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    Canonfire :: View topic - Real Estate?
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    Real Estate?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:13 am  
    Real Estate?

    I've got some characters who might find the deed to a farm they've just cleared out. No kids, no will. There is one kink, in that the huge barn on the property was kind of communal property, and the neighbors want it kept that way.

    So, what's real estate in Greyhawk (Yeomanry, in particular) worth? I'm thinking about 10x it's annual production, whatever that is. I'd call it about five acres of wheat with a veggie garden and land for a dozen or so sheep. There's a 100 sq ft house, a well, and the aforementioned huge barn.

    Any ideas? They're not getting much for this, and are low level. Since it's the Yeomanry, and none of them are Citizens, the local gov't could scarf it up. Or it could be worth, say 1500 GP, to be equally divided.

    Thanks for any response,

    Telas
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    Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:00 am  

    When my players buy real property, I apply a couple of general guidelines.

    If the property can generate annual revenue, the price will be 10X annual revenue. A motivated seller might sell for 5X annual revenue. Anything less is a firesale.

    If the porperty is in bad shape or only has revenue potential, the price will be 5X anticipated annual revenue or 2X with a motivated seller. This would include undeveloped land that has some strategic potential - a ford or pass not already claimed or part of a trade route.

    If the land has no known revenue potential, is worthless or wilderness (making one wonder why the PCs are interested), I'd say 250 gp an acre on the high end.

    Titled property, that which accompanies or goes along with a title, is not generally for sale in all but the most corrupt places.

    All of this assumes, of course, a civilized area that maintains land records. Otherwise, all bets would be off, I'd think.

    In my campaign.

    GVD
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    Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:25 am  

    Thanks!

    I've discovered that medieval wheat production generated about 7-10 bushels of wheat per acre. Of this, at least 60% was tithed, taxed, or held back for seed. I'm assuming that technology has improved in GH since then, and that taxes aren't that high (hey, I can dream).

    So productivity (in the Yeomanry at least) is about 15 bushels per acre, 35-45% is taxed/tithed/held. Profit is 8-10 bushels per year per acre.

    Now, to find out what a bushel of wheat is worth.... Confused

    I guess somewhere around 10-20 GP. Which makes land worth (hang on, I can't type when counting on my fingers) anywhere from 80 to 200 GP per acre. Five acres, throw in the house, garden, etc, and it could be worth 1500-2000 GP.

    Telas
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    Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:49 pm  

    Bushel of wheat mmm, well a bit of surfing turned up this link;

    http://www.hyw.com/books/history/Money__I.htm

    So a bushel of wheat is worth 25-30 ducats, and for comparison a loaf of bread 1 ducat. In the Players Handbook 2 edition a loaf of bread costs 5 coppers, so by deduction a bushel of wheat is worth 125-150 cp, or 15 silver pieces. That link also says that land rent is 20-40 ducats per acre, so an estimation of 80-200 gp might be a bit high, according to this infomation it is more likely to be upto 1gp an acre.

    This seems more likely otherwise all the peasants would be richer than my players Happy and my players would quickly become farmers to get get rich Shocked
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Aug 13, 2004 5:06 pm  

    Those were "purchase" costs, but I was way off.

    Good thing I wasn't in the buying mood. Happy

    Thanks. Either way, they're not getting the land (Mayor's gonna "confiscate" it).

    I'll have to dig around on this some more, I think.

    Otherwise characters could buy up land and set themselves up a little feudal system.

    Telas
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    Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:31 pm  

    In theory, no land in a purely feudal system is for sale. All land belongs to the King, or whoever sits atop the fuedal pyramid. Nothing can quit the King's title to the land - it cannot be bought or sold. It can be and is enfeoffed. That is, the King grants the right to USE the land to someone, and that someone in return pays the King goods or services. But it is still the King's land.

    Now, this is theory, and did not apply across all places or times on Earth. As always, individual DM's can do what they want.

    In my campaign, there would be relatively few places a PC or other individual could buy land, that is, purchase ownership of it. In the Yeomanry (but only Citizens or heirs of Citizens allowed and this subject to approval by the local Grossman), around free cities (like Dyvers, Greyhawk, some of the Wild Coast cities), perhaps a few more.

    Kirt
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    Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:53 pm  

    Exactly. Smile

    Since this is the Yeomanry, they could possibly get land. (Plot hook alert!) However, since they're not Citizens (yet), they can't. Citizenship is something they may gain at a later date, but definitely not at lower levels.

    I'm kicking around allowing offspring of Citizens to inherit land only on the condition that they achieve Citizenship within five years or so, otherwise it reverts to the local Grossspokesman's control (generally auctioned or rented). Otherwise, all the land would probably be taken up very shortly. Your thoughts? Question

    Anyway, thanks for all the input, everyone. This is one of the reasons I'm glad I picked the Yeomanry for a setting, there's a lot of room for customizing.

    Telas
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    Wed Aug 18, 2004 12:43 pm  
    Buying Land

    In my game, land, home, castle, etc., is one of the most desired possesions of my characters. By 13th level, they all have some sort of home. They saved a town from a goblin invasion, and were each awarded a small cottage. Mainly the town wanted to keep their "Heros," close, as the invasion was not the end of the problem.

    In their first adventure, long ago now, they cleaned out an old decrepit keep off the Realstream River. They have had to retake it repeatedly as orcs and goblins take it over. Recently the Commandant of the March "gave," the Paladin this keep, and the ability to tax the local area. He was charged with restoring and defending the keep though. No more paying to have a magic item crafted for him!!! Any idea how much it costs to maintain a garrison? And who do you tax under the eaves of the Dim Forest? And just think, the Commandant no longer has to station so much of the army in that part of the Border.

    Feudalism did not allow the "purchase" of land, but it did allow the purchase of Nobility, (though they talked about such things in a whisper,) and this usually included some land, if you paid enough. In the later years of Feudalism this began to break down, as the merchant class arose. This seems to be more appropriate to GH, or at least parts of it.

    Either way, players have no land... which makes it very, very desirable (and expensive) to the Players... the Nobles have a lot of land... which makes it very cheap to the Nobles. My point is, I have found Real Estate in the Civilized world far too useful in my plots to put it up for sale. The only one who has purchased anything was the rogue, who purchased a cold water flat in Niole Dra, and it was very expensive.

    Now, land way out in the middle of nowhere, well that is free... at least in coin.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:37 am  

    Okay, this is coming from someone with a B..A. in History, specializing in Medieval.

    The King does not own all land under the so-called feudal system. Period. Full stop. Land generates both food and revenue, so in some ways it is better than money, in a mostly cashless society. This changes.

    The feudal system exists because their isn't enough of a centralized government/infrastructure to just pay everybody and fund everything. So you get land you can manage in exchange for doing your jobs. This in turn get broken up due to sub-infeudation (the vassal creating vassals of his own from his own land grants). People try to make their jobs hereditary, and it is often easier (and better) to do that than try to get someone else.

    Nobles get grants of large grants that come with office/responsibilites which is different from land ownership. In practice they can have both. When the king is looking for someone to do a big job, he wants someone powerful enough to do it, which means someone from a powerful family. The rich get richer. I am sure no one finds this too shocking.

    Giving land to bishops (who run the cities until the later periods, so are a big deal) is very common, because the king can control the election as feudal jobs stay in the family and become hereditary. This leads to conflicts between kings and church over the investiture of bishops.

    Land price varied greatly. Before the Black Death all the good land was in use and even marginal land was being cultivated. Documents show peasant families paying more money than could be generated from the land for a seven years lease. Why? Because losing money on the deal was better than eating nothing. Then the population drops, the survivors inherit property, and the value of labor rises. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT WHEN YOUR FIGURES ARE FROM.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:02 am  

    Enslaved_DM wrote:
    Okay, this is coming from someone with a B..A. in History, specializing in Medieval.

    The King does not own all land under the so-called feudal system. Period. Full stop.


    Er, no. Take it from someone who is a real estate solicitor from a country with a feudal land system still in place - Canada. The Queen owns all land in Canada with the very rare exceptions of aboriginal title and French title. This regime is still in place in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, etc.

    One can purchase the "fee" in the land from the prior holder. All this means is you now have the right to be the local feudal overlord of the parcel of land which you have just purchased. You can use the land yourself or rent it out to your serfs (er... I mean tenants).

    With reference to the first poster, just "finding" a deed doesn't do anything. If there are no heirs to the prior owners, the property would escheat to the Crown. I'm sure the local representative of the government would sell such a property, however, for fair market value.

    With respect to limitations placed on property ownership, someone suggested "purchasing" a title. I understand that this occurred in the Russian Empire. A friend of mine, a descendant of Ulstermen, had a grandfather who was technically a Finnish count, the title having been purchased by an ancestor years before. This permitted the non-Russian family to own a dye factory near St. Petersburg. Sadly the October Revolution wiped out their landholdings.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:51 pm  

    Telas wrote:
    ...So, what's real estate in Greyhawk (Yeomanry, in particular) worth?


    -I actually have some notes on this at home (which I'll check), but IIRC, between 1-20 gp/acre.

    Telas wrote:
    ...I've discovered that medieval wheat production generated about 7-10 bushels of wheat per acre...


    -I've long forgotten the source, but the figure I remember is 200-600 pounds per acre. Your figures would be average to good (and well-maintained) acreage.

    Telas wrote:
    ...Of this, at least 60% was tithed, taxed, or held back for seed...


    -Taxes vary, but the ratio of seed to yield averaged something like 4:1 in the High Middle Ages; it took about 100 ponds to "seed" an acre.

    Telas wrote:
    ...Now, to find out what a bushel of wheat is worth.... Confused I guess somewhere around 10-20 GP....


    -Whoa! For 60 pounds of wheat?

    I think I have notes on this. I'll look it up.

    But wait!

    Yabusama wrote:
    Bushel of wheat mmm, well a bit of surfing turned up this link;

    http://www.hyw.com/books/history/Money__I.htm

    So a bushel of wheat is worth 25-30 ducats...


    -At least before the Black Death. 600 ducats = 1 pound sterling. 2.5 ducats = 1d. I thought a ducat was worth more. Oh well.

    That would make a bushel of wheat 10-12d, or 1/24th or 1/20th of a pound sterling. A pound sterling was one pound of silver. Using the 50 coins to a troy pound standard, that makes a bushel a little more than 2 sp.

    Kirt wrote:
    In theory, no land in a purely feudal system is for sale. All land belongs to the King, or whoever sits atop the fuedal pyramid...


    vs.

    Enslaved_DM wrote:
    Okay, this is coming from someone with a B..A. in History, specializing in Medieval.

    The King does not own all land under the so-called feudal system. Period. Full stop...


    vs.

    Raphael wrote:
    ...Er, no. Take it from someone who is a real estate solicitor from a country with a feudal land system still in place - Canada. The Queen owns all land in Canada with the very rare exceptions of aboriginal title and French title. This regime is still in place in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, etc...


    -And the correct answer Laughing Wink (coming from a guy with a BA in History and an MA in Military History) is:

    In England (post-1066), all land did (and does) belong to the King. This is not necessarily true on the continent. The English case (and now, the US and Canada, as Raphael mentions) came about due to the accident that Billy the Bastard conquered England and handed it out to his henchmen.

    FWIW, medieval historians try to avoid use of the "F" word nowadays.

    Joke: "When was the English Feudal system created?"

    Answer: "Sometime in the 18th Century, when legal historians discovered it."

    The question for Telas is which standard does the Yeomanry use?

    FWIW, I'd go with the English standard, since 1) The Yeomanry is an obviously romanticized "Merry Ole Engalnd, Land of Roast Beef" analogy, and because I use Keoland et al as a medieval England and early US stand-in. YMMV.
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    Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:36 pm  

    Well, as a guy with a PhD in BS, I think it all sounds good Happy
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:30 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    Telas wrote:
    ...So, what's real estate in Greyhawk (Yeomanry, in particular) worth?


    -I actually have some notes on this at home (which I'll check), but IIRC, between 1-20 gp/acre.....


    -Well, I have 50 gp for an acre of excellent farmland (i.e., 1 acre + 100 pounds of seed yields 600 pounds of grain). Unfortunately, I have no idea where that figure comes from since I failed to note the source... Embarassed

    jamesdglick wrote:
    ...
    Telas wrote:
    ...Now, to find out what a bushel of wheat is worth.... Confused I guess somewhere around 10-20 GP....


    -Whoa! For 60 pounds of wheat?

    I think I have notes on this. I'll look it up...


    -There's a book which actually catalogues prices from medieval England, and they had quite a large section on commodity prices. I'll try to find it. But Yabusama's figures look reasonable.

    jamesdglick wrote:
    ...The question for Telas is which standard does the Yeomanry use?

    FWIW, I'd go with the English standard, since 1) The Yeomanry is an obviously romanticized "Merry Ole Engalnd, Land of Roast Beef" analogy, and because I use Keoland et al as a medieval England and early US stand-in...


    ...OTOH, IIRC, The Adventure Begins notes that it was the Oeridians who had the principle of that all land belongs to the king (I don't have it with me). The Yeomanry is heavily Suel, and influenced by the largely non-Oeridian Keoland. Maybe the Yeomanry would see things in a non-English way? I still go with the "all land belongs to the Crown" (or Yeomanry, in this case).

    In countries where not all land is owned by the Crown, the land is called "allodial" land.

    The Enslaved DM refers to the "so-called feudal system":

    Enslaved_DM wrote:
    ...The King does not own all land under the so-called feudal system...


    FWIW, the classic essay on the counter-productivity of the "F" word:

    http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic1350026.files/Brown-Tyranny-of-a-Construct.pdf

    If you've got time to kill, some it might be a drag, but some of it is actually funny.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:43 pm  

    Great question. I have been thinking about this for a while now, but more focused on the cost of buildings (and the land they're on) in the City of Greyhawk instead of in the country side. I realize land in the High Quarter is super expensive and hard to come by, but land in the Old City or in Clerkburg should be within reach for a group of mid-level adventurers. Anyone figured up exact costs within Greyhawk?
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:49 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:


    Telas wrote:
    ...Now, to find out what a bushel of wheat is worth.... Confused I guess somewhere around 10-20 GP....


    -Whoa! For 60 pounds of wheat?

    I think I have notes on this. I'll look it up...


    -I don't have it on me, but this would be a start for prices:

    Rogers, James E. Thorold (James Edwin Thorold), A history of agriculture and prices in England : from the year after the Oxford parliament (1259) to the commencement of the continental war (1793)
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:49 pm  

    One to two pounds of gold for a bushel of wheat sounds pretty outrageous. Laughing

    A bushel of wheat weighs about 60 pounds. One pound of gold goes for about $20,000.

    So, a standard five pound paper sack of whole wheat flour in today's prices would cost about $1,667. While inflation is bad, it is not that bad, and so we pay only about $3.50 for it (and that $3.50 even accounts for inflation).

    Apparently gold is worth a lot less in D&D though, which I guess is why adventurers throughout the lands are finding it by the truckloads just lying around in caverns, dungeons, the wilderness, etc. Laughing
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:30 am  

    interesting thread. As a farmer in the middle of canada two things come to mind.

    First Rapheal this is the first i have heard that the land i have purchased is not my own. Are you thinking specifically of crown land? I know there is crown land around my area but that is leased and not the same as privately owned land.

    Second Ceb. Could you imagine. even an ounce of gold/bushel. First would be a motorcycle raceway then i would rent vegas for neilcon.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:49 am  

    mcneilk wrote:
    ...First Rapheal this is the first i have heard that the land i have purchased is not my own. Are you thinking specifically of crown land? I know there is crown land around my area but that is leased and not the same as privately owned land...


    -I'm a historian, not a lawyer, but under English common law, ALL land technically belongs to the Crown, and the US and Canada have inherited the concept. What you essentially bought was the right to use it, but even now, the government can legally do with it as it will (that's part of the rationale for eminent domain). This is a leftover of how England was set up after the Norman Conquest, where Billy the Bastard owned all of England outright, and handed out land to whomever he pleased.

    This is different from parts of the continent (including Normandy), where some land is "allodial" (i.e., legally owned outright).

    However, in practical terms, your land is usually yours. Laughing
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    Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:51 pm  

    Hey Mcneilk,

    This CTV news story has some good info regarding land ownership.

    Quote:
    "The problem with the argument that individual property rights are preserved by Crown patent grants is that it misunderstands what such grants stand for legally," wrote Michael Lamb, a University of Western Ontario law professor and an expert on real estate law...

    "They do not transfer ownership of land but only grant the use and possession of the land."

    The Crown technically owns all land in Canada, said Lamb. This legal underpinning gives governments the right to assert a certain level of control over people's private property.

    In at least one case, a defence using a Crown patent failed to convince the court.

    Robert Mackie, a Niagara region man charged with operating an archery range without a permit, argued that his grant superseded all provincial legislation. The court rejected the argument and convicted Mackie, who has appealed the decision.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:52 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:

    Apparently gold is worth a lot less in D&D though, which I guess is why adventurers throughout the lands are finding it by the truckloads just lying around in caverns, dungeons, the wilderness, etc. Laughing



    It's all the gold dragons, you know. Gold Dragons = Gold Crap.
    Then there's the other metallic dragons, and even gem dragons!

    Laughing Imagine what the dragons are saying about all the anthropomorphic races. "Can you believe that!?!? They treat our $#!& like it's valuable! Laughing "
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