This time of year, when people are spending time at their favorite vacation spots, I always get a round of phone calls asking "should I consider buying a vacation home?" This article on Zillow does a nice job summarizing the main things you want to think carefully about before taking the plunge.
My family thoroughly enjoys our place on the Cape, and I know that looking forward to those beachy weekends keeps me going through many of the long, hot weeks of summer! That said, it does add an extra layer of maintenance duties and costs -- insurance, upkeep, mortgages, etc. While you may "save" the money you usually spend on renting a summer vacation home or staying in a hotel, you'll have the cost of the property throughout the entire year. Renting the property can off-set some of the costs, though you should expect a good amount of hands-on time to manage your renters and be prepared for those unexpected surprises! Finally, be sure you buy in an area you truly love and will want to return to each year.
What do you love about it? And what do you wish you'd known before you bought it?