Well Chris, there are good and bad sides to everything. We originally did it because, long term, we did not want to stay in Houston. Driving from out of town to handle turnovers didn't appeal to us. By selling we got a better class of "tenants".
One of the downsides to it is that you forgo any future appreciation, unless you get the ppty back. Since we were in TX appreciation didn't figure much into our plans. Also we had sold ALL of them for well ABOVE FMV.
Another point in our favor is that TX is a "Trust Deed" state and you can do a Trustee's sale in less than 2 months, as long as you're prompt on all paper work. The last two that an attorney handled for me cost about $1,000 each to handle, not bad.
In several cases we've had people deed the ppty back to us when we convinced them that their legal and debt exposure would be less that way. In every case where we got one back we resold for a higher number. About 1 1/2 years ago we got one back that we had bought in '03 for $52K, put $2K or so in and sold for $75K, got back 2 years later, put $4K in and resold for $90, got back in '09 and resold for $100K.
But that's about the only way that your income will go up in the future.
We do ours on 30 year amortization, 10 year balloon loans. We're in our 60s so we don't really want any long term loans sitting around.