Here's a link to Financial Calculators --- there's a calculator for every purpose
And...I do have clients who are buying residential income properties for different reasons.
1) For owner-occupancy
2) For investment
They find that the current market environment is very kind to buyers especially because of recent tax breaks and programs that are available. such as the first time buyer tax credits, California's mortgage insurance program, FHA 203 (loan for properties that need repairs/rehab). Add to that the current low interest rates (some of the lowest in 40 years!)
In Berkeley, Oakland and Hayward, there are rent controls. So sometimes, it's best that the properties are delivered vacant so that the buyers can find their own renters, unless the current rents are at market value.
Because there are so many foreclosures, it has an effect on the rental market in the sense that the folks who lose their homes will need a place to stay. So rentals are holding steady.
Rehab a Home with HUD's 203(K)
The Section 203(k) program is the Department's primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. As such, it is an important tool for community and neighborhood revitalization and for expanding homeownership opportunities. Since these are the primary goals of HUD, the Department believes that Section 203(k) is an important program and we intend to continue to strongly support the program and the lenders that participate in it.
Californiaâ€™s Mortgage Protection. On April 2, 2009, the California Association of Realtors announced, through the Housing Affordability Fund Mortgage Protection Program, that first-time home buyers who lose their jobs due to layoffs may be eligible to receive up to $1,500 per month, for six months, to help make their mortgage payments. http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2009040706?OpenDocument&WT.cg_n=RMO&WT.cg_s=RSSDaily
First Time Home Buyer Credit. A tax credit of up to $8,000 is available for eligible first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. Unlike the tax credit enacted in 2008, the new credit does not have to be repaid. http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/
Tax Credit for NEW Home Purchase. A tax credit of 5% of the homeâ€™s purchase price or up to $10,000 is available for qualified buyers who purchase on or after March 1, 2009 and before March 1, 2010, a principal residence that is new construction and has never been occupied. This is not a loan and does not have to be repaid as long as owner lives in the house for 2 years after buying the home.