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).


NAR Library & Archives has 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

Property Rounds: Vacation Homes Boost Local Market, (The Advocate, Aug. 16, 2018) E

Retirees Are Driving Up Prices of Vacation Homes, (Toronto Star, July 27, 2018) E

If You Haven't Declared Gains on a Second Home, it's Time to Own Up, (The Sunday Times, July 15, 2018) E

Getting the Best Tax Use out of a Vacation Home Under Today's Rules, (, July 6, 2018) E

When a Second Home May Prompt Second Thoughts, (Central Penn Business Journal, June 29, 2018) E

Study: Cities with the Highest Share of Vacation, Investment and Second Homes, (The Public Record, June 19, 2018) E

Taxes on Snowbirds, (Kiplinger's Personal Finance, May 2, 2018) E

Wealth Surge Boosts Second Home Market, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 3, 2018)

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

Florida, Texas and California – Top State Destinations Among Foreign Buyers in April 2016 – August 2017, (NAR Economist Commentaries, Aug. 10, 2017)

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

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

Working With Vacation/Second Home Buyers

Here's Why You Can't Afford to Ignore Investors, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sept. 10, 2018)

Connecting with Vacation Home Clientele, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sept. 4, 2018)

One in Six Baby Boomers Owns a Second Home, (Daily Mail, Aug. 23, 2018) E

Glasgow Finds all the answers in her Second Home, (Memphis Daily News, July 27, 2018)

Great-Grandma Designs her Port O'Connor Vacation Home with 4 Generations in Mind, (Houston Chronicle, July 26, 2018) E

Simplifying the Conveyance of a Second Home in another State, (Westchester County Business Journal, July 2, 2018) E

Quick Turnover, High Demand Means Challenging Market for Second-Time Home Buyers, (CBC News, Apr. 12, 2018)

Turning Buyers into an LLC, (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 17, 2018)

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)

RSPS (Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist)

RSPS Certification (National Association of REALTORS®, 2018)

Find a RSPS Specialist (National Association of REALTORS®, 2018)

Resort Area and Second Home Specialty, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2018)

NAR Education Matrix—Resort and Second Home Markets, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2018)

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

The one-day Resort & Second-Home Specialist (RSPS) certification course is the course you need to earn the RSPS certification.


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