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 Apartment Life Apartment Living

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Skye
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PostSubject: Apartment Life Apartment Living   Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:46 pm

The Sims 2: Apartment Life Apartment Living

http://au.guides.ign.com/guides/14258472/page_4.html

With the addition of apartments into the Sim universe, it would be silly not to live in them! Apartments bring a new way to live your virtual life while surrounded by neighbors and friends. They also bring different stressors than home living, making some aspects easier and other parts more difficult.
A Limited Environment
The biggest drawback of living in an apartment is the fact that your Sim will be able to change very few objects around the lot. Only the space within the apartment unit's walls can be altered with objects; other units and common areas are off-limits. Further, absolutely NO changes can be made to wall design, roofs, and other building aspects. You have to work with what you've got.

Inside your unit, you are only limited to your budget. The landlord doesn't care if you put all the bathroom stuff in the room intended to be the living room, or if you replace all the counters with cheaper versions. It will probably be clear what rooms are intended for, but as always you are free to ignore conventions.

That said, note that all apartments are fully furnished initially, but this is for the benefit of your AI-controlled neighbors. When you move a Sim into a unit, most of its objects will disappear. Any bathroom-related object, kitchen counters, the fridge and oven, and all hanging and wall lights will stay put. Everything else, however, will poof away.

The Landlord

Speaking of the landlord, he'll greet you when you first come to the lot. You'll have as much time as you desire picking a unit, and after you do so, the landlord will lay down a few rules and regulations.

First, you are pretty much free to do whatever you want in your unit. If you're crazy enough to try cramming in eight Sims in a one-bedroom apartment, so be it. All apartment units allow pets, magical or otherwise, so no fears there. You can have houseguests over or throw parties, whatever you want to do.

The landlord will get antsy if too many of your neighbors complain about noise, however. The walls in apartments, despite looking the same, are thinner than houses. Most loud actionsómusic, television, basically anything that would wake up a Sim in the same roomócan be heard through the walls. No one has a problem with the noise within the same unit, but your neighbors might complain if they're trying to sleep while you're rocking out on the bass. If the neighbors complain enough, the landlord may raise the rent on you.

The landlord isn't there just to bring down the hammer, though. He cares for the common areas, cleaning up as necessary and watering plants. Also, if anything breaks down in the apartment, you can call him up to come over and fix it. (I wish in reality I could call up my landlord to unclog my toilet after Fajita Night!) This will, of course, save you the cash it normally takes to bother a repairman.

Your landlord may also be your friend, like all other NPCs. In fact, if you befriend him enough, he might like you so much that he'll lower your rent! He'll only drop it about 10%, which doesn't sound like much, but it can certainly make a decent savings in the long run. Being his enemy or upsetting the lot may cause him to raise your rent, so try to keep the peace, else you'll literally pay for it.

Unfortunately, no player-controlled Sim can be a landlord. Even if you have Open For Business installed, no Sim can own an apartment complex.
Paying Rent, Dealing with the Mailbox

You'll notice I'm sure that the mailbox changes slightly for apartment lots. While it theoretically operates as a standard mailbox, it tends to have a couple glitches associated with it. (At least, it does as of September 16, as EA has not yet issued a patch for the game.) The mailbox is graphically divided into nine small boxes. No matter who you're playing as, your mailbox is the one in the center. If you have mail, rather than the raised red flag, the center of your mailbox will have a little green square lit up.

Now, here's the thing... unless you're getting bills out of your mailbox, ordering your Sim to "Get Mail" usually results in a bug. You'll see the mailbox turn into the standard residential one for a split-second, and your Sim will be thrown into the street. After a moment, the mailbox turns back to the apartment one and your Sim is placed back where he was... but he still doesn't pull the mail out.

Luckily, this bug doesn't affect the bills, because you still have to get those every Tuesday and Thursday as usual. However, it's a crapshoot whether you'll be able to get out coupons or love notes, and usually you'll fail because of the bug. In the grand scheme of Sims life, this isn't a big issue, but it's one you need to know.

Speaking of bills, those bills of yours do not include your weekly rent. Actually, your Tuesday and Thursday bills will be significantly lower than they would be if you owned the lot. However, the landlord gets a sizable cut of your paycheck every Monday, which you must pay via the mailbox. On Mondays, simply click the mailbox, and choose "Pay Rent." The game will display how much you have to cough up, and the money is withdrawn from your account immediately as usual.

If you fail to pay the rent, the landlord will come knocking and demand it. As with everything else in the game, you have a few days of leniency, but you better get it to him as quickly as possible. If you wait too long, the repo man be damned: you'll be evicted from the apartment and ejected to the families bin.
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PostSubject: Re: Apartment Life Apartment Living   Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:48 pm

Getting a Roommate

The burden of bills might be too great for your Sim to bear. Large apartments can run to $5000 per week or more! Even a small apartment, like the one we made for your downloading pleasure (in the Apartment Building section) is a hair over $1000 per week. Luckily, you can take up to one roommate to help with bills, and there are a couple ways to go about doing it.

First, the old-fashioned way: you can use a computer or the newspaper to put in an ad. You'll get a list of candidates, which lists their personalities and job skills. Now, this screen is important, as you'll want to pick someone compatible with your own Sim; we'll explain why in a second. If no one seems to fit the bill, you can just cancel it and try again in a day or two to get a new list.

Alternatively, you can get a roommate if you know another Sim closely. You can use the "Propose..." command like for marriage, but for becoming a roommate. Regardless of the method, having a roommate puts the Sim in your apartment unit immediately.

Now, your roommate is out of your control. You can use Influence commands as per usual, but otherwise she is completely unable to be controlled. She'll automatically contribute to the rent based on the size of your family. (If you have one Sim, she'll pay one-half of the rent. If you have two Sims, she'll pay one-third of the rent. Etc.) That's assuming, of course, that she is happy.

You can select her screen like a pet's, and see her need meters and so forth. Also there is a meter that shows her current satisfaction with the living situation, which is important: a roommate with low satisfaction will withhold her half of the rent, or possibly move out entirely. If a roommate does refuse to pay, you can demand it from her, although it's crapshoot whether she'll give in. You might have to just pay the whole bill yourself.

This is why compatibility when seeking a roommate is important. A slob for a roommate will make a mess of the environment, upsetting your neat Sim for example. Or perhaps, your Sim desires to have fun by reading or playing chess while your roommate wants to sing all night on the karaoke machine. Any incompatibility will lead to dissatisfaction, though nothing is ever so dire that it cannot be overcome by some social efforts.

Friends, in fact, make great roommates. The Sim pictured here is best friends with her roommate, and they started things off very satisfied with each other. I never have to worry about her rent; she's always on time with it and contributes somewhat well to the apartment. Though, she, like all roommates, has her own schedule and may or may not be available to do things based on her work schedule.

If the situation becomes too intolerable for you, you can always boot the roommate out of the lot. This can free things up for a different roommate or, if you can afford it, to just take over the bills completely on your own again.

The best part about the apartments is that it gives you a chance to interact with neighbors without needing to pick up the phone. Oh sure, you can call them, but why not just head over there and knock on their door? If they like you enough, they will come out to socialize, or you can even invite yourself into their apartment unit.

Take some time to get to know your neighbors. Almost all of them belong to some sort of special social group that can give you benefits. For example, Jillian here befriended a neighbor who was part of a ring of furniture store owners. Because he was a friend, he was able to get her discounts on all items in Buy Mode! Very sweet deal, and there are others to be found!

If you have trouble getting on the same schedule as your neighbors, don't fret. Most weeks, the landlord will throw a small apartment party where everyone gets together for a barbeque or what have you in the common areas. It's not going to win any awards and it doesn't get any special indication, but you can take the opportunity to at least mingle and increase relationship scores. If nothing else, this will help you get promoted up the career ladders and land those high-paying jobs... maybe you'll eventually be able to move out of the apartment entirely and into a house of your own!

Summary

There are some downsides to living in apartments. Though your Tuesday and Thursday bills are lower than equivalent bills in a house, your rent will take a substantial part of your paycheck with it. The trade-off is the lack of a high initial cost: your Sim will only have to spend a few thousand to get everything in order. He'll also be able to afford objects that teach good job skills fairly early on, making those first few promotions easy.

Also, though you'll pay the rent costs, you're saving on keeping the lot looking pretty, as well as keeping all appliances and plumbing in check. Making friends with the landlord will cut the rent further, and it will come to the point where the cost is merely an afterthought.

Also easy will be making friends, as the game will fill in any spare apartment units with a single Sim each. This allows you to get social and gain family friends without ever leaving the lot, and making those friends will give you other benefits too through the invisible social networks. It won't be enough to get your family to the top of a career track, but it's a great start for a new family.

Still, nothing beats owning your own home, especially seeing as how you can redesign it as necessary to suit your tastes. Apartments should be used as a means to an end, a way to give inexperienced Sims a little head start in the world, before they move out and up in the world. For that purpose, apartment living works well, and should definitely be explored.
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