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do i have to pay real money to buy a house?


silvercool1220
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You can find very nice free houses around-- in hunts and as group gifts and such. Even with a free house, though, you will need to rent or buy land. Even with a premium 512 "free tier" each month, there is an initial cost to purchase a lot. There ARE a few free apartments and cabins around and about on the grid. The best way to find those is to search the classifieds often. Some disappear very quickly as you might imagine.

It is difficult to live in SL in a total freebie culture. Possible? Yes, but it is easier if you can find a way to earn a few Lindens. Then you don't need to spend real money. I have been in SL for almost four years, owned several businesses and numerous pieces of property and have never spent any US dollars. I did work however and build and sell -- all to support myself so that I could buy what I wanted and live as I pleased.

 

It isn't really a Free Lunch thing here totally.

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Yes, you need to spend real money to have a house in SL, unless you can find someone else who is generous enough to pay the bills for you and let you live for free on their land.

Setting up a house requires land large enough to support the number of prims in the house. A 512 M2 parcel allows you to set up 117 prims. Someone has to pay the monthly cost of running the servers that makes that land available. So even if you get the house itself for free, which is quite possible, someone still has to pay real money every month to pay for the land you will set it up on.

If you become a Premium Member, you're still paying real money for that monthly, quarterly or annual membership. But one of the benefits is a "free" 512 M parcel, and a "free" home in a sim full of nearly identical starter homes. You don't have to pay for that limited-use parcel of land or the free house that is situated on it, but you still have to pay the membership dues, with real money. 

If you have skills that are in demand, and if you learn how to earn money in-world, you could possibly earn enough L$ in-world to pay rent on an in-world parcel to someone else who pays the monthly maintenance fees with real money. But even though you, personally, would never be seeing those L$ as real money, your landlord would be cashing them out into real money to pay the actual maintenance costs for the land your home is on. You could just as easily cash those L$ out yourself, and pay real money back into the system to live somewhere else, so it's still "paying real money", even if you earn 100% of it in-world.

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