being a Military veteran I love to help you out....What you are looking for in a home is probably not to hard. being close to the water or right in south Charlotte will be to find land and space in that price range. But a few miles outside fo that can be feasible.
The one concnern I have for you in your rental search is the pittbulls. MOst landlords shy away from rentign to people with pitbulls or other large dogs becuase fo the liability it brings to them. They may be very tame and mild mannered. however; the perception is one of them being very aggressive type of dogs and a lot of people are afraid to rent to someeon with pitbulls.
There was a young lady looking for a place with a pitbull as well and she could not get a call back whern she told them she had one.... You may want to search for private owners looking to rent places. They tend to be a little more easier to get a rental with a dog. Going through a management company that is screening the tenants for the landlord your chances become very slim...They do not want the reputation of renting and having an issue with a dog afterwards and you cannot get that personal touch with a management company that you can with an actual homeower.