Thanks for your contribution to the discussion Steve.
Fair criticism and solid points.
Certainly, you can cut into the maintenance costs by doing some (or most) of the work yourself. That also has a cost though of a lot of time and effort.
I own a detached house and I think the thing I underestimated the most before becoming a homeowner was all of the time it takes to maintain a home.
Not only with the repairs of the home, but the maintenance of the property (shoveling, raking, mowing the lawn, gardening etc...)
These are activities I do to save money, but if I am frank I really don't enjoy doing any of them. As my life continues to get busier (work, parenting etc..) I find I resent these tasks more and more.
So, everything has an opportunity cost. Your either paying in time or money.
Thanks again for commenting.