One of the alternatives for investment of surplus Money is this.
Location is the key factor. Renting is not always easy. Having schools or medical centers is usually a better alternative when making a choice of buying property to rent.
As mentioned in previous articles there are web sites that combine the price of property and the rental value on a yearly basis. Using this type of information, you can decide you investment amount and return on investment.
My personal choice is medium size cities with a clear basis for rental success. Having concentration of hospitals, medical centers or universities nearby is usually a plus in terms of continued rental possibility.
Using google earth and street view you can have a very good look at details of streets, neighborhood, type of community and other characteristics that may help when making a decision.
In next comments we will review more details that are needed when making a decision in the real estate arena.