Non-traditional funding can hard money loans, private money loans, etc. Typically these types of loans come with higher points/fees added on, along with higher interest rates than your typical credit union.
Well, it depends. are you looking to build an empire or are you only interested in owning a few properties? Having a manager who can take care of your rentals, can save you hundreds of hours. On the flip side of the coin, no one will protect your asset as much as you will so set your expectations upfront with your property managers.
If you are going to buy a property to hold onto, as long as you buy something in the wedge (under market value) that will cash flow enough for you, there should be no issue of when you buy. This is because your tenant will pay down your mortgage regardless of where the market it. Statistically rental prices rise in recessions because there are more people without homes. If you rent out the storm, you will survive.
If you find a good enough deal, the money will come. You can also reach out to professionals like us that have a wide range of investors with money that are willing to team up with you and help you with your project!