Real estate can be a good investment. But you need professional advice from a good contractor, good Realtor, good real estate attorney and you need to develop a good plan and stick to it. This is a speculative market. Anything can happen and if you don't have a plan for contingencies, carrying costs, etc. This could blow up in your face.
I just came across your post in searching for Urbana. My son is a freshman this year at U of I and we are looking to do the same.
Did you ever buy the rental house?
If so, how has it worked out? If not, for what reasons?
Thank you very much for responding.
My specific information is as follows: my husband and I have about $175k in equity, we are looking to purchase a home in the Champaign/Urbana area for our child who attends U of I, he, and one or two roommates would live there for the next two years and then we would rent it out after that, we are only looking at homes that are less than $80k (they are plentiful there), and if for some reason we couldn't rent the home we could carry the small mortgage payment. Our road block right now is that we do not have the cash for the down payment.
Given our specific situation, do you still feel it would be too risky for us?
Again, thanks so much for your expertise.