If you're contemplating buying a second home by the ocean, mountains or warmer surroundings, you're not alone. Approximately 717,000 vacation homes were purchased in 2013. That equals about 13 percent of the total homes bought last year -- their highest market share since vacation home purchases peaked in 2006, according to the 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Unlike traditional home sales, which generally slow down during the holidays, the prime seasons for buying and selling vacation homes are fall and winter -- when snowbirds flock to warmer weather and ski bunnies head to the slopes. Before you dive into vacation home ownership, here are some financial issues to consider.