[H]aving a part-time house can be a full-time commitment, in the same way that owning a sailboat is commonly described as "standing in a shower and ripping up hundred-dollar bills." These second, but never secondary, houses can be exhausting, their owners admit, a litany of bills and guilt and traffic — and meals to cook for guests who arrive with only one wish: to be entertained.

So, is owning such a place more a case of agony or ecstasy, joy or despair?

You will be deeply disturbed to discover that the answer is despair. Then you will fall into that state yourself.

The Tyranny of the 2nd Home [NYT]