As far as considering a negative every month, you can do better. This is an opportune time to build your portolio of rental property, and you can find properties that will cash flow from the start. It is all about the numbers. Start with the monthly rent and work backwards to find out how much you should pay for your next rental property.
Then figure on the low side. I'd figure a 1700SF house would be $1500+ a month. A 3000SF house maybe
$2500 on up depending on amenities (pool,views for example). There will be rare exceptions like the
4000SF newer home by Green Valley school for $1995 a month (see Homepointe).
Connie Barnes has good answer re "worth the negative".....
A rental should be treated as a business and a good business plan should not â€œhopeâ€ for positive future events to occur. A business should expect a return on investment after time spent and expenses. If you were going to buy a business, would you invest money if you knew the business would lose money every month?
The good news is that today, interest rates are low and so are home prices which helps take the sting out of having to sell a current property for less or find a new investment property that can provide positive cash flow for you.
This is taken from: http://www.homepointe.com/owner_services_rental_survey.asp
The average is based on 12 Homepointe managed three bedroom homes in El Dorado Hills. The rents on those dozen homes ranged from $1495 to $2200
There are so many positive cash flow opportunities currently, why go negative?