Build / Buy Mode
Alright, now that you've created your Sim (or perhaps a whole family of Sims), it's time to move into your new home! The map screen presents you with every available house or lot. Homes are pre-built and ready to go (and you can even choose to have them automatically furnished!), so it's recommended for beginners. However, lots are cheaper, but you'll have to build the home yourself (which can be costly, in the long run). If you just want to get started, choosing a home is your best bet, but if you want to try out the creation tools, the lot's the way to go (check out our "Build Mode" section for more information).
Build Mode is where you go to--get this--build things! And if you purchased a lot as your first property, your first task should be to build a home. To access "Build Mode," simply click the icon on the bottom toolbar with a picture of a saw and paintbrush. The pane to the right should now display several icons, such as a house, tree, pool, etc. Clicking on any one of those icons will open up a sub-menu allowing you to choose a specific item or style of that selection. For instance, if you click on the door icon, you will then be able to select from one of several different doors to choose from, though the fancier ones tend to be more expensive, but we're getting ahead of ourselves...
When it comes to homes, it's usually best to start off by building the walls, to lay the blueprint for the house. Simply click the wall portion of the 'house' icon to get stared!
Having selected the wall tool, simply click and drag to create your first wall! (just make sure to stay within the green tiles, marking your property line.) Pretty easy, huh? Now go ahead and create a few more to establish your home's footprint. Just try not to make it your home too large (use your neighbors homes as a good size-gauge), as you're short on cash, and you'll need some left over in order to furnish the place! With the walls in place, your next step should be to create the individual rooms. Select the "Create Room" icon (looks like a box), just below the wall tool. This will allow you to easily create rooms, which are automatically walled-in.
Alright, so you've laid the foundation, but it still needs a roof! Click the large "back" arrow to return to the "build" screen and select the "roof" icon. Now the absolute easiest method, and the one we recommend for beginners is to enable the "auto roof" option, in the bottom-pane. This allows you to simply select the style of roof you'd like, without having to worry about actually building it. But if you want to take a more hands-on approach, you can do so as well in a manner similar to building walls.
Okay, so your house now has walls and a roof--you're in pretty good shape. But there's still a few things it's missing, like doors. Adding doors couldn't be easier: simply click the "door" icon in the "build" menu, choose your style of door, then drag it to the wall you'd like to place it. Remember, you're going to need a door not just to get into the house, but also one for each individual room, otherwise your Sim won't be able to get inside! You can also add windows and other elements the same way.
Finally, your house is more or less built! But it still needs to be furnished, otherwise your Sims are going to lead a very unhappy life. To access "Buy" mode, simply click the chair & lamp icon, just above "build" mode. The panel to the right will now display several tabs, allowing you to easily move between furniture types, as separated by room. You'll find stuff for the Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedrooms, and more! To get you started, here are a few essentials you should pick up to ensure your Sim begins his life somewhat comfortably: beds (or a crib for toddlers), toilet, sink, shower, stove, fridge, couch, TV, and lights for each room!