I'm in the USA and have a good amount of money available to me and I'm willing to accept high risk when investing, as long as the ROI justifies it. I've toyed with buying a rental property, but I'm uncertain if it's worth looking into. I don't trust myself to be organized enough to do all the things landlords usually do, so if I buy a rental I would probably use a property manager. My question is whether it's likely a rental property can have a better long term ROI than an index fund after factoring in the cost of a property management company.
I realize the exact details depend on my location, time I buy, and how good a deal I get, and that I need to do the research myself. However, before I put the time and cost into learning all that I'd like to know, from a general high level point of view, is the idea feasible and worth looking into, or is it unlikely to beat the stock market in the long run once I factor in property management costs and thus not worth my time even considering?
Given where I live and the demand for rentals here, I'd likely be renting rooms in my rental to 3-5 20-30 year-olds with decent/stable incomes, but potentially not as likely to stay in one place for more then a year or two. I could make a rather large down payment, so my mortgage interest rate is likely to be low, and could likewise pay off any remaining mortgage very fast. Then again, given I'm open to high risk investment and I believe the US gives tax incentives for mortgages, I may be better off taking my time to pay off the mortgage so I have more to invest in stocks.