For the market I'm evaluating for investment opportunities (northern california, san francisco bay area), none of the small multifamily properties I analyzed have positive cash flow after taking out PITI & 5% reserves (5% maintenance+ 5% vacancy+ 5% capex). However, if I reduce all the reserves to $0, then I get about $500 cash flow.

So, my question is, would it be wise to act as my own banker, per se, and put a year worth of all reserves upon the purchase of the property.  This way, each month I don't need to set aside money for reserve, and I can then count the "would be" reserve money as part of my profit?

Thanks for your advice.