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Basic housing/land questions

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Hi! So I'm a total noob when it comes to owning land/a house in SL. I've rented a place per week before, but I'd rather have something more permanent and usable other than a laggy rentable place.

How do you get a house? Do you need to purchase land? How much does that cost? Is it a one time purchase? How can you make it private? What about sky box houses, how do those work? What does prims really mean and how does it work with housing stuff?

I know, total noob questions lol. 😝

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Hi @JhaelynStar!  (And thanks for the heads up, Lil!)

My class is on Saturdays, at 12 noon SL time, at Caledon Oxbridge University.  It's free to attend!  But next Saturday is a way off, so here are some things to maybe help you cope until then...

There are two types of land in SL:  Mainland and Private Estates.  Mainland is land that's directly managed by Linden Lab.  Private Estates are regions that are owned and managed by another SL resident.

There are perhaps four ways of having land in SL:  Renting from another resident on the Mainland; renting (although it's often called "buying") a parcel of land from a Private Estate owner; owning a parcel of Mainland yourself, directly; and owning one or more entire private regions and being an Estate Owner yourself.  We can pretty much forget the last one, unless you're ready to shell out a couple of hundred dollars ($USD, not Linden Dollars) per month.  And you've already experienced the first one.  Living on a Private Estate and paying the owner is a lot like renting on the Mainland, except that you'll probably have a bit more control over your land.  That leaves Mainland ownership, so let's discuss it...

You have to be a Premium member to own Mainland.  A Premium membership costs $11.99 per month.  You can save some money by paying quarterly or annually; the annual plan costs $99 USD per year, which averages out to $8.25 per month.

As a Premium member, you have a land benefit that you can take in a couple of different ways.  You can get a free Linden Home.  These homes are on either 512 or 1024 sq. m. parcels, and have a prim allowance of 175 or 351.  There are eight different styles, although not all of them are available all the time.  You can sign up for one, and you'll be shown a list of the styles currently available.  You can keep checking back, because often one of the more popular styles will suddenly be available...until someone else nabs it!  You are allowed to abandon your Linden Home and get a different one as often as five times per day!  The newer Linden Homes (and all the ones that have 1024 sq m and 351 prims) are on the Bellisseria continent, a new 350 region area that LL made last year.  There's quite an active community of residents there, and several popular threads in the Linden Homes forum, in the Land section of the Forums.

If you don't like the Linden Homes, you can look for other Mainland parcels for sale.  You can use the world Map or the Search function, or both, to help with this.  You can buy a parcel from another resident...or you can buy a parcel in the LL Land Auctions, https://places.secondlife.com/auctions?lang=en-US#0.  You can own up to 1,024 sq. m. and you will not be charged a monthly tier fee.  If you own more than 1,024, you'll pay a monthly fee as shown here: https://secondlife.com/land/pricing.php

You'll notice I've been talking about "land" and not "houses".  You've got to have land, either purchased or rented, to have a place to put a house.  You can build your house yourself, or you can buy any of thousands of houses available on the Marketplace.  A skybox is a form of house...the only difference is, it's placed OVER your land, up in the sky.  When you own land, you also own the sky above it, up to infinity...although 4096m is the highest point at which you can place objects.

How much land you have within a region determines how many objects you can have on that land.  You'll notice in the tier table link I gave you that it also lists "prims per parcel".  (A "prim" is a "geometric primitive", one of the basic shapes you can create with the building tools.)  If you own a 512 sq m parcel, you can have 175 prims out.  Two 512 parcels in the same region, or one 1,024 parcel lets you have 351 prims, and so on.  Because the mesh objects that are in common use these days aren't, strictly speaking, "prims", we now use the term "land impact" instead of "prim count".  But the basic idea still holds...you need more square meters of land if you want to put more Stuff on your land.  When shopping for pre-built houses, keep in mind two figures:  The land impact of the house, and its "footprint"...how large a space does it take up in the X and Y direction.  Both must be compatible with your land parcel.  I don't like my house to use up more than about 1/4 to 1/3 of my parcel's capacity, to leave room for landscaping, furniture, and so on.

Yes, you can make your parcel private.  You can keep people out physically with ban lines, or with a security orb.  You can also keep them from seeing you and your friends by unchecking the "privacy" box in the About Land window, Options tab.

You can contact me by IM in world if you have other questions!

Edited by Lindal Kidd
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