Should You Buy or Rent a Summer Home?

Taylor Yates  |  May 30, 2023

Should You Buy or Rent a Summer Home?

The temptation of owning a vacation home is undeniable. You get to enjoy access to your favorite leisure activities, quiet beaches, and scenic trails all from a space you can call your own. But owning a vacation home comes at a cost. 

Before you jump the gun, consider the following pros and cons to decide whether to buy or rent your slice of paradise.

Pros of Buying a Summer Home:

Buying a summer home seems like a great idea, and it can be a fantastic investment. 

The feeling of owning a second home and having the flexibility to customize your space while receiving a sizable return on your investment is unmatched.

Investment Potential:

Buying a summer home, especially in famous vacation areas like Cape Cod, Taunton, and Quincy, can be a wise investment. Property values generally tend to appreciate in popular tourist areas, prompting a higher return on your investment. Additionally, your summer home can be a great way to generate passive income through platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.

Convenience and Familiarity:

Your summer home is your second home; it is the oasis of peace you can retreat to anytime to recharge and relax. You don't have to worry about making reservations or face disappointment by the proximity of your summer home to your favorite activities. You can decorate it to your liking and make your second home your place of tranquility.


Vacation homeowners can customize their property and space to fit their needs. While that includes renovations, it can also be as simple as furnishing. Need extra places for guests to sleep? Add a bunk bed or a pull-out couch. 

Cons of Buying a Summer Home:

Owning a summer home is a beautiful dream, however, it can pose serious financial commitments. Before buying, remove the rose-tinted glasses and carefully weigh the cons.

Financial Commitment:

Buying a summer home necessitates a considerable initial financial investment, including the down payment, closing costs, property taxes, insurance, and continuing maintenance expenditures. It is crucial to analyze these expenses and your long-term financial goals before buying a summer home.

Limited Use:

Having a summer home involves committing to a single location, often limiting your ability to travel and explore other destinations. Additionally, if you can't utilize your second home frequently, the investment may not be as fulfilling.

Pros of Renting a Summer Home:

There is a level of flexibility that comes from renting a summer home. Consider the following pros of renting - from the freedom to explore other areas to the reduced financial commitment.


Renting a summer home allows you to travel and explore various areas without being tied down to one property. Every year, you can visit a new section of Cape Cod, check out Otter Point, Maine, or explore anywhere in Massachusetts.

Reduced Financial Commitment:

Renting a summer home reduces the large upfront expenditures involved with buying, such as down payments and closing costs. It allows you to use your resources towards other investments or activities.

Lower Maintenance Responsibility:

When you rent a summer home, you are not responsible for the property's maintenance and repairs, allowing you to fully enjoy your time off without the extra worry of care.

Cons of Renting a Summer Home:

While renting a summer home has its conveniences, there can be some significant drawbacks. A major con is the lack of an investment opportunity.

Limited Control:

Most rental homes don't permit large groups or parties, so if you like to share your summers with all your friends and family then owning a summer home is your best bet.

Availability Issues:

Popular tourist destinations such as Cape Cod and Quincy see significant demand for rental houses during peak seasons. You will have to plan early and make reservations in advance to secure your preferred dates and location.

Lack of an Investment: 

A significant disadvantage of renting a summer home is the lack of investment potential. Unlike buying, you won't benefit from property appreciation or equity accumulation. Even though you may not intend to use it as an investment opportunity, it can still provide capital growth. Also, the expense of renting doesn’t contribute towards paying off a mortgage or building wealth. That money is as good as gone!

High Cost at Time of Use: 

During peak season, rent for summer homes in popular places like Cape Cod and Quincy skyrockets. Extremely high seasonal rates can also make it challenging to find a second home of your liking.


Buying a second home can be a hard decision to make without the help of an experienced real estate agent. A professional real estate agent like the Yates Team will help you weigh the pros and cons to guide you in the right direction based on your financial situation and personal preferences. 

Connect with The Yates Team today to find out how we can help you find your dream summer home.

Work With Us

We bring decades of experience to transactions large and small and treat every client with the high level of service they deserve. Whether your goal is to build, buy, or sell a home, I would be honored to serve and help you with your real estate needs!