This came up because the “switch” I had found for her had higher HOA dues than the property she was originally calling on, but I explained that the “switch” would rent for considerably more than the property which originally interested her, and would in fact provide much better cash flow. These days, though, the people who are investing for cash flow are not buying in the mid-county area ( Capitola , Aptos , Soquel , etc.) – because the properties there do not cash flow without a huge down payment- and even then, if you were to put a huge cash down payment, you would have a poor cash-on-cash return of your investment. … I don’t see the sense in buying something in, say, Santa Cruz that requires a large down payment, which does not provide much in the way of cash flow (and probably has a negative real cash flow, considering vacancy factor, maintenance, etc.), and will be heading steadily down in resale value for some months (or years?) … On the other hand, it is patently sensible to me to buy a $250,000 3-bedroom house in Watsonville, put down 20% ($50,000), rent it out for $2000 a month , make $500/month after principal, interest, tax, and insurance – and assuming a 10% vacancy factor, you’re making a 10.8% return on your money every month. … There are very few investment-grade properties in Santa Cruz county outside of Watsonville where you can buy, hold at a profit, and sell down the road for a net profit – without speculating on an eventual price increase to make it all worth the considerable risk.