Viewerhelp:Buying and owning land

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This article is ready for technical review.

What is land?

Every place you visit in Second Life is on virtual land.

Why should you own land? Whether it's creating a cozy home, a stylish store, a bustling nightclub, or just using land as a canvas for artistic self-expression, there are many possibilities. Think of it this way: the web has domains like you can reliably access to learn more. In a same way, every piece of Second Life land has a special address you can share with others by way of landmarks and SLurls so they can come visit in seconds. That way, whether you're inviting a newfound friend over or increasing your sales, you have reliability and peace of mind.

If you're a first-time landowner, we offer Linden Homes which come pre-populated with a house you can customize and be comfortable with. Reduce the confusion and get settled in.

Land has many concepts, but below are the basics to get you started quickly.

Land comes in different sizes and types

Land can either be located on:

  • Mainland - Linden-administrated and made of non-contiguous continents.
  • Estate - Most estates are private estates owned by Residents.

How can you tell?

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > About Land.
  2. In About Land - General, look where it says Type and Owner. Mainland is always owned by Governor Linden.

From smallest to biggest land units, some general facts about important terms we use:

  • Parcel
    • Divided part of a region owned by a Resident or a group.
    • A parcel can be as small as 16 m2 or as big as the entire region.
    • Every mainland parcel owner has a Premium or Concierge account (if you own half of a mainland region or more), but you you can buy (lease) parcels with a Basic account on private estates.
    • Settings are controlled in About Land.
  • Region
    • A square on the map, either a private estate or the mainland.
    • 65,536 m2 (256 x 256 m2) of virtual land running on a simulator.
    • Ownership is actually at the Estate level.
    • Settings are controlled in Region/Estate.
  • Estate
    • One or more regions owned by and billed to a Resident, called the estate owner, and optionally managed by up to 10 estate managers.
    • Every estate owner has a Concierge account.
    • Estate managers have almost all the powers of the estate owner.
    • An estate's regions don't have to be contiguous.
    • Settings are controlled in Region/Estate, specifically the Estate tab.
  • Second Life world - grid
    • Doesn't have a single owner, but is overall run by Linden Lab employees.
    • News appears on Grid Status Reports.


What's the difference between "buying" and "renting" land?

There are exceptions to the following so consult specific situations, but some key points:

  • Buying happens on the mainland.
    • You need to have a Premium account for your land holdings (tier).
    • No intermediary Resident is involved.
    • Terraforming is limited to +/- 4 m and outside of a few other exceptions (like Linden Homes, there's no zoning code, meaning neighbors can build whatever they want as long as it doesn't violate the Community Standards.
  • Renting happens on a private estate.
    • You can have a Basic account.
    • You're paying L$ to a Resident; the Buy Land window still says "buy", but requires you to agree to a covenant, the estate owner's terms of use. This means they have the right to reclaim your land and eject you at their discretion.
    • Obviously, just like in real life, there's no problem if the landlord-tenant relationship is friendly, but there could be a higher risk of conflict.
    • Terraforming may be more or less flexible; certain estates are themed and enforce zoning codes, promoting a more cohesive appearance. For example, Arabian desert or futuristic metropolis.

Basic steps to buying a land parcel

  1. Find a parcel. There are several ways to do that, including:
    • Using the search tool in the upper-right of your Viewer window.
    • Browsing the World Map.
    • Xstreet Real Estate on the web.
    • You can see parcel borders: choose World > Show > Property Lines and/or Land Owners.
  2. On the parcel, choose World > Buy This Land. The Buy Land window appears with more details.
    • For example, you may need to buy more L$ first if the parcel's cost exceeds your current balance.
    • Or you may need to upgrade your account if the parcel size exceeds your current allowed land holdings.
    • On a private estate, you need to check I agree to the Covenant Defined Above.
  3. Once everything is set, click Purchase.

More help:

What if I want to make this parcel group-owned?

  1. After buying a parcel, choose World > Place Profile > About Land.
  2. Click Set to open Groups.
  3. Select a group and click OK.
  4. Check Allow Deed to Group.
    • If you're also contributing your land holdings to the group, check Owner Makes Contribution With Deed.
  5. Click Deed.

Group-owned land has many subtleties such as a 10% land-holding bonus, so it's well-worth reading more help:

Now that I own a parcel, how do I customize it?

There are two general ways:

  1. Administrative settings - Choose World > Place Profile > About Land.
  2. Inworld customization
    • You can rez objects like a house and furniture onto your parcel.
    • Depending on the land, you may be able to terraform it.

How do I see my land holdings and usage?

There are a couple ways:

  1. Inworld, choose World > My Land.
  2. On the web, go to My Dashboard and click Land Manager on the left. This has more details.

What if I want even bigger land?

If you have a big vision that simply must be realized on a larger canvas, visit the Second Life Land Store, where you can purchase entire regions and upgrade to a Concierge account.

For your ease, we also offer themed, developed land for different use cases so you can get started in minutes.

More help:

How do I control my region/estate?

It's similar to how it works at the parcel level but on a grander scale.

  1. Choose World > Place Profile > Region/Estate to change settings for each region.
  2. To change estate-wide settings, click the Estate tab.