Two possible good deals or are these too close for comfort?

Hi all,
First thanks for all the time everyone takes to help us beginners, hopefully someone can help with the below. This is the situation;

I currently own two properties, one I live in and the other I have a tenant going on 5 years. My question is, am I playing my investment property to close with my monthly expenses? and I am looking to turn my home I currently live in into an investment property as well, What would you experienced landlords like to see for a monthly rent to feel comfortable renting out? The information for both is below and thanks so much for any answers.

Investment Property-
Monthly P and I- $800
HOA monthly- $390
Taxes and Insurance (yearly) $4000
Purchase Price $185,000 ($10,000 put in upgrades) currently owe $130,000
30 year mortgage at 6 1/8, hoping to refi asap
Current rent- $1650

Current Home-
Monthly P and I, taxes and insurance- $1928
Purchase Price- $296,000 (renovations- $25,000)
Currently owe- $272,000
30 year mortgage at 3 7/8

What do you think about these two properties? How much rent would everyone be looking to get for both? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks again.

Your numbers on your investment property are why I don’t rent out higher end homes. Your best case scenario is that you have about $100/mo left over from your rent after you pay your mortgage, HOA, and tax & insurance. Rents don’t go up linearly with the price of the homes. I deal with low income renters in cheaper properties. The cash flow is good, but I’m sure I deal with a whole lot more drama than you do. You might be able to re-fi and bring your rate down, but unless you opt for another 30 yr loan your payment would actually go up making your monthly situation even worse. I base that assumption off 15 yrs at 4.5% is $994.49/mo.

The market sets the rent, so you may not be able to get much more than you are now. I think the problem with renting more expensive houses like this is that many of the rental inventory is because people had to move for reasons such as job transfer and they couldn’t sell their home so they tried to rent it out. They’re just hoping to recoup most of their monthly expenses so that becomes the market rent for homes in that price point. Your situation probably hasn’t felt that bad because you’ve had the same person in there for five years. If they’re paying on time and not much has needed fixed, you’ve at least been able to meet your monthly obligations. I’d like to have rent on this one closer to $2k/mo, but my guess is you couldn’t get that since you’re renting at $1650.

I would try to get $2.5k/mo on your personal house if you have to rent it out. It’s just really difficult to get a nice house to cash flow as a rental. You’ve already got a good rate on this one so there’s not much else you can do to make it better.

Thanks for the thoughts. I always thought I was cutting it a little close but your right, it’s been an easy tenant that’s been on time and not much else to fix. The lease is up in December, could be a good time to raise the rent… When I put it up for rent I had it rented in less than a day so maybe I am a little below what I could be renting it out for. One big mistake I have made though is never raising the rent.
I would love to get $2500 for my current property, do you suggest I use a realtor to get the most possible?
You are right about these pricier properties, I’ve been looking at many to buy and rent out but the numbers are just not adding up. It seems very difficult to get a rentable property in central NJ

I’ve raised the rent some on a few of our places along the way, but I generally just raise it when the property goes vacant and we’re searching for the next tenant. I also don’t like taking over a rented property and raising the rent on people. I know some people think that’s the way to go, but I like arranging the deal where it makes sense at the current rent amount instead.
If it were me, I wouldn’t mess with a Realtor for renting out a property unless you plan on having them do property management for you (seems like 10% of the rent amount is a common fee they’ll charge for that). There are so many ways you can advertise your house (local want ads, newspaper, craigslist, website for military families seeking rentals, sign in yard, etc) that I don’t see a Realtor adding value to you renting out your house. Yes people do call real estate offices asking if they have rentals, but people are not generally going to use a realtor to help them search for a rental house.
Regardless, make sure you check into some other similar quality rentals and see what they’re getting for rent. I’m a fan of being just a little below market rent to provide good value and cut down on vacancies, but I don’t like leaving a lot of money on the table either.
Some areas are just easier than others for making the numbers work on rental properties. I used to live in upstate WA and would not have dreamed of trying to buy homes to rent out in that area.

You left out ARV on property ! and rent amount on property 2. If ARV is higher than amount owed I would not rent. I would only rent if you are upside down on the property. You need to secure new financing before you move - that will help a LOT!

Repeating much of what has already been said,I wouldn’t use your current home as a rental,I buy houses because they will be good rentals first, and that i think might appreciate.

If a house is in the price range of your current home (or actually your current rental too), they just wouldn’t fit my model,which isn’t saying its wrong, but I know for me I can do much better financially with "medium’ priced houses, with ARV’s around $100k

I know people talk about all kinds of ways to advertise rentals, but a sign in the yard is still my best way to get tenants, second is referrals from current tenants