Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Business Analytics

Major Professor

James A. Spencer

Committee Members

Kenneth Kenny, A. J. Gray


Second homes, primarily used as vacation housing, have substantially increased in number in the United States over the past ten years. They differ from primary dwelling units in physical design, types of tenancy, types of occupants, and in the pattern and intensity of their use. Since second home growth may have both positive and negative effects on the economic, social, physical, and environmental character of a particular area, local and regional planning agencies must take them into consideration.

The purpose of this study was to construct a classification system for second homes in order to facilitate the collection and analysis of second home data for use in planning studies. A secondary purpose was to experience the process of data collection and analysis on a local scale.

Information necessary for the construction of a second home classification system came from a literature review and from primary data collected in a rural county case study area where second homes have become an increasingly significant land use. Electrical records of the local utility system were used to identify second homes in the county. A questionnaire sent to second home owners identified in the electrical records provided the bulk of the data.

Based upon the information obtained from the literature review and the case study data, a classification system has been proposed, the five major elements of which are site, structure, occupant, tenancy, and activity. Several other findings resulted from the case study. The electrical records of the utility system proved successful in the inventory of second homes. Electricity consumption was found to be useful as a general indicator of second home occupancy. Wide variation among second home characteristics within the case study area indicated the importance of a micro approach since varied characteristics have different implications for second home planning. Further research is necessary to develop alternative data sources, to understand activity effects and causal relationships between second homes and their host communities, and to predict the focus of future development pressures.

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