I am moving to the DC area and I am in the market for my first plane so that I can visit family in the midwest more easily, and I am looking for some advice on plane selection based on cost of ownership and performance. Mission My typical mission will be from the DC area (KVKX) to SE Iowa (KBRL), which is about 680 nm. I would probably fly this trip 4 times a year, and the rest of my flying would be short vacations and golf trips round the area (< 300 nm). Annual flight time of about 100 hrs, and plane needs to be IFR capable. I really only need two seats for my wife and me and sufficient baggage for a weekend carry-on suitcase and/or golf clubs. Experience I have just under 180 hours with a PPL, no high-performance/complex time yet and I am wrapping up my instrument rating. I have mostly flown C172s, C150s, and Piper Cherokees (140 & 180). Budget I am looking to spend around $150k for the plane, and would like to keep annual cost of ownership down to <$16k. So I am trying to optimize cost of flight hour to total time enroute. I am considering M20J or M20K 262 since they seem to fit my mission and budget the best, but I am unsure about insurance costs since I have no HP/complex time and annual inspection costs with the added complexity of the airframe. Cessna 172 and Piper 180 would give me good operating costs but would add 2-3 hrs compared to the Mooney (I could live with this but it's nice to fly fast). Cirrus SR20 fits well but they are always so expensive upfront and I have read that the maintenance costs can be high due to the parachute which seems to remove the benefits of having a non-complex aircraft. Piper Comanche and Beechcraft Debonair/Sierra/Sundowner seem reasonable with their fuel consumption vs cruise speed. But their speed isn't that much better than the Archer 180 compared to the added maintenance costs. Not really considering the C182 or Cherokee Six because you don't seem to get that much better of performance compared to the fuel consumption. Okay so this is a long list, but ultimately I am conflicted between swallowing some extra ownership costs for better performance, with remaining in my comfort zone but taking longer to get there. Any advice is welcomed. A couple of questions: I feel like I should be considering de-ice systems since I will be flying in cold weather areas, does anyone have estimates on added costs for maintaining and/or for installing it in approved airframes? How bad is the insurance for HP/complex planes when you are first starting out? What is the cost difference for annual inspections of a fixed gear vs complex plane (just order of magnitude: $100s, $1000s difference?) Would it be better to consider a newer plane to reduce maintenance costs; how common are surprise issues on older planes, provided the plane had a solid prebuy inspection? Is it work buying a "project" plane and having an A&P refurbish it?