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The short answer to this question is simply that houses are restricted to a number of in-game neighborhoods. There are lots of housing plots, but there are infinitely more players who want to buy one – so demand outweighs supply on a pretty massive level.
Player housing is one of XIV’s most enticing features.
There is a ton of depth to it – players can craft, collect, or buy their own furniture from a massive range of options. Stroll through any of XIV’s player estates and you’ll see a huge amount of buildings all tailored to different personal tastes.
Even better, Free Companies can purchase estates, turning them into vibrant social hubs for their members.
There are three different sizes of plot available for housing:
Cottage – two floors, small rooms, one garden patch and 200 pieces of furniture inside.
House – three floors, around twice the size of the cottage, 300 pieces of furniture inside, two garden patches.
Mansion – three floors, but considerably larger than a House, with a 400 piece furniture limit and three garden patches.
As you might predict, the cost varies based on the size of the plot.
Small plots go for between 2-5 million gil, mediums between 15-37 mil, and mansions for 35-87 mil.
I’ll go into more detail about those price ranges below, but for now let’s look at why you can’t just buy your own house as soon as you’ve got the money.
Why Can’t Every Player Have A House?
It really comes down to server space.
Housing wards are constantly loaded and present in the world.
At any time, you can take a stroll over to any of the four housing areas and wander through the neighborhoods.
If they simply added new wards every time housing reached capacity, the servers would be under a lot of a strain, and Square Enix would have to throw more money at storage – something they don’t seem too keen on doing.
That’s the practical answer.
Another one comes in the form of design philosophy – they want housing wards to be communities.
They want houses to be achievements, something difficult to get, basically an elite social feature of the game.
By keeping the wards non-instanced, they’re encouraging that philosophy, even when it excludes quite a large chunk of the player base.
Players and Free Companies can own houses.
You can also “own” an FC house and your own estate at the same time.
There are a frankly astonishing amount of incredibly wealthy players just waiting to invest some of that hard-earned gil in a place of their own.
I was once chatting with someone who claimed to have enough gil saved up to buy an entire ward in the time it had taken them to get lucky with buying one.
Buying Houses in FFXIV
So if houses are in such high demand, how does anybody else get a chance?
Once you buy your house, it’s not yours forever.
If nobody enters it in 45 days then it’ll be demolished, and the plot will become available for purchase. This even counts if you’re playing the game but just haven’t visited your estate in that time.
Basically it counts on players abandoning their properties, at which point someone else will pick it up.
Players can also move their estates to another place, which will leave the previous plot empty and available for purchase.
Moving the estate is much simpler than buying an entirely new one. And as a result, many smaller plots will become available as people trade up.
But even empty plots don’t become available right away.
To prevent enterprising homeowners from circumventing the game’s systems and “selling” property at their own prices to other players, an invisible timer is applied to the plot. This timer can vary in time, typically between 6-8 hours.
It can be as short as 30 minutes, or as long as an entire 24 hour day.
The only way to check whether or not the timer has run down is by clicking on the property’s purchase placard.
If the timer’s still running, you’ll get the message “This plot of land is not yet ready for purchase”.
This means you’ll have to go back and check on the property multiple times a day to have a decent chance at scooping it up.
Be aware that there are potentially hundreds of other players doing the same thing, though – finding an available plot is only half the battle.
Additionally, the house’s price will fluctuate in its range based on the server’s economy.
Demand is pretty much always high, so the prices will typically be at the higher end. The price does decrease incrementally the longer a housing plot is on the market, but that’s not usually very long.
If you’re looking to buy a personal house, the first step is having a decent chunk of gil saved up to cover the potential cost of the plot.
Buying the plot is definitely the most complicated step. But what the game doesn’t tell you is that you don’t just need to buy it – you’ll also need a Housing Permit.
These go for between 450,000 – 3,000,000 gil depending on the plot’s size.
If you don’t purchase and use the permit in 45 days from acquiring the plot, you’ll lose it.
You’ll need to have at least one job at level 50, and have reached the rank of Second Lieutenant in your Grand Company.
If you’re trying to purchase an estate for your Free Company, it must be at least Rank 6, and you’ll have to have the relevant permissions within your FC to buy property for it.
So – save enough to cover the potential price of the house, and budget for that housing permit too.
Once you’ve got the cash, you’ll need to start canvassing the wards for a potential plot.
There are currently four available residential districts:
The Mist in Limsa Lominsa, Lavender Beds in Gridania, The Goblet in Ul’dah, and Shirogane in Hingashi.
Endwalker adds a fifth district in Ishgard, capital city of the Heavensward expansion.
If a plot shows a player name or Free Company, it’s owned.
If it’s available for purchase, the plot will display the price. Once you’ve found a plot you want, that’s when the real work begins.
I Can’t Get A House, Do I Have Any Other Options?
And they are way easier than buying a plot yourself.
The easiest way to get access to your own customizable living space in XIV is to simply join a Free Company that already owns one.
Even the big “whale” social FCs will have large living spaces. And once you’ve hit the prerequisites necessary to buy a house, you can purchase Private Quarters within the FC house, regardless of the plot size.
This will run you 300k, but grant you access to your own private room.
You’ll have access to everything else the FC estate offers, whether you have a room or not. But if you just want a space to call your own then this is by far the easiest way to get it.
Just note that the room will be demolished if you leave the FC, or get booted for whatever reason.
And you will not be refunded your 300k under any circumstance.
The 300k is paid into the house directly, and should not be given to any members or leaders.
If someone tells you to pay them for a room, get the hell out of there and find a better group.
You can also purchase your own apartment through your Grand Company.
These are much more readily available, and cost 500,000 gil.
That seems like a lot for an apartment, but when you factor in all the additional costs and headaches of buying a house, it’s actually a steal.