Hi Lou. I think it just depends on how many properties you own, and how much time you have in your day. I usually buy and hold single family homes until the property gets enough equity to make me an $80k to $100k check. At that point I sell. I have never used a property manager but I am a small time investor. If I had more than 5 or 6 properties, I would consider using one. That way they can deal with finding the right renter, collecting monthly payments, and keeping the yard in good shape. When you only have one or two at a time like me, it is easy to do it myself. Also, I can then pick and choose who I want to rent my properties to instead of having to abide by ridiculous laws that tell me who I am allowed to rent my own property to. In the end it mainly comes down to how much time you want to devote to your rental(s).
I manage my own properties. I figure why pay someone else 7 to 8% of the rent I collect each month, when I can manage the property myself. It takes very little time to manage a few rentals. Obviously if you are a big time investor with dozens of units, it can become a full time job but if just a few properties I would recommend taking care of them yourself.
Thanks for your answers guys. Its always good to hear other's opinions.