Hello to all that took that time to read this post, I'm a 22 year old husband to a wonderful wife and father of a beautiful baby girl and Im joining the United States Air Force to work on airplanes, but I've wanted to do real estate since I was in my early teens. Over the years I was really uninformed about it I thought you just collected all the rent and paid about half of what you make a month for all the expenses. Boy was I wrong, I did more research over the years and after finding out that I will qualify for VA benefits and be able to pull out a %1 interest loan for 675k and I immediately thought wow I would finally be able to start I used the calculator on bigger pockets to get a rough estimate and once I saw the cash flow I was in shock I would pull in a whopping $200. I just want to know how do you know if a property is worth buying? How many would I have to buy to make a good living?
This is really a loaded question with so much much to unpack. I'd suggest reading some books (The ones promoted by Bigger Pockets are excellent), and listening to a bunch of podcasts.
Basically, if you run all your numbers - Rent MINUS mortgage, property tax, insurance, property management fees, listing fees, take into account vacancies, repairs, cap ex, (HOA fees, Utilities, lawn/snow care) and you come away with a good chunk of cashflow, then its a good buy. Also consider how much you have to put down to how much you actually get back.