Second homes: A U.S. city may be your best investment

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When you think of second homes, the first thing that may come to mind is a beach house or ski condo. Find a property in a family vacation destination, rent it out when you’re not there and hold onto it as an investment.

For prospective buyers, there’s an alternative to consider. According to an analysis from Rented.com, the best place to buy a second home may be a major city. The site’s research looked at a number of factors that affect return on investment, including housing prices, real estate taxes and the local rental market, to determine the best cities to own.

A boom in demand for what Rented.com calls “alternative accommodations” means that a tidy condo in a nice urban neighborhood has great prospects on vacation rental sites. Business travelers in particular increasingly turn to Airbnb for lodging options that may offer better space for the money or are close to a popular institution or venue. And for travelers whose work requires them to spend dozens of nights in the same city each year, those hotel dollars could go instead to an investment.

In its previous rankings of the best overall destination for second home ownership
Chicago came in at No. 2, behind only Panama City Beach, Fla. So we asked Rented.com to rank the best urban markets in the USA for second home purchases. See their picks, and insight on each market, in the slideshow above.

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