You're going to get a deluge of different responses.
There are a large number of rentals available right now. The inventory is high, so that brings the cost of rent lower in order to attract more renters.
There are many options to choose from in regards to property managers. There are pros and cons to each company. The truth is that I haven't found just one who will satisfy every requirement and get your home rented.
There isn't one area of town better than another to buy. It all comes down to the fact that you should buy a nice home, with nice amenities and if you plan to rent it as a vacation rental, you should stock it with the appropriate furniture and items to make it desirable. Charge a fair price and you'll help recoup money that you spend.