By the way Helen, when I began investing in 2005, my idea was the same because I live in an area that BOOMED ... over 200k increases in a few years so I ran numbers for months figuring I could flip a new construction home in my area. I then attended REIN which basically saved my ass because I was ready to drop a million dollars (after upgrades) on ONE speculative property.
In hindsight, the property SAT for almost 12 months until a realtor bought it to rent. Well, can you imagine what the rent would be for that? I'll give you a hint based on the 700k 'sticker' price - it's just under $5,000 per month to make it cash flow.
That said, I'm sure it was hard to rent because it went back up for sale within 6 months of having it. The prices DID not jump the way they did prior and after selling expenses, I'm unsure all that worry, anxiety and stress was worth it. But that's my perception.
For myself, I took that 'million' and spread it over multiple properties in areas that are growing above the national average. so all my eggs are NOT in one basket.
to me, that's a sophisticated, less chaotic strategy and I can tell you that I sleep WELL at night.