Hello Louis Luciano,
Why don't you and your wife do a few wholesale deals or birddog some deals in your area? I am sure there will be investors interested in investing in that area especially if the deal is right. I actually want to invest in the area of Charlotte, NC or at least in the outskirts of it. But, if you wholesale some deals at least you can put some money towards your house to help compensate while your wife is in school.
Here are some things to consider; USDA loans were created for low income rural housing, so not everyone house is eligible for a USDA loan. Here is a link to the eligiblity map
Type in the address of a house you're interested in and it will tell you if that property is eligible. I can go ahead and tell you the majority of houses in Charlotte will not be eligible. You'll have to find a suburb or a low-income census tract. A benefit of a USDA loan is that it has lower credit requirements, and it offers 100% financing, but there are income limits. and if you find a house in a USDA eligible area, you're going to seriously limit your market for rent and/or resale due to low population. Is there a particular reason you want to get an FHA loan rather than a conventoinal? If you have at least a 620 credit score, you can get a conventional loan for 3% down if you're a first time homebuyer and you plan on living in the property. I say that because most people gravitate to FHA because of the low 3.5% down payment requirement but you can get that with a conventional loan which is a lot of times better because the mortgage insurance goes away on a conventional loan once you have 20% equity whereas FHA loans have mortgage insurance for the life of the loan if you put less than 10% down. FHA loans have lower credit requirements (only need a 580) and have more favorable interest rates with lower credit scores, but if your credit is decent (650 or above) it probably makes more sense to go conventional.
@Louis Luciano be prepared to place strong offers for multi-family properties in Charlotte. There are plenty of investors out there with CASH and that will trump your FHA loan every time (plus most sellers and agents run from FHA loans). The competition is stiff. I've been in the market for awhile in Charlotte looking to grab a good multi-family property...especially a fourplex and it's rough competing with the cash buyers.