Have a time frame in mind when you buy a home, and let it guide your purchase. If you plan to start (or expand) a family in the near future, a studio is not a good idea. If you want a home in which you can age in place, or want to preserve that option, consider a ranch-style dwelling on one level, rather than a multilevel dwelling with stairs.
If you don’t have a soil moisture probe, some simple guidelines can help you decide when to water. Water when grass changes from a green to a grayish blue color, when grass leaves begin to roll, when the grass stays down after being walked on, or when you can’t easily push a screwdriver down into the soil a half foot or so. Apply 1/4 in. of water and then check to see if the soil is wet down to 6 in. If it isn’t, make another application just so the soil is moist, but not wet or sticky.