The Cost of Owning a Second or Vacation Home

Res Lake Oconee
Timeframe for Purchase*
General Price Range*

The Baby Boomer generation is known as the Affluent Generation, more capable of affording second homes and vacation homes than the generation before. Career driven and overworked, the Baby Boomer workforce seeks second homes to relax and escape the cities. It is estimated 4 out of 10 or 40% of Baby Boomers own or soon will own a vacation or second home. Although the vacation home market appears flat at the moment, it is predicted this won't last long. Will the largest transfer of wealth from Baby Boomer parents cause a market shift? It makes sense this could happen.

Before purchasing a second home, we know you will be tapping away at your calculator estimating the costs of repairs, maintenance and monthly fixed expenses. The cost of owning a second home may add up to more than you think and make it hard to justify the expense.

Traditional second and vacation home ownership does provide privacy, potential appreciation, rental possibilities, exchange privileges with 3RD HOME and year round use. Retirees often factor in legacy planning, gifting the home to their children as part of ownership benefits.

Equally worthy of consideration, Private Residence Clubs and fractional ownership because these ownership options provide worry free maintenance along with many other perks.

We estimate the average cost to own a second home is about $700 a month not including a mortgage, repairs or improvements.

Here's how we calculated $700 a month:     

$150 Property Taxes per month     

$  60 Insurance per month     

$285 Utilities per month     

$100 Lawncare per month     

$100 HOA per month

$695 Total per month

Add to these figures, travel expenses to get there and you will quickly understand why most families only use second and vacation homes 6-8 weeks a year. Depending on where you choose to purchase a second or vacation home, these monthly costs can be drastically more.

It's not always about the money. Memories with our family are priceless and owning a vacation home can trigger scheduling quality time together. Call it bait quietly under our breath. To me, whatever it takes to pull the family together, if you can comfortably afford it.  There are wonderful places in the Southeast to consider, offering resort lifestyles or simple pleasures. We are happy to connect you with affordable master planned communities in the Southeast we have personally visited and scored. Don't go it alone.

Live on vacation, Margie Casey Founder


Property Taxes:

In 2008, the Nationwide Comparison of Tax Rates and Tax Burdens reports property taxes range in the Southeast:

  • Florida - Jacksonville $1,614 annually or $134 per month
  • Georgia – Atlanta $2,809 annually or $234 per month
  • North Carolina - Charlotte $1,757 annually or $146 per month
  • South Carolina - Columbia $1,453 annually or $121 per month
  • Tennessee - Memphis $1,945 annually or $162 per month

The median cost in the Southeast for a second or vacation home is estimated at $ 1,800 annually or $150 per month

Homeowner Insurance Costs: In 2007, the National Association of Insurance Commissions 2007 reported average homeowner insurance premiums in the Southeast:

  • Florida $ 1,534 annually or $127 per month
  • Georgia $ 724 annually or $60 per month
  • North Carolina $ 674 annually or $56 per month
  • South Carolina $ 618 annually or $51 per month
  • Tennessee $ 723 annually or $60 per month

The median cost in the Southeast for a second or vacation home is estimated at $ 723 annually or $60 per month


  • Electric or Gas – estimated $150 per month
  • Internet/Cable – estimated $100 per month
  • Water/Trash – estimated $ 35 per month
  • Lawncare – estimated $100 per month

Homeowners Association Dues & Memberships (HOA): Homeowners Association Dues vary from $50 to $2,000 a month depending on the master planned community. If you live in a traditional neighborhood without a homeowners association, there is no monthly cost.

For the purposes of our cost calculation above, we assume $100 a month. On the higher end of estimated monthly dues, you will find mandated golf memberships, sports or social membership fees to live in luxury master planned gated communities.

Source links: Tax Rates and Tax Burdens in the District of Columbia: Nationwide Comparison:

National Association of Insurance Commissioners: Countrywide Exposures, Premiums and Aggregate Premiums and State Average Premiums by Policy Form:

Share This
Timeframe for Purchase*
General Price Range*
Timeframe for Purchase*
General Price Range*

Read Over 9,577 Verified Property Owner Reviews

Coastal Georgia
Although the fees are high, the value we receive by staying 'above the crowd' with quality amenities is well worth it.
Coastal North Carolina
Wish we had been told about the rail cars dumping gravel every Tuesday night. This should be part of a noise ordinance. Please help us.
Coastal North Carolina
Disappointed in no follow through with amenities promised.