Originally Posted by calmloki
Absolutely - eating an elephant is best done one bite at a time - was just indicating that real estate can end up being lucrative without having a massive beginning stake. Real estate involvement can be as great or easily manageable as one wishes - wasn't till the last year that I brought someone else in to manage.
Sure, as you indicate it's best to start small and see if it's for you, that's why I think a 2 family is the best way to get into rentals.
Part of the reason I wouldn't get into more rentals is that I want to ER and managing multiple units is a full time job and even with a management company it's still a lot of money to have locked away in a single asset class.
I bought my 2 family in 1998 for $320k. Since then I've spent $100k on it (new siding, decks, new roof, kitchens etc) and today it's worth $600k which is about a 3% annual return. I'm lucky that I live in a suburb of Boston which hasn't been hit too hard by the housing crash.
I get $1400/month from the downstairs apartment which is like having $420k earning 4%. Once the mortage is paid off I'm set to ER.