I'm new to REI and I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about it. My fiance is an architect and ultimately what I'd like to do is find lots to purchase or houses to demo and build new houses that he designs.
Is this the sort of thing that requires a lot of money to get started? Does being designed by an architect generally bring in a bigger profit?
I am toying with the idea of getting a realtor's license thinking it might help find deals on land. Would it make sense to work with a broker/agency to start out or am I just as well off taking courses through kaplan?
@Pam N. Welcome to BP. You can find a lot of information on here to help you in your careers. Being a licensed agent and an architect will help you add value to your deals in the future.
Having a house designed by an architect doesn't increase the value of a home, unless it is a renowned architect, etc. What you are asking about is basically building "spec" houses. In fact, it's what we do. We buy lots, design a house, build it and sell it. We are licensed brokers, general and electrical contractors. Our son does the preliminary designs and renderings, then we have an architect do their notes, etc. We build and then sell to an investor or end user.
There are many posts on BP that deal with such things, and there's even an ebook here on BP, Diary of a Construction Project by @J Scott, as well as podcasts. In fact, if you look at the top of the page, in the yellow banner there's a link to the latest one, dealing with spec.
As for your R.E. license, Kaplan is a good one.
Good luck. Ask questions, have fun! Upload a pic to your profile too, it gives your posts more personality. If you don't want your photo, upload a local landmark or ?
You are talking about speculative building? This is a high risk/ high reward proposition. Knowing your market, your future homeowner's needs, buying the land at the right price and building efficiently are all necessary. I wish you luck, but this is not for the inexperienced.
To answer your question, yes, this does require money to do. You may be able to get a lender to fund some portion of the project, but its tough to break into this business with no experience and no cash.
I'd suggest scrapes or vacant lots before venturing into anything bigger. Actually building the houses in a development is only one small part of a big project.
I'm going to agree with the others and say that, at least at the low end where you will likely need to start, being designed by an architect won't add a lot of value. At the higher end most houses will have an architect involved, so you're not unique. Your advantage is that you have an architect who can work for free then share in the profits.
@Annunciata R. have you tried to get anything like that past the building department?
Permitting and planning/zoning is always one of the first places to start with this sort of project. Market demand is another. If you have an idea of what you can build and what will sell, then you can work into a selling price. Your finance may be able to help with the building costs. If there's enough spread, you can make a profit. Of course, everything hinges on demand. We're starting to see this sort of thing happening again here in our area, after a long lull. I have a bit of insight into your market and you may be a bit early. Spend some time driving around and looking for new construction. If you can't find any, the time may not be right. If you do, have a look. Talk to the builder, if possible. They should be able to give you insights into the process.
Split unrelated topic into a separate thread: http://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/12/topics/122745-containers-for-houses
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