I had a Linden Home for over a year. It was a Plumtree Meadowbrook, a two-story, spacious, suburban home in a quiet neighborhood. Even while I had my beloved shack in New Toulouse Bayou, I kept my Linden Home. I liked it and it made for a great escape.
A Linden Home is a great option for someone new to Second Life. It is included in premium membership, uses included tier, and requires almost no set up. You just pick your house and Linden Lab does the rest and then you’re ready to move in. A Linden Home has its limitations, however. You can’t change the style or edit the house or terrain, and you can only customize so much. The 117-prim limit can feel restrictive.
After a while of being in Second Life and acquiring beautiful homes through hunts and other gifts as well as nifty decorative items I couldn’t prim-afford, I decided it was time to graduate from my Linden Home and find a larger parcel in some little corner of my virtual world. After getting some great advice from friends at SLU, I hit the air in search of new territory to conquer. Here’s what I learned.
1. It’s not easy finding your dream parcel.
There isn’t a single place to see listings of available land. You can use the Search, the Land Forum, and auctions, plus whatever other community resources you may be familiar with, and tap into your friends. Ultimately, I found the best method was to take to the skies over the mainland, open the World Map, check the Land Sale option, and look around.
2. It’s not easy finding and navigating the mainland.
Unless you’re already familiar with the mainland or know some places on it to get you started, finding the mainland continents can be a challenge. Even the Second Life Road Network Directory and the Linden Dept. of Public Works Road entries in the wiki don’t have SLurls to take you to the mainland. You have to dig to find them and then you may not know which mainland continent you’re on. Luckily, I came across a handy continent detector script.
3. There is a lot of abandoned land.
There is a huge amount of abandoned land and much of it is not for sale. I found a wonderful parcel that was abandoned in Aug. 2010. It is almost five times larger than what I was originally looking for, but it is such a nice location that I thought I’d try my luck. I submitted a help ticket requesting to let me purchase it. Linden Lab responded in about three days (kudos!), but said the parcel did not qualify for a direct sale. A request was submitted to the concierge to have the parcel put up for auction, but no telling how long that might take and, to make it fair to all buyers, I would not be notified when the land listed. A month later, the parcel is still sitting there, abandoned, not for sale, and not up for auction. On the bright side, abandoned land that is for sale is just L$1/m². That’s some of the cheapest land around. Auctioned land begins at this price, but it can go up if someone else wants it too and decides to bid.
4. Land comes in various sizes.
There are land parcels of varying sizes. Given the tier chart, I assumed that parcels came in only in eight sizes ranging from 512 to 65,536 m². Actually, they come in all sizes. I’ve seen parcels that are as small as 16 m². I’m not sure what one would do with such a small plot.
5. Land comes in various shapes.
A squarish parcel is perhaps the most common shape, but it’s not unsual to find a long, narrow parcel. They work well for trailers, I suppose.
6. There is no market value.
There is no limit to land. Linden Lab can create it anytime. Land can cost as little or as much as you’re willing to pay. Linden Lab sells abandoned land at L$1/m². Residents can set the price they want for private mainland they’re selling. Sometimes it less than L$1/m², but it’s usually more. Some areas, such as waterside and roadside, are costlier than others, but you can find parcels that are in close proximity on sale for wildly different prices. For example, I saw 1024 m² of abandoned land next to a privately owned parcel of 1024 m² on sale for L$500,000. There are many examples of this so it’s hard to tell if the resident is joking, has an inflated sense of the value of his beachfront parcel, or just hasn’t realized there’s a cheap piece of abandoned land next door.
The mainland has its charms and some very cool places to explore, but it’s also littered with forgotten prims, can be laggy, unsightly, and design elements vary tremendously. Some people may like having a Victorian home, an alien spaceship, and mall, and Gothic castle all in the same neighborhood, but I am not one of them. It took a while and a lot of flight miles, but I finally settled on 1024 m² parcel in a pretty remote area that’s close to the ocean. I don’t know what kind of homes furries live in, but I put down this lovely 70s modern country ranch style home from Inside Buildings.