For those who aren't comfortable being wheeler-dealers and who prefer the quiet life of the landlord, a huge market is materializing today that we haven't seen for almost 50 years. It is comprised of decent people who have lost their homes to foreclosure and who need to either rent or buy a replacement home. In my experience, prior homeowners stand head and shoulders over prior renters when it comes to being responsible property stewards who will take care of minor problems and pay rent on time.
Why would people who couldn't make their house payments pay rent on time? With low income housing, they probably won't. On the other hand, with better housing, they will simply because of the economics of the deal.
For example, we recently rented a very nice house for $1600 per month to a family that had lost a comparable home for which they were paying $2850 per month. Not only will they comfortably be able to make their rent payments, but this will be a good return on the $200,000 we paid for the house they will be living in.
The moral of this story is, if you're bound and determined to be a landlord, sell your old houses at retail, and use the cash thus generated to upgrade your rental portfolio into better houses in better neightborhoods that will attract better tenants who will pay higher rents. That seems like a no-brainer in today's market.