Americans, it seems, are falling in love with the idea of timeshare vacations. The concept of timeshares is nearly a half century old, having begun at a ski resort across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe in the 1960s. Timeshares did exist in the United States, too, back in the 1960s and 1970s, but they really didn't come into their own as a vacation powerhouse in America until the past decade. Europeans continued to invest their vacation dollars in timeshares for years, but the most recent worldwide studies show that it is now Americans who lead the timeshare buying craze — accounting for most of the $7.9 billion in United States timeshare sales that were recorded in 2004 alone.
According to the most recent studies, the median price for a week's use of a U.S. timeshare unit in 2004 was about $15,800 — about 12 percent more than the previous year (and a good $5,000 more than a timeshare week in some other parts of the world). Nearly four million U.S. residents had a stake in the timeshare marketplace as of 2004, a full million more people than just two years earlier.
Still, even with such fast-climbing numbers, U.S. citizens account for less than half of the worldwide number of total timeshare owners. In fact, only a fraction of the number of U.S. citizens who can afford to buy a timeshare unit have actually done so.
Needless to say, the industry sees great potential for growth on the horizon. More and more timeshare resorts are being built, more and more brand-name companies like Marriott and Hilton are getting into the game, and more and more potential customers (like you) are asking questions about whether a timeshare might be a good vacation investment. A solid 85 percent of people who currently own timeshares consistently report that they are satisfied with their purchases, meaning that more and more word-of-mouth marketing is also pushing the industry into a period of what just may be even more tremendous growth.
There could be no better time to make use of all the information in The Everything® Family Guide to Timeshares. The following pages will explain all that you need to know about what timeshares are and how they work. You will learn how to buy, use, and sell units of various sizes; how to protect yourself against scams; how to locate the hottest properties on today's market; and more. You will get into the specifics of how the timeshare exchange game works, including how you can make the most of your particular unit's trading power and use it as a springboard to travel the globe. You will learn how to bring hidden fees into the light during sales presentations and how to get overly pushy salespeople off your back. You will even learn a few tips for buying off the resale market at substantially reduced prices.
Timeshares offer a wealth of vacation possibilities, whether you like to ski downhill trails in the mountains, snorkel off tropical beaches, or explore the world's most famous cities. Timeshares also can be smart financial investments that might save you thousands of dollars during a lifetime of travel. The question is, are timeshares right for you? And if so, how can you make the smartest possible decision about which unit to buy, where to buy it, and how to use it?
You will know the answers to those questions and more after reading The Everything® Family Guide to Timeshares. Welcome to what just may be the first step along a vacation path that will last you and your family for a lifetime.