DVC Resale Revisited, Really!

In the past, when I’ve investigated pros/cons to DVC purchase, it just didn’t seem to make financial sense. So, we’re trying the DVC Rental route.

But I did want to look into the idea of doing DVC Resale instead of direct to see how that works out. But as I started looking, I realized that I just haven’t wrapped my head around this fully. Hoping people can shed some light on this more for me.

Okay, first, I get the whole purchase price, and annual maintenance fees. But what I’m struggling with is the idea of a “home” DVC, and how to figure out, really, how many points you need.

For the sake of discussion, let’s say we plan to visit Disney about once every two years. This would mean that if it takes 160 pts to stay a week in the resort we would most prefer, we would really only need to buy 80 pts, correct? How many years can you “bank” the pts before they must be used? What if we, for example, decided to go after three years, but stay a little longer (240 pts)? Is that possible?

This then leads me to the idea of the “home” DVC. So, I did a quick lookup and found that if you wanted to stay 6 nights at Bay Lake Tower during a given time period, it would take 162 pts. But what if Bay Lake Tower isn’t your “home” DVC? I mean, I’m not sure I understand the idea of “points” then. Can I spend my points at a DIFFERENT resort from the “home” resort?

Now, let’s say I decided to go ahead and buy into this via resale. We have a trip planned for December 2020. Instead of “renting” the DVC units (3 nights at Bay Lake, 5 nights at Boardwalk) how would we use our points (and what would we need?) to pull off the same trip using our purchase instead? Effectively, I would see that the price of renting the DVC units should be subtracted from the total resale cost to determine future cost savings for future trips since we would be spending that amount either way.

Anything I’m NOT thinking about?

Easy answers first!

You can bank one year into the future and borrow from one year into the future. So the maximum amount of points you can ever have is 3 years worth. You can only bank or borrow once. So you can bank 80 to have 160, but you will have to use those first 80 within that 2nd year, you can’t push them forward again. You also can’t bank points that you’ve borrowed.

You can spend the points at any resort at any point in the year. The issue isn’t so much spending the points as it is the resorts having availability. Your home resort points can be used 11 months prior to check in at your home resort only and then at 7 months prior to check in you can use them at any resort. For your 2020 trip, if you do not own at BLT or BW, you would need to wait until March to book but you could book any nights for any point amounts that you could find open.

Home resort is very personal and a lot of factors go in. There are different strategies. Some resorts have the low maintenance fees but others are harder to find openings at within the 7 month window. You need to find the balance that you’re willing to live with. If you MUST stay at Boardwalk during the fall, you almost pretty much have to buy there because it is small, low point cost and convenient to F&W. If you don’t plan 11 months in advance, though, then you could own at SSR or OKW and find plenty of availability.

The 2020 point charts aren’t out yet, but you could tentatively “price” out the points needed for your 2020 stay using the 2019 points charts. Then you could purchase half or a third of that if you plan to bank/borrow. One thing you didn’t ask is if the points can change. The total number of points at a resort cannot change, but the individual nights or room categories, etc, can and do change slightly year over year in response to demand. I can go into more detail if this worries you.

Last piece is Use Year which is annoying and complicated. This is when your points become available during the year and impacts the “due date” that you have to bank points. The resale sites have a lot more specific info but if you only travel during specific times, it makes sense to choose wisely.

The only real difference between resale and direct right now is the “membership extras” like AP discounts, after hours parties, early holiday party entry and whatever else they may come up with next. These aren’t guaranteed and do change all the time. Resale can use the Top of the World Lounge and can use RCI, they just can’t use the Disney Collection (ex. using points at mods) or Adventures by Disney, but these are a terrible, terrible use of points anyway.

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Awesome! Thanks for the detailed answer. That helps a lot.

I’m crunching some numbers here based on this, and even at resale, I just can’t find any justification in buying DVC. Even after 20+ years, the average cost per trip would work out to be quite a bit more than what I pay staying off site. Yeah, I know it doesn’t have the benefits of on-site stays, but man. Just can’t find a way to make this work! :confused:

We stayed at a hotel in Disney Springs area. We got the 60 day FP and EMH. Totally worth it and quite a bit cheaper. Have you looked at those?

I think another thing you need to keep in mind is the cost of points over years. How many points are you getting and for how many years? A BLT contract may cost more than BW but how many more years will you have it? The same is true for direct vs resale years.

The real question is how much will you be able to sell for when you are done with it? That is the unknown variable that I could never wrap my head around, but makes all the difference in whether it is worth it or not. The longer you plan to own, the more unknown this will be. I assume that as you get to the end of the life of the points, the value will decrease, but I don’t really know when it will start to drop significantly (i.e. how many years left before expiration of contract)

You shouldn’t buy in as an investment, IMO.

The value is in the pre-paid nature of your Disney vacations. If you don’t see yourself using it long enough to get value from it, both in financial terms but also in memories, then you would be better just booking rooms through CRO.

Sure, the fact that it retains a value is attractive, but shouldn’t be part of your “business case” for buying in. When the next market slump happens, the value will go down. Ther will be lots of people trying to sell, or trying to ent their points out to get something for them. That of course is the best time to buy. We bought at BLT in 2010, when the incentives were good; since then prices have increased significantly.

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Yeah. I don’t see it as an investment, per se. More like an opportunity to pre-pay for future vacations. But, I just can’t seem to make it financially make sense to do so. I was kind of hoping doing it resale might save enough money to make it worth it.

Reading through some sites about it, it appears Disney has gone to lengths to prevent the devaluation of DVC by their Right Of First Refusal. This makes is so that anything that is sold for less than they want, they will prevent the sale. Smart on their part, I suppose.

I calculate that I would probably have to go on about 12 Disney trips over the course of about 24 years before it really breaks even based on the prices I’m seeing on a few different sites. For some of the DVC units, that puts it perilously close to when the entire contract on the unit expires anyhow.

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My dad bought a Mariott timeshare in Hawaii fifteen or so years ago. His reasoning was that “we go to Hawaii every year anyway, so why not have the benefits of ownership?”

He just sold it recently and, all in all, thinks it may have been a bad choice. The benefits are clear and were valuable, but:

  • The annual fees obligated him to pay for a Hawaiian vacation every year, or go through the hassle of renting it out.
  • The ability to “trade” his points at other resorts ended up not being that much of a financial benefit (i.e. he found he could often, as a frugal planner, find stays at other locations for less than the dollar value of the points he traded to do so through the program)
  • As he aged, he found that he preferred renting a private house to staying in a big hotel with a lot of tourists
  • He had trouble selling it for a good price, so it’s value as an “investment” was low

I’m not familiar enough w/ either DVC or Marriot to compare the specifics of the programs, but my point is that you should be totally sure that buying a timeshare is what you want now and will remain what you want in the future before you do it. If you have that certainty then go for it, but (as previously mentioned) not because it’s an “investment” but because the experience is worth the cost.

Personally, I think the world is too big and too grand and has too many awesome vacation opportunities to buy at any one location. I’d rather have the flexibility to try new things, even if I miss out on a couple of nice perks as a result.


That’s the big problem. The cost of the annual fees on a DVC that we’d consider adds to up just about the same amount we pay staying off site in a nice house/condo with multiple bedrooms, full kitchen, etc. For example, we stayed 6 nights in a 4 bedroom/3-bathroom house with private pool/hot tub, etc., a few years ago for about $800. But the annual fees we’d likely pay for DVC would work out to about $550 (give or take). Since we’d vacation every two years, that means we’re paying $1100 JUST for annual fees on TOP of the purchase price.

I keep thinking there has GOT to be a way to make it make sense. Disney is obviously still selling DVC to folks since they are building a new DVC resort (Riviera?) right now. But each time I try, I just can’t make it make sense.

Very well said and I couldn’t agree more

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Well, considering we’re talking about “Walt Disney WORLD”, that line could be interpretted quite differently than you meant it! :wink:

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I think it makes a big difference if you always stay onsite deluxe or off site. I am a “deluxe kind of gal” so the numbers are different for me. Time of year also impacts the numbers.

That makes is worse, though, not better. Believe me, the house and condos we’ve stayed at are typically nicer than the offerings Disney has, and we actually look at the cheaper end of the options!

Having said that, of course, we lose out on the on-site experience for sure, including access to EMH, etc.

You also could never get this view😳


I’ve sat in on a couple of timeshare presentations (not DVC, but others) and have been guests at a couple of timeshare resorts. My relatively uneducated take based on that experience is:

  • These companies are really good at selling the ownership concept, and a lot of people make emotional buying decisions rather than financial ones. If you can’t figure out what “secret” all these buyers see that you can’t figure out, don’t necessarily assume that you’re the one that “doesn’t get it”. The Mariott folks did a great job at making us WANT to buy but, like you, I just couldn’t get the numbers to add up, and I’m glad we walked away without buying. I’ve never regretted our decision.

  • Some people buy precisely because it makes taking a vacation the cost of least resistance. For them, the regularity and simplicity and “known quantity” aspect is more important than taking the most economical vacation possible. They don’t care if the numbers don’t add up from a strictly financial standpoint because they get offsetting value from simplifying their planning process.

  • Some people think the extras and perks are financially worth it, given the types of vacations and accommodations they normally take. Their minimum standard of travel is likely different than yours, which is why for them it’s a good financial decision and for you it might not be.

  • Some people have a lot of money and they like the status that comes with ownership.

Bottom line: do NOT buy a timeshare based on FOMO :slight_smile: If you’ve crunched all the numbers, and you’ve done all the research that I’m sure you have, and it still doesn’t add up, then congratulations! You now have bulletproof armor to defend against the timeshare sales experience, and you should go forth and be comfortable in your decision.

(Oh, and only buy if you can do it in cash - it’s been awhile since I really crunched the numbers, but IIRC the finance costs totally ruined the value proposition. Don’t go into debt buying a future vacation you might not actually want to take!)

This is true. You’ve got me there. There were definitely NO Giraffes with their head stuck in a tree in the places I’ve stayed!

We DID find this wild life in our LAST Condo, which was a complete thrill, let me tell you!



(Okay. That isn’t the norm…the condo we stayed at this February was not one of the nicer ones…but it was cheap. $400 for 5 nights, with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, full kitchen, etc.)

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Bottom line is that if you are comparing offsite condo stays to DVC costs (purchase price plus annual fees), it will never make financial sense to purchase DVC. However, if your touring habits are normally deluxe Disney hotel rooms annually or bi-annually then DVC ownership can be equal or cheaper in the long run, plus the accommodations would usually be more spacious depending on how may points you purchased.

I have been to WDW 7 times since 2006 when my daughter was 3.5 years old, staying in moderate or deluxe Disney hotel rooms (we like to stay in the bubble) and I want to kick myself for not buying DVC back then. It likely would have paid for itself by now. My daughter is now in high school and my son will be a ninth grader next year, so I’m not sure how much longer they will want to do “the Disney vacation”, so I hesitate to buy DVC now.

My luck is that I predict we will go to WDW another 7 times in 10 years and I still would not have purchased DVC!

Yeah. We could never justify the cost of staying on property (regardless of DVC) since we can stay off property for so much cheaper at nicer places. BUT, you raise an interesting point. The time period when it makes the MOST financial sense (long term investment) is generally during the time period of one’s life (early marrieds/young family) when you can really least afford it. So, making a financially responsible decision at that moment (that is, not going into debt to pay for it) means you miss out on when it could make the best overall long term financial sense if you DIDN’T have to finance it.

I’m 45 years old and only just now reaching a stage of life where I could, in theory, afford investing in DVC…but it no longer makes financial sense to do so.

I do really think you need to want to/plan to stay on Disney property in some regard in order to make the numbers work. I posted my calculation spreadsheet previously if you want to try and use offsite condo numbers. I did factor in some offsite hotel numbers, but not extensively.

We are square in your young family category with a 3yo and another one coming anyyyyyyy day now. We definitely anticipate going yearly or close to it for the next 10-15 years and wanted a way to lock in our vacation price. The first trip I went on with my husband we paid $125 per night for POR in October, the next year we got free dining at CBR 3-4 weeks after the offer went live. Those types of deals are already LONG gone and somewhere within SWGE may actually lie the licence to print money so I cannot imagine how high the hotel prices are going to go. So we bought a small resale SSR contract that we could afford and will squeeze those points to the last drop!