Carl's Sims 3 Guide - Skills, Traits, Careers, Rewards, and Lifetime Wishes for Ambitions and World Adventures

The Sims 3 Real Estate Business

Buying Properties and Upgrading Venues in Ambitions

This Sims 3 Guide was originally written for the PC and Mac versions of the game, but also will help owners of the console versions - PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Please remember some info or numbers may have changed.

The patch releaed with The Sims 3 Ambitons changed the way property ownership works in the game, including Vanilla Sims 3. You can now purchase properties either from the computer or cell phone, where you'll see a handy list of all available businesses and venues your Sims can buy.

Initially, you're taking a loss when you purchase one of these locales. Only over time will the cost recover itself. Gone are partnerships and deeds. Instead, you're able to access a list of everything you own from the cell or computer. Collecting money is a cinch. It's available every Monday at 9AM. Use Map Mode and you'll see tags next to businesses your Sim owns. You can queue up multiple collections from there, and make a nice round trip gathering all the cash. All the original rabbit-hole type properties start at level 3. Below I've created a table with all the regular businesses Sims can buy, along with how many weeks it would take to make a profit based on the purchase price and weekly revenue.

After you're done collecting on the map, switch back to either Community Buildings or Venues (Ambitions) to see any you might have missed. Clicking collect money from this mode is slow compared to map, but can help you to spot any you may have missed. It's worth noting that if you fail to pick up money from one of your real estate lots, the Simoleans will accumulate from week to week.

The Sims 3 Community Buildings Available to All Simmers
Business NameOwner CostOwner Money/wkBreak-Even Payments
Day Spa$50,000$4,00013
Office Building$58,000$6,00010
Science Lab$140,000$15,00010

The Sims 3 Ambitions Venues: Upgrading and Purchase Prices

With The Sims 3 Ambitions installed, your Sims can now purchase many venues that are more lucrative over time. However, more investment is required to see them reach their max potential.

Venues that start at level 0 or "Closed" will not provide profit until they're upgraded. Note that Sunset Valley is used as an example. This is a list of all venues that can be bought out there. It's up to you to upgrade them all, except in the case of the Library, which starts at level 3.

The Sims 3 Ambitions Upgradable Venues
Property Type or NameCostLevelStarting Income
Stoney Falls$17,7880Closed
Crystal Springs$187490Closed
Pinochle Pond$216101$1000
Summer Hill Springs$218351$1000
Old Pier Beach$348061$1650
Cerulean Blue Pool$599580Closed
Consignment Store$807742$4750
Le Petit Pool Center$877262$5800
Central Park$1380602$2300
Wellness Gym$1917641$8250
Art Museum$2337432$20000

The Sims 3 Late Night

Late Night adds a few new venues, which deserve a mention. These are found in the city of Bridgeport but can be added to other towns. Thanks to forum member caliban for supplying this information.

The Sims 3 Late Night Venues
Property NameCostIncomeBreak Even Payments
Movie Set95,00011,0009
Books & Bath80,00010,0008
Office & Restaraunt170,00019,0009

Starting Stats and Upgrading

Towns other than Sunset Valley may not start at such high level as stated above. A good example of this would be the Library. Others may start even lower, requiring further building to raise a level. Thankfully the Real Estate interface accessible via the phone will let you see a list of what's required to upgrade a Venue further. If you play in a town other than Sunset Valley and would like to see the various Venue types click here to see a list by one of our forum members. It breaks them down into the various classifications. Otherwise, the list below is useful for knowing what a certain real estate property will give you when fully upgraded.

Removing objects may change things a bit. For example, taking book shelves out of the Library may require you replace them. This should be reflected on the upgrade requirements screen accessible through the cell or by clicking Real Estate on the venue in Map Mode.

You'll notice from the data below, something I was unaware of at the start of gathering data -- all pools, parks, and other similar Venues will make the same amount of money at the various upgrade levels. The resale values will differ once upgraded, reflecting the new objects you've placed.

Sunset Valley: Detailed Information on Upgrading Ambitions Venues

Note that Lot Values are not cumulative. You can use this as a reference to jump a venue from level 0 to 3 rapidly. For example, Stoney Falls requires a total lot value of $23,000 with 2 Picnic Tables, 1 Toilet, and 1 Sink.

Fully upgraded, if you don't go too far overboard, most of these lots will pay themselves off within 10 weeks.

Stoney Falls (Starts Level 0)
Level 1 ($1,000): Gain a lot value of 10,000 Total.
Level 2 ($1,850): Lot Value of $15,000 or more and +1 Picnic Table
Level 3 ($3,650): Lot Value of $23,000 or more with +1 Picnic Table, Toilet and Sink

Crystal Springs (Starts Level 0)
Level 1 ($1,000): Gain a lot value of $10,000 Total.
Level 2 ($1,850): Lot Value of $15,000 or more and +1 Picnic Table
Level 3 ($3,650): Lot Value of $23,000 or more with +1 Picnic Table, Toilet and Sink

Pinochle Pond (Starts Level 1)
Level 2 ($1,850): Gain a lot value of $15,000 Total + 1 Picnic Table.
Level 3 ($3,650): Lot Value of $23,000 or more with +1 Picnic Table, Toilet, and Sink

Summer Hill Springs (Starts Level 1)
Level 2 ($1,850): Gain a lot value of $15,000 Total + 1 Picnic Table
Level 3 ($3,650): Lot Value of $23,000 Total +1 Picnic Table, Sink, and Toilet

Old Pier Beach(Starts Level 1)
Level 2 ($3,000): Gain a lot value of $22,000 Total + 1 Picnic Table
Level 3 ($5,850): Lot Value of $23,000 +1 Picnic Table, Sink, Toilet, and Lounge Chair

Cerulean Blue Pool(Starts Level 0)
Level 1 ($3,300): Gain a lot value of $30,000 Total + 1 Sink, +1 Toilet
Level 2 ($5,800): Lot Value of $42,000 +1 Sink, +1 Toilet
Level 3 ($11,000):Gain a lot value of $67,000. +1 Pool Ladder, +3 Lounge Chairs

Consignment Store (Starts Level 2)
Level 3 ($10,000): Gain a total lot value of $61,500

Le Petit Pool Center(Starts Level 2)
Level 3 ($11,000):
Gain a lot value of $67,000.

Graveyard (Starts Level 2)
Level 3 ($9,000): Needs 1 Mausoleum. Upgrading this piece of Real Estate may not be possible without the buydebug cheat.

Library (Starts Level 3 @ $13,250) Since Sunset Valley's Library starts at level 3, there's no need to upgrade this venue. Buying Libraries in other towns may require children's toys, and additional bookshelves.

Central Park (Starts Level 2)
Level 3 ($4,600): Needs 1 Picnic Table + 1 Outdoor Grill

Gym (Starts Level 1)
Level 2 ($17,000): 2 Exercise Machines + 1 Stereo
Level 3 ($31,000): Total Lot Value of $190,000 + 2 Exercise Machines

Art Museum (Starts Level 2)
Level 3 ($36,500): Gain a lot value of $220,000

General Tips for Upgrading your Real Estate Venues

Object Depreciation: Keep in mind that most objects you place will depreciate in value by 15% immediately upon exiting buy mode. So, unless you're using plenty of foliage to help up a property's value, expect to shoot for 15% higher than the required total cost. Objects don't continue to depreciate once placed.

Placing Paintings and Photographs May Help: While Sculptures your Sim creates can't be placed on your Venues' lots by any means I can tell. The reason for this is at the lot your Family Invenotry is not visible, just the inventory of the lot you're on. Paintings and Photographs can be placed in your Sim's inventory, and they can place them on walls while not in Buy Mode. Simply visit the lot and hang them on the wall. The photo or painting's value will count toward the total you're trying to reach. Unfortunately, these do not appreciate in value once on a lot. They need to be in your inventory or home for that to work.

Replace Old and Cheap with New and Expensive: Sometimes you'll feel pressed for room when upgrading Real Estate. Change out those old toilets for the expensive model, old Stereos with the expensive variety, and so on. Additionally, you may add rooms to lots such as parks to make room for toilets. Hang paintings in the bathroom, and use expensive wall and floor coverings to help boost values. This helps keep you from being cheap and placing multiple statues of the same variety with a high value just to reach your goal.

Add Foliage: Foliage and Trees may not be very expensive, but they can add a nice touch to a lot and make it more appealing to the eye whilst simultaneously boosting the lot's value.

Get Creative and Have Fun: It's up to you how you design the lots you own. You can move things around, add services you with your Sim always had available. For example, it'll be really easy to wake and get to the Pond before 6AM for a fishing trip if you add a small caretaker's hut and bed. They can then grill hotdogs and use the public restrooms you've created. They may never have to leave their home away from home.

Residual Income: Ahh the dream. Never having to work again and collecting each week. Once you own all the properties you'll make around a couple hundred thousand Simoleans a week.

I hope you find my tutorial to Venues and Real Estate for the Sims 3 useful. If you find information you'd like to add or correct, feel free either email [email protected] or visit the Corrections and Suggestions board at our Sims 3 Forum.

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Share Tips and FAQs (29)

Our Sims Forum is the place to go for faster answers to questions and discussions about the game. Use the form below to share your own experiences and provide helpful tips to other readers.

Mathias says...
It would be nice if you could rent out your residential properties :)
24th June 2013 2:38am
Kennedy says...
So, I have a question about he inheritance of real estate. If my Sims own property, and all their kids have moved out, who gets it? Would it be the oldest child of theirs, even though they aren't living with them?
Thank you!
30th December 2013 2:41am
Kimberly says...
Multiple residence lots question: I own four residences (2 houseboats and 2 homes). How do I move my sim to one of those? There doesn't seem to be an option. Do I need to sell it then buy it again while in the move screen? I'd hate to lose all the progress I've made while building the places up.
9th April 2014 4:55am
Makaela says...
How do you buy another residential property?! Do you have to have any kind of EP or upgrade or what?
24th April 2014 1:23pm
Emily says...
I noticed that there's a new option of buying a second property for your sims to live in, but I was wondering if there's any way to rent it out and collect income from it?
You can get rent when you ask someone to be your roommate which was a feature made whole by the University Life expansion
8th July 2013 6:30pm
Megan says...
How do i ago about adding things like picnic tables to Old Pier Beach to upgrade it? I CANNOT figure this out!
Once you own the property, click on the maptag and choose Real Estate... Build on this Lot.  In build mode you'll find an icon that says "Community Objects".  A lot of the upgrade objects only available for community objects are in there.
22nd June 2013 9:33pm
Amy Byers says...
I'm having a couple problems! I bought an empty residential lot and built a house on it and furnished it. I wanted my sims to become estate agents and buy and sell propertys like that but even though the price goes up while you are on the house.. Cut back to the sakes screen and it still says sell for 2000simoleons. Is there any way that you can increase value and sell it on for a more expensive price? Hope this makes sense!
25th August 2015 7:19am
Matt says...
Is anyone else having an issue (or maybe it's a planned feature I missed) with island paradise and the cost of becoming a partner at businesses? I only have access to partner with four businesses for 200 simoleons a piece and then I can spend 1,000 simoleons to buy them out. The return on investment seems to scale accordingly as I bring in far fewer simoleons than normal.

I can still become a partner at the criminal building and theater at a normal price (and get paid a normal return) but do not have an option to buy them outright.

The upgradeable properties (cemetary, library, museum, etc.) seem to be appropriately priced but I haven't had the simoleons on hand to buy them yet. Was this done to encourage resort ownership on the island or is it bugged?

I haven't checked investing prices in previous neighborhoods yet.

I use NRASS Master Controller, Overwatch, Story Progression. Thanks for any help.
This seems to be on par with a few other combined rabbit holes I've noticed in the past. It's strange and sad but I'm not entirely certain if it's intentional or an oversight.
5th July 2013 1:04am
Chelsea says...
Hi. I noticed that you didn't write anything about whether or not properties are inherited by the next generation after the Sim who bought it dies. I think its a question a lot of Sims players will definitely ask when they come here...
It's actually changed since the original days of Ambitions.  Originally when you bought property you got a deed and that is how you collected your money.   Now it is all done electronically so as long as you are still in the same household you own the same property.
10th June 2013 6:54pm
werek says...
how do i promote my venue? it seems hardly any sim goes there? I was expecting late night to be alot funner but it seems like no one ever goes out and venues (even ones that are not mine) are always empty even if they are the "hotspot" of the night.

and what if my venue was originally a bar and i wanted to make it a dance club, if i add certain objects like a dancefloor, will it change the kind of lot to a dance club instead of a bar?
Having people visit a place is Story Progression's job and it all depends on what your computer can handle and the size of your town. If you don't have a lot of people to spare then people won't be there.

The change a venue's type - just go into Edit Town and change it.
30th June 2013 7:37pm
Andy says...
i purchased a lot called guppy pond/lake something like that.. built a home on it.. later tried to go into the home and my sim couldnt go into the home. The thought bubble with footsteps and a line crossing it would come up. Then, a sim passes by and just goes into my home or lot that i built and purchased. why couldnt i go in, why could a stranger sim just walk into my purchased lot.. what can i do to walk into a lot that is owned by my own sim?? Thank you!
10th December 2013 12:52pm
Von says...
I think what's causing the issue is that the lot type is set to Community, not Residential. You need to change this yourself in Edit Town mode.

If that's not the case, is it possible that you have outdated mods/hacks or CC that are interfering with your game play?

12th April 2014 9:44pm
bri says...
Can you hire and fire sims for the properties you purchase?
Sorry but no. The only mechanic that resembles this is in The Sims 3 Island Paradise with Resort Management.
30th August 2013 7:08pm
Peter says...
All of your information is helpful. I refer to it a lot. The only problem is that I've searched long and hard and can not find any information on the subject of owning multiple homes. My sim bought a second home and I have no idea how to collect from it. The real estate guide only covers venues, not any mention of residential lots that I could find.
The ability to own a second home has only been an option for about 3 days unless you meant a vacation home in China/Egypt/France. Secondary homes only cost you money, you don't get money for owning them like you do the others. If you did it would be an option like when collecting from a business, it would appear as one of the options when you clicked on the maptag.
20th June 2013 6:15pm
RageSugar says...
So far my issue is that my sims have a lifetime wish to own a venue and after purchasing a building, the wish is not fulfilled, so what buildings are considered venues?
5th September 2013 2:18pm
durek says...
Once you buy a community business, if you sell it, do you get the full price back?
23rd June 2013 4:59pm
Greene says...
Can you buy a property like Aquarius and turn it into a residence?
9th February 2014 2:34am
nauman says...
ill well be looking forward
5th December 2015 2:42pm
Jules says...
I have some 3 and bought some properties I. E. Book shop and bistro but a cliché means Im not geťkmg any income. Is there away to reset so they start paying
30th January 2018 3:28pm
Jane Sims says...
I had this same problem. You collect income once a week but it isn’t directly deposited. On Mondays after 9 am go to all owned lots on the Map View, click them, and select collect.
23rd August 2018 2:37am
Smithf354 says...
I really enjoy the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.
5th November 2017 7:14am
Sarah says...
How do I stop being a partner in a business and how do I sell a business? It's not a challenge to play when my sims are rolling in money :(
25th November 2017 9:36am
Sarah says...
Whoops, sorry - I have just seen the answer to my question! Thanks!
25th November 2017 9:44am
Yam says...
Is it possible to stop being a partner with an institution? If so, how?
9th July 2017 4:55pm
Playalot says...
Use the 'Check Real Estate' option on your sims phone. Then from the menu that pops up use the 'sell' option at the bottom of that screen. The icon looks like a large coin.
10th July 2017 12:01am
Jessi says...
I notice there is A LOT of darkened unused rooms to the high end loft buildings. Is there a way for me to open it up and build/buy on it?
10th November 2017 2:45pm
Playalot says...
These are just empty spaces. I'm not sure if they can be changed with cheats! Never actually tried it! Have a look on this page under the heading 'Building Cheats -More Options"
11th November 2017 1:45pm
Aoife O donovan says...
If i buy a property for example bookstore. Can i still go there and puechace/ get books
5th May 2020 11:31am
Playalot says...
Yes, of course. All purchased real estate still works for your own Sims.
5th May 2020 8:23pm
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