My wife and I are small buy and hold real estate investors. After several years of getting our financial house in order - paying off our home mortgage, paying off consumer debt, saving money - and a whole bunch of reading about REI on the internet, we took the plunge in 2010 and bought our first two properties, a duplex and SFH, which we are holding as rentals.
We slowed down during 2011 and 2012 after some unexpected events occured with extended family that cost a lot of money. We finally got the ball rolling again and acquired property #3, a SFH rental, in 2013. We acquired property #4, another SFH rental, in early 2014.
Rental #3 was our first one that required a fair amount of rehab upon purchase. I thouroughly enjoyed the process and learned a great deal. We are also doing a rehab on #4.
Our plan for the mid term is to continue adding rentals while financing is cheap, and until we hit our limit of 10 properties with conventional financing. When we reach our max of 10, we'll re-evaluate what the next steps are: either more of the same with non-conventional loans (e.g. a portfolio loan), or start hunting bigger game like small apartments buildings.