With sale prices and mortgage rates at a low and rents on the increase, more and more people are buying rental properties. While it can be difficult for a new investor to get financing on a property that is not a primary residence, cash buyers, owner-occupants, and those with a history of rental income or sufficient income to qualify for more than one mortgage if necessary, can do very well both in the short term and long term with multi-family homes. Rental income can provide immediate cash flow, while buying at the bottom of the market, particularly a property that has room for improvement, can generate a profit when sold years later.
In Natick, Wellesley, and Newton, the average sale price of a multi-family property increased 8% from an average of $528,000 in 2010 to $571,000 in 2011 (not accounting for sales that could take place during the 23 days left of the year). Still, there are good deals out there, particularly for anyone with the resources to handle a fixer-upper. 36 multi-families are currently on the market in these towns, from 2-family homes to mixed use buildings.
The following is a great calculator to determine return on investment, taking several factors into account: http://www.goodmortgage.com/Calculators/Investment_Property.html
For more information, please find my contact information as well as search for properties at www.torykeithrealestate.com.