How to Buy Real Estate in the Metaverse

Credit: Rarity Sniper

In 2022, Curzio Research, a U.S. investment firm, bought $5 million worth of land. While that factoid alone may not be worth a headline, it did catch mainstream attention. The hook wasn’t the dollar figure or the fact that it was a land purchase. The part that had people’s jaw dropping was where: a metaverse.

The land wasn’t real, and yet a company had spent millions on it.

Can you say: Boom goes the dynamite?

If you’re reading this article, it is likely you have a hunger to know more about metaverse land. What it is, what it costs, and in particular — how to buy it. And you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover the topic of metaverse land comprehensively. By the end, you’ll know:

  • The top metaverses to buy land
  • What you can do with metaverse land after you buy

And of course, the meat of the article: Our step-by-step, simple instructions on how to buy virtual property. By the end, you’ll have your certified hard hat in digital worlds, capable of making informed decisions in this new technological space.

Let’s get started.

How to Buy Metaverse Land

While buying metaverse land may seem complicated — Web3, we know, can be confusing — it really comes down to a few simple steps: creating a digital wallet, buying cryptocurrency, selecting the metaverse, and purchasing the land parcel.

Here, we will go through each step in detail.

Step 1 – Create a Digital Wallet

The first step to buying metaverse land is creating a digital wallet. Digital wallets are the virtual equivalent of your physical wallet or purse: They hold all your digital assets, including fungible tokens like cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens like Bored Apes. The wallet serves two purposes in the buying process: You’ll use it to make the purchase itself and to store your virtual land.

Most decentralized metaverses (though not all) run on the Ethereum blockchain, so you’ll likely want a digital crypto wallet that operates on that chain. Popular ones are MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, and the branch of wallets under WalletConnect. These digital wallets are non-custodial, meaning you fully control the operations that take place in these wallets.

While that is infinitely better than a custodial wallet (where another entity has the private key to your wallet), it does come with risks: There’s only one way to get in if you’ve forgotten your password. This is through a seed phrase — a 12-24 mnemonic word list that represents your private key. If you forget your password, you can restore your wallet with the seed phrase.

Step 2 – Buy Cryptocurrency

For the next step, you’ll buy cryptocurrency and transfer it to your wallet. The most common methods of buying crypto are:

  • Through a centralized exchange (CEX) like Coinbase or Kraken
  • Through a third-party fiat-to-crypto on-ramp like Wyre or Moonpay

Both comes with their own pros and cons.

Buying through a centralized exchange means connecting your bank account to that exchange’s servers. You’ll likely need to KYC (“know-your-customer”), which involves disclosing personal information to the exchange. While exchanges do this to comply with anti-money laundering laws, you may not be comfortable giving sensitive information to a company you don’t know. On the opposite side, this method of purchasing crypto is generally cheaper, involving fewer fees.

Buying through a fiat-to-crypto on-ramp is the opposite.

You’ll have privacy, only needing to supply a credit card and the wallet you want to transfer crypto to. But the fees can be substantially more and often are a percentage of the overall amount of crypto you buy. This can add up quickly.

After you’ve bought the crypto, you’ll either manually transfer it to your wallet (CEX) or the company will transfer it for you (fiat-to-crypto on-ramp). Then, the fun starts.

Step 3 – Select the Metaverse Land You Want to Buy

For the third step, you’ll select both the metaverse you want to buy land in and the land parcel itself. The decision will largely depend on your personal opinions surrounding each metaverse and what you want to do with the land. If you’re a Web3 beginner, don’t be alarmed. We’ll cover the most popular metaverses and ways to use your metaverse land later.

Metaverses can range in terms number of users, what they are most well-known for, and how decentralized they are. Metaverse land can range in size as well, which you’ll balance with another factor: location. Generally, when you hear of a big metaverse land sale in the news, it’s because someone found the location of the land very desirable.

Finally, the metaverse you choose will often affect what token you pay with, as many decentralized metaverses have their own token. The Sandbox, for instance, has $SAND. Decentraland has $MANA. Typically, you’ll buy assets in these metaverses using their native token.

You might say: I wasn’t able to purchase the metaverse token in Step 2. What do I do?

That process is simple as well: You can always swap a well-known token like Ethereum for a lesser-known token like $SAND or $MANA on a decentralized exchange (DEX) if the lesser-known token wasn’t available.

Step 4 – Make Your Purchase

The next (and final) step is the big one: making the actual purchase. You’ll do this once you’ve found the metaverse and metaverse land parcel you want. Although the actual process is straightforward — most third-party marketplaces like to keep things as simple as clicking a buy button and approving the transaction — there is a hidden trap waiting for you: the gas fee.

All blockchains have a transaction fee, and the amount varies by blockchain.

If you’re purchasing a land parcel on Ethereum, the transaction may cost you an extra $30-150 in gas fees. On other blockchains like Solana, the gas fee may be much lower.

To avoid a large gas fee, try minting during times when the blockchain is less busy. Less busy = fewer transactions to compete with = saved money. Those times tend to be late at night and often on the weekend.

Now, you’re a new metaverse landowner! Congrats.

Then comes the question: What do I do with this land?

Five Ways You Can Use Your Metaverse Land

While purchasing your first parcel of metaverse land can be exhilarating, the true rewards start after — during the stage when you experiment with this new type of asset. Though the limits of what you can do are limited solely by your imagination, there are some tried and true methods of extracting value from your metaverse property.

Here are five.

#1 – Flip Your Metaverse Land

The simplest (and least work-intensive) way to make a profit with your metaverse land is to flip it. To do this, all you need to do is wait for the value of the property to rise over time, then sell at the opportune moment. Still, if this is your strategy, you’ll need to know the virtual real estate market and property prices well. Otherwise, you could wind up with a loss.

#2 – Open a Business on Your Virtual Property

Another way to profit from your virtual property is to open a business on it. Some common ones include places for individuals to hang out (karaoke bars, comedy clubs), ones that specialize in an activity (art gallery), or offer a service (real estate brokers office, for instance).

#3 – Build a Game on Your Digital Land

Games are worn into the fabric of metaverses, as users often visit these virtual worlds for entertainment and to take their mind off everyday life. If you’re a seasoned game developer or even just an enthusiast, you can build your own game on your digital property and charge people to play it.

#4 – Rent Your Property Out to Others

Renting your parcel of land out to others can result in a good passive income stream and for a simple reason: While most companies know of the metaverse by now, they want to avoid investing too much in it. So, instead of taking the risk and purchasing their own property, they choose to rent. That makes you, as a landowner, in demand.

#5 – Hold Virtual Events on Your Land

Finally, the fifth and last idea in this list and perhaps the most fun: Hold virtual events on your land and charge people admission. One that has become popular in recent years is the metaverse concert. They are a popular, safe way to enjoy music, especially for the younger generations.

Four of the Top Metaverses in Which to Buy Land

With the burst of interest in the metaverse following Mark Zuckerberg’s renaming of Facebook to Meta, the number of metaverses has shot through the roof. That makes your decision, as an investor, builder, or developer, that much tougher. Fortunately, here at Rarity Sniper, we have covered the metaverse as a news topic for over a year. We know the top decentralized metaverses and even some hidden gems.

Here are four up-and-coming decentralized metaverses with potential to buy a piece of land, starting with the two most popular.

#1 – The Sandbox

The Sandbox launched as a decentralized metaverse built on the blockchain in 2019, well before the hype. And since then, it has amassed a following among the crypto community for its partnerships and ease of use. The Sandbox is the metaverse of choice for major non-fungible token projects and some NFT collectors like Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton, providing it some digital credibility as well.

The Sandbox metaverse is made up of virtual plots of land adequately called “LAND.” There will only ever be 166,464 LANDS available, a bit of scarcity in an industry when you can create more land at the click of a button. Users of The Sandbox entirely own the LAND parcels, which can be resold on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.

#2 – Decentraland

Decentraland is another popular platform that has made quite a bit of noise in the past year. It is home to big events like the Metaverse Fashion Week and Metaverse Music Festival, both of which have seen thousands of users participate. Some major companies have invested in Decentraland as well, including Atari, adidas, and Miller Lite.

Land in the Decentraland metaverse is divided into “Parcels” and “Estates,” the latter just being a group of Parcels that are merged together. Like with The Sandbox, you can develop your land to create experiences, which you can then monetize. Land in Decentraland is tied to the total amount of the metaverse’s native token, $MANA. This creates artificial scarcity.

#3 – Somnium Space

Somnium Space may make for an interesting choice on this list. It’s not as big as The Sandbox or Decentraland, but it comes with a unique component: It is one of the few metaverses that focuses directly on virtual reality and is compatible across all major VR headsets. This makes it an early adopter of a technology that most believe will be important to metaverses in the future.

It also uses the blockchain. You can monetize your land in Somnium Space by using IRL technology statistics, including gaze tracking, engagement, and conversion rates. There is also the unique possibility of leaving a recording on your property for AI to decipher years later, rendering you immortal in the digital space.

#4 – CryptoVoxels

CryptoVoxels is the final metaverse platform on this list and like the other metaverses, it bills itself as a game where you can buy property, host events, and interact with other users. It is a player-built metaverse, meaning that the users themselves are primarily responsible for the creation of the spaces.

Land in CryptoVoxels varies by shape, size, location, and price. You can buy directly from other users or from the CryptoVoxels team itself. Unlike other metaverses, where the names of the property are simply LAND and other designations, the names of parcels in the CryptoVoxels metaverse have colorful names, indicating that this is a fun place to be.

Final Thoughts on Metaverse Land

Like any other new, burgeoning industry, the metaverse is full of opportunities and risks, which you, as a user, are tasked to navigate in order to be successful. We hope this guide has helped you understand how to buy metaverse land, what you can do with it, and which metaverse platforms to choose when beginning your search. Happy purchasing and may the Web3 deities be ever in your favor.

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