Okay, well there have been some changes to my plan for playing Sunset Valley. First of all, I realized that I didn't have AwesomeMod installed correctly, because when I switched houses, I could see that Miraj Alvi had aged to teen. After spending over a day at it, I was able to figure out how to install it correctly, as well as installing all the expansion packs (and get all the stupid patches they required installed correctly) which I received for my birthday. I hadn't planned on getting the expansions, but I admit they add a great deal and make Sims 3 much more fun than it was initially. Then I found Twallan's Story Progression mods, and so I have been playing around with a test neighborhood.
What I think I've finally settled on is to play in the TS2 style, but with the story progression part (Twallen's) turned on. That keeps the non-active households actually doing things, but not aging unless their house is being played. And this is a little complex to fine tune, but just as fun as can be. They still have to go about their lives, earning a living. Since most sims in my test neighborhood didn't have jobs or the option of getting new jobs, you could see them out collecting things, fishing, etc. If they had easels, they were consigning their paintings at the consignment shop. And the most fun was with the relationship drama - many relationships had completely changed by the time I made the full rotation of the neighborhood. I guess if I had been really attached to a family, it might have been sad. But it is funny to me, as I would get updates of what was happening in the neighborhood at other houses. So, as I play Sunset Valley, I will now be using some of the features of both AwesomeMod and Twallan's Story Progression, etc.
Oh, if you are having base game incompatibility problems with the Launcher like I was, this post on the Sims 3 forum was what had the answer for me.