I'm new to this site/forum and just getting into the real estate investing world. My wife and I always wanted a place in Florida (currently live in Michigan), and were considering using a ball park $50k HELOC on our home to purchase (use HELOC as down payment) a condo down there. We would of course rent the condo out year round, and visit maybe once a year. Looking in the $200-$250k range, preferably SW Florida, as close to oceanfront as possible due to increased rental potential. However, I'm somewhat leaning towards using that HELOC for a small purchase nearby our current home instead, to be rented out as well. I was thinking to go this route just to get our feet wet in the market, and see how it goes. It's obviously less "risky" to do the small home nearby, but the Florida place comes with potentially high, consistent rental income, nearly year round. Plus, we would have our place to enjoy when we go down there.
Does anyone have any advice or a direction to go?
Thanks in advance.