Hooray for planning and research!
Your substrate will depend on your critters, and your plants will depend on your lighting.
Grab an API master test kit and some Seachem Prime. They are close to necessary.
If you want low maintenance, test your tap water pH and hardness. You will want to find fish that will thrive in that environment.
Community tanks are wonderful. There are many different ways to approach them, so think about what your ideal population would look like. Active? Colorful? Sparkling? Peaceful? Most fish (correct me if I'm wrong) prefer live plants, so that's a positive.
Some low to moderate light plants that are easy to care for include wisteria, anubias, java fern, and hornwort.
Welcome to the community and hobby!