Does DVC really save you money?

yaya74

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
As titled, does buying DVC really save you money? I did a calculation and my breakeven point is 2035 if I buy in now.... that's 15 years later.
This is what my calculation is based upon.

Resale contract 150 points at BWV at $125/point.
Current maintenance fee $7.17 with 3% increase.
Type of DVC room that I would want to book with my point = 2 BR Vacation home for 5 days

My family usually goes to WDW every other year. We would stay at club level for 5 days in early August.
If we pay cash, the standard CL at BWI would be $510 per night in 2019 with summer discount.
If I factor a 3% increase on room cost, my breakeven would be year 2035 within the assumption that I go every other year and I would bank and borrow my points to get a 2 BR unit at BWI for 5 days.

Did I do something wrong with my calculation? 15 years is a long time.... Even if I pay rack rate at $700 per night Standard club level, it would take me 10 years to break even.
 

CarolMN

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
In most cases, no it does not save you money. That's because even if the pre-purchase analysis shows it does, hardly anyone actually travels post-purchase the way they did pre-purchase (the way they did the analysis)

Members tend to go more often, stay longer, invite friends and family to be our guests, and try out larger villas. In other words, we END UP SPENDING MORE MONEY ON DISNEY VACATIONS than we ever imagined that we would.

FWIW, if you stay club level, you will probably be disappointed in the DVC accommodations. I love the BWV and almost always stay there in a 1 bedroom with my DH, but the rooms are not kept up to the same standard as the club level and of course, there is no food or special service involved.

DVC may work for you - just know that there will be trade offs for the extra space compared to Club level.
 

RaymOOOnd

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
As titled, does buying DVC really save you money? I did a calculation and my breakeven point is 2035 if I buy in now.... that's 15 years later.
This is what my calculation is based upon.

Resale contract 150 points at BWV at $125/point.
Current maintenance fee $7.17 with 3% increase.
Type of DVC room that I would want to book with my point = 2 BR Vacation home for 5 days

My family usually goes to WDW every other year. We would stay at club level for 5 days in early August.
If we pay cash, the standard CL at BWI would be $510 per night in 2019 with summer discount.
If I factor a 3% increase on room cost, my breakeven would be year 2035 within the assumption that I go every other year and I would bank and borrow my points to get a 2 BR unit at BWI for 5 days.

Did I do something wrong with my calculation? 15 years is a long time.... Even if I pay rack rate at $700 per night Standard club level, it would take me 10 years to break even.
No.

You'll spend more money but have some psychological advantages.
 

CanadaDisney05

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
In most cases, no it does not save you money. That's because even if the pre-purchase analysis shows it does, hardly anyone actually travels post-purchase the way they did pre-purchase (the way they did the analysis)

Members tend to go more often, stay longer, invite friends and family to be our guests, and try out larger villas. In other words, we END UP SPENDING MORE MONEY ON DISNEY VACATIONS than we ever imagined that we would.

FWIW, if you stay club level, you will probably be disappointed in the DVC accommodations. I love the BWV and almost always stay there in a 1 bedroom with my DH, but the rooms are not kept up to the same standard as the club level and of course, there is no food or special service involved.

DVC may work for you - just know that there will be trade offs for the extra space compared to Club level.
I think the question is not whether you save money overall, but do you save money on a per night basis. Of course, if your behaviour changes and you go more than you intended, you will spend more money overall. But you also received more value overall.
 

CanadaDisney05

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
As titled, does buying DVC really save you money? I did a calculation and my breakeven point is 2035 if I buy in now.... that's 15 years later.
This is what my calculation is based upon.

Resale contract 150 points at BWV at $125/point.
Current maintenance fee $7.17 with 3% increase.
Type of DVC room that I would want to book with my point = 2 BR Vacation home for 5 days

My family usually goes to WDW every other year. We would stay at club level for 5 days in early August.
If we pay cash, the standard CL at BWI would be $510 per night in 2019 with summer discount.
If I factor a 3% increase on room cost, my breakeven would be year 2035 within the assumption that I go every other year and I would bank and borrow my points to get a 2 BR unit at BWI for 5 days.

Did I do something wrong with my calculation? 15 years is a long time.... Even if I pay rack rate at $700 per night Standard club level, it would take me 10 years to break even.
I think the reason your calculation is not working out so well is because you are not comparing apples to apples to apples. Your comparing a two bedroom villa (rack rate of $1,084 before taxes) to a club level studio (rack rate of $748 before taxes)
 

CarolMN

DVC Co-Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 18, 1999
I think the question is not whether you save money overall, but do you save money on a per night basis. Of course, if your behaviour changes and you go more than you intended, you will spend more money overall. But you also received more value overall.
Value is highly debatable and very personal. OP currently stays Club Level. :)

I think the reason your calculation is not working out so well is because you are not comparing apples to apples to apples. Your comparing a two bedroom villa (rack rate of $1,084 before taxes) to a club level studio (rack rate of $748 before taxes)
That seems appropriate to me since the OP stays Club Level now. DVC will almost always come out ahead if you compare rack rate of the DVC villa with DVC. How many of us actually paid rack rate or even chose a DVC villa when we were paying cash?
 

CanadaDisney05

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Value is highly debatable and very personal. OP currently stays Club Level. :)
The definition of value in this context is that you are getting more nights of accommodations. In a very simple example, what is the best deal of the following scenarios.

1) 5 night stay @ $400 per night = $2,000
2) 3 night stay @ $500 per night = $1,500

Option 1 costs more overall, but the marginal cost for two extra nights (the value) is only $250 per night
 

Chrisizzle

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Did I do something wrong with my calculation? 15 years is a long time.... Even if I pay rack rate at $700 per night Standard club level, it would take me 10 years to break even.
I’m surprised no one has mentioned the obvious. If you break even at 2035, that still leaves seven years until the deed expires (2042). So, that’s an additional 7 years of vacation for just the maintenance costs. Or, you can sell your contract for whatever you can get then to recoup a portion your investment.

I’m not saying that justifies the upfront costs at all. But, it shows there is savings over the long term.
 

MICKIMINI

Love the Mouse!
DVC Premium
Joined
Sep 6, 2003
I am very analytical as well and really try to get the best value for my money, however my heart is in for DVC and there are tricks in purchasing to get extra points "for free". That can shave a significant number off the actual cost of your contract if you purchase carefully. I don't feel any emotion in your post and this is definitely a purchase that requires an emotional attachment to Disney IMHO to make that kind of a financial commitment. Only you can make the decision - good luck!
 

Ben E N

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
At their current resale cost, BWI rooms offer some of the worst values in all of DVC. DVC ownership as a whole is a lot more expensive to buy into than it was just a couple of years ago, and Boardwalk and Beach Club are two of the worst current values. People still pay those prices, though, because they want to know that they are assured staying at those resorts for the next 20+ years.
 

_auroraborealis_

I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
This calculation has lots of issues as done - BWV is a poor value for purchase if one is value driven. Comparing villas to Club Level is a bad comparison in almost every way.

If your preference is Club, there is no breakeven point because there is no equivalent for DVC.
 
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Bing Showei

DIS Veteran
DVC Gold
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
The definition of value in this context is that you are getting more nights of accommodations. In a very simple example, what is the best deal of the following scenarios.

1) 5 night stay @ $400 per night = $2,000
2) 3 night stay @ $500 per night = $1,500

Option 1 costs more overall, but the marginal cost for two extra nights (the value) is only $250 per night
But to CarolMN’s point, value in OP’s calculus is very subjective by comparing apples to oranges; club level to timeshare.

1) 5 night stay at Hampton Inn @ $400 per night = $2,000
2) 3 night stay at Four Seasons @ $500 per night = $1,500

Yes, that example is hyperbole but is not too dissimilar to OPs proposal to use a timeshare to replace a club level hotel stay.
 

CanadaDisney05

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
But to CarolMN’s point, value in OP’s calculus is very subjective by comparing apples to oranges; club level to timeshare.

1) 5 night stay at Hampton Inn @ $400 per night = $2,000
2) 3 night stay at Four Seasons @ $500 per night = $1,500

Yes, that example is hyperbole but is not too dissimilar to OPs proposal to use a timeshare to replace a club level hotel stay.
I agree that the club level vs timeshare accommodations is an apples to oranges comparison. See my post above.

I think the reason your calculation is not working out so well is because you are not comparing apples to apples to apples. Your comparing a two bedroom villa (rack rate of $1,084 before taxes) to a club level studio (rack rate of $748 before taxes)
The second point I was making was addressing CarolMN's point that DVC will actually cost you more money because you will go more often. I think it's a given, that if you go more often it will cost more. Most people who are looking at the calculations are more concerned with the savings on a per night basis. Behavioural changes are personal.
 

skier_pete

DIsney-holics Anon
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
I apologize but I have a question to ask for clarity:

It appears to me you are comparing a CL room to a 2-bedroom DVC room. Is the CL room just a standard resort hotel room or is it also a 2-bedroom resort room? It feels like you are not comparing the same two things.

Assuming I am right - then yes it would probably take you 15 years to break even - but in those 15 years you would have a 2-bedroom resort room that would be much more spacious, allowing you to have meals in your room and multiple bathrooms to get ready. The other thing is in 15 years you could sell your contract for some amount (being BWV the value will likely drop in 15 years since there will only be 8 years left on the contract.) whereas your cash stays will leave you with zero value at the end of that 15 years.

There's is definitely a considerable amount of time before you "break even" with DVC, and with points values rising, it's becoming a longer and longer break-even point - that's for sure.
 

Bing Showei

DIS Veteran
DVC Gold
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
I agree that the club level vs timeshare accommodations is an apples to oranges comparison. See my post above.



The second point I was making was addressing CarolMN's point that DVC will actually cost you more money because you will go more often. I think it's a given, that if you go more often it will cost more. Most people who are looking at the calculations are more concerned with the savings on a per night basis. Behavioural changes are personal.
I've personally observed that most people who look at a Disney timeshare and post about "making the math make sense" are actually looking to make going to WDW cheaper than what they're paying for today (inclusive of current travel habits).

When it's all said and done, at the end of the end of my first AP year, I will have paid about $16 per day at WDW. Greater "value" sure. But saving money? Not so much. Disney's timeshare is the same thing, just on a longer timescale.
 

CanadaDisney05

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
I've personally observed that most people who look at a Disney timeshare and post about "making the math make sense" are actually looking to make going to WDW cheaper than what they're paying for today (inclusive of current travel habits).

When it's all said and done, at the end of the end of my first AP year, I will have paid about $16 per day at WDW. Greater "value" sure. But saving money? Not so much. Disney's timeshare is the same thing, just on a longer timescale.
The biggest difference between DVC and the AP analogy is that DVC doesn't provide unlimited access. The value you get out of an AP is totally dependent on how often you go to the parks within the year. This is very personal.

Using the OP's situation as an example, they are looking at purchasing enough points for 5 nights every other year at BWV. They cannot get more value out of that by using their DVC to stay more nights (effectively bringing the per night cost down). They have a finite amount of nights (based on current point charts) that they purchased. The only way to gain "value" from DVC is if the price they paid for DVC is less than the price it would cost if they went on cash reservations (or DVC Rental).

I like to compare DVC more to the dining plan vs an all inclusive resort. The value you get out of the all-inclusive is dependent on how much you eat and drink. It has the potential to provide infinite value. The dining plan on the other hand is a prepaid meal plan with a select amount of food options. The only way you can get value out of the dining plan is to order food that would otherwise cost more. Having said that, there is still a cap to how much potential value you can get. The most value you can possibly get is by eating the most expensive items for every meal.
 

Bing Showei

DIS Veteran
DVC Gold
Joined
Sep 10, 2017
The biggest difference between DVC and the AP analogy is that DVC doesn't provide unlimited access. The value you get out of an AP is totally dependent on how often you go to the parks within the year. This is very personal.

Using the OP's situation as an example, they are looking at purchasing enough points for 5 nights every other year at BWV. They cannot get more value out of that by using their DVC to stay more nights (effectively bringing the per night cost down). They have a finite amount of nights (based on current point charts) that they purchased. The only way to gain "value" from DVC is if the price they paid for DVC is less than the price it would cost if they went on cash reservations (or DVC Rental).

I like to compare DVC more to the dining plan vs an all inclusive resort. The value you get out of the all-inclusive is dependent on how much you eat and drink. It has the potential to provide infinite value. The dining plan on the other hand is a prepaid meal plan with a select amount of food options. The only way you can get value out of the dining plan is to order food that would otherwise cost more. Having said that, there is still a cap to how much potential value you can get. The most value you can possibly get is by eating the most expensive items for every meal.
I guess my bigger point is that most people who are looking for confirmation of the financial viability of buying a Disney timeshare vs. paying rack, are likely to be the same people who have the good sense to pause the Disney if they lost their job, saw their retirement halved by a downturn in the economy, or had an unexpected medical emergency, when paying cash. Buying a timeshare handicaps that Command/Ctrl-Z option.

If "breaking even" is a critical component of the decision to pull the trigger for a potential buyer, that buyer should fully embrace that they are exchanging a lot of freedom for a perceived financial benefit that may never be realized, despite what the numbers project.

Your dining plan analogy is a really good one. Most people wouldn't normally buy as much food as they do on a dining plan, but if you do a financial analysis and plug in the three snacks, appetizer, meal, dessert, etc. that the dining plan forces you to buy in order to get value, you'll always come out doing better with the dining plan.
 

Deb & Bill

DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Unless you book a dedicated two bedroom villa every time, you'll only have one real bed in a one bedroom villa or two real beds in a two bedroom villa. If you are used to CL, you won't have snacks just sitting out in your villa unless you buy them and put them out at meal time. If the service you get CL is important to you, you won't be happy with DVC. You won't get turndown service, you won't get clean towels every day unless you pay for them daily, you won't get your room/villa cleaned every day unless you pay extra for that as well.

We bought DVC on our first trip in 1997. It was supposed to be a one and done trip since we lived about 850 miles away at the time. We've gone 48 times and have number 49 scheduled for Sept and 50 scheduled for December. We are now Florida residents so we can buy those tickets instead of hoping that DVC will have discounted annual passes (which went way up last month, even with a discount). So we have spent a whole lot more than we expected when we left home for that very first trip. You will spend a lot more on your Disney trips with DVC.

Also, while DVC tends to be nicer than Hampton Inn, the recent renovations are trending towards looking just like Hampton Inn. What you see when you buy your new resort isn't what you'll get 14 years from now when they do a complete renovation of hard and soft goods.
 

Margarita mouse

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Either you are a sucker when buying or you did your homework. I did my homework. Bought 320 points Aulani when went on sale. The cost for 320 points was the equal cost of our first 3 trips we took. Broke even in 3 years. Not 15. Annual dues? What a joke. Compare the cost of maintenance on your 1st or second home. Dvc is a bargain. I aslo like the fact I don't pay 12 percent hotel tax. Now we bought 275 points at copper Creek. We stay new year's Eve through first week of January 2bdrm villa. That's a breakeven in just 4 visits. That's 46 years left paying just mantinance dues. Now when we to dump points, we just rent them 14 dollars a point. That helps pay for our annual dues or annual passes. Can't wait to buy more in reflections when built. No brainer
 

jarestel

DIS Veteran
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
DVC can be a worthwhile purchase but by no means is it a necessary one. Though I like DVC and it works well for me, I rarely recommend it to anyone and certainly never to those whose prime motivation is simply cheaper WDW vacations. Revisit the boards in December and January when the annual dues threads return to get a totally different perspective on what members think of DVC. It can be eye-opening.

Good luck with your decision!
 

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