Vacation homes, once a sign of prosperity, have become financial burdens to many amid the economic slump. With a little creativity, however, it is possible for owners to squeeze extra cash from properties that might otherwise be a drain. Some people who bought second homes as national real-estate prices peaked during 2006 now have less money to pay the bills and are facing the unenviable choice of selling at a loss—if they can—or waiting out the market. The median price of a vacation home fell 23% in 2008 from 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors, and sales have dropped nearly 31% from 2007. .Owners who are stuck with those homes can try to make do, at least temporarily, by using their homes to produce extra income and minimize taxes. Some options, such as refinancing to a more favorable loan or delaying improve-ments, are obvious. Others require more planning.With that in mind, here are some ideas about how to keep a vacation home afloat on less money.
By Suzanne Barlyn, June 8, 2009, WSJ
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