An article on "Does DVC save you money?"

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Eric Smith

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Let talk investment grand Californian in 2009 sold for 112 per point 250 points =28000 dollars a listing just sold for 225 per point =56000 dollars I know what your gonna say but you never included the dues and what you spent but I chalk that up to expenses to taking my holiday so I would have spent that anyways so that a pretty good return on your money
I don't think it's wise to look at DVC as an investment. Yes, in the past you could sell your points for more than you paid with the Grand Californian being the best resort in that regard. However, there is no guarantee that you will be able to do that in the future. I really don't think you'd be able to essentially double your money after 12 years as it worked out in your example.

When we were looking at buying in, I didn't factor in the ability to sell the contract for some portion of what we bought in with even though that is likely to be possible. If you're looking strictly at investments, there are much better options out there.
 

Eric Smith

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
There is no doubt that DVC is a good investment for those bought it 10+ years ago... But is it still so for people like me who are looking into buying resale? If my DH likes our stay at OKW during our upcoming trip in July, I might get a 150 point contract at SSR if I can get something around $105 pp.
DVC isn't an investment and shouldn't be look at as such. It is a way to save money on a hotel room at Disney World if you fall in to these categories:
1) You can pay for the initial price in cash.
2) You go to Disney World regularly (I'd say at least once a year, but it also makes sense for once every two years.
3) You would normally stay onsite in a Deluxe or Moderate when you go to Disney World. I'd also add if you stay in the Swan/Dolphin as it's usually somewhere around Moderate prices.

If you buy DVC and travel for the same frequency as you did pre-DVC, then it will save you money. Beware that owning DVC may cause you to want to travel to WDW more often. That happened to us, but we're ok with it.
 

smisale

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
I don't think it's wise to look at DVC as an investment. Yes, in the past you could sell your points for more than you paid with the Grand Californian being the best resort in that regard. However, there is no guarantee that you will be able to do that in the future. I really don't think you'd be able to essentially double your money after 12 years as it worked out in your example.

When we were looking at buying in, I didn't factor in the ability to sell the contract for some portion of what we bought in with even though that is likely to be possible. If you're looking strictly at investments, there are much better options out there.
I agree but i was just showing one part of the savings. yes your initial payment is high but you will never lose it all Disney sees to that with ROFR keeps the price up so that down the road your not stuck we a huge lost. there is also worst ways to spend or invest your money too. This is based on resale I would not buy Direct
 

Eric Smith

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
I agree but i was just showing one part of the savings. yes your initial payment is high but you will never lose it all Dianey sees to that with ROFR keeps the price up so that down the road your not stuck we a huge lost. there is also worst ways to spend or invest your money too. This is based on resale I would not buy Direct
I agree about direct. We were considering buying in at the new Disneyland Hotel Tower, but I got spooked about what the initial cost would be. We're in the process of closing on a 100 point Grand Californian contract instead. Unless you absolutely love Riviera, I see zero reason to buy in direct.
 

smisale

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
I agree about direct. We were considering buying in at the new Disneyland Hotel Tower, but I got spooked about what the initial cost would be. We're in the process of closing on a 100 point Grand Californian contract instead. Unless you absolutely love Riviera, I see zero reason to buy in direct.
Good Luck
 

crisi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
I agree but i was just showing one part of the savings. yes your initial payment is high but you will never lose it all Disney sees to that with ROFR keeps the price up so that down the road your not stuck we a huge lost. there is also worst ways to spend or invest your money too. This is based on resale I would not buy Direct
You probably won't lose it all, but people did lose their shirts in 2008, when Disney stopped exercising ROFR on almost all resorts. You should never put money into a timeshare and assume you'll be able to get it all, or even most, of it out. DVC is a better bet than most in this regard, but you are still tying up a valuable resource (money) into a non-liquid asset. I'm really cautious about this since 2008, when we watched a lot of our DVC Disboard members loose not only their DVC but their homes. And I personally felt rather guilty about that, because if you buy in with "you can always sell" and then you have to sell it for half of what you bought it for a year ago, that's a huge financial hit. If you had a loan out when that happened, you are in the hole. That's one of the reasons I say "if you have to save money to make it work, it isn't a good risk." Its one of the reasons why I'm cautious about saying you will save money - because even if you do manage to keep your travel habits the same, there are still external forces that can put a monkey wrench into your plans - I can't see my own future, I certainly can't see a strangers on the internet's.

I used to really like the ROI games (I'm also an accountant) - but they are games. If you can afford DVC, and the system works for you (and they system doesn't work for everyone), ROI doesn't really matter - you'd never play ROI games on any other vacation expense - they are expenses. If you can't afford it, no amount of "VGC has doubled in price" is going to help when the DVC you own is underwater and you need to make a mortgage payment. What discussions like this do is help people who are on the fence talk themselves into it. Often people who really don't understand money.

(The stock market is the same - you have to start with enough money to be able to risk money in order to make more money)
 

smisale

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
You probably won't lose it all, but people did lose their shirts in 2008, when Disney stopped exercising ROFR on almost all resorts. You should never put money into a timeshare and assume you'll be able to get it all, or even most, of it out. DVC is a better bet than most in this regard, but you are still tying up a valuable resource (money) into a non-liquid asset. I'm really cautious about this since 2008, when we watched a lot of our DVC Disboard members loose not only their DVC but their homes. And I personally felt rather guilty about that, because if you buy in with "you can always sell" and then you have to sell it for half of what you bought it for a year ago, that's a huge financial hit. If you had a loan out when that happened, you are in the hole. That's one of the reasons I say "if you have to save money to make it work, it isn't a good risk." Its one of the reasons why I'm cautious about saying you will save money - because even if you do manage to keep your travel habits the same, there are still external forces that can put a monkey wrench into your plans - I can't see my own future, I certainly can't see a strangers on the internet's.

I used to really like the ROI games (I'm also an accountant) - but they are games. If you can afford DVC, and the system works for you (and they system doesn't work for everyone), ROI doesn't really matter - you'd never play ROI games on any other vacation expense - they are expenses. If you can't afford it, no amount of "VGC has doubled in price" is going to help when the DVC you own is underwater and you need to make a mortgage payment. What discussions like this do is help people who are on the fence talk themselves into it. Often people who really don't understand money.

(The stock market is the same - you have to start with enough money to be able to risk money in order to make more money)
Yes this logic is implemented on everything in 2008 people like u say where losing there house that does mean they stop buying house with the fear there gonna lose them also that was 13 years ago and before that it was in the 90s so odds are in your favour and your right at the beginning of this post I said you need to buy this cash or all of this makes no sense
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Still trying to figure out if DVC really is a way to save money. It's a question that I have been asking since Pete created the DVC Fan website. Then I came across this article... To all DVC members, agree or disagree?
Let me state this simply but then give an explanation: NO, buying DVC does NOT save you money. At least not most buyers.

That doesn't mean it can't be a good deal. But it is not an investment, and it really isn't a money-saving device.

The cost-savings-analyses are always based on 2 mostly-false assumptions:
Assumption number 1: For at least the next 20+ years, you will travel the exact same way by owning DVC as you would have traveled without it. While a family with some school-age children might go several years straight to WDW even without owning DVC, at some point... the ownership of DVC will change how you otherwise would have traveled. Maybe, if you hadn't purchased DVC 10 years ago, you'd go to the Grand Canyon this year. But you can't waste your points, you paid your dues (money that might have gone to that Grand Canyon trip)... so it's another trip to WDW. So it's not a cost-savings if it's not the trip you would have otherwise taken.
Assumption number 2: The comparisons are always to deluxe hotels and rack rates. And mostly based on studio use. But staying in a DVC studio simply isn't the same thing as staying in a deluxe regular hotel room, with some pros and cons in the trade. Additionally, if you're booking 1-bedroom units, you really won't find much cost savings by using points. Finally, many people would rarely book rack rate. Sure, DVC saves you "40% compared to rack rate" -- but you can often get 30% off rack rate anyway. And DVC ownership often pushes people to up-buy. A 1 bedroom, when they would get a studio if they didn't have DVC. A deluxe DVC, when they would otherwise book a moderate or value hotel.

This up-selling is a key element of DVC and shows how it really isn't a savings: Compare it to a buy 1, get a second at half price sale.
I need 1 pair of shoes... they cost $80. But with that sale, I get an extra pair, and pay $120. So because of the sale, I actually spent MORE. I got a second pair of shoes that I don't really need, and that I wouldn't have purchased but for the sale.

And that's the crux of DVC.... If you lock in the basic purchase, you get a good deal on getting more.

The big sacrifice -- The present value of money. If I'm willing to pay full price for my first 5-10 years of vacations, they will give me a big discount on the next 20+ years of vacations!
But like that second pair of shoes I really didn't need... Nobody can really say for certainty what vacations they will want to take in 20 years.
So it's not a savings: It's simply paying less to get something less: Less future flexibility. Much like hotels and airlines give a discount for non-refundable fares. Lock in your next 20-50 years, you get a discount!


So it's not a savings. But it can be a good deal. If I get good use out of that second pair of shoes, then it ends up being a very good deal for me. Sure, I might not have purchased the second pair ever, without the deal. But then I'd only have a black pair of shoes, which wouldn't match my brown suit as well as the brown loafers that I got as the second pair. So since I use both pairs or shoes, I feel I did indeed get a good deal.

If you end up using and enjoying your DVC for many years... you will look back and see it as a good deal in hindsight.
 
Last edited:

Heather07438

WDW Apprentice
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Sure, I might not have purchased the second pair ever, without the deal. But then I'd only have a black pair of shoes, which wouldn't match my brown suit as well as the brown loafers that I got as the second pair. So since I use both pairs or shoes, I feel I did indeed get a good deal.
And you bought that second pair of shoes from them, not their competitor. And you’ll never know if you would’ve liked the competitors pair of shoes better lol.
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
The author is a bit of a jerk. Most DVC members are not wealthy and do not fly First Class (unless you swing an upgrade). I think most DVC members are solidly middle class, perhaps towards the upper levels, but still not what you consider wealthy.
The author was a bit brash but not wrong.
Wealth is relative. Most DVC owners are not exactly First-class private jet setters, who miss their Rolls Royce while on vacation.

But they are affluent enough to spend $15,000 to $40,000 upfront at once. (And for those that do finance it, the interest really does away with most savings). If you have $25,000 sitting around to spend at once on a leisure item, you're not poor.

I'd mostly break DVC owners into 2 basic classes:
1 -- Those who really would spend on an annual deluxe Disney vacation. If you're in this category, then maybe DVC does save you money. But you're also relatively wealthy if you are staying a week in the Grand Floridian every year.
2 -- Those who would taken frequent trips to WDW.. though might often stay off-property of value or mod. Who might wait for a good PIN code from Disney before booking a trip. This segment of people may be closer to the middle class. But for these people, buying DVC isn't a savings: It's an upsell. Instead of 5 nights per year off-property or in a value/mod, they now get 7 nights per year in a deluxe level resort.
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
And you bought that second pair of shoes from them, not their competitor. And you’ll never know if you would’ve liked the competitors pair of shoes better lol.
Exactly. If 6 months later, I see a gorgeous pair of brown shoes in a store window... I might regret that I already bought this lesser pair of brown shoes, even if they "saved" me a bit of money. On the other hand, if those brown shoes eventually become my favorite... I may fondly remember that I got them at a great price.

Reality is -- DVC can be a great deal. But it's a risk. And it may end up being more of a subjective feeling than something you will ever be able to objectively calculate.
 

smisale

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Let me state this simply but then give an explanation: NO, buying DVC does NOT save you money. At least not most buyers.

That doesn't mean it can't be a good deal. But it is not an investment, and it really isn't a money-saving device.

The cost-savings-analyses are always based on 2 mostly-false assumptions:
Assumption number 1: For at least the next 20+ years, you will travel the exact same way by owning DVC as you would have traveled without it. While a family with some school-age children might go several years straight to WDW even without owning DVC, at some point... the ownership of DVC will change how you otherwise would have traveled. Maybe, if you hadn't purchased DVC 10 years ago, you'd go to the Grand Canyon this year. But you can't waste your points, you paid your dues (money that might have gone to that Grand Canyon trip)... so it's another trip to WDW. So it's not a cost-savings if it's not the trip you would have otherwise taken.
Assumption number 2: The comparisons are always to deluxe hotels and rack rates. And mostly based on studio use. But staying in a DVC studio simply isn't the same thing as staying in a deluxe regular hotel room, with some pros and cons in the trade. Additionally, if you're booking 1-bedroom units, you really won't find much cost savings by using points. Finally, many people would rarely book rack rate. Sure, DVC saves you "40% compared to rack rate" -- but you can often get 30% off rack rate anyway. And DVC ownership often pushes people to up-buy. A 1 bedroom, when they would get a studio if they didn't have DVC. A deluxe DVC, when they would otherwise book a moderate or value hotel.

This up-selling is a key element of DVC and shows how it really isn't a savings: Compare it to a buy 1, get a second at half price sale.
I need 1 pair of shoes... they cost $80. But with that sale, I get an extra pair, and pay $120. So because of the sale, I actually spent MORE. I got a second pair of shoes that I don't really need, and that I wouldn't have purchased but for the sale.

And that's the crux of DVC.... If you lock in the basic purchase, you get a good deal on getting more.

The big sacrifice -- The present value of money. If I'm willing to pay full price for my first 5-10 years of vacations, they will give me a big discount on the next 20+ years of vacations!
But like that second pair of shoes I really didn't need... Nobody can really say for certainty what vacations they will want to take in 20 years.
So it's not a savings: It's simply paying less to get something less: Less future flexibility. Must like hotels and airlines give a discount for non-refundable fares. Lock in your next 20-50 years, you get a discount!


So it's not a savings. But it can be a good deal. If I get good use out of that second pair of shoes, then it ends up being a very good deal for me. Sure, I might not have purchased the second pair ever, without the deal. But then I'd only have a black pair of shoes, which wouldn't match my brown suit as well as the brown loafers that I got as the second pair. So since I use both pairs or shoes, I feel I did indeed get a good deal.

If you end up using and enjoying your DVC for many years... you will look back and see it as a good deal in hindsight.
Sorry to disagree first I have 2 children 25 - 31 and we still go almost every year since they were 3 like I said before if I add up all the money wasted that I could have bought years ago because of this thinking.If I decide to go to the Grand Canyon I can sell my points and take that trip.Second the hotel we stayed at was family suites at animation and it cost more then my dues and no one said you had to buy both pairs of shoes that was your choice. I can’t say enough on how much I have saved with this purchase math does not lie. One of the best things I ever purchased was resale DVC and when I decide it not for me I can sell and retrieve my money back
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Sorry to disagree first I have 2 children 25 - 31 and we still go almost every year since they were 3 like I said before if I add up all the money wasted that I could have bought years ago because of this thinking.If I decide to go to the Grand Canyon I can sell my points and take that trip.Second the hotel we stayed at was family suites at animation and it cost more then my dues and no one said you had to buy both pairs of shoes that was your choice. I can’t say enough on how much I have saved with this purchase math does not lie. One of the best things I ever purchased was resale DVC and when I decide it not for me I can sell and retrieve my money back
But you don't know how you would have traveled if you never purchased DVC. That's my point. Yes, in hindsight, it all worked out great for you. A great deal, as I said.
It was your choice to buy 30 years of vacations at once, just like it was my choice whether to buy 1 pair of shoes or 2 pairs of shoes at once.
Nobody can know with 100% certainty what their preferred vacations would be over the next 30 years. You might be very confident, you may be almost sure. But what if you end up taking a job in New Zealand for 10 years..... what if your kids come despise Disney and only want ski vacations... What if you airfare to Orlando becomes too expensive. These are things that nobody can possibly know 20 years in advance.

Now, how much would you have saved if you had put your money into a long term CD instead of DVC. You wouldn't have all those trips and wonderful memories, but you'd have a lot more money. That's savings.
 

Eric Smith

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
But you don't know how you would have traveled if you never purchased DVC. That's my point. Yes, in hindsight, it all worked out great for you. A great deal, as I said.
It was your choice to buy 30 years of vacations at once, just like it was my choice whether to buy 1 pair of shoes or 2 pairs of shoes at once.
Nobody can know with 100% certainty what their preferred vacations would be over the next 30 years. You might be very confident, you may be almost sure. But what if you end up taking a job in New Zealand for 10 years..... what if your kids come despise Disney and only want ski vacations... What if you airfare to Orlando becomes too expensive. These are things that nobody can possibly know 20 years in advance.

Now, how much would you have saved if you had put your money into a long term CD instead of DVC. You wouldn't have all those trips and wonderful memories, but you'd have a lot more money. That's savings.
I think you're splitting hairs a bit. I think a lot of DVC owners were making at least annual trips to Disney World before buying in to DVC. It is very likely they would have kept making annual trips to WDW anyways with or without DVC. For those people, DVC is saving money.

There are also people who buy DVC and it changes how often they go to the park. In a way, it still saves these people money since they would be paying to stay on site anyways.

There are also some people who buy in to DVC who probably shouldn't.

Bottom line, there are people where DVC definitely saves money. It just depends on the person.
 

smisale

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
But you don't know how you would have traveled if you never purchased DVC. That's my point. Yes, in hindsight, it all worked out great for you. A great deal, as I said.
It was your choice to buy 30 years of vacations at once, just like it was my choice whether to buy 1 pair of shoes or 2 pairs of shoes at once.
Nobody can know with 100% certainty what their preferred vacations would be over the next 30 years. You might be very confident, you may be almost sure. But what if you end up taking a job in New Zealand for 10 years..... what if your kids come despise Disney and only want ski vacations... What if you airfare to Orlando becomes too expensive. These are things that nobody can possibly know 20 years in advance.

Now, how much would you have saved if you had put your money into a long term CD instead of DVC. You wouldn't have all those trips and wonderful memories, but you'd have a lot more money. That's savings.
First I put money away for retirement and my vacation are a separate issue. If I decide
That things change I can always sell it.I may be wrong but I here contacts are lasting more then 1 month before there sold and in most cases depending when u bought you could make money
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
I think you're splitting hairs a bit. I think a lot of DVC owners were making at least annual trips to Disney World before buying in to DVC. It is very likely they would have kept making annual trips to WDW anyways with or without DVC. For those people, DVC is saving money.
You're missing the point. Can you state with 100% certainty that even if you didn't own DVC, you would book a deluxe hotel at WDW annually for the next 30 years? (Now, you indicated it saves you money even against a value resort. Can you state with 100% certainty that the dues at a deluxe resort will be cheaper than a room at a value hotel in 30 years? In many cases, the dues are already higher than a value room).
If you cannot state that with absolute certainty, then you aren't saving money. What you're doing is making a trade. Disney is offering you a "lower price" as a trade for your uncertainty. Disney is giving up some of the future revenue in exchange for you removing all uncertainty far in advance.
"Savings" would mean that you pay less from day 1, you have the same flexibility to book. No need to book 11 months in advance, you can do it 1 day in advance most of the year. Means you never have to worry about banking points. Means you don't have to put up a huge amount of money up front. You're giving up quite a bit, in order to get a cheaper long term price.

Now, you may be pretty certain you'll get good value out of the DVC. That's why I bought it! But I won't actually know for another 10-30 years.

Another comparison: There are 2 houses next to each other. They are almost identical. Same design, same size, same amount of property. House #1 is $500,000.
House #2 is identical. Except.... there is a risk of massive flooding under very rare conditions. Those rare conditions may never occur, but it's a definite risk. House #2 is $450,000.

Now, did I save $50,000 by buying house #2? No... I chose the product with more risk but less cost. Now, if I live there for 50 years and it never floods, I might look back and say, "dang, that was a great deal!"
 

havoc315

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
First I put money away for retirement and my vacation are a separate issue. If I decide
That things change I can always sell it.I may be wrong but I here contacts are lasting more then 1 month before there sold and in most cases depending when u bought you could make money
Can you state with 100% certainty that you would never have reduced your vacation budget? If you lose your job in 20 years, you aren't going to reduce your vacation budget? Can you state with 100% certainty that you'll spend LESS since you do own DVC? You're not going to book an extra vacation now and then, since DVC is already paid for?

And you can state with 100% certainty that the DVC will retain excellent re-sale value in 10.. 20 years? You know how many timeshares have ultimately lost almost all value?
While I'm far more confident in the re-sale value of DVC, I can't state anything like that with certainty. And with Disney adding re-sale restrictions, I do lose confidence in long-term resale value.
 

kydisneyfans

<font color=blue>It may be because they are too em
Joined
Sep 26, 2005
My wife and I bought AKL Kidani at resale in 2013-10K flat out the door, 60 some dollars a point. The intention was to use it for family trips in the future as our son was 15, then to do extended family trips with grandkids. We still get many of the DVC benefits as most of the resale limitations happened after our purchase. AKL was her favorite resort and we stayed there numerous times. Tragedy happened in 2020, my wife died at 47. I had the discussion with our son as to what to do with the DVC, sell it for 150% of what we paid for it, or keep it as intended. For $90 a month in dues, we are keeping it. My son and his wife are doing 8 nights in May at AKL, I am doing a 3 day trip in April, and we still have points to use. I'm grateful we made the investment when we did and my wife got to enjoy the resorts, now we can use the DVC as intended, future family trips. We're not first class flyers, we drive 10 year old Toyotas, we're folks who decided to get something they would want and use and we found a way to do it at a 60% discount. If it comes down to it, we can easily rent the points out for a couple of grand and call it a profit for the year.
 
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