Thinking about a second home? Here's some house rules to follow. Buying a second home can be a smart investment, but it should work for your lifestyle, too. If you'll be renting it out, know all the maintenance details. If it's a vacation home, spend time in the area before you buy, in case you want to live there long term. Also, check traffic on Friday afternoons and Sunday evening to ensure you won't be caught in a jam. This way, you won't be giving your second home second thoughts.