Save Some Simoleons When Building Smaller Houses
We all like saving money, don't we? Especially when it comes to designing our own stuff. There's many Sims 3 lot creators out there who like to make micro lots (lots that are 10x10), starter houses, or, like houses I enjoy creating, dingy homes to be renovated.
But sometimes it's hard to achieve that goal of staying within budget or within a specific price range. Out of the few lots I've made, I have figured out a few tricks to easily reduce the price of that lot that you're working on significantly.
The obvious first thing is to use the lowest priced objects in that category. I know that chrome finish on the 'Icebox Drawer' fridge looks cool, but you can get the same look by buying the 'Chillgood Fridge' and using the chrome pattern under the metals category in Create a Style (CAS), and for §825 less! Remember, CAS is your friend, don't let all those different color channels put you down!
Smaller is sometimes better. When it comes to making small or low-budget lots, you don't want to 'accidentally' make it into a mansion by making each room the size of a car space. Save some squares and only build to the bare minimums. A master bedroom (having a two-sim bed) only has to be a 4x4 room to be fully accessable. A full bath with a tub, a toilet, and a sink in it, only needs to be a 4x2 room, and those three objects can be arranged a couple different ways with access to all of them. Or how about a kitchen? All you need is a fridge, stove, sink, and an open space of countertop. There's tons of ways to save space! If you really want to squish a living room down, just use the 'moveobjects on' cheat and hold down the 'alt' key to drag, say, a table only inches away from a sofa.
Level Skip Marker
This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT if you want to really save some moolah while building and buying. I'm going to have you do something for me, in the game, after pressing 'ctrl+shift+c', type in 'testingcheatsenabled true', and then 'ctrl+shift+c' again and type in 'buydebug on'. Now if you go to buy mode and click the 'Sort By Function' button there should be a little question mark floating above all the functions. This is the debug menu, and in its 'Misc. Objects' category, scrolling down a bit, you'll happen upon a shiny little floating ball with the label 'Level Skip Marker' when hovering over it's thumbnail. Go ahead and click on it, and place it just above the highest accessible floor/just below the floor when the roof shows. Got a pool out back? (As long as you don't have an accessible basement level) go all the way down so you just see the pool, and place another Level Skip Marker in it. Your sims can still swim in it but it doesn't cost a thing! I was building a house that costed over §31,000, after placing a couple Level Skip Markers, it was down to just about §12,000; and that was furnished! Unfurnished, it was down to only §2,000, a §19,000 difference! Not only does this little guy save you money, it hides the levels you don't want to see, making it easier to view and play the house. The Level Skip Marker is by far the greatest tool in the game to reduce the price of a lot. But there is one more thing that you can do after you're all finished building...
If you're planning on sharing you beautiful creation with others on MTS, or your blog, or simblr, or whatever website you choose to upload to, to further lower the price of the lot to the absolute cheapest it can possibly get, live in it! In Sims 3, every lot suffers (or in our case, gains!) from lot depreciation, meaning as soon as you click out of build/buy mode, every object you just placed starts decreasing in value. Depreciation in the game carries out through 4 days; everyday the object's value decreases by 10%, meaning it bottoms out at 40%. So whatever the price was when you bought an object, four days later it'll be worth 60% of that. The only things that are not affected by depreciation are fish, harvestables, walls (uncolored), floors (uncolored), fences, and doors. This makes doing the math really easy for us to figure out what the final price of the lot will be.