- Aug 29, 1999
As a long time DVCer I would say that the bare minimum you would want to buy is 75 points even if you bank and borrow. Your life as DINKs will be much different that your life with kids. We bought DVC before we had a child and loved to got to WDW in October and May ... until our DD started school and then we were relegated to the more expensive times of Christmas, Spring Break and Summer (Premier and Magic Seasons). I'm glad that we planned and we always had enough points. A standard view studio at AKV (never count on getting the cheaper value studios or the club level studios) will cost you between 116 and 146 points for a week for those seasons.Resale. You are 100% correct that Disney will not lower direct prices, only offer incentives.
Our biggest issue with direct is the 100 points as we're just not ready to commit to that many at this time. I honestly haven't run the numbers much to see if it makes sense beyond that because it's a pretty big jump from our plan (we're looking for something in the 50-75 range).
Is it a smart decision from a FIRE standpoint? The downsides are:
- It is *not* an investment.
- You are tying up $8,000 - $10,000 that could be working for you instead and you give up that income.
- You have to pay dues every year even on those years you don't use them (bank and borrow).
- Disney reserves the right to move around points "costs" to adjust for demand, so buying the minimum does not give you a lot of wiggle room.
- You need to plan ridiculously far in advance. It will be worse in the next year as the refunded points from canceled reservations are pushed back into the system. If you can't plan at least 6-8 months in advance DVC is not for you. Busy times like Spring Break and Christmas fill up in the first week or two of the 11-month window. For instance, I own at BWV and parts of Easter week is already sold out for Standard and Boardwalk view studios. They do have a waitlist system in place that works a lot of the time.
- There is a resale market. You can sell your points and not take a total bath. Unlike other timeshares DVC holds it's value. I bought AKV for $92 (direct) in 2008 and it looks like contracts are going for about $114 (although my 2 50-point contracts would sell for more), I'd break even if I sold today (minus, of course, the time value of money).
- If you really think that you will go every other year, then your additional outlay would be dues. Dues on 116 AKV points would be $890. That's $127 per night for a AKV standard view studio. You're getting a deluxe resort for a value resort price.
- If you don't use your points, you can always rent them. My plans changed for January 2020 and I had two reservations that I rented for $20 per point. Those covered my dues for the entire year. Be aware that the average rental price is much less (around $16 per point I think) but I have not rented below $18 per point for years now. Note, rental prices on the DIS have deflated a bit due to our current crisis.