Ask the expert: We want a vacation home with a water view. How expensive are they? If you want a home that has city lights sparkling in the water like stars, reflected sunrises, wildlife, and waterfront fun at your doorstep, you will pay quite a bit. Still, with some searching, we might find an owner who needs to sell and will accept a reduced price, but the afore mentioned home would still be pricey. Here are some other things to consider when looking for a water-view deal: * Properties that are one or two rows back from the water have lower prices but still have nice views of the water. * Would you consider a "wilderness" cabin? For properties that are on or in view of certain lakes, we might find a deal for you. You would have to know what lake areas interest you. Almost all have indoor plumbing. * How about a home near Disney World in Orlando? If you are interested in Florida, we can put you in touch with a real estate broker who offers deals on repossessed properties and possible short sales. Tax advantages You've probably heard that owning a second home provides some tax relief and it can, but you need to know the rules. To figure out what type of tax breaks you might get, you have to know how you'll use the property and how the Internal Revenue Service will categorize it. Note that you can't deduct mortgage interest on Schedule A, if it's considered to be investment property. Your vacation home will be a residence if you use it for personal purposes at least part of the year. If you rent it all year, it's considered to be a rental or investment property. In order to have your vacation home qualify as a residence, you need to spend at least 14 days a year there, or 10 percent of the time that the property is rented. If you own a vacation home and rent it for less than two weeks, you get a tax break because you don't need to report the rental income on your tax return. That rental income is, essentially, tax free.