As mentioned in another post living outside the area you do need a Realtor ready and willing to provide detailed service to assist you in all aspects of exploring your options.
I, as several others have mentioned below work with Investors. One Ca investor I have worked with has bought a few properties and even sold one based on information and assistance I have provided them without ever traveling to the area. I provided extensive service essentually being more than their local Realtor but there eyes and ears in exploring costs for and coordinating repairs etc.
If you wish to explore my services further I can provide some references for the Investor mentioned as well as others to include a New York Investor, local investors, or even owner occupant purchasers.
I look forward to the opportunity to assist you.
Carolina Realty Brokers
I work with a company that specializes in exactly what you are looking for. The company helps investors acquire, finance, rehab and manage properties all over the nation. They offer fully turnkey rentals for purchase and ready for investors to begin earning positive cash flow. They have an incredible track record with investors that keep investing year after year. I would be happy to get you all the information. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to give me a call at 719-285-5565.
I have one investor in California and I've been working with him for years; he just sent me his friend who is also looking for a duplex and we have just narrowed down our search. I would be happy to help you find something and if you'd like, I'm sure my other investors would be willing to speak to you about me. My husband & I own 7 rental properties in the area (4 single family homes and 3 duplexes).
Feel free to contact me and we can go into more detail.
Christine Danko, Go Realty
Durham is a great place to invest in rental properties. Right now the rental market is doing very well. I do property managment in addition to real estate sales. I will be glad to send you possible listings along with foreclosures and short sales. Some of the foreclosure properties are good deals but usually require some repair.
If you aren't going to be in the area, you will need to find an agent you feel comfortable working with because that agent will need to help you in many ways, more than just finding you properties to purchase. You can read real estate agents profiles on Trulia to get an idea of who we are and our experience. Let me know if you need anything else. Good luck.
I work with investors and am an investor myself. Does $90k include renovations to the property that you buy? If so, you are looking at low end properties. The more desirable the location, the less you get for your money though it will rent far more easily. Are you paying cash? Would you consider getting a loan, especially if it needs updating?
I can tell you about the various neighborhoods in Durham and typical rents. I am assuming that you'll use a property manager; standard charge is 10%. Are you looking for cash flow or long-term appreciation?
I'd be happy to discuss options with you.