Typically you can expect to net around 8% or better (after taxes, hoa and insurance) on a rental before leveraging your money. This number with a 20% down payment can easily reach the mid teens. (And the tax savings from the depreciation will be an added bonus).
We have some rented properties available (turnkey, no repairs, tenants already in place) for your comparing and even potentially your consideration.
Good luck with your investment goals.
Houston is a great market for investors right now and there are several areas of town with properties that can give you a positive cash flow. I would recommend staying away from neighborhoods with high taxes. My recommendation would be to purchase 3 or 4 properties ("bread and butter" homes) instead of investing all the money in one property. I will be glad to send you a list of properties that I think could result in a positive cash flow for you.
Hope this helps.
I handle the North Houston area as well I just mentioned Montgomery County because the taxes are lower. If you want something in Harris County I would then stick to the single family units and a neighborhood that did not yet have too many rentals.
You mentioned flipping, are you looking for forclosures. I have a page on my site where you may visit to view them.
I have an investor I have been working with in Montgomery county -( If you were in L.A. Montgomery County would be Ventura only closer. I don't remember how to describe it using Oakland and S.F. )
The duplexes are becoming very popular. You can purchase two fairly new units for that or close to 3 resales. depending on the rental rate you are aiming for. With a duplex you will not need a managment company. A Real Estate Company can lease it for you and repairs over $75. or $100 can be arranged long distance. If you are too busy for this there are some management companies or we can do it.
When I was in Calif. I was ourside an Air Force Base and near a Borax mine. I handled anywhere from 25 to 50 rentals in our Real Estate office.
With the duplexes you will be in a positive cash flow , we have a next to 0 vacancy factor in this area.
I will be happy to tell you about all that is going on in our county - But what counts is that we are one of the fastest growing areas in the nation.
Please contact me if I can be of assistance.
I would also talk to owners of similar types of properties and get a feel for the market. Ask local property managers for references before you buy. Both SF and multiunit have pros and cons. More tenants = more headaches, but possibly bigger rewards.
Also, check on financing with a lender. Multifamily requires different down payments and has different rates.