Thursday, December 27, 2012

Under the Hood: Evaluating "Waterfront" Property in Second Life

Evaluating "waterfront" property is often difficult. You may assume that "waterfront" means you have access to open water, but usually it just means that, for now, there is water at one edge of the land.

"Waterfront" could mean the property is on a beach at the edge of a sim, or, it could be land covered by water.  In order to find out whether this is land that truly has water access, you need to look at the property around it.

Here is one example: The land for sale is being described as "waterfront" with access to Blake Sea. In order to see the property lines and owners better I clicked "Show" and clicked "Property Owners." Land for sale is shown as yellow, other land is shown as red. If there is land at auction it will show purple.  To see the land under the water better I used advanced settings and de-rendered water.

How to de-render water?  Control plus Alt plus D brings up the Advanced menu on the Second Life viewer.  (Information from a post by Lindal Kidd). Click "Rendering types" then click "Water" and water will disappear.

How to find the 'de-render' feature

Same scene, with water de-rendered.
Now that the water is gone you can see that the boat is floating right at the edge of the property line. The property for sale is shown in yellow. When I checked the land shown in red, it all belonged to a different owner. Then in order to get an overview of the area I clicked on the Worldmap.
Worldmap - property in question at lower left
You can see that there are multiple structures on the water between the property and the larger body of water to the top. When I flew past them to the water I didn't meet any boundaries. so for now I'm guessing you can sail from the property at the lower left to Linden water, but you can only do so because the people who own the property over the water between you and the open water have not set up any barriers.

Out of curiosity, I checked out the 512 parcel shown in yellow near the upper right of the map. Its north property line is right on the open water, so you can be sure you have water access; however, the asking price per meter is over 30 times that of the property on the lower left.

While many private estate owners have set established waterways with restrictions so that their residents can sail freely, when you buy "waterfront" land in the Mainland, the only way you can be certain that you will continue to have water access is if your property is right on the border of Linden Maintenance land. Fortunately, most people do not block access past their water properties.

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