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Residential lots serve as private residences for each Sim family. Each lot can hold up to 8 Sims. Lots can either be empty or contain premade houses. All residential lots automatically have a mailbox and garbage can next to the street. The purpose of residential lots is for Sims to have a place to go in order to fulfill their motives. While a Sim could, theoretically, remain on a community lot as long as funds and needs allow, they can only "live" on a residential lot.

The Sims

When a family buys a lot and moves in, it becomes their home and the center of gameplay. If the family moves from one residential lot to another, all their belongings are sold. However, build mode items, such as doors, windows, stairs, etc. remain.

Unless the Vacation expansion pack is installed, Sims can only sleep on residential lots. (Vacation allows Sims to sleep on Vacation Island lots.) Residential lots are the only lots that can be edited during gameplay. If the Unleashed expansion pack is installed, unoccupied residential lots in the original neighborhood and Old Town can be edited. However, unoccupied residential lots in Magic Town cannot be edited even if Unleashed is installed.

The Sims 2

Like residential lots in The Sims, residential lots are the center of gameplay. Residential lots can be placed almost anywhere as long as they connect to a road, however, it is possible to have a lot anywhere one wishes with certain modifications. As in The Sims, a family's belongings, other than Build mode items, are sold when they move out of a residential lot. However, the inventory feature, introduced in Nightlife, allows Sims to take objects with them when they move.

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In University, if the last member of a college household living in a rented house moves out, objects in the house will remain there, ready for the next occupant(s). Also, if a teen living alone goes to college, all items in their house will remain there.

Residential lots are the only lots that can be edited during gameplay unless Open for Business or Bon Voyage is installed. Open For Business allows Sims to open a home business on a residential lot and edit community lots that they own. Bon Voyage allows Sims to edit a vacation home that they own. Unoccupied residential lots can be edited if the Lots and Houses bin is open.

The Sims 3

With the addition of open world gameplay, Sims aren't confined to interacting on a single lot, but can visit other inhabited lots. If story progression is enabled, empty houses may be filled with NPCs; a house must have a refrigerator and at least one bed in order to be automatically filled.

If the player chooses, he or she can move the active household to a new house via the phone. In later expansion packs or patches[which?], Sims can purchase additional homes through the "real estate and travel service" menu of the phone. When a household moves out of a house, the player is given the choice to sell the household objects, leave them, or transfer them into family inventory; whether household objects are sold or kept affects how much money is earned from the sale of the house.

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The Sims 4

Residential lots maintain similar roles to The Sims 2, while retaining some of the features from The Sims 3. Garbage cans are no longer necessary on lots, and players can purchase outdoor garbage cans in build mode. Mailboxes can be deleted and moved around. Residential lots do not require any objects to function.

Players who use the gallery can set the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms in a house up to eight. Also, lots can be placed in build mode, and can move entire houses across the lot.

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