Vacation, Resort, and Second Homes


The resort and second-home market differs in a number of ways from primary residential market. Buyer interest ranges from small, rustic getaways to luxury properties, and includes an international clientele and the investment and retirement markets.

Buying, selling, or managing second homes in a resort, recreational, and/or vacation destination requires understanding of the recreation and lifestyle market, tax treatment of vacation and second homes, and real estate investment.

NAR provides specialized training and support for REALTORS® who work in this niche market.

Find a Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS).


We've already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Buyer Motivation and Expectations: ​Vacation Properties vs. Investment Properties

To use for vacations or as a family retreat

  • Vacation Properties - 42%
  • Investment Properties - 9%

For future retirement

  • Vacation Properties - 12%
  • Investment Properties - 18%

Low real estate prices/good deal

  • Vacation Properties - 12%
  • Investment Properties - 15%

Potential for price appreciation

  • Vacation Properties – 10%
  • Investment Properties – 16%

Low mortgage rates

  • Vacation Properties - 9%
  • Investment Properties - 8%

To generate income through renting property

  • Vacation Properties - 8%
  • Investment Properties - 37%


  • Vacation Properties - 1%
  • Investment Properties - 4%

Source: The 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey can be ordered by calling 800-874-6500, or online. The report is free to NAR members and accredited media and costs $149.95 for non-members.

Vacation/Second Hom​e Market Activity

NAR Talking Points – How to Talk About the Second Home Market (National Association of REALTORS®, June 2017)

Florida, Texas and California – Top State Destinations Among Foreign Buyers in April 2016 – August 2017, (NAR Economist Commentaries, Apr. 26, 2017)

Vacation and Investment Home Sales, A Breakdown for 2017, (NAR Economist Commentaries, Apr. 26, 2017)

Vacation Sales Plunge, Investors Rise, (National Assocation of REALTORS®, Apr. 11, 2017)

Vacation Home Sales Plunged in 2016, as prices hit highest level in a decade, (CNBC, Apr. 11, 2017)

After a Very Good Year in 2016, the Vacation Property Market will Continue to Grow in Quebec in 2017, According to the QFREB, (Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards, Mar. 30, 2017) E

A Grander Version for Short Term Rentals, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Mar. 2017)

You’ll be happiest in these 10 Locals, (National Association of REALTORS®, Mar. 9, 2017)

Second Home Residences on the Rise in Santa Fe, (Albuquerque Journal, Nov. 21, 2015) E

Perennial Vacation, Second Homes are Becoming the New Retirement Focus, (Alaska Airlines Magazine, July 6, 2015)

Vacation Home Rentals – Recent Tax Developments, (Tierra Grande, Feb. 11, 2015) E

Don’t give up on Millennials in the Housing Market, (Home Accents Today, Feb. 1, 2015) E

Vacation Homes Sizzle as Investment Homes Fizzle, (National Mortgage Professional, Oct. 14, 2014)

Vacation Home Sales Surge in 2013, Investment Property Declines, (National Association of REALTORS®, Apr. 2, 2014)

Tax Deductions for Vacation Homes, (HouseLogic, Dec. 21, 2012)

Working With Vacation/Second Home Buyers

What You Need to Know About Selling a Home in the Country, (RealtyTimes, Sept. 18, 2017)

Vacation Home Concept Grows North of Houston, (Houston Chronicle, Aug. 18, 2017)

Jersey Shore Aims Higher, (New York Times, June 18, 2017) E

Help Boomers Start Navigating Retirement, (National Assocation of REALTORS®, Feb. 24, 2017)

A Perk for Owners Near Football Stadiums, (National Association of REALTORS®, Nov. 8, 2016)

Vacation Home Tip Sheet, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Mar. 2014)

Tax Rules for Vacation Home Sales, (Tierra Grande, Oct. 29, 2015) E

Second Home Buyers Still Relying on Family for Cash, (Daily Mail, Oct. 17, 2015) E

Who gets the Vacation Home?, (Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, May 1, 2015) E

The Master Series, Second Home Specialist John Resor, (REALTOR® Magazine, 2014)

Keeping Up With the R&R Crowd, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2014)

RSPS (Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist)

RSPS Certification (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017)

Find a RSPS Specialist (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017)

Resort Area and Second Home Specialty, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017)

NAR Education Matrix—Resort and Second Home Markets, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017)

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Buying a Second Home (eBook)

The Complete Guide to Buying a Second Home or Real Estate in Mexico (Audiobook, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Investing in a vacation home for pleasure and profit, (Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western, 2006) HD 1341 B69

How a second home can be your best investment, (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2004) HD 1341 K28

REBAC roundtable 2004, volume II, resort, vacation and second home markets, (Chicago, IL: Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council, Inc., 2004) CD016

Making money from a second home: a practical guide to buying and managing a property for long lets, holiday lets or university accommodation, (United Kingdom: HowTo Books, Ltd., 2004) HD 1341 P26

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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


For Resort, Second Home, and Investment Real Estate Specialists

RSPS Certification

Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) is a REALTOR® certification for specialists in buying and selling resort and second home properties.

Resort Course and Webinars

The one-day Home Sweet (Second) Home: Vacation, Investment, Luxury Properties Course is the core course you need to take to obtain the Resort and...