The good and bad about second homes

New book addresses purchase precautions, renting to tenants

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If you are thinking about buying a vacation or second home, first read "Second Homes for Dummies" by Bridget McCrea and Stephen Spignesi. It will alert you to virtually all the pros and cons of owning these unique properties, which are often hundreds of miles away from one's primary home and are frequently for personal use and renting to tenants. McCrea, a former real estate agent, explains virtually all the considerations of buying a second home. Although the book starts out very slow and basic, it picks up pace in the second half where the author gets away from the home-purchase basics and into the specifics of vacation homes, such as supervising from afar and avoiding costly mistakes. There is even a chapter about buying a foreign vacation home, but it is very incomplete and hardly worth reading. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. The book could have used more personal examples, but the author shares her few limited experiences with vacation homes and managing rentals...