But even if you're fortunate enough to have a vacation home anywhere, you probably can't spend all summer there. So you rent it out when you're stuck at home.
Here are some key tax points to keep in mind.
You usually report rental income and deductible rental expenses on Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss.
If you personally use your property and sometimes rent it to others, special rules apply. You must divide your expenses between the rental use and the personal use. The number of days used for each purpose determines how to divide your costs.
Depending on your overall income, you also may be subject to the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) on your rental income. NIIT is the new 3.8 percent tax that is effective this year as part of health care reform.
If you do have to report rental income on your vacation home, you can reduce it by claiming deductible expenses. Conversely, you also might be able to claim deductions for personal use -- such as mortgage interest, property taxes and casualty losses -- on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, with your Form 1040.
If you do use your second home as a home, too, your rental expense deduction is limited. This means your deduction for rental expenses can't be more than the rent you received.
But if you rent your second home for 14 or fewer days, the very good news is that you don't owe any federal tax on the income.
Take note, though, of possible local taxes and fees for short-term rentals.
In addition to the information in the Weekly Tax Tip, you can find more about taxes and second home rentals in Internal Revenue Service Publication 527, Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes).
Now get out there to your vacation home and enjoy these dwindling summer days!
Water skier photo courtesy Tate Johnson via Flickr CC