Firstly, consider protecting your investments. I would advise you to either create an LLC or to incorporate (depending on if you'll have joint venture partners) and purchase the properties under that umbrella. As you develop your portfolio you can create multiple investment companies under either property type or asset class (separating properties into different categories by price point). That allows you some protection against a mishap or unforeseen circumstance, which is always advisable when available for any investment.
Secondly, consider your finances. Having a lot capital on hand, particularly if it is money you have saved over time, does not mean that you have to put it all towards your purchasing power. Consult a mortgage expert concerning what sort of rates you would have with a down-payment you feel comfortable with. That also gives you a much more clear indication of whether a property will work for you or not, because you'll be operating on projected income vs. known expenses rather than emotion. I work with a number of lending experts through the course of my profession that would be happy to sit down with you and talk you through various options if you like.
Once you have a vehicle for the investments and a clear idea of how you will be financing, it's time to consider property type. I work primarily in Raleigh, and in my experience you have a few different paths you can take. Purchasing a property in close proximity to NCSU, for example, can provide you with stable tenancy from students. In this situation you may be better served by buying a single family home with 3-4 bedrooms in which tenants can come in and lease as a group. Another strategy you can pursue, particularly if you are focused on N. Raleigh and above, is to purchase properties for individuals or a family. I would suggest looking to townhomes from reputable builders, as the construction standards are top-notch and HOA will often cover much of common area maintenance. Additionally, if you develop a small portfolio of 3-6 properties, they can all be of similar kind and in close proximity to one another, which is just easier for you.
If you'd like to run a property search for these two strategies I can help guide you through incorporating, put you in touch with lending experts, and create a custom website platform for you in which we'll adjust criteria and narrow down to your ideal investment properties. We can create a separate investment analysis for each property and really get into the financials from there. Best of luck to you, let me know if I can be of any further assistance.