Curious why u do not want to owner occupy? Lower interest rates / lower down payment requirements are just 2 advantages of occupying prop. When you do down payment requirements are only 3.5-5% allowing you to purchase quicker and often as you repeat the cycle. 21k should be ample depending on your avg price point and your objectives.
Rental property will likely require 20% down, you also need cash to cover closing costs. You will be looking for something under 100K purchase price.
@Colin Lysik I want to recommend a house hack for lower down payment. Why do you not want to live in it?
I don't want to occupy mainly because I am content where I am living currently and don't want to move out of New York City. Is it possible to occupy a unit for one month, move out, and still benefit from the 3.5-5% down payment? Is there a specific time period I must remain as a tenant?
Usually it’s 1 year minimum
House Hacking almost always requires you to live in each property for a year. It is one of the most cost efficient methods as well and low startup cost. If you don't want to move you may have to wait till you build up enough equity to use the BRRRR tactic.