Buying land

Buying and Selling, Land
 

Overview

Why buy land?

Owning land can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences in Second Life.  Once you become a landowner, you truly become a part of the Second Life community, and can create and keep things inworld that will be there when you return.

Your own land is a space you can customize however you want, and a canvas where your creations can come to life. Land in Second Life is a place to call home, where you can invite friends to hang out, hold events, and more. You can use many of the virtual items you purchase in Second Life—like clothes, accessories and cars—anywhere. But if you purchase a house, a garden, or an entire forest, you're going to need somewhere to put it: your own plot of land!

Types of land

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How to buy land

There are several ways to buy land:

  • Buy a parcel on the mainland if you have a premium account.  You get a free Linden Home with a premium account, which is a great way to get started with land ownership.  See Linden Homes for more information.
  • Buy an entire region (a private island).  

Instead of buying land, you can rent land:

Buying mainland

Linden Lab does not usually set land for direct sale on the mainland. However, there are two special cases in which you can obtain mainland parcels from Linden Lab: 

  • Auctions: Linden Lab regularly auctions mainland parcels via Second Life Land Auctions.  Land owned on the mainland is subject to a land use fee (also known as a tier fee), which is a monthly charge in addition to premium membership.
  • Abandoned land:  In some special cases, Linden Lab sells abandoned mainland parcels to individual Residents. For more information, see Abandoned land.  Remember that you can buy land from your fellow Residents, and if you want a whole region to yourself, you can buy a Private Region from the Land Store.

Land owned by Governor Linden named "Protected Land" will not generally be  terraformed or sold to Residents.

Requirements

To purchase mainland land in Second Life, you must have a premium account with current payment information on file, and your account must be in good standing. You may also be required to have a clean disciplinary record.

As a premium account holder, you have 512 square meters of tier, that is the ability to own 512 square meters initially.  For more information, see Land tier.  A premium account also provides many other benefits.  For more information, see Premium membership.

Buying Private Regions

A private region is a 256m x 256m piece of virtual land. Regions run on a single server and have their own set of controls beyond those provided to mainland parcel owners.

For more information see:

Requirements

By purchasing a Private Region, you are agreeing to pay the initial setup fee, plus monthly service fees for as long as you own the region. You are also agreeing to a restocking fee if you cancel your order.  You will be charged the setup fee once the order is completed. Monthly fees begin 30 days from the date you complete your purchase.

Procedure

Once you find the land you want, buying it is easy:

  1. Right-click the parcel you want to purchase.
  2. Choose About Land.
  3. Click the Buy Land button.
  4. Review the purchase information.
  5. Click OK.

Additional tips

The following tips will help you purchase land wisely and confidently:

  • Make sure you know exactly what you're purchasing! Press Ctrl-Alt-Shift-P on your keyboard to toggle parcel boundary lines.
  • Right-click the parcel to bring up the About Land window, which shows you the land's Area in square meters.
  • Look at the About Land window's General tab to see if objects are included in the sale.
  • Check the Parcel land capacity entry in the About Land window's Objects tab. This indicates how much land impact the land can support before it stops allowing new objects to enter..
Important: If you don't own the land yet, the Region capacity entry is not a measure of the object usage you will receive!
  • If the Advanced menu is active, try hiding objects by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Shift-1 on your keyboard to make sure there isn't a hidden "hole" in the property that you are unwittingly purchasing with the rest of the land.
  • Make sure you're happy with the overall shape of the land. Most land in Second Life can only be raised 4m above or below its original position, and the previous owner may have already reached that limit. 

Land tier

Land tier (often simply referred to as "tier) is a key concept of Second Life land ownership.  "Tier" refers to the maximum amount of land you can own on the mainland, measured in square meters (m2).  A premium account includes of 512m2 tier, which can be used for a free Linden Home. Thus, the minimum tier that anyone can have is 512m2. 

Note: Tier is not the land itself. It's your potential container to own land.

"Available tier" or "free tier" (free meaning "remaining" not "free of charge") refer to the remaining, potential land you can own, not counting land you already own. For example, "My tier is 1024m2. I own a 256m2 parcel, so I have 768m2 of free tier. If I buy a 384m2 parcel, that leaves me with 384m2 of tier that's available."

Think of it like this: each land parcel is a building block like Lego (larger parcels are bigger blocks), and tier is a box. Buying land "fills the box with blocks."

Example

For example, if you have "4,608m2 of available tier" — the premium account's included 512m2 + 4,096m2 additional tier level — then you can own any combination of land parcels up to a total of 4,608m2. So owning a 1,024m2 parcel + a 2,048m2 parcel + a 1,536m2 parcel = 4,608m2 which completely fills your tier.

Land use fees

If you need more land, you must upgrade. Use the Land Use Fees page to update your tier level. Upgrading to a higher tier increases your land use fees, but you get a bigger "box for blocks." Increasing your tier level is sometimes called "tiering up." You are notified when purchasing a land parcel if buying it will increase your tier.

Tier is connected to but not the same as land use fees. You pay land use fees for tier. Tier is not a currency like Linden dollars. This is especially important for new landowners to understand, as some experienced Residents use the term inaccurately. It's accurate to say "I pay for tier," or "I pay tier fees," but not  "I pay tier."

Log into your Second Life account summary to manage your land use fees and land. Land use tiers and pricing are shown in the Land Use Fees page.  

Any tier beyond the first full region is assigned in half-region increments at a rate of US$97.50 per half region. A higher level appears in your land use fees when you upgrade beyond a full region on the mainland. If you sell the land and move back to a tier of one full region or below, the system automatically tiers you down.
 

Note: Private Region (island) fees are charged independently, and do not affect your land tier level. 

 

Exceptions

Note the following exceptions to the general rules stated above:

  • You can own a private estate yet not have a mainland tier.
  • Group-owned land gets a 10% bonus tier.  See Group-owned land for more information.
  • Some Resident-owned private estates have their own distinct tier systems which are not part of Linden Lab's land use fees. If you are renting from such an estate, contact the owner or another appropriate Resident directly for assistance.

Finding land to buy

The inworld Search tool enables you to browse and filter a comprehensive database of real estate listings. Simply follow these steps:

  1. In the Viewer, choose World > Search.
  2. Choose Land & Rentals from the dropdown menu at the top of the Second Life Search window. You can search by keyword or leave the Search field blank.
  3. Click Search. A list of classified real estate ads appears.
  4. In the lefthand column, select For Sale.
  5. If you wish, filter your results by customizing theArea and Price fields and by indicating what kind of land you wish to buy in the Type dropdown menu. The filters update the listings automatically.
  6. Click on a listing to view more details. When you find a property that interests you, click Teleport to go explore it!
Tip: Looking for land on the mainland near you? Select World > World Map to open the map, then select the Land for Sale checkbox. Nearby land for sale is highlighted on the map.

Second Life's Auctions also list land parcels up for sale to the highest bidder. Auction parcels can sell for Linden Dollars (L$) as well as US dollars (USD$).

Land sales in Private Regions

The mechanics of buying and selling land in a Private Region are very similar to the process on the mainland. However, there are a few key differences that buyers and sellers should take into account when making a land transaction in a Private Region.

Similarities

Differences

  • Parcels in Private Regions are governed by covenants. A covenant is a kind of contract, defined by the owner of the Private Region, to which you must agree before buying the land. It may outline details such as local theme, rental fees, architectural regulations, and rules of behavior.
  • Land purchased in a Private Region does not count against your land use tier, however the owner may charge you a fee for continuing use of the land.
  • The Private Region owner may evict you from your parcel in a Private Region at any time. Private Region owners have absolute power over their estates and are within their rights to reclaim land as they see fit. Make sure to read your region's covenant closely for terms of use before you buy your parcel.
  • Private Region owners have use of the Region/Estate window which includes such region access options as:
    • Access restricted to Residents based on payment status
    • Region maturity can be set to General, Moderate, or Adult
Tip: If a region owner changes the maturity setting for their region, it may affect who can access your parcel and view search listings made from it. Read the region covenant and communicate with the region owner (or estate manager where applicable) to avoid any disruptions to your parcel settings or access.

Land object capacity

The number of objects (prims) that can exist on a region is restricted due to technology limitations.  The corresponding calculation for mesh objects are different.  See Calculating land impact for more information.

Overview

Each region of 256m x 256m (65536 square meters) supports a land capacity of 15,000. Divided evenly, this means that each region has a capacity of approximately 0.229 per square meter. In practical terms, this means a standard 512 square meter parcel can support up to a capacity of 117, a 1024 square meter parcel can support up to 234, and so forth.

More than one parcel in a region

All parcels belonging to the same owner (or group) in the same region share their land capacity.  You can view this represented as Region capacity in the About Land window. In this way, it is possible for the Parcel land impact number to be higher than the Parcel land capacity number.

To view the About Land window, stand on a parcel and select World > About Land. For information about objects on the land, select the Objects tab in the About Land window.

Vehicles and parcel limits

Objects that are Selected / sat upon do not count against the Parcel land capacity. This allows vehicles to pass freely through parcels that might not otherwise be able to support them. Remember that a Region can only support 15,000 objects, regardless of parcel settings- if a Region is full, you cannot drive a vehicle into it.

Object bonus factor

In Private Regions, the owner may set a Object Bonus to increase the land capacity of each parcel. This setting multiplies the number of capacity each parcel can support by the Bonus Factor. It is important to note that this does not increase the maximum capacity supported by the Region, which means that not all parcels in the Region will be able to reach their listed maximum capacity.