Excellent discussion by very knowledgeable people. My $.02:1. Keep more operating expenses the first year. Granted you will improve/renovate, but having just converted a condo I owned/occupied to rental, the tenants find things you don't. I used up my estimated repair expenses for the year in 2 months. It probably had something to do with trying to be an absentee landlord.2. In the buy/no-buy decision, and I assume you calculate several options as suggested, add in the cost of your time/management or what you would pay for it to see a "truer" bottom line.3. For me, even after paying off a mortgage because of today's ZIRP environment, I calculate conservatively about a 4.5% return (including outside management). Obviously everyone makes their own decision, but that to me is worth replacing some of my bonds with an investment that will increase in net return AND if inflation hits, increase in principle. BobRYR Home Fool
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