This review is based on the 2006 hardcover edition. I'm not sure what changes, if any, are in the 2009 paperback edition sold here.
I found this book fascinating, as I knew almost nothing about the cottages Mr. Hunter is writing about. Beach houses in much of the United States are also called cottages, and that's what I was looking for in the book. There's nothing about cottages at the beach, so the book was only helpful to me in a general way.
As another reviewer states, there's a lot about buying and selling lake and river cottages. Some of this isn't very different than buying a regular house, but there is a lot that's specific to vacation homes, particularly ones that are off the beaten path. You can extrapolate from this to remote beach cottages as well. If your beach is on the beaten path, the material is interesting, but not very helpful.
While there is a chapter on renting your cottage, the author mostly assumes that you'll use the cottage yourself. While the renting information is a good general overview, it could really use a lot more detail. For example, there is less than a page on taxes and rental properties in the U.S. If you're staring Schedule E in the face, this book won't help much.
The material in the 2006 edition, and probably in the 2009 edition, could use some updating. For example, when talking about buying the cottage, the author suggests drawing circles on a map to check distances as the crow flies, and then trying to figure out the actual driving distance and time by measuring the roads on a map and then actually driving that. A sidebar tip suggests you look at Mapquest to get the actual distance and an approximate travel time. Of course now most map programs follow Google maps and will give you an actual travel time taking current traffic into account. No need to do all the work on an actual map.
But give the author credit -- you rarely see a discussion on travel time to your vacation home, and it will make a difference, particularly if you're traveling with children or pets. There are a number of topics throughout the book that I haven't seen discussed elsewhere or done as well -- for example whether your adult children will want to use the cottage with or without you as much as you might think.
Overall, this book was very useful to me. I've read most of what's available on vacation homes, and I don't know of anything out there that I prefer to this book. I hope the author will update it and consider adding a discussion of beach properties also. They fit pretty well with the points he is trying to make. Until then, this book is certainly worth your time.