I don't generally like that kind of game, and the concept never really appealed to me, but, alas, I'm hooked to it. I'm not tossing money at it or anything like that, but I do keep a tab open while on my computer. Try it out, it's fun.
I added you as a friend Mephy. But you're not on my street! I'm confused.
Ok, so I'm talking to your character right now. So thats cool. Do I have to add other friends? I feel weird asking people to play games lol.
It's not in real time, as in I don't see you if you walk in even if we're both online at the same time. It's important to have friends (or "neighbors") because you need them for some items, for making certain things easier, for quests, and so you can build new property and the like.