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Buying land


How to buy land

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

  • Make sure you know exactly what you're purchasing! Hit Ctrl-Alt-Shift-P on your keyboard to see 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 Primitives Parcel Supports entry in the About Land window's Objects tab. This indicates how many primitives you can place on this land.
Important: If you don't own the land yet, the Simulator Object Usage entry is NOT a measure of the object usage you will receive!
  • If the Advanced menu is active, try hiding objects by hitting 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.

Most of all, before you buy land, make sure you're familiar with how Second Life bills for land. Read up on the Beginning Landowner FAQ before making a purchase.

?Once you find the land you want, it's time to buy it! Buying land in Second Life 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.
Note: Parcel-level maturity settings govern where they appear in Search window results. Region-level maturity settings govern actual maturity-based access to land.

Tier

Tier is a key concept when it comes to Second Life land ownership. It's also a concept many Residents find confusing. This page clarifies what "tier" means and how it works.

Important: These are the simplified basics. You should be aware of the exceptions described below.

In general usage, "tier" can mean a "rank." In Second Life, tier" refers to the maximum amount of land you can own on the Second Life mainland, measured in square meters (m2). Tiers don't have formal ranks, but to have a mainland tier you must have a premium account.

"Available tier" or variations like "free tier" (free in this instance means "it can be used," 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."

A premium account includes of 512m2 tier, which can be used for a free Linden Home, a rather pretty house on a 512m2 parcel in your choice of four locations.

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

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

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.

If you need more land, you need to upgrade. Visit 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."

Premium accounts

To be precise, a premium account has an included minimum 512m2 tier. Let's call it "512m2 base tier." As long as you have a premium account, it's there with you — one of the perks of being premium.

You can always increase your tier on the Land Use Fees page, which adds to the 512m2 base tier. For example, if you upgrade to the "8,192m2" tier level, that's actually:

512m2 base tier + 8,192m2 additional tier = 8,704m2.

Say for some reason you want to downgrade the additional tier to 0m2. That means:

512m2 base tier + 0m2 additional tier = 512m2.

In brief, as a premium member, you can't have less than 512m2 tier.

Note: With the introduction of Linden Homes as a benefit for all premium account holders, land now comes with your premium acount. In the past, you had to buy the land separately, which you are still free to do. But why not give a Linden Home a try? It's free, after all.

Exceptions

This list is partial.

  • As explained in the Accounts overview, you can own a private estate yet not have a mainland tier.
  • Group land gets a 10% bonus tier.This is understandably confusing at first.
  • 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 land from such an estate and you need help, you should  contact the owner or another appropriate Resident directly.

Finding land to buy

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

  1. In the Viewer, click the magnifying glass in the Search field. The FIND window opens.
  2. Choose Land & Rentals from the dropdown menu at the top. 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 the Area 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$) as well as US dollars (USD$).

Still haven't found what you're looking for? Ask around and read the forums.

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 windowwhich includes such region access options as:
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.

Confirming land use tier

Log into your Second Life account summary at any time to manage your land use fees and land.

Land use tiers and pricing can be found at your account's Land Use Fees page.

Also see the Beginner Landowners FAQ.

How objects on land are calculated

Overview

Each region is exactly 65536 square meters and supports 15,000 primitive objects. Divided evenly, this means that each region can support approximately 0.229 objects per square meter. In practical terms, this means a standard 512 square meter parcel can support up to 117 objects, a 1024 square meter parcel can support up to 234 objects, 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 object capacity or maximum Primitive usage.  You can view represented as Simulator primitive usage in the About Land window. In this way, it is possible for the Primitives on parcel number to be higher than the Primitives parcel supports 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 Primitives on parcel count. 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 Region Object Bonus Factor to increase the number of objects supported by each parcel. This setting multiplies the number of objects each parcel can support by the Bonus Factor. It is important to note that this does not increase the maximum number of objects supported by the Region, which means that not all parcels in the Region will be able to reach their listed maximum capacity.

Buying mainland directly from Linden Lab

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 us:

Auctions

We regularly auction off mainland parcels via our website. Auction land sales function differently than regular land sales; for extensive information on Second Life land auctions, check out the Second Life Land Auctions page.

Other special cases

In some special cases, we may sell 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 our Land Store.

Renting land

Land rental is a thriving business in Second Life; if you own a large amount of land or a private estate, it can be profitable for you to lease some of your land to other Residents. Private estate owners also have several additional tools available to them to help facilitate land rental.

Basic Rental

Rentals in Second Life consist of a tenant/landlord structure. Tenants pay a landlord a regular fee for the use of a defined quantity of the landlord's resources. Those resources may vary from situation to situation; some landlords rent predetermined parcels of land, while other may charge for a finite number of objects allowed in a Region.

There are many ways to collect rental fees from tenants; some landlords prefer informal direct payments and real paper record-keeping, while others use Resident-created, automated rental machines. As a landlord, you should settle on a collection method you are most comfortable with, and inform your tenants upfront about your payment policy.

Tip: To learn more about the different rental collection options available, try asking the opinions of some existing landlords. They have the benefit of experience, and may be able to help you choose a solution that works best for you.

You will also need to determine what level of control you would like your tenants to have over your rented land. One common method involves the creation of a "rental group". The rental group forms a common bond between your land and your tenants; as long as the parcel is set to the rental group, and you tenants use their rental group tags, they will be able to place objects on your parcel without fear of autoreturn. For more information on how group land and group objects work, see Group-owned land.

To evict a deadbeat tenant from group-owned land, you can eject them from the land rental group and return their objects from the land parcel.

Private Region rental

Estate owners have a number of tools at their disposal to make land rental easier. In addition to greater control over the general environment in their Regions, Estate owners may divide their Private Regions into parcels for sale. When a Resident buys a parcel in a Private Region, he gains control over that parcel as though he owns it. This added feature eliminates the need for rental groups or complicated rights-granting rituals sometimes associated with rental properties.

To evict a deadbeat tenant from land in your Private Region, you can choose the Reclaim Land... button from the About Land window:

Image:kbsd_kb_reclaim_land.jpg

Note: Parcels bought by Residents in Private Regions are still technically owned and paid for by the Estate owner. As the owner of a Private Region, you will still need to determine a way to collect rental fees from your tenants. For more information on Private Region land sales, see "How do land sales in Private Regions work?"

Advertising land rentals in Second Life search

There are three ways to list your land as a rental property in Second Life search.  Each of these methods causes your land to appear under the "For Rent" section of Land & Rentals searches.

Create a classified ad on the land parcel

To create a new classified ad:

  1. Stand on the parcel you wish to rent out.
  2. Click the search icon at the left of the Viewer to open the Second Life Search window.
  3. Click Create a Classified on the Search window home page.  TheEdit Classified section of the My Profile tab opens.
  4. Fill in an appropriate title and description for your land rental classified ad.
  5. Click Set to Current Location to set the ad's location.
  6. From the Category dropdown, choose Land Rental.
  7. Click Publish to publish your new rental advertisement.

Set the parcel's land category in the About Land window

You can set a land parcel's category to Rental using the following procedure:

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > About Land.
  2. Click the OPTIONS tab.
  3. Set the category dropdown to Rental.  The category dropdown can be found just above the parcel snapshot.
  4. Make sure Show Place in Search is checked so your parcel appears in search results.

Include specific keywords in your parcel name or description

If you use certain words or phrases in your parcel's name or description, it appears as a land rental in search results.  To set your parcel's name and description:

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > About Land.
  2. Click the GENERAL tab.
  3. Use one of the following case-insensitive phrases in the Name or Description field to mark your parcel as a rental property in search results:
    • Parcel for rent
    • Mainland rental
    • Estate rental
    • Homestead rental
    • Land rental
    • Private Estate rental

Additional steps for rentals on private estates

If you are renting out parcels on your Private Estate, you must set the rental parcel for sale.  We recommend that you set the price as the weekly rental price and disclose any other setup fees or deposits in the parcel description.

Warning: Do not set your parcel for sale if you are trying to rent out land on the mainland.  Any mainland parcel that is set for sale appears as a land sale (not rental) and can be purchased by other Residents.
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