"1) Should I buy an Exmark Metro 32" or 36" or spend a little extra for a Turf Tracer 36" or 48"? (Keep in mind that i'll be buying used for now either way.) Their aren't that many gates around my area. And when we get a good rain, the ground usually stays wet for a day or two after it stops. And we have a few good size hills in my neighborhood."
Larger always better, gates and tight spots have to be considered.
20" push for the tight areas, 42-48" for the open areas. Avoid buying on credit.
"2) What kind of handheld Equipment should I get? a backpack blower, push, or a hand-held one?"
Money? A good hand held you will get by. Back pack better.
"3) What are some extra basic services that you offer to your lawn maintenance customers? Leaf removal, etc. anything... Also, what do you charge for those services?"
Edge, mom, blow. Clean ups, fert, beds, hedge trimming, tree pruning.
"4) What for you has worked the best to advertise on a budget? I'm thinking of getting a couple of shirts made. Having some kind of refer-a-friend special on the back of my business cards. But in your case, what works best for you?"
Flyers. Offering a free cut for a referral has not gotten any new business for me.