Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Second Home Book

The Second Home Book

The Can-Do, How-to, Get-Through Guide

Marylouise Oates

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

The Ultimate Guide to Organize and Inspire You So You Can—Really!—Sit Back and Enjoy Your Second Home

The Second Home Book is the first of its kind – a conversational, comprehensive and convenient guide to setting up, operating and, most of all, enjoying a second home. It is cheerful and useful—funny, fact-filled, anecdotal – appealing to both those already ensconced in or encumbered with a 2nd residence as well as those imagining a future, fantastic home.

In The Second Home Book, you'll learn:

--how to furnish your second home on a shoestring (without relying on castoffs from your primary residence)

--how to run your second home efficiently from afar

--how to assemble a dream team of helpers (from handymen to cleaning help) and keep them motivated

--how to entertain (even other people's children) without exhausting yourself

--why you should avoid renovating your second home's kitchen

--how to handle bills, routine maintenance, and emergencies

--how to turn any house into your dream house

The Second Home Book is not about how to finance a second home—it's about absolutely everything else you need to know in one cheerful, easy-to-navigate volume.



For almost twenty years, through no fault of my own, I have frequently owned a second home.

A commuting marriage, a false belief that it would be enjoyable to have a vacation home in the same small town where I spent childhood...


Praise for The Second Home Book

“Even if you don't have a second home, you need this book. Marylouise Oates tells you how to deal with everyone from plumbers (feed them well) to drop in guests (have plenty of white towels on hand), and along the way she demonstrates that all the little emergencies of life can be a whole lot less of a hassle than you ever imagined.” —Ruth Reichl, bestselling author of Comfort Me with Apples and editor in chief of Gourmet

“Oates exercises her experience, her detail-oriented nature and a good dose of humor to confront the challenges of managing multiple homes at once. Aware that the purpose of most second homes is fun and relaxation, Oates stresses a casual and comfy approach to decorating, housekeeping and entertaining-without losing focus on the fact that running a home away from home takes a certain amount of undivided attention. Apart from the obvious must-dos, such as decorating, securing and managing utilities and implementing a system for closing up and caring for the home during off-season, she addresses the niggling things new or potential second-home owners might not have considered. For example, finding dependable craftsmen, a local hairstylist and a dog groomer can be difficult when you're away from the city or suburbs. Some of Oates' tips are gold-like how to keep a kitchen stocked so that you can immediately fix a decent meal upon arriving, or how to deal tactfully with people who want to "borrow" your vacation home while you're not there. All of this valuable information is presented in an easy-to-read, entertaining [format].” —Publishers Weekly

About the author

Marylouise Oates

Marylouise Oates is a journalist who is the former society columnist for the Los Angeles Times and the author of Making Peace. She is married to Democratic political consultant, commentator and author Robert Shrum, with whom she has enjoyed homes and second homes in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, Cape Cod and on the Jersey shore.

Marylouise Oates

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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