The first rule of just about anything is make sure you don’t cost yourself everything with your move. So how can you do that – there are a couple very simple things I would always recommend. One is to make sure the title is in only one name. Many time real estate agents will just put both names of the married couple on the forms which means both names are on the deed. This means that if a member of the married couple were to be sued now they could go after your properties. If that name were left off the deed that property should be insulated from the suit. The other is to get an LLC – this protects your personal property from lawsuits that may come out of the property (think fire, etc). It is really easy to do and in SC now is $110 – http://www.sos.sc.gov/forms/LLC/Domestic/ArticlesofOrganization.pdf
If you are looking at properties and want to know more about this just let me know! If it gets complicated, though, you always need to get in touch with a lawyer and I can recommend one for you that is familiar with investment properties.