We’ve all heard of and understand what the metaverse is, right? Good for you if you answered yes. If you’re like me and over the age of 40 and/or not inclined to follow technology’s rapidly evolving pace, your answer was probably no. According to my extensive (not true) research (I typed in the Duck Duck Go search bar), a metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection. And it’s not just the wave of the future, it’s here.
Some key takeaways to consider in purchasing virtual real estate vs. *real real estate…
What Currency To Use
Metaverse– You still need money, but in the metaverse you pay with crypto currency out of a digital wallet. But not all buying platforms accept all forms of crypto so you may be forced to invest in a speculative form that may or may not stick around and every crypto coin has its own value independent of others (not confusing at all), plus if you forget the ‘seed phrase’ you’re assigned when your wallet is opened it is almost impossible to retrieve it which means you have lost your virtual wallet with real assets in it. Like, gone.
Reality– When you buy real real estate, you’ll use your money (electronically withdrawn from a bank insured by the FDIC) in combination with a lender’s money if you get a loan. No need to worry about what kind of money, if it’s American currency and you’re buying real estate on American soil, you’re good. And if you forget your password, you can pretty easily retrieve it.
How To Find Property For Sale
Metaverse- As of now, there are not virtual Realtors to help you find virtual real estate so you will either do your own extensive research (and it is extensive) before buying your property (oh my goodness be sure you understand the real world asking price of the properties you’re interested in since crypto coins valuations vary) directly from a specific platform, or you can go through a third-party platform that offer buying and selling opportunities. You will have the ability to view what it is you’re interested in purchasing including nearby amenities as well as neighbors. That’s neat.
Reality- Hopefully you have employed the services of a qualified and reputable real estate agent who will listen to your wants and needs and initiate a search based off of your criteria via whatever online listing database is utilized in your neck of the woods. You will then start touring properties you like together and the agent will be able to educate you on the surrounding areas, schools, shopping, amenities, etc. You may even wave to a potential future neighbor or two. Here’s where a big difference comes into play. These future neighbors may provide cups of sugar for you in a pinch or even dare I say it, an actual physical friendship.
From Offer to Closing
Metaverse– Well, hands down for speed and ease, the process of making an offer and closing in the metaverse is much easier and quicker, but not as secure. Depending on which platform you’re buying from, you either make an offer on the land you want and it’s accepted or rejected, or even simpler, you click it and buy it with the cryptocurrency in your online wallet. No appraisals yet as this is all still highly speculative and valuations can fluctuate rapidly. Remember not to lose your digital wallet where you store your NFTs because there is no other way to retrieve your NFT title. And one more small detail, if a metaverse platform devolves and goes offline, so does your NFT real estate investment.
Reality– In the real world of course, especially now in this extremely tight seller’s market, the process can be much lengthier and somewhat draining emotionally if you are finding yourself competing with other buyers, but in the long run your purchase will be more secure. If you are getting a loan there will be an appraisal as the bank wants to insure the property is worth what you’re buying it for which alleviates a large portion of speculative risk. You will then head to a closing attorney’s office where you get the title after signing a ton of paperwork and paying the down payment. Here comes the best part, if the bank goes out of business, your asset doesn’t disappear, your mortgage just goes to a different lending institution. Oh, and of course you have physical land that you can go have a picnic on or actually build a house on. That’s the best best part.
Hopefully I’ve given you a little insight into the new world of metaverse real estate. I’m still learning myself and it’s a tad overwhelming. But if you’re interested in buying or selling physical land or an actual home, that doesn’t overwhelm me at all, in fact I love it. It would be an honor to serve you with any of your real real estate needs.
By Holly A. Morris, Realtor
The Meridian Real Estate Group
*For the sake of this article real real estate refers to land or property that is tangible to our senses in the physical world. There is an argument to be made that metaverse real estate is real too despite not being tangible.