How you buy property in a metaverse depends on the metaverse you're looking to be in. In some cases, property in a metaverse can be used to create buildings or functioning businesses for other users to explore and patronise.
Want to be a real estate mogul in the metaverse? Here's how to get started.
What is virtual real estate?
Virtual real estate functions much like physical real estate. It can be used as a space to construct buildings, host virtual art galleries or build businesses for buying and selling NFTs. In some games, you earn cryptocurrency if other players frequent structures or businesses on your virtual land.
Virtual real estate functions as non-fungible tokens within metaverses and play-to-earn games. These platforms rely on player engagement and real estate purchases to develop the metaverse world and create a functioning economy.
And since virtual plots in metaverses and blockchain games are typically NFTs, the ownership history of land is public knowledge, offering a way for users to show proof of ownership.
How to buy real estate NFTs
Buying virtual real estate is often done on a metaverse's own marketplace, either for sale by the developers or listed by users. So how you go about it can depend on the marketplace's accessibility, functionality and land availability. And how much you pay for a piece of virtual land depends on its utility, rarity and location.
Buying a land NFT is the same process as buying any other NFT. You browse through available listings, and buy the parcel at auction or fixed price, depending on how the seller lists it. Buyers can expect transaction fees for interacting with the blockchain, called gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain.
You'll need these things to buy virtual real estate:
Most land NFTs are ERC-20 tokens, and many metaverses, games and marketplaces are built on the Ethereum blockchain. This means users typically need ETH to buy land within metaverses.
Where to get virtual real estate
One of the safer ways to get certified virtual parcels is by going to a metaverse or game's marketplace. Secondary marketplaces, like OpenSea, offer real estate NFTs but you'll need to use your best judgment to avoid fake NFTs.
Buying land in Decentraland
In Decentraland, players can buy, sell or rent out NFT parcels to other players in hopes to earn income. You need some ETH, a supported crypto wallet and a Decentraland account. Players can create art or build structures on their property, such as casinos or other businesses.
Decentraland supports popular wallets like MetaMask and Trust Wallet. Head to market.decentraland.org and select the Land tab to browse land for sale. After you've found the parcel you want, buy or bid using ETH depending on how the owner is selling the parcel.
Image source: Twitter @decentraland
Buying land in Sandbox
Sandbox is an Ethereum-based metaverse 3D gaming platform — essentially a virtual world where players create games, buy and sell digital assets, explore or buy NFT land (called LAND). With LAND you host events, construct homes or businesses, display your NFTs, create games for users to play, rent out your LAND, or just buy and sell in hopes to earn.
To buy LAND, you need the currency $SAND, a Sandbox account and one of the supported wallets (MetaMask, Bitski or Venly). You can buy Sandbox parcels (LAND) on secondary marketplaces, from other players or during LAND sales which are announced weeks in advance. You need $SAND, an ERC-20 token and in-game currency. You can buy $SAND from multiple cryptocurrency exchanges, such as BitMart, UpBots, Latoken and more.
Image source: Sandbox
Buying property in Upland
Upland is a metaverse real estate game, where players explore a map that mimics the real world. There are over a dozen cities up and running including New York City, San Fran and Cleveland.
Once you have property in Upland, you use Spark, the in-game currency required to construct 3D buildings. These buildings will eventually function as businesses like arcades, exchanges, community centers and more. Owning collections of properties can earn you passive UPX income, and you can sell your land for USD if your status ranks high enough in the game.
To buy property in Upland, you need either UPX (main in-game currency) or USD, depending how the seller lists the parcel, and an Upland account. Your avatar roams the world as you interact with properties you pass over. Buy properties listed for sale or make offers to owners that aren't currently listing.
Image source: Upland.me
Buying land in Axie Infinity
While Axie Infinity is known for battling NFT creatures, you can also buy land. The land — called Terra — is located in the fantasy metaverse Lunacia.
Lunacia is represented as a 301x301 grid, and each square is a plot of land. Resources and AXS tokens can be generated in plots of land, which you can use to upgrade your Axies.
To buy Terra, you need an Axie Infinity account and a crypto wallet with ETH. Then go to Axie Infinity's marketplace at marketplace.axieinfinity.com to browse land for sale. Sort listings by land category or by price. There are six categories: Arctic, Forest, Genesis, Luna's Landing, Mystic and Savannah.
Image source: Axie Infinity
Buying land in Cryptovoxels
Cryptovoxels is a metaverse Ethereum-built game, where players can buy land, build stores and have art galleries. Chat, editing tools and avatars are also built into the game. Players can host or attend user-held community events.
The land is sold on the Cryptovoxels site, where it has weekly primary sales. However, you can also buy land at OpenSea from the verified Cryptovoxels collection. To buy, you'll need a crypto wallet with ETH.
Image source: Cryptovoxels
Buying land in Somnium Space
Somnium Space is a 3D virtual reality metaverse on the Ethereum blockchain. Use VR tech (Oculus Quest-compatible) to explore the world, buy land and digital assets, create 3D structures, customise your avatar and property and more. The land is called PARCELs, which is an ERC-721 token. Get the native token Somnium Cube (CUBE) for in-game purchases at OpenSea, Uniswap or Gemini.
To buy a PARCEL, go to OpenSea.io and buy certified real estate from the verified Somnium Space VR collection. You'll need a crypto wallet with ETH.
Image source: OpenSea listing "Medium"
Buying land in Arcona Metaverse — still in development
Arcona Metaverse is set to be an augmented reality (AR) metaverse, powered by the Ethereum Blockchain. ARCONA, the native token, is developed in three blockchains: Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Minter.
The world is equally mapped to our planet. Each parcel is separated into hexagonal plots of 100 square meters.
With land, you'll be able to set up businesses, host events, have tenants, or have an eye-catching attraction to generate income from other users. The more players on your land, the more income you can earn, thanks to smart contracts.
At the time of writing, browsing land for sale is unavailable on the Arcona Marketplace.
How much does virtual real estate cost?
Prices vary and the value of the cryptocurrency changes by the second. However, virtual real estate can run from thousands to millions of dollars.
Virtual real estate is considered a high-buy-in and high-risk investment, since the biggest driving force behind its value is the cryptocurrency that it's listed under and consumer interest. The available plots in metaverse games is also limited, adding to their value.
In Decentraland, prices are all over the map. A few that have a base price can reach 2,500,000 ETH, which is approximately $6,490,418,066 USD at the time of writing. However, we saw several listings for around 12,000 ETH.
In Axie Infinity, the lowest price plot was listed for 2.8 ETH, or around $7,340 USD, at the time of writing.
If you're looking to save cash on virtual real estate, jump into land presales that may yield a better deal. Secondary market sales tend to be more expensive, so following a game or metaverse's social channels can help you spot sale events.
How to sell NFT land
You may be able to sell your land on secondary marketplaces, but you'll likely have a better chance of finding a buyer if you're using the metaverse's proprietary marketplace.
Listing an NFT typically goes like this:
- View your owned assets in your wallet or account, and choose the one you want to sell.
- Choose a sale method, either fixed price or auction.
- Fill out the NFT's description, perks and other details.
- Confirm the listing, which may also require paying a gas fee for interacting with the blockchain.
If a buyer is interested in the land NFT, confirm the sale to finalise the transaction. Once an asset is sold, it's sent to the buyer's wallet. The game, metaverse or marketplace you're using to sell the NFT typically takes a percentage of the sale price, which could be anywhere from 5% to 15% or more.
What is a metaverse real estate agent?
Most land or parcel sales in a metaverse are done peer-to-peer. However, large investors with multiple properties may need help managing their valuable properties. Enter virtual real estate agents.
Metaverse Property is an example of a virtual real estate company. Its services include:
- Helping users buy and sell virtual property
- Developing land
- Renting out your property
- Managing property
It offers services in Decentraland, Sandbox, Somnium Space, Cryptovoxels and Upland.
A virtual real estate agent isn't required — especially if you only plan on having a few properties. However, if you want to be a mogul, these services may be worth looking into. We couldn't find any base rates on its services, though, so you'll have to contact the company directly.
You might need some major cheddar to break into virtual real estate. And the value of your owned properties is never guaranteed. When buying virtual real estate, we don't recommend spending more than you can afford to lose.
Any investment with NFTs is considered high-risk. An NFT's value can change by the second, and consumer interest, scarcity and utility are the main factors determining worth.
Virtual real estate NFTs have a unique value aspect: location. The area in which your property is located plays an important part in how much it's worth, similar to real estate IRL. Waterfront properties, densely populated areas and larger properties are all more likely to be valuable and desirable.
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