David, one thing of note that i'd like to add...
Keep an eye on the blades edge, you will probably need to sharpen it 2 times a season (middle and end). I sharpen mine with an angle grinder. It only takes a few minutes, and makes a world of difference. I use an impact to get the lock nut off.
This is one of the maintenance items that often gets over looked.
Also, change the oil once a season. The oil doesn't cost much, and if you do it every season you'll be good to go. Also, air filter once a season/as required.
These are the maintenance intervals i follow anyhow. Granted a mower isn't a "huge" investment.. But spending 20$ a year on keeping a machine running is well worth the money in my opinion.