In the interest of being more educated in dealing with contractors I'm considering taking construction management classes at a local college in the spring 2015 semester. Has anyone gone this route before getting into the fix and flip cycle? Maybe some of you have much deeper pockets than me but with kids in college I can't really afford to lose thousands of dollars in the future and reclassify it as my education in rehabbing.
It depends on the class being offered, but most likely you'll learn more about dealing with contractors through podcasts or reading posts in the rehab sections of BP. I have a construction management degree so I took a lot of classes. It's great if you want to go work for a large commercial builder but even so, most practical knowledge comes from experiance. That said, my most valuable class I ever took was a construction management investment finance class where we learned all about IRR, NPV, and the time value of money. Great class in learning how to analyze deals.
I'm with Brad here. I think you are going to pickup much more valuable information for your investing career here on BiggerPockets than from a Construction Management program.
I received a Bachelors in Construction Mgt from Missouri State University, and most of the classes have to do with managing commercial construction projects, more so than residential construction or real estate investing.
What classes are looking at taking? Are you trying to get familiar with construction means and methods or trying to hone your project management skills?
Thanks to both Dave and Brad for responding. My primary interest is in project management skills. I'm more concerned about planning, evaluating, estimating, and communicating my requirements in an orderly manner then managing it in an orderly manner through completion. Thanks again, guys. Much appreciated.
As someone with an Construction and Engineering Management Degree as well, I agree with Dave and Brad. With your concern on planning, Maybe look at available courses or tutorials on some project software.( In school it was Microsoft Project), most commercial builders will use Primavera, and online objects for residential like builderTREND and Foundation. You can also look up the formulas to understand the math behind the program.
Estimating, is probably best done through experience with walk through's with contractors and looking at their task list and estimate for each job. Most contractors will do free estimates on jobs and there's nothing wrong with getting many different estimates on your first couple projects to insure you A. Get a good price B. Understand what each one is looking for and finds. C. Great a small data base of estimates to run through some analysis to get a general idea of an average cost for each job so when you get more experience you can cut back on the contractor bid's and run your own quick estimate with a spreadsheet using your avg cost.
Same with Evaluating
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