Pros and Cons to a Second or Vacation Home

Many of us have fantasized about having a second or vacation home. How glamorous and wonderful it would be. We could relax or play in a different location; get away from the hubbub of the everyday life. Although, you've probably heard that it costs a lot, which makes you reconsider buying a second home. There are many different factors that push back and forth when it comes to buying any piece of real estate, so we've compiled a sample list of pros and cons for purchasing a second or vacation home.


When you think of a vacation home, you think about the convenience. With a second home, you will always have a little place you can run off to wherever you’d like. A place where you won’t need to pay hotel fees, or for food (if you store food in your second home). You can also store clothes, and supplies so you hardly have to pack for the trip either. Second homes are that convenient-- you can just up and go on vacation with little to no preparation.

The familiarity of a consistent vacation spot is another draw for people who consider buying a second home. When you have the ability to go to the same place every vacation, you begin to have fonder memories of that place. That and you can build a social network there with the other people that live there. Having friends around that second home will make it much more fun when vacationing.

Having a second home also means that you automatically have a place for reunions or other gatherings that you might want to host. This gives you, your friends and acquaintances the option of a getaway place for their next get together.

Cabin KitchenThere are also great financial benefits to having a second home. The first thing to note is that if you continue to develop and keep the home well running, you can actually make money on it. So if, when you bought the home, it didn't have a hot tub or a pool and you added both while you lived there, you could potentially get more money when you sell the home because of the value you instilled into the home. 

Another thing you can do is turn it into a business. By creating a simple calendar, you can rent out your second home for a few weeks in the year. This will give you a little boost to your wallet and make the expenses of the home a little lighter.

Your second home will also give you opportunities to vacation in different places. “How?” you may ask. If you know someone who also has a vacation home somewhere else you’d like to visit, you could make a deal with them to trade vacation spots for a few weeks. This way you can stay in more places for the same price.

When you own a second home, you are also giving yourself a head start on your retirement. If you want to move when you retire, a second home is perfect. All you’d need to do is either sell or rent out your first home and just go on vacation permanently. Or you could keep your first and second homes and you’ll just be able to enjoy the second home more.

Now those are the pros to having a second or vacation home. Let’s consider the cons to buying one:


There is no doubting that a second home is expensive at first. All of a sudden you are paying for two mortgages (if you have them) two power bills, two sewer bills and then some. After you have it all set up and are getting some revenue from renting it out the burden will be lighter, but the upfront cost will be a bit strenuous.

Another problem with buying a second home is that you may feel like you can’t afford to explore different places to visit. Almost like you are locked into that vacation spot until you sell it.

Maintenance of the second home is another concern. If you struggle to take care of your own home, will you be able to take care of a second one too? That and if you won’t be able to make it up to your second home that often, it could get damaged more than you’d expect from just being left alone.

These are just a few of the pros and cons, but, as stated before, it is a very personal decision to purchase a second home. One must also consider that the location and size of the vacation home will determine a lot of the costs and conditions of this investment. Do a lot of research before you commit yourself to a purchase of this size.

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