In December of 2012, a forum post by oli_thorne was submitted claiming that the value of one simoleon was equal to $13.40 USD. I am here to prove that wrong. He justifies this using the conversion rates for the cost of gold per gram in USD and in simoleons. Then he goes into further detail by claiming that the “Dromedary” (The most expensive non-DLC sim couch) would be $16,080USD. While some high end couches do reach that cost point and his math may be accurate, this is by all means not an accurate conversion factor. For starters if $13.40USD equaled one simoleon, then the cheapest couch in the base game (the “Prim and Proper”) would be an exuberant $3,015, which is absolutely outrageous for the cheapest couch on the market. So we know that oli_thorne’s claim was wrong, now let’s try to solve this conversion ourselves.
Take the “4-Everything Van”, which is based on the 2009 Chrysler Town & Country for example. It has an in game price of 6,100 simoleons. When the Sims 3 Base Game came out in 2009 and when this variant of the Town & Country was new, it had a Market Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,340 - $36,780. However, for the sake of this argument, we will be using the base models of all cars used as examples. So to compare 6,100 simoleons as the same as $26,340 would be saying that one simoleon equals $4.32USD. The next car we will be taking into account is the 2012 Toyota Prius MK2 which was added into the game as free in store content. This car has an in-game price of 5,500 simoleons while its 2012 MSRP was $24,000. This would give us an exchange rate of $4.36USD per simoleon. So far we have a relatively steady rate. But what will happen to this rate as we add in more expensive cars? For example, the “VFN Kompensator” comes in at 36,000 simoleons and is based on the 2009 Audi A6. While the base model A6 Premium had an MSRP of $45,100… we will be using the more expensive Audi A6 4.2 Liter Prestige model which has an MSRP of $60,950. This is because not only is it described as “hyped and expensive” as well as having a “V16 engine.” This would allow us to infer that it is referring to the fully loaded A6 variant. Also the V16 engine can be assumed to be the Audi V8 engine in non-Sim world since eight can be divisible by sixteen, which may seem illogical or supportive however, it is closer to V16 than the other V6 variant. This would give us and exchange rate of $1.69USD per one simoleon, which is significantly less than our other exchange rates. The final car we will be taking a look at is the Margaret Vaguester which has an in-game price of 105,000 simoleons. This car represents a 2009 Porsche 911 Turbo which had an MSRP of $128,700USD, providing an exchange rate of $1.23USD equaling one simoleon. So, as you can see, with cars, the higher the price, the smaller the price gap is. However, the average exchange rate for the cars would be $2.90USD per one simoleon.
Next up, we will look at houses. Each tile in a Sims 3 house is nine square feet. Therefore, I built and furnished two 10x10s in completely different locations and completely different furnishings to compare. This way there will be a possible range for home square footage cost. On average, the cost per square footage of a home is between $20USD - $100USD per square footage, depending on the cost of materials, location, and desired furnishings. Therefore, one of the 900sqft homes is cheaply made, in an inexpensive location, with crummy furniture. This will be compared to the $20USD per square foot. On the other hand, the other 900sqft home is much nicer, with high quality materials, expensive furniture, and a desirable location. Both can be found in the spreadsheet below:
Lot 1 Value 1,200Simoleons
After 10x10 walls placed 4,000Simoleons
Walls included in 2x3ba 300Simoleons
After cheapest doors/windows placed as necessary 5,360Simoleons (12windows)
After Int.+Ext. paint 5,620Simoleons
Free Hardwood used
After cheapest furniture (Furnished Value) 10,351Simoleons
Unfurnished Value 7,651Simoleons
Lot 2 Value 6,800Simoleons
After 10x10 walls placed 9,600Simoleons
Walls included in 5x4bd+3x5ba 980Simoleons
After most expensive doors/windows 14,850Simoleons
After Int.+Ext. paint 15,902 Simoleons
After most expensive stone floors 18,042Simoleons
After most expensive furniture (Value Furnished) 91,456Simoleons
Unfurnished Value 55,926Simoleons
So based on these calculations, the house that was 7,651 Simoleons unfurnished would cost $18,000USD, giving us a conversion factor of $2.35USD per one Simoleon. Meanwhile, the home that cost 55,926 Simoleons would cost $90,000USD, giving us a conversion factor of 1.61USD. Therefore, the home average is $1.98USD per one simoleon.
To conclude, Simoleon conversions to US Dollars become smaller as prices ascend. Therefore, the conversion factor for sim furniture (including cars) is approximately $3USD = 1 Simoleon and the conversion factor for sim houses is approximately $2USD = 1 Simoleon.
(Also if anyone would like to see the exact houses used for these conversion factors, just send me a message.)