Hello and welcome to this site Heather! I really do not know what to tell a rural person that is trying to invest in an area that is not fully developed. I was born and grown up in Dallas, Texas and still live just outside of Dallas and I'm currently 61 years old but I will attempt to give you an answer. I would recommend apartment units over single family rental units for many reasons with a few exceptions like a FHA insured loan that has a 31/2% down payment but requires owner for about 12 months to live there.
You might consider making your investment(s) into a proven Turnkey company that does everything including property management and gives you a decent return every month on your investment. These people usually buy SFR. If there are apartments within a one hour driving time you may be able to do that depending on your goals and plans. One good thing about apartments is having multiple units at one address.
You would start off with small complexes and work your way up. Since you gave no location statements or your budget situation makes answers difficult. If you are short on funds there's always a Partnership that can help you accomplish your actions. There is not too much competition on apartments either, not as much as there is on SFH's. If you find an apartment complex it needs to start off with a positive cash flow.
If you need any further assistance you can let me know through this Website because I'm usually on it everyday. Just so you know, I have about 30 years of construction management experience and having a real estate broker license for about 30 years too.
Good luck to you!
@Heather Rodden I actually was first looking at SFH and then I saw how much cash flow a multi family can potentially bring in. So unless I find a BRRR SFH for cheap, I am going to be sticking to multi family homes for right now.