New investor here. I'm 28, and purchased my first townhome at 25 which currently has been my primary home for the last 3yrs. I do have a small idea of what it's like to deal with maintenance issues, and all the 'baggage" that comes with owning a home. After refinancing and learning that the value of my home increased by 15%, I saw an open door to opportunities to invest in real estate. But I would like to do it right. I have enough to put down 3.5% on a condo/townhome, I'd like to start small (is this the best approach?). What I'm worried about is finding renters. On trulia, I see rental listings that are over 1month old. Id hate to purchase a home and not be able to find renters month after month. How is the market right now, and is it that hard to find renters? I'm thinking Clairemont, north park area. Would it be best for me to live in the rental property first, and then rent it out? 

Will take all the tips/advice I need to kickstart into real estate investing. I have some money saved up, and not sure how to take the first step.