1. Start with the neighborhood. Pick one right outside a good one, find one starting to gentrify. Look at city development plans. Find places city plans to spend money on. Learn neighborhood trends. Right location will give you appreciation.
2. Pick an agent who is a real estate investor him/herself. It can be a great resource. He can provide a lot of insides.
3. Once in the property, spend a few min and chat with the tenants. Ask them how long they have been living at the place, how do they like the neighborhood, their next door neighbors, their house. What are the problems with this place? What do they think about their landlord. Look at the foundation, electrical plumbing and HVAC. Ask your realtor what are the issues he / she sees.
4. If you are serious about the property, drive by a few times on Friday / Saturday night, drive around the block, look at crime maps ...
5. Contractor - ask here, ask your realtor, ask friends and family.
6. Research your rents and run your numbers.
PM me if you have questions.
Thanks for the advice. I will most certainly follow up on it.