I suspect that to most of us housebloggers, our homes are more than an investment. To Steve and I, sacrificing weekends and summers is more a labor of love (or a life on insanity depending upon how one views it). If this building were strictly an "investment" we wouldn't be putting so much of our own time and TLC into it and things would be done more expediently.
I don't really like the idea of living somewhere just to make money. I go to my share of neighborhood meetings and it troubles me that few of the new condo owners in our neighborhood seem to show up. I don't understand the concept of just "sqautting" somewhere until you can sell -make a profit- and move somewhere else. But then, I love our neighborhood despite its imperfections. I plan to grow some mature roots here if you know what I mean.
It is nice to know however, that your building is an investment that could say --help you live better when you are retired. One reason we bought a two-flat is because housing is to terribly expensive in Chicago- especially near the lake (which we are-2 blocks to be exact). Steve specifically asked his realtor to show him "dingy kitchens and baths" when shopping and wanted a two-flat because the rental income would help offset the cost of the mortgage.
Just to give you an example of the cost of property and homes around here, take a look at this single family home about 2 miles west of the lake. It's going for $375,000 and looks to need alot of work.
Today, there was an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune about two-flats and the real estate market here. It confirms that we are on the right track. I like to think we are not, after all, pouring all our time and money into a cipher.