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I have always wondered why Linden Lab keeps this rule "To own a Homestead Region, you must also own at least one standard Private Region." Homestead pricing is super approachable and I think a lot of people would pay the 150 setup and 109 a month to have a private estate with just one or maybe a few homesteads. I know these can be rented, but the ease and convenience of having it all in one estate and billing direct (vs converting lindens) is just preferable to me. I thought i would put this out there for discussion, see what others think. I would love to see this added as a feature of the premium plus tier when it rolls out.

Linden's if you read this, please consider this change  : )

Edited by Buttacwup Float
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29 minutes ago, So Whimsy said:

I wish this was a thing.

not interesting for private (non business) non American to be homestead owners .. they have to add at least 20% to the price. renting is cheaper.

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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2 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

not interesting for private (non business) non American to be homestead owners .. they have to add at least 20% to the price. renting is cheaper.

This is true.

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3 hours ago, Buttacwup Float said:

I have always wondered why Linden Lab keeps this rule "To own a Homestead Region, you must also own at least one standard Private Region.

I would love to see this added as a feature of the premium plus tier when it rolls out.

 

it could be done as an option for Premium Plus

meaning that a Homestead is not included in the Plus package.  But can get one if wanted for extra payment

 

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Until they move the simulators to aws fully, do not expect this, the hardware requirements alone for them will push it past a pricing point that will keep them in profit,  I still believe it was one of the reasons for adjusting everything like they did years back, not really a profit gain, but more, oh a gain so they did not get overwhelmed having to constantly buy hardware that would take years to recoup profits from. 

But I do webhosting and I just look at it from my end too and think, if I took on another 300 people from another guy looking to sell his small business, I would have to think about another box just for his,   but I have moved so much to aws,  that I could kinda really afford to take on his clients.   So it's a toss up,  22k for another server or I htink 2300.00 usd a year for amazonish prices. 

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On 4/26/2020 at 1:48 PM, Buttacwup Float said:

I have always wondered why Linden Lab keeps this rule "To own a Homestead Region, you must also own at least one standard Private Region." Homestead pricing is super approachable and I think a lot of people would pay the 150 setup and 109 a month to have a private estate with just one or maybe a few homesteads. I know these can be rented, but the ease and convenience of having it all in one estate and billing direct (vs converting lindens) is just preferable to me. I thought i would put this out there for discussion, see what others think. I would love to see this added as a feature of the premium plus tier when it rolls out.

Linden's if you read this, please consider this change  : )

Because when they did that around 2007/2008 people bought what are now called homesteads instead of full regions, used them as commercial regions and completely messed up the calculations for server use and income, meaning that the Lab had to use more resources for less money. Linden Lab had to raise the price and make them less easy to acquire and that caused huuuuge dramaz.

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Lets go all the way and make it possible to buy an open space sim with no other ownership requirements. I'd be all in on that.

1250 prims, up to 4 avatars, that works for me. If it was 1/4 to 1/3 the price of a homestead, I'd do it.

Are open space sims even a thing any more?

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On 4/27/2020 at 5:48 AM, Buttacwup Float said:

I have always wondered why Linden Lab keeps this rule "To own a Homestead Region, you must also own at least one standard Private Region."

homestead regions, and their predecessor open space regions, have always been restricted to estate owners (min.1 full region is an estate)

i think that it was restricted back in the day when Jack Linden was boss of land, because Linden still believed in the mainland as a saleable product to lower discretionary income people, which was kinda true back then. In more recent times this belief in products for lower discretionary income people is still kinda true and borne out by the uptake of Belli Linden Homes

direct selling of Homesteads to anyone, is in the price range of medium discretionary income people, a target market that I think Linden have always struggled to understand

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10 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

Because when they did that around 2007/2008 people bought what are now called homesteads instead of full regions, used them as commercial regions and completely messed up the calculations for server use and income, meaning that the Lab had to use more resources for less money. Linden Lab had to raise the price and make them less easy to acquire and that caused huuuuge dramaz.

I was so new back then, and not interested in land. I can't remember what happened. Did LL take back homesteads from everybody, also ppl who used them as intended?

I would love to have more land as a Premium feature, and I do not like to rent from other residents. I want to be on land I got directly from LL.

Could not LL open up this for Premium Plus... and simply monitor the homesteads? Lock down the homesteads that violate the rules?

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6 minutes ago, Marianne Little said:

I was so new back then, and not interested in land. I can't remember what happened. Did LL take back homesteads from everybody, also ppl who used them as intended?

Could not LL open up this for Premium Plus... and simply monitor the homesteads? Lock down the homesteads that violate the rules?

i would vote for a Premium Plus that came with a standalone Homestead. But I think that what Linden might do is a Premium Plus estate. Similar to Belli in terms of covenant but with larger parcels of maybe 8192m. 6 or 7 to a region to allow space for landscaping and right-of-way

here is a link to the old old forums from back in 2008 which announced the then price change of then Open Space regions (which when the change did come were renamed to Homesteads). And the 140 pages of resident concerns that followed

https://forums-archive.secondlife.com/354/1d/289652/1.html

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9 hours ago, Mollymews said:

i would vote for a Premium Plus that came with a standalone Homestead. But I think that what Linden might do is a Premium Plus estate. Similar to Belli in terms of covenant but with larger parcels of maybe 8192m. 6 or 7 to a region to allow space for landscaping and right-of-way

here is a link to the old old forums from back in 2008 which announced the then price change of then Open Space regions (which when the change did come were renamed to Homesteads). And the 140 pages of resident concerns that followed

https://forums-archive.secondlife.com/354/1d/289652/1.html

Yes homesteads, but  I thought there was also something separate called open space sims that had 1/4 the capacity of a homestead, ie 4 avatars and 1250 prims. 

Or maybe  I just imagined it.

I knew I wasn't dreaming:

https://community.secondlife.com/knowledgebase/english/openspace-regions-r1032/

Sell me one of those

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On 4/26/2020 at 6:48 PM, Buttacwup Float said:

I have always wondered why Linden Lab keeps this rule "To own a Homestead Region, you must also own at least one standard Private Region." Homestead pricing is super approachable and I think a lot of people would pay the 150 setup and 109 a month to have a private estate with just one or maybe a few homesteads. I know these can be rented, but the ease and convenience of having it all in one estate and billing direct (vs converting lindens) is just preferable to me. I thought i would put this out there for discussion, see what others think. I would love to see this added as a feature of the premium plus tier when it rolls out.

Linden's if you read this, please consider this change  : )

The basic history and jist is this.

-Homesteads were introduced with the same avatar limit as a full sim

-Everyone bought a homestead

-The lindens realises no one was buying full sims anymore and were using homesteads for large scale purposes

-The lindens changed the rules

-Mo money mo money mo money

Edited by ItHadToComeToThis
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LL must not sell us more than their servers can handle. If it is something like 4 Premium Plus estates or 4 islands / homesteads on one server, that server must be able to handle that all 4 people use every Li and have colorchange and texturechange items places out, along with animated furniture, trees, waves  and all other stuff. Heck, you could risk 4 persons that place out 1000 Li plant pests pets each.

Do not say that "Yes the land can hold 4000 Li, but we could not imagine that you 4 used all of it. We thought that one or two of you used only 1000 Li, this is why you lag."

I would go amok with 1 Li decorative items until my computer begged me to not have more textures. Unless something stopped me.

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On 4/26/2020 at 1:48 PM, Buttacwup Float said:

I have always wondered why Linden Lab keeps this rule "To own a Homestead Region, you must also own at least one standard Private Region." Homestead pricing is super approachable and I think a lot of people would pay the 150 setup and 109 a month to have a private estate with just one or maybe a few homesteads. I know these can be rented, but the ease and convenience of having it all in one estate and billing direct (vs converting lindens) is just preferable to me. I thought i would put this out there for discussion, see what others think. I would love to see this added as a feature of the premium plus tier when it rolls out.

Linden's if you read this, please consider this change  : )

Please don't.

There are very good reasons for this, and it is not merely about how much Linden servers can handle.

It's about how land dealers grabbed this product in the past, when it was possible, and drove both tenants and Lindens insane.

What would happen is that a land baron would buy 100 homesteads, let's say, as they would be cheap, not the price of a full-fledged sim. I think they were $100 in the past. So you then had 100 sims you could simply turnkey over to a tenant and not do any work. He would do all the work AND have all the permissions because unlike Mainland, you could set him as a sub-owner, so to speak. THAT is the function that made it crazy for the Lindens. Because it was permissions up to a point, but not fully.

So when things went wrong -- lag, crashes, scripts not executing not fixable by re-sets -- oh, and griefing of course -- those tenant "owners" would go to the Lindens for help. But they weren't the owners of record. It's like having an absentee landlord in RL. They were forced to go to Lindens, because the primary owner was MIA on his yacht somewhere. And Lindens felt put upon by that, and they were right to feel that way.

The pancake sellers would flatten 100 of these things, put out white sand or boards of white sand on them, and flip them for a huge price, then disappear and not do customer service, having "sold" them to "owners" who in fact were secondary owners.

The price point is of course the issue. Go to alternative worlds and there are sims for $20 even. Of course, not with all the infrastructure SL has.

But if you have $100 a month to spend yourself, you can rent a homestead, although the market is tight I  suppose with the freeze on new sales. But I do see them out there -- a few people do rent them at cost (I have one I rent the thirds out at cost). Of maybe you'd pay $150. But I don't think the space should be created for you to become a buyer, because of the risk that unlike you, as an end user, land barons will rush in and fill the world with hotcakes that create a burden for Linden servers and Linden humans, and also a gulf of zero customer service.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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On 9/6/2020 at 8:43 AM, ItHadToComeToThis said:

The basic history and jist is this.

-Homesteads were introduced with the same avatar limit as a full sim

-Everyone bought a homestead

-The lindens realises no one was buying full sims anymore and were using homesteads for large scale purposes

-The lindens changed the rules

-Mo money mo money mo money

It's not just that Lindens greedily wanted to make money -- and PS it's ok for them as a company to make a profit.

It's that their original "open space" product was, as Jack Linden said, "a stretch of water or a stretch of hills with a few trees". It was not meant for people. It was meant to be a pretty filler in between islands that people could have as a kind of picnic area. It was not meant to re-rent out to 16 customers, which is what land barons immediately did with it.

So this "stretch of water" (this is what the Lindens used to fill in between continents and I don't believe it's a product any more) would then fill up with 4 or 16 even customers, which it was not intended for, it put a burden on a sim not configured for that use. Anshe used to have them in between sims; she began renting them; I believe it was the fellow known as Philip's own beloved son with a vast rentals empire (and now another world which some think is better than SL) who began snapping them up and putting lots of customers on it -- people didn't mind lagging on 1/16 of a board of sand if they were in their skybox cybering. So Jack put an end to this unintended use, created the homestead product, which was intended for end users or, if re-rented, not to fill up the world because the owner would have to have first purchased a full-sized sim.

And see above for my point about how it created a class of fake owners who were not the ones contracted to SL and paying tier and whom Linden did not feel they should be waiting on, when the land barons had brought all those customers to these faulty offerings.

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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2 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

But if you have $100 a month to spend yourself, you can rent a homestead, although the market is tight I  suppose with the freeze on new sales. But I do see them out there -- a few people do rent them at cost (I have one I rent the thirds out at cost). Of maybe you'd pay $150. But I don't think the space should be created for you to become a buyer, because of the risk that unlike you, as an end user, land barons will rush in and fill the world with hotcakes that create a burden for Linden servers and Linden humans, and also a gulf of zero customer service.

Is there a difference between these land barons and the current Estate owners? They can just book a Homestead as a "sale" (the usual Estate "rental") same as always, right? You have both Mainland and Estate rentals so you're way more in touch with this; I'm just not understanding the distinction.

The customer service thing, though, is what I've understood to be the (stated) reason for reserving sale of Homesteads to only Estates with one or more regular, non-Homestead regions: the idea is that a standalone Homestead can require more attention than a Mainland region, so it should be part of an Estate that absorbs that basic level of support, rather than burdening the Lab. Well, that, and some Linden loyalty to the Estate "sales channel" for land products.

I'm just thinking that, come Premium Plus with new pricing and billing options, and after Project Uplift so turning up a region is only a command line away, it may make sense to offer Homesteads to the unwashed masses at one price, and to Estates at a discounted (uniformly grandfathered?) price.

Or not. It's awfully close to a zero-sum game, really, because as you point out, anybody who wants a Homestead can just rent one now, probably for less than they'd pay if dealing with the Lab directly. (Thing is, if I were in the market for a Homestead, I'd pay extra to be my own Estate manager and to pay the Lab directly.)

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7 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

anybody who wants a Homestead can just rent one now, probably for less than they'd pay if dealing with the Lab directly. (Thing is, if I were in the market for a Homestead, I'd pay extra to be my own Estate manager and to pay the Lab directly.)

for EU customers.. the inworld landlords don't have to apply VAT because they are a business or non EU .. LL does. ..
And the € to $ exchange rates aren't fun either. 20% VAT and nearly 10 % exchange costs doesn't make it very interesting.

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1 minute ago, Alwin Alcott said:

for EU customers.. the inworld landlords don't have to apply VAT because they are a business or non EU .. LL does. ..
And the € to $ exchange rates aren't fun either. 20% VAT and nearly 10 % exchange costs doesn't make it very interesting.

Well sure, but the same is true of Estate ownership itself: not very attractive in VAT-paying countries. That doesn't mean Estates aren't a viable product for the Lab. And everything else VAT-bearing, which presumably includes all Lab products, even Premium membership, right? So Belli, and Mainland, too, I presume.

So... I hadn't really appreciated it before: Estates' main customers must be non-US residents. And non-Estate land must be mostly owned by US residents. And Estate margins are pretty much capped by VAT rates and Tilia exchange fees. Hmmm.

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5 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

 which presumably includes all Lab products, even Premium membership, right? So Belli,

premium has no VAt if it's the yearly subscription, and Belli/Linde homes are included in the subsctiption. The other mainland over 1024 sqm... well sadly yes.. VAT...
EU residents can own profitable land/regions when they do it as business, and can ask for a exemption of VAT at the Tax office.

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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11 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

Is there a difference between these land barons and the current Estate owners? They can just book a Homestead as a "sale" (the usual Estate "rental") same as always, right? You have both Mainland and Estate rentals so you're way more in touch with this; I'm just not understanding the distinction.

The customer service thing, though, is what I've understood to be the (stated) reason for reserving sale of Homesteads to only Estates with one or more regular, non-Homestead regions: the idea is that a standalone Homestead can require more attention than a Mainland region, so it should be part of an Estate that absorbs that basic level of support, rather than burdening the Lab. Well, that, and some Linden loyalty to the Estate "sales channel" for land products.

I'm just thinking that, come Premium Plus with new pricing and billing options, and after Project Uplift so turning up a region is only a command line away, it may make sense to offer Homesteads to the unwashed masses at one price, and to Estates at a discounted (uniformly grandfathered?) price.

Or not. It's awfully close to a zero-sum game, really, because as you point out, anybody who wants a Homestead can just rent one now, probably for less than they'd pay if dealing with the Lab directly. (Thing is, if I were in the market for a Homestead, I'd pay extra to be my own Estate manager and to pay the Lab directly.)

The point is that the land baron indeed books the homestead as a "sale" (in fact a rental) and the "new owner" then has almost all permissions on it (except for re-sale, really), but then he is secondary in the Lindens' eye because he is not the owner of record paying tier. The original owner then does no CS and dumps it on the Lindens. I don't know what you mean about Linden loyalty.

But I think they are not motivated to let land baronry ever get larger than it is just to pay their bills. They want to move away from this model as I keep explaining. The sale of homesteads makes land barons able to make money on a product and not the Lindens. The barons buy 100 of them for $99; they resell them for $125 and $150 and do no customer service; the Lindens get none of that except the cashout fee. It's not enough for them to allow this pancake baking where they have to put on the maple syrup all the time.

If the Lindens made homsteads sellable to end users without private islands, they'd have to have the sale price high enough to discourage land baronry. Let's say they make it $200. People would buy them. And private islands then are marked down -- land barons will howl because they have just faced a massive betrayal. They had to pay a huge entry cost to enter their game; they suffered content and staff costs and market woes and CS; now the Lindens devalue that product and allow a new class of people to come in and step on them. This happened with the grandfathering issue, which the Lindens brought on themselves by first trying to sell grandfathers only to their insider friends, and then getting caught at it (I was the one to break the story). You can't do things like that and expect the mass of customers to remain happy and content. So reluctantly they let anybody buy a grandfather and ate that cost, then retaliated later in other ways (like allowing me to be griefed for the rest of my life with inaction, but more widely, forcing Linden Homes and other competitive products on the market to undercut their land baron customers).

Qie, when you rent a homestead, you *are* the Estate Manager. You are made Estate Manager. You can do everything with that sim except re-sell it. In my system which is rentals not sales, you can't do that, but you can still control the land on everything but sales, banlines, and re-sets. 

Griefing is a real problem for some estates as banning doesn't work or runs out of space. So the secondary "Estate Manager" wants that ability in his hands. This is why I was forced to violate my own system-wide policy of no ban lines or "group only" and closed groups on my homesteads, because otherwise, griefing couldn't be controlled. 

I still think the answer to the desire for a homestead is to rent one rather than creating market and service problems for Lindens and enriching a class of no-show slumlords. There are enough options out there to satisfy even a brisk demand. I have 1/3 of a homestead for example available again.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

premium has no VAt if it's the yearly subscription, and Belli/Linde homes are included in the subsctiption. The other mainland over 1024 sqm... well sadly yes.. VAT...
EU residents can own profitable land/regions when they do it as business, and can ask for a exemption of VAT at the Tax office.

You're leaving out the fact that the reason Europeans howled over VAT is that it doesn't exactly work as you say. It's not that only Lindens pay VAT, or there would have been no VAT. It's that businesses are expected to pay VAT, even if not registered. There is more scrutiny and less "creative accounting" in Europe given the heavy taxation and socialist nature of the societies. Registering a business is not the easy thing it is to do in Delaware. Incorporating a business and getting it the best tax set-up is very hard in Europe by contrast to say, New Jersey. You can make an unincorporated business in New York City and pay the cost for that status and the taxes from that businesses revenue rather easily even by yourself; you can't in Europe, as I know from having many European friends and clients over the years and doing business in Europe. There are times when the answer to doing business in Europe is -- you don't.

Yes, if they are registered and sophisticated enough to run books properly and write off expenses and file taxes showing income and business-related expenses, yes, they can get VAT returned or get exemptions. That would seem the obvious thing to do.

But the land barons of SL are not sophisticates. They are retired mail carriers in Cleveland and single moms in Michigan. They are not the people you imagine, some of whom have been covered in the media to create the sense that sophisticated biz dudes in Florida with expensive watches and yachts are doing this job in SL. They aren't. Any real rich person or eager entrepreneur would not choose a fiddly, crashy, labor-intensive virtual world as a place to run a business. There is a video on YouTube watched many times from 10 years ago, of a couple sitting on their couch with laptops telling us how they make $2000 a week in income from Second Life and have quit their bank or PR jobs. That was true for a brief period of time, and might have stayed true if they avoided the temptation of every non-sophisticated biz diva in SL and didn't "invest in the business". Money spent in SL is not investment; it is a cost center. Like a boat, it is a hole in the Internet into which you pour money. Fast forward to "where are they now," and the answer is, their business failed, unexpected Linden policies here and there helped kill it, the world didn't keep growing, and today, I'm not sure that couple is together in RL or SL. I see the husband is an inactive account who only goes to clubs and the wife no longer is in SL at least by that name.

I cite this to explain that things like keeping records, keeping books, sitting with spread sheets, calculating costs, planning sensibly -- these are not things people do in SL as the norm in their businesses. Some do; most don't. Very top drawer creators with huge revenue are forced to do this and probably resent it because the margins are so slim. They don't want to sit with accountants and tortuously explain how SL works and show them all their records and try to extract this to an IRS return as I and others have done. Since I have had to do this in RL jobs, I can transfer some of that skill to SL, but even I don't want to be sitting late at night with Excel over what is supposed to be fun (which is why I never expanded). So the reality is, there are masses of people in the land business who have absolutely nothing recorded in RL at all. So they cannot get that VAT back or exempted; they cannot even work an American tax return which is far less restrictive than a European one. So they howl when Linden adds VAT and say they are discriminated again compared to Americans.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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2 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Qie, when you rent a homestead, you *are* the Estate Manager. You are made Estate Manager. You can do everything with that sim except re-sell it. In my system which is rentals not sales, you can't do that, but you can still control the land on everything but sales, banlines, and re-sets. 

That's interesting. It's been years since I was involved with a Homestead we rented, and back then we weren't made Estate Managers, a role reserved by that Estate exclusively to trusted employees. I can see that with Estate Manager powers as a tenant, it would be almost as good as buying it from the Lab, with only the one remaining business risk of the Estate shuttering without notice, taking my payment and leaving me with no standing to deal with the Lab to re-up the region. I'd still pay something extra for that, but yeah: not as much as that plus the Estate Manager role.

2 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

If the Lindens made homsteads sellable to end users without private islands, they'd have to have the sale price high enough to discourage land baronry. Let's say they make it $200. People would buy them. And private islands then are marked down -- land barons will howl because they have just faced a massive betrayal. They had to pay a huge entry cost to enter their game; they suffered content and staff costs and market woes and CS; now the Lindens devalue that product and allow a new class of people to come in and step on them. This happened with the grandfathering issue, which the Lindens brought on themselves by first trying to sell grandfathers only to their insider friends, and then getting caught at it (I was the one to break the story). You can't do things like that and expect the mass of customers to remain happy and content. So reluctantly they let anybody buy a grandfather and ate that cost, then retaliated later in other ways (like allowing me to be griefed for the rest of my life with inaction, but more widely, forcing Linden Homes and other competitive products on the market to undercut their land baron customers).

This "massive betrayal" is what I meant about "Linden loyalty" to their Land sales channel, the Estates. So I agree that the Lab shouldn't completely undercut the Estates, at least not without a fundamental change in the whole Land business model.

But anyway I'm still confused - I'm apparently missing another obvious thing - about how it encourages "land baronry" to make Homestead sales available to Premium-Plus subscribers without a normal, non-Homestead Estate region. Is it just that Homestead-only Plus "barons" would offer (even) less customer service than they would if they had to also own a non-Homestead? Is the concern that there'd be a whole lot of Plus mini-barons, each subleasing a single Homestead?

Just to be clear, I was stipulating that these Homestead-only purchases from the Lab by Plus subscribers would come with higher monthly fees than the true Estate owners pay. What I was thinking was that, post-Uplift, Estates would all get the current grandfathered rate for Homesteads while the current non-grandfathered rate would apply to these Homestead-only Premium-Plus owners. (I hadn't really considered differentiating the market by region sale price as you suggest, and that would be another option. I guess the Plus subscription cost itself is a kind of recurring fee that could be considered to raise the effective monthly fee, but I think the Estates would feel better if that additional cost were actually part of the listed monthly Homestead tier charge.)

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