Maximizing rental income: Should I trade up or sell?

Homeowner wants enough net cash flow to fund retirement
Published on Nov 26, 2007

DEAR BENNY: I have rented a single-family house out to the same tenant for 15 years, and this person is moving out next month.I owe $68,000 on the property and it could sell for $280,000. It probably needs $25,000 in improvements in order to sell it (unless I decideto sell it as is). I am a novice investor. However, I would like to eventually own an investment that gives me enough net cash flow so that I can go into partial retirement. The property nets $200 per month. I am trying to figure out if I should do a 1031 exchange and obtaina four- orfive-unit building(which will cost between$400,000 and $500,000) or a commercial building. I do not know a lot about commercial property. I could also fixup my house and rent it out again, or just sell it.If you were in my shoes, what would you do? --Eric DEAR ERIC: Not everyone can fit in the same shoes, so you have to decide what's best for you. Do you want to continue to be a landlord? Will your current rental continue to appreciate in value ...