I also operate a private equity real estate investment fund that invests in residential real estate in this area and other cash flowing communities. You may find out more about it at http://www.reicapitalusa.com to see if this is something that might be of interest.
Many of my brokerage clients are investors like yourself, and they use any number of strategies to get the return you propose. If you are serious about real estate investing, I would highly recommend that you consider joining the Real Estate Association of Puget Sound. Please come to the next meeting as my guest. Just go to the http://www.reapsweb.com website and enter "Wendy Rocks" as the promo code to get in for free.
If I may help you with your real estate investing in any way, please contact me at HomeLandInvestment@gmail.com and happy investing to you!
Real estate is the best way to build wealth and a good way to build cash flow. Your idea of a triplex or duplex is a great one because that gives you more leverage. In the Seattle area there are only pockets where those are found.
I have spreadsheet I can use to help you analyze the yield on properties. You get the best yield by using financing to leverage your real estate. Your question is very general and I'd be happy to visit with you in more depth to help you clarify your goals.
According to your description, it is less likely that you can buy a condo to townhouse with 200K in North Seattle to have a net monthly cash flow around 1K. HOA condo dues will significantly cut down your monthly cash flow, and there is not many townhouses available for under 200K these days. Nonetheless, if you want to be on this track, you may consider south Snohomish county. Properties in cities like Lynnwood, Everette, Bothell, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline are appreciating faster because the residential capacity of Seattle reaches the limit. You can expect positive cash flow, but not as high as 1K.
You mentioned triplex and duplex. They are good ideas. First thing you need to consider is -- would you be willing to live complete stranger and deal with them during their tenancy? If so, you may need to look into a mortgage option. You have limited options for a 200K purchase on Duplex or Triplex in King County or South Snohomish County.
If you look for a relatively large cash flow with little amount of investment, my suggestion is that you look somewhere else than real estate. Short-term trading in stock market may be more profitable than investing in a property. If you look for a long-term security of moderate cash flow, you may include real estate in your investment. Yet every investment has its risk, and there is no exception with real estate investment.
As a real estate broker, I am interested in investment myself as well. If you are interested, you are welcome to contact me and we can exchange some tips for property investment.
Century 21 North Homes Realty, Inc.