The Economics of a Second Home

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    Yesterday the newish blog Upstater posed the oft-considered question, Can you afford a country house? Like the decision whether to buy or rent your primary residence, the answer lies partly on cold, hard numbers and partly in emotions and psychology. Having just spent some time out of the city last month around a number of folks who own their second houses, we’d say it doesn’t sound like a worthwhile move financially to us when you throw in the cost and headaches of maintenance, groundskeeping and the inevitable lure of upgrades like pools and tennis courts. Mix in the pangs of guilt that will inevitably strike on those weekends when you want to stay in the city and renting starts to look pretty good. Assuming you can afford to do either, where do you come down on the issue?

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