Happy house hunting!
If I want to buy a single family home as a rental, I prefer it to be somewhere close that I can check on. I prefer it to be under 2000 square feet (1600 or less) without a pool because of the liability inherent with having a pool and less control over the access to the property. I prefer limited maintenance. Carpet will need to be replaced every few years, other flooring less often, so i need to weigh the cost with durability. I want the construction to be solid and I want a neighborhood that appears stable and, while my home would be a rental, I'd prefer the others were all owner occupied to keep my values up. (a little self centered with that preference).
Then I need to see how much I can afford. Expect to put down at least 10%, maybe more. Midtown is much more expensive per square foot than Placerville. And there's lots of communities in between at different price ranges.
You can throw a rock and find a home that will cashflow, but there are more nuances to what type of investment that you want. With many homeowners losing their home in a short sale, you can find plenty of solid tenants in any priced market area.
There is no right or wrong answer to your question, only preferences. Any realtor with experience in investment properties should be able to help you narrow that down.
I would be happy to speak with you about the area and surrounding areas to set you on a path to start with. I can also help you with the management once you find a property that you like.
Oh okay. If you are going to self manage, then close to home or close to business might be convenient. Or maybe somewhere along the commute route. If you hire a property manager, then where it is matters far less than: " do the numbers work for your financial plan?"