advice I always see is "Buy where you want to stay". We love Magic Kingdom more than the other parks so it would make sense for us to buy at Bay Lake or at Wilderness Lodge. Also I really like what I've seen of Storm Along Bay so I'm interested in Beach Club, too.

I am an accountant so I do what all of us accountants do, I created a spreadsheet and here is what I found as the cheapest to most expensive resort.

Assumptions: Buy enough points for 3 day weekend in May (Memorial), 1 week in July, 3 day weekend in September (Labor day); one bedroom villa, always stay at home resort

Resort: points needed/cost per point/total cost for points needed/10 year cost with dues included

Animal Kingdom: 334/$70/23,380/41,550
Old Key West: 398/$60/23,880/44,576
Saratoga Springs: 440/$60/26,400/47,212
BoardWalk Villas: 400/$65/26,000/48,480

Wilderness Lodge: 494/$65/32,110/59,823
Beach Club Villas: 491/$75/36,825/63,830
Bay Lake Tower: 488/$90/43,920/64,514

The first four are relatively the same in cost (20% difference in cost isn't that large) vs the last three (50% higher than AKL and OKW, 30% higher than SSR and BWV).

So here is what I'm having trouble with: is it really worth $20,000 to have Beach Club/Wilderness/Bay Lake as the home resort vs Animal/OKW? The main advantage I see with Wilderness and Bay Lake is the shortness of time to get to MK vs Animal/OKW. But is it worth $20,00 to save 30 minutes per trip to MK? Beach club costs $11,000 more than Boardwalk, is SAB really worth $11,000 (since location is the same SAB appears to be the big difference between the two)?

Clearly it is worth $23,000 to some people to be members of BLT vs members of AKL or else the point cost at the resale level would adjust and the 10-year cost would be equivalent for all the resorts (or at least there would be less variation). I'm not one to doubt the Free Market so there are clearly good reasons that the 7 resorts are priced the way they are.

I want to hear from those of you who bought at BCV/BLT/VWL. What convinced you that becoming a member here was worth the additional cost? In hindsight are you happy with your decision or do you wish you'd gone with one of the 4 cheaper alternatives?
I may have overlooked, but what views/rooms (other than 1BR villa) did you assume with each? Some of the price differential could be due to price of views (as there seems to be a pretty big point disparity in your calculations). There is so much that goes into the thought process. For instance, we would be fine with a standard view at BLT, but really have to have a savanah view if we go to AKV. That may close the point disparity.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:20 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Jasonkat View Post
That being said the advice I always see is "Buy where you want to stay". We love Magic Kingdom more than the other parks so it would make sense for us to buy at Bay Lake or at Wilderness Lodge. Also I really like what I've seen of Storm Along Bay so I'm interested in Beach Club, too.

I am an accountant so I do what all of us accountants do, I created a spreadsheet and here is what I found as the cheapest to most expensive resort.

Assumptions: Buy enough points for 3 day weekend in May (Memorial), 1 week in July, 3 day weekend in September (Labor day); one bedroom villa, always stay at home resort

Resort: points needed/cost per point/total cost for points needed/10 year cost with dues included

Animal Kingdom: 334/$70/23,380/41,550
Old Key West: 398/$60/23,880/44,576
Saratoga Springs: 440/$60/26,400/47,212
BoardWalk Villas: 400/$65/26,000/48,480

Wilderness Lodge: 494/$65/32,110/59,823
Beach Club Villas: 491/$75/36,825/63,830
Bay Lake Tower: 488/$90/43,920/64,514

I want to hear from those of you who bought at BCV/BLT/VWL. What convinced you that becoming a member here was worth the additional cost? In hindsight are you happy with your decision or do you wish you'd gone with one of the 4 cheaper alternatives?
We have bought where we have wanted to own, but our calculations were a little different. We bought small and added on throughout the years. Then took into account the point reallocations for the times and size accomodations we needed. An example would be that you indicated you wanted to travel Memorial weekend. A one bedroom in Saratoga Springs May Dream Season for Memorial weekend is 36 points on a Fri-Sat. In 2008-2009 it was 50 points for Fri-Sat. There is a lot thought that has to go into this. Your home resort will have an 11 month booking advantage and the times you are looking to travel are also holiday weekends. If you do not plan that far out, then the larger resorts such as OKW and SSR generally will have rooms. Within BCV, BWV & BLT certain room categories will book earlier, thus the 11 month advantage comes into play. With all things considered there a number of things to consider beyond price.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:00 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasonkat View Post
Resort: points needed/cost per point/total cost for points needed/10 year cost with dues included

Animal Kingdom: 334/$70/23,380/41,550
Old Key West: 398/$60/23,880/44,576
Saratoga Springs: 440/$60/26,400/47,212
BoardWalk Villas: 400/$65/26,000/48,480
I wonder if there isn't a fundamental error in these "points needed" calculations. It just doesn't seem rational that you'd pay $10 more per point AND pay higher dues and come out with a lower total cost.

Since OKW tends to have the lowest points costs, are you using the lowest possible points for AKV?

If so, you should know that there are only a very limited number of villas available at those prices.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:15 PM   #28
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In answer to your larger question, I have two thoughts.

#1 - I agree with Tim that you should NOT buy where you would be disappointed to stay.

Home resort matters in two ways. First, if you can reliably plan, book, and stick with your plans, more than seven months in advance -- you will enjoy up to a 4 month booking advantage at your home resort. If you can't do that, you will have zero advantage.

Second, home resort matters in the financials, which is the only thing your analysis addresses.

#2 - No, I don't think the additional expense is worth it for my family. We have successfully booked BCV at <5 months (and we consider SAB vastly overrated).

OTOH, value for my family has little to do with value for your family. You have to decide for yourself whether it is worth the extra expense.

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One suggestion I would make -- and I think it's especially important considering your limited exposure to WDW and DVC -- RENT a reservation or two from a DVC owner to get a feel for the experience before you commit to such a large purchase.

Another suggestion I would make is that you learn how DVC really works. In particular, look seriously at how banking and borrowing work, because you may well find that you don't really need +/- 400 points.

Also seriously evaluate whether you would want to take FOUR trips to WDW every single year for the next ten years. If not, you can probably get by with far fewer points.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:44 PM   #29
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As for your comment it's a 30+ year commitment I don't agree. I think it's a 10-year commitment. None of us really know what we'll be doing in 30 years so it's silly to try to plan out your vacations that long in advance. All I know for sure is that for the next 10 years I'll have two kids below the age of 13 and Disney seems like a really good idea for our family considering beach/camping type vacations are a no-go.
Clearly it's a 30 year or more commitment, however, in my view one should view the entire up front purchase price as spent in the first 10 years. Buying with the idea of selling later is unrealistic both in terms of whatever assumptions you make or even that you can sell it then. There likely will be a market but there is no guarantee.

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Originally Posted by Lizard Valley View Post
I'm going to quickly jump in and pleasantly disagree here. You can't discount the emotional reward that owning DVC for even 10 years can bring the OP.

I'm a math person, and I'll work the numbers over and over again. But I have yet to find the actuarial value of happiness.

If OP goes to WDW even just once a year, stays in a 1BR, spends time with his family, and has 10 years of great vacations, his venture will have been successful. Coupling that with his accountant nature of making a calculated choice will give him greater success.

I think he's being realistic in calculating 10 years of enjoyment based on the ages of his children. Anything after that is just a bonus. If he chooses to then sell his DVC, and only gets half of his investment back (and that would mean an SSR resale value of 25-30$/pt), he'll still be better off than paying rack rate.
IMO, any emotional benefit DVC has is only applicable IF buying in makes sense without the emotions.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:44 AM   #30
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I wonder if there isn't a fundamental error in these "points needed" calculations. It just doesn't seem rational that you'd pay $10 more per point AND pay higher dues and come out with a lower total cost.

Since OKW tends to have the lowest points costs, are you using the lowest possible points for AKV?

If so, you should know that there are only a very limited number of villas available at those prices.
I agree that the calculations don't look right.
I think the OP should use $50 per point for Saratoga springs, not $60.
If you check the ROFR thread you will find it is a realistic target for what you want to buy.

I have a hard time believing that you need more than a 100 more points SSR vs AK.
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