Even those who have purchased their own Disney Vacation Club points have likely contemplated the question of renting vs buying. Ownership provides more control over reservations, access to member perks and the greatest long-term financial benefit. However, renting requires a lower up-front commitment, access to more Home resorts and the ability to easily alter vacation patterns (or end visits entirely.)
Topic: How would you evaluate the question of renting vs buying? Whether an owner or not, do you think you made the right decision?
I have no regrets on either. I wish we'd been able to buy earlier, but for us, the room is maybe 1/3 of the total trip cost. Airfare and park tickets for five each take about another 1/3, with food and souvenirs being a much smaller chunk. Even if we'd bought earlier, I don't think we'd have been able to go significantly more often than we did. We'd have ended up renting out our points 2-3 years out of every 5.
I still recommend renting to friends who are planning a trip and seem like the DVC type. I don't think any have taken me up on it, though.
Once we realized we enjoyed repeatedly vacationing at WDW we looked at ways to keep the costs down. First we started purchasing APs for lower ticket costs and discounted hotel rates. Then we discovered the DVC and realized that for the cost of annual dues (plus the buy-in ) we could stay at deluxe venue for the price of a moderate. Since than the nightly costs have risen to the point that we are staying at the deluxe venues for the nightly cost of a value venue.
We visit often enough that renting DVC points would cost more than the dues plus the rentals are rising as fast as the dues. I guess if you add in the purchase price divided over ownership length the rental might come close to the cost of annual dues but so far owning has still saved us more.
DH and I have used David's Rental http://www.dvcrequest.com/default.asp for a stay at the Villas at Grand Californian. It is a great service.