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I'm at a crossroad can I get some advice?

Lennyyy

So I have a real estate investment company I'm trying to grow and I really love real estate as a whole, but I feel like I'd really like to branch out into development once I have the funds to do so. I think it would be cool and much more fulfilling to design my own buildings instead of hiring an architect, but although I have experience with fine arts, I have none in architecture design and I would like to learn, but not to be an architect only to design my own buildings. Is there a way I could do this without having to go get formally educated maybe study on my own and try to get experienced architects to give me occasional mentorship while I practice designing. I know I wouldn't be able to sign but maybe I could hire an architect to oversee my designs. Any advice accept "oh my sweet summer child" would be greatly appreciated.

P.s  Im 19 i live in texas and I am referring to designing things mostly like apartment complexes.

Thank you

 
Oct 14, 20 12:30 pm
Non Sequitur

We're responsible for far more than "design".  You're looking at multi-unit residential?  Yeah, that's not something you can just pick up casually and no-one is going to volunteer their time to teach you.

You're only 19 so you don't have any experience in anything at this point.  What you could do is hit up a local college building science/technology or construction management courses to get up to speed on the very basics.  At least this way, when you eventually get to hire professionals, you'll be able to have a more meaningful conversation.

Oct 14, 20 12:37 pm  · 
2  · 
bhardy

I think what you are aspiring to do is what I see in some developers.  Many only look at excel sheets and leave design to others.  Some are the opposite and very hands on and working collaboratively with the architect (and I would also add the other 5-10 designer/engineers) from concept through construction.  With the right team and shared vision you can impact the building without having to be "the architect".  In fact aside from the monetary benefit of ownership this is what attracts a lot of folks to development.

All that being said as an Architect myself who lives full time in the development world getting a development done is 5% Design (capital "D" intended) and 95% hard work, boring meetings, and careful execution.  If you do all of that right you get a great property built and hopefully hit the proforma.

Oct 14, 20 12:58 pm  · 
5  · 
Jay1122

Huh, guy has a real estate company at 19. Is it the parent's and inherited, otherwise would be absolutely crazy. And to even have enough capital to start development business is also crazy. At that age, shouldn't you try to go to college? I don't think high school level education is acceptable, no matter how rich you are. And rich ones care about these things even more, they want ivies and masters.

P.S. if you want to learn some design principle on houses and apartments, just buy a book. Apparently you are not looking to produce drawing sets or care about codes and regulations, just to do some fun plans and stuff.

P.S.2, If you are a developer, unless you are doing super duper luxury units, there are literally not much design beyond developing prototype apartment layouts and following typical building typology. Shape is always box, maximized by the regulation of zoning and code requirements. Material is always lowest standard for max profit, sold to ignorant buyers immediately. There is really nothing to get excited about in the design aspect of those projects. 

If I were you with a real estate company. I would go for a real estate development degree. It is all about analysis of supply and demand of the market and finances in order to be successful in that field. Design really does not mean shit in that field.

Oct 14, 20 1:12 pm  · 
1  · 
Lennyyy

I was speaking in future tense I definitely dont have enough money for development right now

 · 
apscoradiales

Leon Hunt,

hire an architects who will listen to your needs. That's all you really need to do.

Oct 14, 20 2:11 pm  · 
 · 
midlander

the architects who design multi family residential do it full time with a team of people working with them. there isn't something you can do that would let you get it all done yourself even if you committed to studying design and getting experience, especially if you're planning to do the development work too. it takes a team.


if what you're looking for is an understanding of design so that you can come up with simple feasibility studies or prototype units for your architect to work with, that's reasonable and totally possible. the fastest way to do this is probably just to study architecture and work in a design firm focused on the project type. it would be hard to get this work experience without having some design background to let you get involved in the work.

Oct 14, 20 4:04 pm  · 
1  · 
archi_dude

I will give advice if you tell me how you have a real estate development firm at 19 first.

Oct 14, 20 4:06 pm  · 
4  · 
Lennyyy

1. Get a job

1  · 
Lennyyy

2. Be frugal

1  · 
Lennyyy

3. Then get an fha loan on a multi family property and refinance it into a conventional loan then repeat

2  · 
Non Sequitur

how much $ did your folks provide?

1  · 
Lennyyy

Then transfer the property to your LLC

1  · 
SneakyPete

Step 3 is generally impossible for any teenager without a cosigner.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

pro-tip, giving your own comments a thumbs up does not look good.

1  · 
Jay1122

Probably from family. You have to be selling coke to make that capital from jobs. Also, He said real estate investment company, which I think is flipping property or rent out. Low risk slow yield. Real estate development is a totally different game. In order to develop multi family apartments. A couple mil of assets and proven track is the bare minimum to get funding from lender. And you need more than money in development game. Anyway I am out, this guy sure sounds like a 19 yrs old. Not worthy of in depth discussion.

4  · 
Lennyyy

The button there just begging me to press it i couldn't stop my self. I dont have a dad and my mom couldn't afford to help me if she
wanted.

 · 

So you mother gave birth via immaculate conception? That explains how you had the capital for this.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Chad, Are you sayin Leon is the first coming of christ?

 · 
SneakyPete

*joke about coming*

 · 
Lennyyy

My dad abandoned me if I must spell it out... -_-

 · 
Lennyyy

The barrier of entry is about 7k-15k I work full time and I try invest all my money. you can also get inside deals with no money down if your that savvy but that's a huge pain all the way deep inside the ass.

 · 
randomised

If you invest all your money, you must still be living with your mum, no?

1  · 
Lennyyy

Nope I live in one of my units

 · 
Non Sequitur

15k won't buy you much in terms of professional services. Triple this if you want to "lend a hand" in the documentation phase.

 · 
Lennyyy

Oh sorry I didnt read you comment no I dont have a real estate development firm I have a real estate investment company

 · 
SneakyPete

I didn't know what a crossroads WAS at 19.

Oct 14, 20 4:49 pm  · 
2  · 
randomised

All I had at 19 was a boner...

Oct 14, 20 5:00 pm  · 
1  · 

There is a joke in there somewhere. . .

1  · 
citizen

Somewhere??   How about everywhere!  LOL

1  · 
Lennyyy

Thank you guys for taking time out of your day to respond I know you guys are probably very busy so it means a lot. Just to clarify I want to have the most creative influence over the design of the buildings and preferably do as much of the drawings myself or with help from a team. I wouldn't just be saying "hey architect please stamp my drawings" because I understand the probability of that succeeding is very low. It would be more like "hey architect I'm the ceo of a real estate development company and I'm looking for an in house architect who can oversee the team (and me) to make sure that the design are as safe as possible" and then pay them what they're worth.

Oct 14, 20 5:16 pm  · 
1  · 
citizen

Where can I send my cv and portfolio?

1  · 
bowling_ball

There's a local (to me) developer who does this with an in-house team. The designs are universally terrible and from what I hear from their employees, they hate it. Having said that, I think it can be done properly. We work with a property company that's tossed around the idea of simply buying my firm - but we're not interested (for now). Of course i would sell for the right price, but I don't need a team of accountants hovering over my shoulder 8 hours a day.

 · 
Lennyyy

Can you tell me there name please

 · 
Non Sequitur

%50 of firm ownership needs to be licensed architect in my area so unless the developer has their own stamp, they can't own the architect. Probably different in pew pew pew texas, but even if it is, having a layman micromanage the design and documentation stages is a nightmare waiting to happen.

 · 
bowling_ball

Same here re: ownership, but honestly that's just a matter of setting up holding companies.

 · 
x-jla

Leon, look into Joseph Eichler. He was a developer who also was able to curate a distinct style of home. If you are an RE investor at 19 without a rich family, please stay the fuck away from architecture. You are obviously good at business and investment, and will be very successful if you stick with it. Let others do the architecture.

1  · 
midlander

john portman is another to research who put together large developments and designed in his own office

 · 
Jay1122

You guys should stop listing those one in a million successful developers for him to inspire. From the limited intel, I think he is a working middle class that saved and takes FHA loan on house to rent out. It takes at least 15-30 yrs depending on loan terms to get the investment fully back. Unless he gets a huge housing market up rise and flip it for profit. I doubt it will happen fast because of the 2008 crash. With that kind of earning speed, he will be in the 40s before he has enough investment for development. And remember those house buying takes no skill, just need down payment and ability to secure loan. I know so many old grannies does that with their extra cash.

2  · 
Jay1122

These are just the Capital problem he will run into with that slow earning rate. Lets say miracle happens he gets mad cash fast and wants to do development. To do a development first you need to start a firm, have a business plan, identify the market to invest. You need to find lenders either from bank or other investors. Then you need to find a land. analyze the potential of market before acquisition. After acquisition of land, you need to work with a wide array of consultants like architects, engineers, environmental engineer, traffic engineers, etc to help to design the site. Then you go through the financial feasibility study to see if you can actually make profit. Then go through regulation hoops and get entitlement. Then you need to get the financing through with those preliminary documents. After securing finance, you can move through and build it. Then you have to have marketing team and strategies on how to sell/rent your property. Then you need to come up with maintenance strategies and covenant/restrictions if required.

These are just simple break down of process. I hope I made people realize you actually need work, knowledge and skill to be successful in development. Development is more than having a few mils and hire architect and GC to construct the building then sell/rent. So forget the architecture design shit and focus.

1  · 
Lennyyy

I get what your saying but that math is way off

 · 
Jay1122

I haven't seen any intelligent response from you so far through out the post. Honestly I doubt you will get any where to spec building development, let alone be successful enough to talk about custom design. Probably the equivalent of people doing some living room painting and decoration think they can be Gehry or Zaha later. Day dreaming without knowing the skill and hard work required.

 If you think that math is wrong. Then list your financial numbers out if you don't mind and show me the right math? How much is the financed property, down payment, how much you collect each month from rent, what are the average monthly expenses, mortgage term and payment. Show me how long it will take you to pay that house off considering no significant market shift. Don't tell me those numbers are trade secrets. Every home buyer does it.

1  · 
Lennyyy

Your absolutely correct, so correct Infact, I still require assistance to tie my shoes, if only I had your level of intellect. I'm going to find a way for me to extend the amount of time it took me to make my investment back from 9 months to 15 years just so I could meet the sum of your full proof mathematical equation.

 · 
Jay1122

Hey. Why not show me the proforma of your property. Show me the numbers on how you achieve that 9 month instead of the empty talk. I want to see that ROI rate.

 · 
Lennyyy

Ahhh, I see you weren't paying attention were you Mr. Intellectual... dont you remember the part I said about acquiring an fha loan. No sir I am not going to show you the area which I live in.

 · 
Jay1122

Just some simple math will be fine. Won't need you to disclose your trade secrets, location and methods. Do you even know what is proforma? And I hope your "make my investment back" Does not mean how long it takes you to make your down payment back. That means shit. my 15 year refers to how long it takes you to actually acquire that building as asset with no liability attached. I only care about net earning. That will determine how fast you build the capital and further invest. If you can pay off that building in 9 Month, Bro sign me up. We will be the next trump.

 · 
Lennyyy

But I'll tell you what, instead of trying to find out where I live you should channel you superior cognitive abilities onto putting your big boy pants on so you dont deface this community, you actually have some genuine people here.

 · 
Jay1122

God, you just sound so dumb. Seriously do you even know what is proforma? Why do you think I can tell where you live with that? And why would I care?

 · 
Jay1122

I am probably the only one really trying to help you. The rest probably see you as a typical naive kid day dreaming. Anyway I am out. it seems like you can't even do a simple financial statement to shut me up. Maybe go to business school and learn some actual stuff instead of dreaming of custom architecture design as big developer CEO.

 · 
Lennyyy

Your right I am dumb, I even read portfolio the first time instead of profoma, yet I aspire to be as smart as you one day and if I'm lucky I learn how to read like you too. Me sending you either wouldnt do anything, because I could just conjure up a fake one on excel. If you dont believe me, then you don't believe me. I came here looking for advice, not to argue with pretentious grown ass man on the internet.

 · 
Jay1122

Again, all talk with no real substance to back up. Simply gets defensive instead of focus on the real rebuttal. Even fake number is fine. Because apparently you couldn't read and got confused between return of your initial investment in 9 month against my full asset acquisition in 15 years. If you can acquire that building with less than 20% Down payment in 9 Months. Sign me and everyone on this site up, because I haven't seen anything that lucrative in U.S. besides selling drugs.

I don't think there is much advice to offer beside telling you to learn some more. You won't be an architect by drawing some schematic plans. Just like you won't be a developer simply by buying a few buildings.

1  · 
Lennyyy

An FHA loan requires a 3.5% downpayment to acquire the building and requires you to live in one of the units for a year or until its refinanced into a conventional loan, and building cant have more than 4 units

 · 
Lennyyy

OPM and 1031 are other ways to leverage capital you aren't necessarily in possession of. You being condescending isnt helping and I'm doing pretty fine in my field so I dont need your feedback on it.

 · 
Lennyyy

ok so let me get this straight, even if I were to study architecture on my own and  go get experience and say I happen to be very good at designing, I wouldn't be able to draw the drafting of the buildings I'm developing even if I hired a liscenced architect to check the safety of the design and stamp for me? 

Oct 15, 20 6:03 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

Say it with me: Rubber Stamping is illegal.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

That’s why we have professional organizations. There is a shit-tone more to know than just “drafting up” the design.

 · 
Lennyyy

Is there a way I can learn more?

 · 
Non Sequitur

You can learn more by going to arch school, then complete the intern period, then pass exams.  

By that point, perhaps you'll understand why a simple "check for safety"  is complete bullshit... but it's not like you have any respect for the profession to start with anyways.

 · 
Lennyyy

I think your taking my naivete personally, I only came here to ask for advice...

 · 
midlander

architects tend to take offense at the idea that the essence of their work is something that can be learned through a bit of informal study and then done successfully by someone whose ambition is only to design buildings on the side. we spend 5-7 years in university and 3-5 years in internships to get proficient. even then, most architects aren't good enough to lead on every role.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

I don’t take anything personally. Too many DIY wankers come here thinking can google their way. Just reminding you that it’s much more than that.

 · 
midlander

coming up with a strong concept for a design based on holistic understanding of construction systems, building performance, permitting and code requirements, long term usage patterns, and thorough understanding of the design process and how it impacts costs and schedules - this is the essence of what architects do. it's not something where we're glad to have someone else do it for us so we can "just do the drawings and stamp it." the assumption it works that way is ignorance of what is involved, which is understandable given your age and experience. but trust us that it doesn't work that way.

2  · 
midlander

my suggestion is look up some local architects who do multi family work, contact them and tell them about your background, explaining you are interested to learn what architects do and how they work with the goal of moving on to bigger projects in the future. i think you'll find some architects who would be happy to share this with you if you present yourself as someone with an interest in the subject and genuine curiosity to know how the profession works.

 · 
midlander

essentially you have an unrealistic idea of how much background knowledge is necessary to do this well, and how much work is involved in creating an idea before it can be drafted. again, not your fault at your age - you should look for a chance to connect personally to someone who can show you what really goes into a design. the drawings are the easiest part (and still take plenty of work)

 · 

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