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Soliciting advice for a first-time land owner (me!)

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Hi. I'm not really new. I'm restarting after 14 years in and out of SL. I've rented houses, rented land once (long ago) but now I'd like to buy some land, or I think I do. Here's what I want. I want a piece of land that I can terraform (unless I find something that meets my precise needs). I want much of it to be open to the public although I would like to have a home that would be private. I'd like to create a group and allow members of the group to rezz things. 
So, what do I want? Mainland? Homestead?
And, I've looked at the auction site, but is there a guide that tells you the primary features of each region, or do I need to visit each one?
One other question -- how do you determine the number of prims that you might need? Is there a formula, or a chart that says, if you have X amount of land, you'll probably need X land impact?

Sorry so many questions. if there is a place I can go to read these things that would be helpful. Not finding a lot of these answers on SL site. 


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Posted (edited)

Land impact is linked to the size of the plot. So 351 for a 1024 lot (in most cases) there are some double prim lots around but they are not the norm.   A 2048 would have double that. You can see the land impact allotted in the land tab of each parcel.  

You need to be a premium member to BUY mainland -- you can rent of course but would normally have limited abilities so that sounds like it wouldn't work for you.  

You cannot BUY a Homestead unless you already own a full sim. Again you could RENT a Homestead and in most cases you would have all the rights that you need. Homesteads area around $6500 a week (some more some less). 


Personally I would stay away from the actions for a first purchase. :D.   

That answered a few things. Sure there will be (or are maybe) other answers :D. 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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I know Rowan provided a link that will bring up most of the LL knowledge base articles dealing with land parcels, but here is some information to go along with what you read from those links.

I would suggest that you do a little exploring around of parcels for sale - on the map in the viewer, you can turn on a check-box to show parcels that are for sale.  They will show up highlighted in yellow, and you can easily TP to them from the map.  That will allow you to see how various sizes of parcels actually look when you're there "on the ground", so to speak, and you can check the about land to see the LI that comes with that parcel size.  When I'm out looking at land for sale, I also turn on showing parcel boundaries in the viewer, so that I can easily see how large the parcel is while I'm walking around.   I would also suggest picking some parcels on several different regions and along a road or coastline and also some inland parcels, so you can also get a feel for what types of locations may be more expensive than other locations.  

Generally, most mainland is only terraformable + or - 4 meters from it's original terraforming.  A couple of exceptions are Bay City regions, one or two of the very early neighborhood themes regions, Nautilus City (I think) and Horizons with no terraforming allowed.  There are also some older regions which allow terraforming + or - 40 meters - generally those parcels will have that noted in the sale info, and may be more expensive than others due to that. 

After getting a feel for parcel sizes and LI, I would suggest doing some house window-shopping, in order to see how much LI (and size) you will need for houses that you like and might be interested in purchasing.  This will give you some minimum values for what size parcel you may need.  You will want to allow for additional space around the house, and for additional LI for decorating the house interior and any landscaping you want to add.  

If you decide to purchase a mainland parcel, I would suggest finding the parcel you want to buy using the "parcels for sale" functionality on the viewer map, rather than participating in auctions - at least for the first time you purchase a parcel.   

Getting a handle about parcel sizes and LI, and minimum size and LI needed, will be helpful whether you purchase mainland or from a private estate.  When looking at private estate parcels for sale,  be sure to read the covenant for the estate - it is generally in the 'covenant' tab of About Land in the viewer, or there may be a sign to click on to receive the covenant on a NC.  You can look in the various sections of the land forums to find parcels for sale or rent, mainland or estate. 

One last thing - if you 'purchase' a parcel from an estate, it's basically like a lease - there will be amount you will need to pay the estate generally weekly (though there may be some with a monthly amount instead).  If you purchase mainland, you will be billed a monthly "tier" charge by Linden Lab - this is automatic and would charge your payment method on file.  The mainland tier charges from LL vary based on the total size of mainland parcels you own(ed) during the month * - on your web dashboard, look under "Land Manager - > Land Use Fees" to see what the fees are for various land size categories. 

* The month isn't a calendar month (i.e., doesn't start on the 1st of the month necessarily) but I believe is based on the day of the month that you first purchased land - for example, for me the tier month starts on the 15th of the month.  Also, because it's based on the largest amount of land you owned during that month period, it is charged in arrears, not paid in advance - so when you sell mainland, you likely will have 1 last billing after you've sold the land.

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Posted (edited)

I now stay away from the auctions even after 17 years in SL for lots of reasons, but mainly because you can no longer add to your original bid easily at the very last minute when land barons come and start sniping you to jack up the price of land that they then flip or even abandon. I see no reason to pay a lot more for land given that this is a buyer's market still in many areas. Not when you can find better land if you are willing to shop for a few days, or if you are willing to request abandoned land from the Lindens, which is only $1/meter.

I will speak only to Mainland and not islands which are most expensive and which you will not fully own and control. 

I have a script I'll send you which has been updated and modified over time to enable you to land shop and see, oh, that's 4096 m, how many prims does that give me and how much tier will that cost me? 

If you group your land, you get a 10% bonus which enables you to take a somewhat larger parcel and have some more prims.

I can't find my checklist right now but briefly:

o turn on "property lines" and "land owners" to see the colour of the land around you.

o check claim dates of land owners around you to see if they are stable keepers or born yesterday. Abandoned may seem like an ideal but at any minute the Lindens can come fetch it and put it on the auction.

o take off "volume" to see if there are any surprises on the land covered by signs or builds -- like squares in the middle, called "donut holes" that may be retained to force you to buy at a huge price to avoid your land being interrupted. Look for them along the edges too, where waterfront could suddenly spring an ad farm. You take off volume by enabling the advanced menu in "preferences" and then looking for "rendering types" and the uncheck "volume".

o Uncheck "water" as well on the same menu and study it for the same problems.

o Look at the Lag Meter or use ctr-shift-1 to get the performance menu. If it does not say 99/45 at the top for FPS and Time Dilation on several visits, it may have some lag monster on it. Check number of scripts -- if they are over 5000, performance can suffer. The Lindens shift sims around on to servers and improve this sometimes but don't count on it.

o Put draw distance out as far as you can stand to see what is in your view and whether it is something you can easily de-render without constantly returning to the problem (i.e. a large apartment building will have tenants shifting furniture and require constant de-render work; some giant sign may stay static). This is possible only on Firestorm and other non-SL viewers.

There's a lot more I could say but half the fun is learning this yourself and finding what suits you. And you can always sell or abandon your way out of it. One of the signs of the late Mr. Sirbu of Xaraz rentals, who sadly died in RL, was "NO PANIC". I thought that was the perfect sign for his store. People get very stressed by buying or renting land and worry terribly about being ripped off or being unhappy with awful neighbours. But things can be fixed. And there are a lot of options. And you can keep moving. Remember, it is YOUR market as a buyer.



Edited by Prokofy Neva
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Wow. Thanks so much for all the useful information, Prokofy, Moira, Rowan, and Chic. I now that Chic meant "stay away from auctions" and, more importantly, I understand why.

This is all helpful information, and I'll definitely go read the material at the link that Rowan sent to learn more.

I've always greatly admired all the creative people who make SL the fascinating and endlessly entertaining place it is, and I'm hoping I can make a small contribution to it myself.

Thanks again everyone.


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Sounds like your best bet would be a Mainland parcel.  Even better would be to find one by a road.  I saqy this due to your desire to have the place open to the public.  Plus the terraforming options.

To create a private section of your land, use the Edit Land feature, select the part of the land that's going to be private, then click Subdivide.  Then configure the Access and Options tabs of the About Land for the newly subdivided group-only parcel to allow only group members to do stuff.  Subdivide another slice of land if you also want a portion that's for you and you alone, and configure it as such.

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