No. of Recommendations: 2
I'm small potatoes in the investment property business; have three [old] houses, all in my neighborhood in a small town. But I'll take a stab at what you've given.

Get lots of "comps" [if you haven't already]. Similar types of properties in similar locations and see what they've sold for. After you're satisfied w/your due diligence and have set a price for what you know is reasonable to pay, offer less.

In terms of checking out the places you're interested in, see everything in writing: e.g., the invoice for the new furnace/water heater, the current lease, the last roof repair bill, etc. Any reason you can't talk to the current tenants? May be insightful.

When regular maintenance is required, or a repair [because they will be needed], are you DIYers or will you be hiring the work done? Not so much talking about putting a new roof on here, but things like fixing a water leak, cutting up a fallen limb. You need to factor a certain amount to cover repairs and maintenance.

You say that one side of the duplex's rent would more than cover your loan payment plus insurance. Plus taxes also? One should factor the rental income based on 9 mos rent, not 12 - just in case. And the down payment would be a 6 mo ROI "assuming the second unit is rented", which you can't assume. You hope it will be and it probably will be, but it might not be. In which case you should have x-amount of reserve funds to cover if it happens the bum way.

Be diligent and thorough in knowing the landlord-tenant laws of your state. Do not hedge on having a good lease. Be a fair and responsible landlord: Be friendly, but not the tenant's friend.
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