Tax Deductions for Vacation Homes

Black House Real Estate February 2, 2024

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, the idea of owning a vacation home brings with it a sense of serenity and escape. A retreat nestled in nature, by the beach, or in the mountains can be a haven for relaxation. Beyond the obvious joys of having a personal getaway, there are also significant financial advantages that come with owning a vacation home, especially when it comes to tax deductions. Let’s explore the various ways you can turn your tranquil retreat into a savvy financial investment.

Mortgage Interest Deductions

One of the most significant tax benefits of owning a vacation home is the ability to deduct mortgage interest. Just like with your primary residence, you can deduct the interest paid on your vacation home's mortgage up to a certain limit. As of the last update in 2022, you can deduct interest on mortgage debt up to $750,000 for married couples filing jointly ($375,000 for those filing separately).

Property Taxes

Property taxes are another deductible expense for vacation homeowners. Whether you're paying property taxes on your primary residence or your vacation home, the IRS allows you to include these expenses in your itemized deductions. Keep in mind that the total deduction for state and local taxes, including property taxes, is capped at $10,000 per tax return.

Renting Out Your Vacation Home

If you decide to generate some income by renting out your vacation home, there are additional tax benefits to explore. The IRS has specific rules regarding the number of days you can rent out your property while still qualifying for certain deductions.

The 14-Day Rule

The 14-day rule is crucial for those who occasionally rent out their vacation homes. If you rent out your property for 14 days or less throughout the year, you won't have to report the rental income to the IRS, and you can still deduct your mortgage interest and property taxes in full. This is a fantastic option for those who want to enjoy their retreat for most of the year while reaping the financial rewards of short-term rentals.

However, keep in mind that the 14 days do not need to be consecutive. You can rent out your vacation home for several shorter periods and still qualify for this tax benefit.

The 7-Day and 30-Day Rules

If you choose to rent out your vacation home for more than 14 days, additional rules come into play. The 7-day and 30-day rules determine whether your property is considered a rental property or a personal residence.

If you rent your home for more than 14 days but for fewer than 15 days a year and use it for personal purposes for more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the total days rented, your property is classified as a personal residence. In this case, you report the rental income but can still deduct rental expenses, such as mortgage interest and property taxes, up to the limit of rental income received.

On the other hand, if you rent your home for more than 14 days and your personal use doesn't exceed the greater of 14 days or 10% of the total days rented, your property is considered a rental property. In this scenario, your vacation home is subject to the same tax rules as other rental properties, allowing you to deduct various expenses related to the rental.

Home Office Deductions

If you use part of your vacation home for business purposes, you may be eligible for home office deductions. This could be particularly relevant for remote workers or business owners who occasionally conduct business from their retreat. In order to qualify for these deductions, the space must be used exclusively and regularly for business purposes.

Repairs and Maintenance

Just like any property, vacation homes require ongoing maintenance. The good news is that the cost of repairs and maintenance on your vacation home is generally tax-deductible. This includes expenses related to fixing plumbing issues, painting, landscaping, and any other efforts to keep your retreat in top condition.

Depreciation Deductions

While not an immediate benefit, depreciation can be a valuable long-term tax advantage for vacation homeowners who rent out their properties. The IRS allows you to depreciate the cost of your vacation home over 27.5 years for residential properties. This means you can deduct a portion of the property's cost each year as a depreciation expense on your tax return.

Capital Gains Exclusion

When it comes time to sell your vacation home, you may be eligible for a significant tax break. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 allows individuals to exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples filing jointly) of capital gains from the sale of their primary residence. While this exclusion is typically associated with primary homes, it can also apply to vacation homes if certain conditions are met.

To qualify, you must have used the vacation home as your primary residence for at least two of the five years preceding the sale. This exclusion can be a substantial financial benefit, especially if your vacation home has appreciated significantly over the years.


Owning a vacation home not only provides a sanctuary for relaxation but also offers a range of tax deductions that can make your investment even more appealing. From mortgage interest and property taxes to rental income and depreciation, understanding the intricacies of the tax code can help you maximize the financial benefits of your tranquil retreat.

As you embark on this journey of turning your vacation home into a wise investment, it's crucial to consult with a tax professional to ensure you navigate the complexities of tax law effectively. Every individual's financial situation is unique, and a knowledgeable advisor can provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Work with Black House Real Estate

Ready to explore the world of vacation home ownership and its financial perks? Contact Black House Real Estate today to connect with one of our experienced Hanover real estate agents who can guide you through the process. Whether you're looking for a serene beachfront escape, a mountain retreat, or a cozy cabin in the woods, Black House Real Estate is here to turn your dream into reality. Your tranquil oasis awaits – make the move with confidence and expertise by your side.

Work With Black House

As your real estate firm, we are committed to making the home buying and selling process as smooth as possible. I will listen to your needs and criteria in finding you your “Dream House” and will be dedicated to keeping you informed throughout each step.