In our area you have two options either a heat pump which handles both heating and cooling and is all electric and only heats well when temperatures are at 40 degrees or above, lower than than and electric elements in the vents come on and drive up your utility bills. These units are best used on smaller homes. The other option is a central AC (electric) coupled with Gas Forced Hot air furnace, these systems cost more to install as there are two components rather than one. They are more efficient and most people feel they make their homes more comfortable.
The average lifespan for any of theses HVAC systems is 10-12 years though some last longer and others less long. Repairs costs are more or less the same. Bear in mind we use AC much more than we use Heat here in the Raleigh/Durham area.
In a rural area not served by natural gas (lines), you could find yourself stuck with the propane company that furnishes the bottle. They may refill when its convenient for them. I recommend to Buyers that, when possible, they purchase their own in-ground tank. This allows them to have it refilled by a vendor of their choosing (and during the non-peak season when its less expensive).
I find that renters are dubious about gas. They don't want a second bill, even though (and I agree), gas heat seems warmer. On the other hand, if the hot water heater also is gas, they're stuck.
So, there's no 'one size fits all'.
Some areas natural gas is just not an optiin as there are no gas lines to a home. Many homes in rual arras have Liquid propane (those big tanks on the side of a home) to heat the.home.