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I have heard that to protect myself, I should start a C-corporation. I'm just not sure when I should do this. Do I set up the
corporation, then put my money into the corp and then use that to get financing?

Why would you want to do that? You would give up your personal tax deduction, incur the complexities of a corporation, and for what?

Should I just get this one duplex in my own name and then get it added to my regular taxes at the end of the year?? It might push me
into the higher tax bracket so I'm concerned with that.

Oh, believe me, with the numbers you listed at the beginning of the post, that duplex will NOT raise your taxes. It'll probably lower your taxable income about $1000/year (after the depreciation allowance) more or less, depending on your vacancy factor and on the amount of maintenance you have to do. That PI looks very favorable, especially with the tiny down payment. How are you going to get terms like that?
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