I have a home paid for in NLR, AR.  My neighborhood has been seeing lots of development but I am still on the outskirts.  I think in the next 10 years my block has a lot of potential to see considerable development.  I don't think if I sold my house I would get what it is worth considering the future development.  Because it is paid for and easily exceeds the rule of thumb of charging more than 1% of home value per month ( I should be able to get 600-700 for a house I paid 45k for) I want to try being a landlord.  Because I am new to this I have a few questions and I hope this forum is the right place to ask.

Because I am new at this and we bought another home because my wife and I are expecting our first baby :) I am strongly considering using a property manager.  How does one go about selecting and vetting property managers?  

Also I think my house could use some TLC before renting it but don't know what all is necessary for our market.  I am sure property managers would make recommendations after we have a contract.  But if I wanted to try renting it out on my own is there a consultant type service where I could a knowledge expert walk through my house with me letting me know what upgrades are likely necessary and what would not lead to actual value.  For instance some of my trim has flaking paint.  Do I need clean this up all through the house or would a person renting a 1200 sf home for $650 even care?  Do I need to do any serious work to the kitchen?  How much should I initially ask for rent.

And any other tips for a guy who works 40-45 hours a week and about to have his first baby looking to try becoming a landlord?