The Lots and Houses bin is where pre-made, custom and empty lots are stored to be placed in the neighborhood. In The Sims 2, the lots and houses bin is available from neighborhood view, and selecting it will allow unoccupied residential lots and unowned community lots to be edited. In The Sims 3, the player must enter "Edit Town" mode.
There are many premade houses and buildings from the The Sims 2, The Sims 3 and their expansions which can be placed in the neighborhood. They are named only by their style (ex. Craftsman, Victorian, etc.). The names of premade residential lots also include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they have.
The Sims 2 Edit
The Sims 2: Nightlife comes with small townhouses with driveways. In The Sims 2: Open for Business, there are premade shops available: a mini mall, a bookstore, and a cafe. In The Sims 2: Pets, there are a couple of premade pet shops and a pet-oriented park. In The Sims 2: Bon Voyage, there are a few vacation lots and a new lot type, beaches. Stuff packs often provided new, premade lots decorated with objects and architecture made available with the stuff pack.
There are also lots available to place, if you have The Sims 2 Celebration Stuff.
Families from The Sims 2: Pets, i.e. the Kat family and the Kim family can also be found in the lots and houses bin. They can only be moved in a neighborhood once per game, unlike other family bin families, who can be moved in once per neighborhood. In order to add them back to the lots and houses bin, see Game guide:Re-adding Kim and Kat families.
The Sims 2 lots and houses bin allows players to place both inhabited and uninhabited lots in the bin. However, placing inhabited lots in the bin is not advised. Players should not attempt to do this unless the inhabited lot is a new lot with a new family that has no connections to Sims or pets outside the house. If any Sim or pet in the family has any connections to Sims or pets outside the house, placing it in the lot bin and then placing it in another neighborhood will severely damage the neighborhood because the game will try to duplicate every Sim the inhabitants know.