Author Topic: Lawn tractor  (Read 1898 times)

Uturn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 890
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
Lawn tractor
« on: May 14, 2021, 09:02:39 AM »
I am in the process of buying a house on 1 acre and need a mower.  My current mower is a reel mower and I'm just not going to mow an acre with that.
Is 42" sufficient, or should I step up to a 48"? 
Also, what is a lot of hours on a used model?  I see some with around 500 hours, but I don't know if that is low or high.

Civex

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 195
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2021, 09:47:45 AM »
I mow ~1 acre and live on a few acres and 48" is what I use and is plenty-I think the biggest difference between a 42 and 48" will be maneuverability and storage requirements. 42" will be slightly easier for trimming and navigating around trees.

500 hours is a lot-I would expect it to be at the end of its useful life or need a significant overhaul at that point. An acre with a 48" should only take 1-1.5 hours to mow. With snow blowing & mowing I have 50 hours on mine over the last 3 years.

Unless you enjoy working on mowers or maintenance I would try to stay under 100 hours for a reputable brand (JD or Husquavarna.)

uniwelder

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1724
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Appalachian Virginia
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2021, 10:10:20 AM »
You probably don't have to mow all of it.  With a full acre, you likely live in a rural area.  Perhaps you can designate half the property that you just let grow free, see what interesting plants come up, and mow down whatever you don't want to keep at the end of fall.  Repeat annually.  At that rate, a push mower or small rider would be sufficient.

Another interesting option is get sheep--- I hate cutting grass, so that's what we did for several years.  We lived on 3/4 of an acre and 2 lambs were the proper number to keep things in shape.  We'd buy them in the spring (late March) and then slaughter when the grass couldn't keep up with their appetites in the fall (usually end of October).  Three lambs might be the proper number for you.

six-car-habit

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 558
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2021, 10:54:27 AM »
  Echo the previous poster in thinking 1 acre of land, might not need 1 acre of mowing after you minus out the footprint of the house, driveway, deck, existing sheds, thickly treed areas, pool ,flower bed, garden space, etc.

  I mow probably 9/10ths acre with a pushmower, maybe 28" .   It takes about 2 hours weekly, probably get about 5 months off each year, say mid Oct thru mid March.  I'm close to your age - it's good exercise.

 Some friends recently moved out of state, they offered their riding lawnmower to us as they didn't think it worth the hassle / cost to relocate it.  We [ or I ] declined taking it.  Didn't want to have to create space in my garage for it, or build it a shed, to stay out of the rain.  I can tune my own simple mower. If i had a ridermower and then it suffered a mechanical / electrical issue, i'd try to figure it out myself, but if it was beyond my capacity - well i'd have to get/borrow/rent a trailer to bring it to the local mower / farm implement store , and pay them to troubleshoot and fix.

   In the end i wasn't willing to pay for upkeep on their riding mower [ and it was in decent shape] - and incur added cost / displacement of other stuff - in my current shed+ garage , to get it under a roof.

 If you have lots of covered barn space, a trailer, some extra $$ for when the tractor store guy wants $75 / hr to troubleshoot a nonrunning/ noncutting issue + dont like spending time outside doing mild exercise in the sun, maybe a riding mower is in your future.

Fishindude

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3075
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2021, 10:56:42 AM »
Get a good zero turn mower and it will cut your mowing and trimming time in half, 42-48" should be fine.
Spend the $$ and get a good one, your mower is a pretty heavily used item.   Wore out used ones or cheap ones will be broken down and have you PO'd in short order, while a good one will last for many years trouble free.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 11:00:22 AM by Fishindude »

Uturn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 890
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2021, 11:03:45 AM »
I thought about a zero turn, but I will also use the tractor to move a trailer and I hear zero turn is not good for that.  Also, the ditch out front is a bit steep for zero turn.

I will stop looking at high hour used.

uniwelder

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1724
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Appalachian Virginia
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2021, 11:29:46 AM »
The whole zero-turn mower thing is analogous to the anti-mustachian clown car.  Unless you're a professional landscaper, they don't have any legitimate place in a residential setting. 

Uturn--- I think its important to ask yourself why you're buying a house with 1 acre of grass.  No one should ever have to mow more than is necessary with a push mower.

edited to add---- Here's a great article for motivation  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 11:35:36 AM by uniwelder »

WSUCoug1994

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 537
  • Location: Bay Area, California
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2021, 12:30:06 PM »
My L100 is a perfect little machine - 42" is enough and maneuverable but 48" means less passes.  500 hours is nothing.  These four-stroke motors - if the oil is changed regularly - should easily make it well beyond 2000 hours.  Your deck will wear out before the motor will. 

Paper Chaser

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1874
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2021, 08:37:00 PM »
The whole zero-turn mower thing is analogous to the anti-mustachian clown car.  Unless you're a professional landscaper, they don't have any legitimate place in a residential setting. 

Uturn--- I think its important to ask yourself why you're buying a house with 1 acre of grass.  No one should ever have to mow more than is necessary with a push mower.

edited to add---- Here's a great article for motivation  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/

My Zero turn buys me more time, just like my investments do. A used commercial zero turn mower will have better components than a new tractor from a box store. It's common to get 2000hrs or more out of them, and most of the components can be serviced/rebuilt rather than simply thrown away every few hundred hrs. I tow things up to about 500lbs with mine. I could use it to push snow if I wanted to. Buying a used, quality machine is always better than buying new disposable crap.

Morning Glory

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4889
  • Location: The Garden Path
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2021, 08:46:17 PM »
The whole zero-turn mower thing is analogous to the anti-mustachian clown car.  Unless you're a professional landscaper, they don't have any legitimate place in a residential setting. 

Uturn--- I think its important to ask yourself why you're buying a house with 1 acre of grass.  No one should ever have to mow more than is necessary with a push mower.

edited to add---- Here's a great article for motivation  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/

My Zero turn buys me more time, just like my investments do. A used commercial zero turn mower will have better components than a new tractor from a box store. It's common to get 2000hrs or more out of them, and most of the components can be serviced/rebuilt rather than simply thrown away every few hundred hrs. I tow things up to about 500lbs with mine. I could use it to push snow if I wanted to. Buying a used, quality machine is always better than buying new disposable crap.

We have a commercial zero turn too but my husband mows about three acres and there are over 100 trees and other obstacles. He also knows how to turn a wrench. It was 30 years old when we bought it, still going strong. We will be selling it soon...

uniwelder

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1724
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Appalachian Virginia
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2021, 09:07:17 PM »
The whole zero-turn mower thing is analogous to the anti-mustachian clown car.  Unless you're a professional landscaper, they don't have any legitimate place in a residential setting. 

Uturn--- I think its important to ask yourself why you're buying a house with 1 acre of grass.  No one should ever have to mow more than is necessary with a push mower.

edited to add---- Here's a great article for motivation  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/

My Zero turn buys me more time, just like my investments do. A used commercial zero turn mower will have better components than a new tractor from a box store. It's common to get 2000hrs or more out of them, and most of the components can be serviced/rebuilt rather than simply thrown away every few hundred hrs. I tow things up to about 500lbs with mine. I could use it to push snow if I wanted to. Buying a used, quality machine is always better than buying new disposable crap.

I don't think anything you mentioned actually applied to my comment, so not sure why you quoted me.  You certainly have every right to spend whatever money you like on fancy toys and justify it.  Its simply not mustachian (and here we are on the MMM forums) and few reasons one's lawn should be so big as to need such a machine.  Tongue in cheek-- I can also move 500 lbs with my wheelbarrow and am capable of pushing snow when I want to.

sonofsven

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2056
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2021, 05:13:44 AM »
A 42" should be sufficient. Zero turns are nice but more expensive.
Caring for a larger property necessarily means a bigger investment in equipment.
It's mowing season now so good deals will be in short supply. I generally buy cheap ones because I don't mind tinkering with and maintaining them, YMMV.
Also, in my experience it's not the engines that fail, it's everything else. Learn how to remove and maintain the deck and it will last a long time.

Paper Chaser

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1874
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2021, 05:35:31 AM »
The whole zero-turn mower thing is analogous to the anti-mustachian clown car.  Unless you're a professional landscaper, they don't have any legitimate place in a residential setting. 

Uturn--- I think its important to ask yourself why you're buying a house with 1 acre of grass.  No one should ever have to mow more than is necessary with a push mower.

edited to add---- Here's a great article for motivation  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/05/muscle-over-motor/

My Zero turn buys me more time, just like my investments do. A used commercial zero turn mower will have better components than a new tractor from a box store. It's common to get 2000hrs or more out of them, and most of the components can be serviced/rebuilt rather than simply thrown away every few hundred hrs. I tow things up to about 500lbs with mine. I could use it to push snow if I wanted to. Buying a used, quality machine is always better than buying new disposable crap.

I don't think anything you mentioned actually applied to my comment, so not sure why you quoted me.  You certainly have every right to spend whatever money you like on fancy toys and justify it.  Its simply not mustachian (and here we are on the MMM forums) and few reasons one's lawn should be so big as to need such a machine.  Tongue in cheek-- I can also move 500 lbs with my wheelbarrow and am capable of pushing snow when I want to.

I'm just saying that one of the biggest concepts supporting mustachianism is that you can essentially buy yourself more free time (early retirement) by spending more of your money now on investments. Investing in proper equipment with a long life that can be DIY maintained and repaired rather than junked is another pretty key component of the MMM ethos. The right ZTR fits both of those categories. It's not an extra toy, it's an investment in a machine that does work in a timely fashion, freeing me up to do whatever I want.
Let's say a used commercial ZTR is $3k with 500hrs on it. It saves the owner 1 hr with each use vs a push mower, and the owner mows an average of once every 6 days for 8 months of the year. That $3k investment in the right equipment just bought the owner 40hrs of freedom each year for the remaining 1500 hrs of life in that mower (several years). You're talking about a few hundred hours of freedom. It's not a splurge on a toy like a fun car, or an ATV, or a boat, or a horse, or any other recreational purchase that many posters here elect to do. Buying time saving equipment is an investment in buying yourself more time which I consider to be a reasonably Mustachian concept.

uniwelder

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1724
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Appalachian Virginia
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2021, 11:35:05 AM »

I'm just saying that one of the biggest concepts supporting mustachianism is that you can essentially buy yourself more free time (early retirement) by spending more of your money now on investments.....
 Buying time saving equipment is an investment in buying yourself more time which I consider to be a reasonably Mustachian concept.

I understand what you're saying.  My personal gripe is that lawns shouldn't be so big that a ZTR mower saves enough time to justify their purchase versus the benefits of using a push mower.  I'm just repeating myself at this point-- agree to disagree I suppose.

reverend

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2021, 11:43:00 AM »
I am in the process of buying a house on 1 acre and need a mower.  My current mower is a reel mower and I'm just not going to mow an acre with that.
Is 42" sufficient, or should I step up to a 48"? 
Also, what is a lot of hours on a used model?  I see some with around 500 hours, but I don't know if that is low or high.

Unless you have a LOT of trees and shrubs to go around and tight spots, get the widest one you can get so you can spend less time running lines out there with it.

500 hours is nothing if it's maintained (are lawn implements ever properly maintained?) well.  If it takes ~1 hour to mow an acre (depending on obstacles, speed of mower and width of deck) so you can extrapolate how long that takes based on how many acres and how frequently they'd need to be mowed.

They're simple machines.  Oil change. Blade sharpening. Bolt tightening.  If there's a crack or two, a quick weld will sort that.

Get something used with 48" or more, get a feel for it, and if you feel you need improvements, then look for a specific model that has what you need.

norajean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 602
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2021, 01:15:06 PM »
We have an electric zero turn with a 42” deck.it is fast, powerful, clean, reliable and quiet. It mows better than the commercial yard guy on a zero turn gas Toro.

Fishindude

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3075
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2021, 01:16:07 PM »
Not really interested in debating what someone thinks is the right amount of grass to cut, but you are going to look like a turd if you move into an area of one acres mowed lawns and all of the sudden yours turns into a weed patch.   You need to keep the place looking nice and that requires some mowing.   

You could be looking at mowing grass 20-30 times annually, so you need a good reliable piece of equipment and you may as well own something that does the job efficiently.  A zero turn is definitely the way to go.   You can also still pull a little trailer with many of them if you'd like, or just use a wheelbarrow.   Garden tractors require too much backing up and making multiple passes to get at small areas a zero turn can simply walk right around.   Guarantee a zero turn will cut mowing time by at least one third, maybe half.   It will also minimize any weed eater work you need to do.

RetiredAt63

  • CMTO 2023 Attendees
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *
  • Posts: 20811
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2021, 07:12:52 AM »
Re how much lawn, a house on an acre sounds rural.  It probably has its own septic system (no town sewage hookup) so a good chunk of that lawn will be leach field. Some more lawn will be over the pipe between the well and the house.   You don't want tree roots infiltrating.  Plus weeds = ticks around here.

My sturdy but old lawn tractor did not have an oil pump, so slopes could not be cut sideways, I had to go up and down.  I never realized a lawn tractor could come without an oil pump. 

Don't assume a lawn tractor can clear snow, not all are big enough.  Think of it as a snow plow/snow blower first and a lawn tractor second,  and shop accordingly.

Uturn

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 890
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2021, 10:35:14 AM »
The house is just outside of Raleigh NC, so I'm not worried about snow.  If it snows, I just don't go outside until tomorrow when it melts.
I would really like a zero turn, but my wallet keeps screaming the tractor is much cheaper.  I still have a few weeks to decide.

The area is not fancy estates with manicured lawns, just whatever grows naturally but mowed, some bushes near the house.  I know all I NEED is a weather tight place to eat and sleep.  But let's face it, that is not how I live my life.  I like to cook and have a nice kitchen.  I live alone, so I like to watch TV while I am in the kitchen. So I wanted an open concept kitchen and living room.  I also woodwork, mostly building furniture and such. So I needed a place with either a 2 car garage or basement. I also really miss having a vegetable garden and canning/preserving the surplus.  Around here, if you want the nice kitchen and big garage, you are looking at 2500 sqft and up if you want to stay in town.  Also, some of the HOA covenants prohibit gardens.  Places with basements usually have a very steep yard or so many trees they are unusable.  For these reasons, I started looking more rural. My woodworking is hand tools and I like to use air dried lumber instead of kiln dried.  I now will have a place to let that lumber dry.  To round out my decision to buy this place, it is less than 2000 sqft, has a huge pantry, and all in it will be around $450/mo less than my current rent. 

RetiredAt63

  • CMTO 2023 Attendees
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *
  • Posts: 20811
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2021, 05:52:17 PM »
The house and situation sound great.  I know those lawns, my lawn had lots of species diversity (I.e. weeds).  Weeds are good, they stay green longer than grass does during a dry spell.

If you don't need to worry about snow, get a tractor with a good mowing width.  I spent too much time cutting grass instead of gardening.  But also consider how maneuverable it will be towing a loaded trailer in the tightest area of your lawn.

Morning Glory

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4889
  • Location: The Garden Path
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2021, 12:09:47 AM »
Ok I have more info here:
Our little lawn tractor is a John Deere 300 from the 1970s. It has 1422 hours and still going strong.

Snapper ZTR from 80's or 90's has 922 hrs. Still works fine. Has 62" deck. No issues, except it needs a trickle charger because mower batteries suck.
Ztr cuts mowing time in half if you have a lot of obstacles or trees. If you have a big empty field then get the biggest one you can for the price.

Previously we had a Jacobson commercial ztr with 60" deck that had 1800 hrs but we replaced the motor and eventually the spindle bearings went out and we gave up because it was hard to find parts. It was from the 1970s also. Husband and a friend made parts to keep it going a while.

Please run a couple tanks of non oxy fuel before storing for the winter. Older ones are built better and can have regular fuel the rest of the time.

For 1 acre with not too many trees, husband would go with tractor with 48" deck. He says maintenance is cheaper.

I'm selling the  JD tractor and Snapper ZTR soon, please pm me if interested ;)

fixie

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2021, 10:32:00 AM »
I live on 50 acres and mow ~1.5 - 2 yard acres in 3.5 hours with a JD S240 with a 42"cut.  Neighbor's cows mow about 19 acres of pasture and I get $$ for that.  Nature maintains the rest in forest.  Buy some good hearing protection, noise cancelling headphones and cue up some good tunes or audiobooks.
If aesthetics are not an issue, consider a towed roller-crimper, which is better for critters, cheaper than mowing, and much quieter.  Mow maybe twice a year instead of every 7 days during the active growing season.

:)
-fixie

ChpBstrd

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6752
  • Location: A poor and backward Southern state known as minimum wage country
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2021, 08:47:27 AM »
Not really interested in debating what someone thinks is the right amount of grass to cut, but you are going to look like a turd if you move into an area of one acres mowed lawns and all of the sudden yours turns into a weed patch.   You need to keep the place looking nice and that requires some mowing.   

You could be looking at mowing grass 20-30 times annually, so you need a good reliable piece of equipment and you may as well own something that does the job efficiently.  A zero turn is definitely the way to go.   You can also still pull a little trailer with many of them if you'd like, or just use a wheelbarrow.   Garden tractors require too much backing up and making multiple passes to get at small areas a zero turn can simply walk right around.   Guarantee a zero turn will cut mowing time by at least one third, maybe half.   It will also minimize any weed eater work you need to do.

The OP signed themselves up to do a crap ton of lawn work when they bought the one acre lawn. A significant portion of their life will now revolve around fighting against grass, wrenching on the equipment required to fight the grass, or earning the thousands of dollars the equipment costs to buy and maintain. Risks of not fighting the grass include social ostracism from other people who themselves signed up to fight grass, because the OP moved to a place where people go to fight grass.

A proposed solution to the problem of spending considerable amounts of one’s finite lifespan doing something as useless as fighting grass is to buy fancier equipment. This exchanges the extra time required to earn savings to buy equipment for less time spent mowing. Another such solution might be to pay a lawn service a few hundred dollars per month, which exchanges lots of time spent earning savings for lots of time freed up from mowing.

Depending on one’s rate of pay - the amount of time required to earn the savings - one of these solutions might be optimal. There may be sub-optimal solutions such as paying a fortune for vintage or worn-out equipment, but there is no free lunch. This grass-fighting behavior is going to cost the OP a massive amount of time, whether it is spent earning after-tax, after-all-expenses savings or struggling with cheap equipment. The OP is trapped in this regard.

Isn’t it funny how people will desperately try to avoid buying a car that needs 12 hours worth of repairs, but they’ll pay extra for properties that require an hour or two per week of lawn maintenance forever.

My advice (other than sell)? Plant pine trees and at least have a light at the end of the tunnel in 15-20 years.


Morning Glory

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4889
  • Location: The Garden Path
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2021, 11:05:24 AM »
An acre is not huge, depending on how much of it is house, garden, driveway, outbuildings. How about a nice self-propelled walk behind mower. I've seen some commercial ones that are quite large.

Some people don't mind cutting the grass. My husband wanted to live in the country. My one condition was that he would deal with the grass and the snow. He accepted that because he really wanted to be in the country.

six-car-habit

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 558
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2021, 11:07:54 AM »
  Where i grew up - there was a popular bumper sticker - this is when hitchhiking was more popular than currently - and it said --

   " Gas , Grass , or Ass, No-one Rides Free " 

   Having a lawn, and trimming/weeding it yourself, will affect the owners gas + ass , to control the grass.

katsiki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2015
  • Age: 43
  • Location: La.
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2021, 03:03:44 PM »
42 should be fine but get 48 if the price increase makes sense for you.  I would not bother with a zero turn.

sonofsven

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2056
Re: Lawn tractor
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2021, 08:06:51 PM »
Not really interested in debating what someone thinks is the right amount of grass to cut, but you are going to look like a turd if you move into an area of one acres mowed lawns and all of the sudden yours turns into a weed patch.   You need to keep the place looking nice and that requires some mowing.   

You could be looking at mowing grass 20-30 times annually, so you need a good reliable piece of equipment and you may as well own something that does the job efficiently.  A zero turn is definitely the way to go.   You can also still pull a little trailer with many of them if you'd like, or just use a wheelbarrow.   Garden tractors require too much backing up and making multiple passes to get at small areas a zero turn can simply walk right around.   Guarantee a zero turn will cut mowing time by at least one third, maybe half.   It will also minimize any weed eater work you need to do.

The OP signed themselves up to do a crap ton of lawn work when they bought the one acre lawn. A significant portion of their life will now revolve around fighting against grass, wrenching on the equipment required to fight the grass, or earning the thousands of dollars the equipment costs to buy and maintain. Risks of not fighting the grass include social ostracism from other people who themselves signed up to fight grass, because the OP moved to a place where people go to fight grass.

A proposed solution to the problem of spending considerable amounts of one’s finite lifespan doing something as useless as fighting grass is to buy fancier equipment. This exchanges the extra time required to earn savings to buy equipment for less time spent mowing. Another such solution might be to pay a lawn service a few hundred dollars per month, which exchanges lots of time spent earning savings for lots of time freed up from mowing.

Depending on one’s rate of pay - the amount of time required to earn the savings - one of these solutions might be optimal. There may be sub-optimal solutions such as paying a fortune for vintage or worn-out equipment, but there is no free lunch. This grass-fighting behavior is going to cost the OP a massive amount of time, whether it is spent earning after-tax, after-all-expenses savings or struggling with cheap equipment. The OP is trapped in this regard.

Isn’t it funny how people will desperately try to avoid buying a car that needs 12 hours worth of repairs, but they’ll pay extra for properties that require an hour or two per week of lawn maintenance forever.

My advice (other than sell)? Plant pine trees and at least have a light at the end of the tunnel in 15-20 years.

Ha! You aren't wrong, but some of us like it.