One of the benefits of having a premium account in Second Life is that you can get a free house. The downside is that you have a limited selection from which to choose.
The upside to owning your own land is that you don’t have to have a premium account to do so.
Today I returned my premium house of 3 or 4 years and bought a piece of land. I then bought and built a log cabin on that land, and moved in. It took a bit of doing as I had to terraform the land, leveling it so the cabin would fit on it properly.
Which brings me to today’s lesson—things to watch for when buying land. It can be tricky, and there are some pitfalls that can snare you if you’re not careful.
First, are you really buying the land? I’ve seen lots (no pun intended) of properties advertised as for sale for $3,000 for 1024 square meters that in reality turn out to be deals where you pay the $3,000 for the “privilege” of paying an additional $850 a week to keep it. So be sure that you’re buying the land free and clear so that you will actually own it. Also be sure to read any covenants that come with the land, as they may also reduce what you can do with it. My property has no covenants, which means I can subdivide it if I wish. I can also sell it if I decide to.
Also check the number of prims you’re allowed to place on the land. My parcel allows 351 prims, and that meant there were a lot of houses I couldn’t consider because they would have exceeded that limit.
Does your house come furnished or unfurnished? Some houses weigh in at, say, 250 prims, but come completely furnished. Others of the same model take up only 50 prims, but you have to provide your own furnishings.
There are several vendors who specialize in low-prim furnishings; look for and patronize them. And don’t ignore your own SL library! Trees, plants, rocks—they’re all there at your fingertips.
A Word About Terraforming
Terraforming is modifying your land to suit your needs. I would advise against it unless you’ve had a lot of experience. If you’re going to do it, remember that there is a “revert” function in case you mess up too badly.
I’ve tried to cover the basics of buying property. If you have any specific questions, drop me a note or leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.