At our previous house, the lot was just under 1/4 acre. Subtract the footprint of the house, a LOT of planting beds, the driveway and the sidewalk, and I ended up with a pretty manageable size lawn. For the 8 years we were there, I did the lawn with a standard push mower. No need for a self-propelled, and I was able to finish the whole thing in about 30 minutes if I didn't let it go too long between cuttings. Our new place is 1/2 acre, and has no sidewalk or planting beds to take up space. Just a LOT of grass in need of fertilizer and attention to make it thick and green. My original plan was to just mow it with the push mower, and as money becomes available in the future look for a deal on a used riding mower. Just days away from the first mow of the season, I found myself taking a detour on the way to work due to work being done on a bridge. As luck would have it, somebody had a rider sitting out front for sale. It's a Sabre by John Deere - originally sold by Home Depot in the late '90s. It runs fine and is in good shape, so it now resides in my garage waiting for action. 12 hp and a 38" cutting width. It'll cut almost twice the width of my push mower and will mow at a speed about 50% faster than I would go on foot. By my calculations that should more than cut my mowing time in half leaving me that much more time to work on the house. Yay.
Oh yeah, the rider has headlights so now I can mow at night!