residental ZTR or high end garden tractor?
I have a max $4k budget to purchase a rider to mow just under 1 acre currently. However, my family has a habit for upgrading properties often and a dream to eventually have more acreage (though I would hope to never mow more than 1,2 acres tops). I would like to get a machine that errs on the side of more than what I need at the moment to avoid upgrading in the future. Our current property isn't what I would consider hilly, though isn't absolutely flat either and there are a decent amount of beds/obstacles to mow around. i currently accomplish this with a home depot sort of walk behind and it takes me 3+ hrs to get done.
So my question is, ZTR's are obviously king, but I get the impression that statement is more often spoken with commercial ZTRs in mind opposed to their smaller cousins. knowing my budget won't allow getting into a commercial category, I'm wondering are upper end residential ZTRs still worthwhile over similar components in a tractor form factor... am I buying into the ZTR hype? since I'm only mowing 1 lawn at a pretty modest size, speed wise, either is a win over my current setup. And I know my current situation is not hilly enough to be that worried too much about traction with even the weakest/lightest ZTR. A ZTR would give me the best maneuverability and fastest mowing times with the least amount of trimming. But a garden tractor would give me a smoother ride?, more traction, utility (options that interest me are towing a small yard trailer, plugging/aerating, or possibly snow plowing) and probably more versatility with the unknown properties to come (such as if it was significantly more hilly/wooded).
Currently, I'm considering a Toro MX5060 ZTR and contrasting that against something like a Husky GT52XLS tractor. I think I'm leaning more towards the Toro MX5060 but I'm a guy who usually prefers versatility over speed and i'm having a hard time telling myself to let go even though I do think the ZTR is probably the way to go here.
What to you think? does that mantra of "go ZTR and you'll never go back" still hold up generally speaking in the residential/homeowner category? or does it a specific lawn to use a residential ZTR as effective as the big boy commercial guys do? And therefor, is the traditional garden tractor form factor better if you can't spring for the heavier and more powerful commercial ZTRs?