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From Architecture to Real Estate Development

archKash

Ok so I feel that you should pursue what you are good at and for me that is design and architecture. I am currently majoring in Finance and want to get into an M.arch program. The problem is that -as everyone is probably sick of hearing- the salary is kind of bad with architecture. Does it make sense to go through three years of architecture school, get licensed and then go into real estate development? I am actually learning a lot about real estate from my undergrad. Would a real estate developer with an architecture license have any advantage? It seems like one is more artistic and creative and one is math and logic. I do see a lot of people making the transition.

 
May 13, 16 10:24 am
Non Sequitur

so many questions.

1. How do you know you can design?

2. Do you know how long the process is the get an architecture license?

3. Are you already independently wealthy that you can be your own client?

4. Who in their right-minds would hire a fresh finance kid with design ambitions the reins of a construction project?

5. You need plenty of hands-on experience to receive a license, double that if you want to develop your own real-estate projects.

May 13, 16 10:32 am  · 
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archKash
  1. Everyone knows what they are good at and not
  2. Three years of architecture school, one year of professional work and an exam
  3. Is everyone going into real estate independent wealthy? Also, my father does a lot of side real estate deals and so he would help me.
  4. How does anyone get into real estate then? Obviously you would need experience as in every field. But would a finance degree coupled with an architecture license look good for real estate?

 

May 13, 16 10:39 am  · 
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Sam Apoc

Finance + MArch would seem like a good background for real estate development.  Especially if you want to be an architect-led-developer like Jonathan Segal.  Google him if you haven't heard of him already.

Many architects follow a slightly different path and get their architect license, gain some experience, then go back for their MBA or MRED before striking out on their own.  

Either way, you're going to need some experience in an architect's office before striking out on your own if you want to get your architecture license.  I see nothing wrong with your plans though.  I think many architects (myself included) dream of one day being their own client / developer.

May 13, 16 10:52 am  · 
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shellarchitect

In most US states is takes significantly longer than that to become licensed.

May 13, 16 10:54 am  · 
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x-jla

You don't need a license to be a design/developer, you do need experience to design though...especially if you want to make any money.  

May 13, 16 10:56 am  · 
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x-jla

Take a look at Johnathan Seagal.  He is a very successful architect/developer from San Diego.  He advises that you do not get licensed if you want to be a developer.  

May 13, 16 10:59 am  · 
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Sam Apoc

Interesting jla-x...  Didn't realize that Segal wasn't licensed?  Does he outsource the stamping of the drawings?

Seems counter-intuitive to the whole take back control of the building process thing if you ask me.

May 13, 16 11:04 am  · 
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shellarchitect

segal is licensed, not sure about his son though.  I'm curious about his logic and how he does his larger projects.

May 13, 16 11:06 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

One year?

Ha....

Unless you've got buckets of gold behind you, you'll loose your shirt, if not more, if you try and design buildings with that little experience. Also, not everybody who thinks they can design can actually do it in a way that leads to buildable and functioning projects... hence the experience requirement comments above.

May 13, 16 11:08 am  · 
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x-jla

He is licensed.  Just heard him advise otherwise for reasons I'm not really clear on.  

I'm assuming you are talking about residential?  You do not need to be licensed to design and develop houses.   You do need the experience though, especially if you are planning on designing to a specific budget with a specific target profit.  That shit ain't easy.  I would advise that you start with a simple flip.  Get your hands dirty and learn to do a lot of the work yourself.   The profit from new builds is really tricky and requires much money (cash) and design experience or else you can find yourself underwater if a project goes over budget due to poorly conceived construction/design methods.   

May 13, 16 11:37 am  · 
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3tk

license vs not: maybe because it gets rid of some law suits and liability?  Even without stamps, some lawyer's probably going to drag a license issue into court.

I've seen the path Sam describes more often than not: undergrad arch+business minor, 5~10yrs of working for architects with developer clients + working for those developers, MBA/MRED + MArch.  It's hard to do anything large without a lot of capital - own or a partner's.

May 13, 16 1:33 pm  · 
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StarchitectAlpha

Archkash, do some more research it's not just one exam but 6, 7 in California and not just a year experience try a couple at minimum if every hour you work counts which won't happen so add a few more.

May 14, 16 8:33 pm  · 
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Carrera

Got my license, then developed for about 20 years, tell you one thing, I never had to hire an architect. Why get one fee, while you’re at it squeeze in a real estate license and get paid 3 fees at once.

May 14, 16 10:55 pm  · 
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JasonGarcia

I agree that you should do whatever you feel good about. I always like interior designing very much and inspired by complete home renovation NJ designs. They are really good and out of the world. 

May 16, 16 6:18 am  · 
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gdub

You don't need the extra schooling, just hire the architects to draw it for you. You will learn about architecture through your development projects. When you first start out, you will be following around someone higher up, who will teach you the ropes and you can make mistakes on someone else's dime. If you are in a good real estate development firm though, they will catch you before you ever fall and make any big mistake.

Jun 3, 16 3:50 am  · 
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arch_panic

Are the Jonathan Segal videos and info good for someone outside from the US? Specifically, I am a Europe based architect looking to get into development in the local market. Not sure if the info he provides is too heavily involved in the US legislation, tax and banking system that it would be sort of useless for someone who does not operate within those boundaries? Or are those specific parts just a small portion of the whole guide he provides? 500$ is allot of money for a basically a webinar so I sort of need to know if the info is good or not for someone like me?

Aug 2, 16 7:40 am  · 
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Non Sequitur
$500 for a "get rich" webinar? Can you spell scam?
Aug 2, 16 7:47 am  · 
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arch_panic

:) thats what it looked at first, but I guessed he knows what he is talking about, and the reviews on this site were sort of ok. All of the poeple who bought it seemed ok what it provided. Not trying to defend JS webinars but just saying thats what the majority of responses here were. You have 1st hand experience in the field, or with the specific webinar...if you have some other relevant sources I am more that willing to hear...or do I need to just do it and go from there? I have some experience in the residential development field and know the local market, and am not really looking to get rich but more to have more control over my projects and use the fact that sometimes I have more insight and connections than most investors to my advantage.... having a little monetary reward wouldnt be bad though ;)

Aug 2, 16 8:01 am  · 
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Dangermouse

Don't spend $500 on "get rich" webinars.  You'd be better served spending the $$$ on an accounting/finance/project management course.    Jonathan Segal doesn't do anything special.  He doesn't have a secret tool to pierce the veil of reality, or special knowledge -- he is just a successful developer, of which there are thousands.  

Aug 2, 16 5:49 pm  · 
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haozhang

archKash- please don't show off your naivety and think it's so easy to be an Architect. You'll need a NAAB certified degree, having at least 3760 hrs (5000+ in some states) experience in different practical phases and pass 7 (now 5, but more integrated and complicated) exams. If you seriouly think about this as your career, do some research.

Oct 26, 16 11:08 am  · 
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pietereerlings

Just in case you are interested... I did interview 2 architects on how and why they did switch into real estate:

http://blog.archisnapper.com/punch-list-app-iPhone-iPad-Android/from-architects-to-real-estate-developers-with-alex-and-esther-from-barcelona/

(The article is about the very first steps in making the switch, so not a story about making millions as a developer, rather about flipping your first few properties)

Mar 30, 17 8:05 am  · 
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Volunteer

Consider the career of Roger Staubach, the former Naval Academy Graduate and Dallas Cowboy quarterback. He started in the off-season working for a well-respected local real estate developer in Dallas. His job with the Cowboys only initially paid $25,000 a year (not a misprint). Staubach had no architecture degree or license, no MBA, and no finance degree. Roger has made several hundred million dollars and provided employment to many people (architects included) and has a sold gold personal and professional reputation (unlike you-know-who).

Mar 30, 17 8:34 am  · 
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evanmirz

Everyones comments and information has been very informative regarding the profession or architecture and development. I just got my real estate license and soon to get my masters degree in architecture. Any advice on how to continue my profession for architecture and development after I graduate?

Apr 14, 21 1:34 am  · 
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