Best of luck to you!
You could be in a very desirable area.
I had a client that lived about 2 hours from the Cities and his job was right in downtown Saint Paul, so renting his home and rent in the cities, was just not finance decition, it was also a motivation to be with his family more time.
Sometimes sellers ask me about renting a negative equity property, and moving to yet another home.
It is sometimes possible, but the net might be tough to justify. i.e. you may lose even with doing a lot of smoke and mirrors.
Banks are not too keen on that. You need good "one on one" advice, since as you have heard, the interest rates for investment properties are not as good as for your primary residence.
Give an agent a call with your ideas. Good ones have seen it all and suggest proper directions.