For the first 14-15 years I brewed, I put the fermenter in a large tub of water. I could ice packs to the water to cool it down or an aquarium heater to warm it up. I won a lot of awards for beers brewed with that method, but it is labor intensive. You have to check it a couple times a day for the first 3-4 days. The good news is that after that temp is less of an an issue. A couple years ago I used a book advance to buy a chest freezer and temp controller. Works a lot better and is a lot easier, but a LOT more expensive! I'd suggest you start with the water bath method, then as you see how the hobby goes you could move to a temp controlled freezer if you thought it was worthwhile.
I live in the Midwest, and I've been using Denny's "tub o' cold water" method successfully for some time now. I've found that ambient temps in my basement stay fairly steady, so that I don't need to add ice packs in winter at all, and maybe one or two one-liter frozen water bottles twice a day in the dead of summer. Once you've done it a time or two, you get the rhythm down, and you don't need to monitor constantly. I can maintain ferm temps around 60-62 easily.
As far as racking to secondary goes, I've found that unless you have a specific goal in mind, like a secondary fermentation from added fruit, or the need to rack off a yeast cake to use it in another fermentation, it's just flat unnecessary and may expose your fermenting wort to possible infection or oxidation.