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  #41  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2011, 4:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
Okay I got a few more questions open to anyone that has an answer:
1.) What are some other names/terms that Developers go by because usually
when I mention that I want to be an urban developer to my professor's or
the average joe none of them seem to have a clue on what I'm talking
about or think I'm trying to become an urban planner. And just googling
urban developer doesn't get me much results.
THE BEST WAY IS TO FIND DEVELOPMENTS YOU LIKE, AND FIGURE OUT WHO BUILT/DEVELOPED THEM. THEY WILL COME IN ALL DIFFERENT NAMES, NONE OF WHICH BEING "URBAN DEVELOPER", ALTHOUGH THERE IS ONE CALLED THE URBAN COMPANY. THE NAMES WILL VARY GREATLY. I DID THE SAME THING PRE-COLLEGE, IN THE TOWN I LIVED.

2.) What's the average age group, if you had to make a guess, that the
average developer is?
DEVELPING TAKES LOTS OF CAPITAL AND CREDIT, SO MOST BIG DEVELOPERS ARE GOING TO BE 40+. A YOUNG PERSON NEEDS TO GAIN EXPERIENCE FIRST.

3.) How long does the average developer's career last if you had to make a
guess?
THERE WOULD BE NO AVERAGE, SOME WILL BE SUCCESSFUL AND DO IT UNTIL THEY RETIRE, OR NEVER RETIRE. SOME WILL TRY TO DEVELOP A SMALL PROJECT, HOUSE OR SUCH, FAIL MISERABLY, GO BANKRUPT, THEN GO WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE.

4.) Do you have any good recommendations on books that discusses
development?
THE NAHB BOOKSTORE "BUILDER BOOKS" WILL HAVE SOME.

5.) On average do developers work for a company or do they create their
own?
THE ANSWER IS BOTH, BUT IT TAKES LOTS OF MONEY. YOU'LL NOTICE THAT LOTS OF DEVELOPERS MADE MONEY DOING SOMETHING ELSE.....

IVE DONE SOME DEVELOPING & LOTS OF HOUSES, I'LL CHECK THIS THREAD AND TRY TO HELP IF I CAN AS WELL. JUST SOAK UP EVERYTHING YOU CAN, GET PART TIME JOBS IN THE INDUSTRY WHILE IN SCHOOL.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2011, 4:56 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
1.) What are some other names/terms that Developers go by because usually
when I mention that I want to be an urban developer to my professor's or
the average joe none of them seem to have a clue on what I'm talking
about or think I'm trying to become an urban planner. And just googling
urban developer doesn't get me much results.
The trade is really just called development and it encompasses not just urban areas. I mean developers are also the people building tract housing in the exurbs. A lot of developers just call themselves "consultants" because they don't do full blown development with their own money. There are tons of people who just act as "consultants" to some company or person who needs someone to act as developer and manage a series of new construction projects. My current job is similar to that.

Quote:
2.) What's the average age group, if you had to make a guess, that the average developer is?
Its completely random to be honest. Yes it takes a lot of money, but some get there very young. My ex girlfriends brothers bought their first house at 20 and were full blown developers (working on projects as large at 4000 acres and tall as 18 stories) by the time they were 25.

I'm just getting started on my first three flat and I'm only in my early 20's, but most people don't get into the game until they are older and have made stacks of cash doing something else in real estate.

Quote:
3.) How long does the average developer's career last if you had to make a guess?
If you exclude those who fail that SLO mentioned, I've noticed that successful developers tend to keep working their entire lives. They are generally the kind of people who enjoy working and would go stir crazy if they had no work to do so they usually keep working in their company even if they "retire". My uncle is a good example of this. He's 75 and still works probably 20 hours a week at his development company that he handed off to his son 15 years ago.

Quote:
4.) Do you have any good recommendations on books that discusses development?
Development is not really something you can learn in a book. Its something you have to learn from first hand experience and interacting with those who have done it themselves.

Quote:
5.) On average do developers work for a company or do they create their own?
I wouldn't really call someone who works for another developer a developer. I'd say they work for a developer. However, the majority of people who become developers themselves get their start either working for another developer or in some other branch of real estate.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2011, 5:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post

If you exclude those who fail that SLO mentioned, I've noticed that successful developers tend to keep working their entire lives. They are generally the kind of people who enjoy working and would go stir crazy if they had no work to do so they usually keep working in their company even if they "retire". My uncle is a good example of this. He's 75 and still works probably 20 hours a week at his development company that he handed off to his son 15 years ago.
I agree with most of what you said. It really is a mixed bag and is based on the effort & talent of the individual. And cash is a great partner.

What you said above is really true, I stopped short of saying that many do it until the very end. It can be a life long passion.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2011, 7:34 PM
ChiTownCity ChiTownCity is offline
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Okay Intro to Modern Business seems like a load of crap that I don't need right now and business law won't transfer so I dropped both courses. I'm replacing them with Financial and Managerial Accounting and considering Macroeconomic Principles which will all transfer.

Looking at UIC, they want certain business courses (listed above) in order for me to transfer over into their business department, but I'm still undecided on where I would like to attend.

I still really do want to go to NY (part of the reason why I haven't applied for any internships or jobs at any real estate firms yet) but as you said Nowhereman, that wouldn't be a good idea. I'm not sure how I would do as a developer so I would like to have a plan B where I'm still able to work somewhere in the urban field. I currently have a few connections that I haven't been in contact with lately but know that they are willing to help me out as soon as I'm ready so that's part of the reason why I'm still considering NY.

The Student Counselor at my school keeps on recommending me to get my associates degree here then transfer over to where ever I'm headed, but I'm trying to get out of here asap, already took gen. ed. courses, and not sure if there is anything else I would like to do with a business degree in financing and/or management...

I do know that I will major in business and hope that I do good in it. I know that I have some strong connections that will really benefit me here. An architect that owns his own firm (don't know how well they are doing), 2 General Contractors, 2 architectural engineers, and I just recently (yesterday actually) came into contact with this guy that owns his own carpenter's ?firm? or team or something, so I would say my connections should point me in the right direction, but how a lot of them describe developers and the people that loan the money, it doesn't really sound like I would fit the characteristics or be able to be persuasive enough (i'm hoping to learn that behavior through experience). Plus I keep hearing that there is a very small amount of black people in the whole urban field so I don't know how much that will effect me.

I guess basically what I'm asking is:

1.) Should I without a doubt stay in IL for school or would I still be in good
standing If I were to go to NY?

2.) What kind of personality would I need to adopt when trying to get the
proper funding and support for my first building and other projects in the
future? (I'm sure a bunch of 40+ year-olds wouldn't be too quick to work
for someone or lend to a kid half their age)

3.) You said that you bought your 1st property for $150k, correct? Did you
actually purchase it fully, are you paying for it in installments, or did you
buy it with a loan?

4.) Once you get it presentable and ready for it to be put back into the
market, how exactly does that process work? Does a Realtor purchase
the property at the estimated value negotiated from you and then put it
in the market with a higher price for their profit? I know I'm beyond
clueless...
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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 27, 2011, 5:56 PM
ChiTownCity ChiTownCity is offline
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hmmm.... anytime now......
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  #46  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2011, 7:32 PM
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I really just need some kind of response for the 1st question so I can start applying at different schools...
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  #47  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2011, 9:00 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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Hey sorry I've been absent from this thread. I've been real busy lately and will answer more in depth questions later.

I would definitely stay in Chicago because its a better place to get started in real estate. We've got fewer laws to deal with, lower prices, and a less centralized real estate industry (its an exclusive club in NYC). Additionally going to school and living in Chicago is cheaper which will put you in a better financial standing coming out of school.

Remember, always be aggressive, even when applying to schools. Don't be afraid to try applying places you think you might not get in to.
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  #48  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2011, 3:21 AM
ChiTownCity ChiTownCity is offline
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Seeing those census numbers kinda discouraged me a little just now... I hope the initial shock doesn't impact my decision...
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2011, 4:28 AM
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^Thanks for the input and link ;
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2011, 12:50 AM
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Is a Project Development Manager and a Real Estate Developer any different? If so, what are their differences?

Also is it possible to be a commercial and a resedential developer at the same time?

Last edited by ChiTownCity; Mar 20, 2011 at 1:46 AM.
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  #51  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2011, 5:39 AM
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One more thing:

A Developer assembles a team of contractors, architects, engineers, and promotors (or whatever the correct term would be).

The developer and architect design the building for the land parcel that he already owns or plans on attaing.

The engineer and architect(s) create the blueprints for the building that has a .02% margin for errors.

Contractor teams up with contractors for plumbers, carpenters, electricians, brick layers, and steel workers. They review the architect and engineer's design layout and survey the land parcel and estimate a total cost for the project and add an 15-20% to the estimate for a surplus and for labor costs. Then they bid on a city contract for construction permits and whatever they need.

The Developer meets with the HUD department or wherever he would need to go to, to show them the entire design blueprints, and rendering. The committee will give approval if projects meets all the zoning codes or will send it through the approval process if a change in the zoning code is needed.

The Developer and contractor meets with a bank and gives estimated cost for project, total plans including blueprints, and rendering. The bank reviews the project and allows the developer to apply for an FHA and a 203k loan.

contractor assembles construction team and they go to work as soon as the first check is granted.







Is this basically how the process goes? What am I missing?
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  #52  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2011, 2:17 PM
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Just patiently waiting.....................................
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  #53  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2011, 8:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
Exactly what are some of the ways to become a developer? Would majoring in architecture be a good way to get into this field or would it be best to major in a strictly business field?
Majoring in architecture would only be good if you are interested in being an architect, if you are not extremely interested in that, then you will get burnt out very quickly on it.

Honestly the best thing you could do is look into different business schools and see what they each have to offer, then from there it is all about getting experience and capital to work with.

Often times architects and small developers will purchase something off on a risk and max out credit cards and take out personal loans to try and make something happen. It is always a small project, a 4-8 unit apartment or condo building, a small retail building with flex office space. Things like that, usually in areas that are outside of the more popular areas. Do It Yourself is also another important factor in keeping initial startup costs low, and giving yourself reachable expectations.

Understanding business and business law is going to be what helps when it comes to running a company. But the major key ingredient is always going to be "balls," cause it takes big balls to make that first step that could easily bankrupt you if it fails.

Also it wouldn't hurt to do research on a random number of developers to see how they each got their start, you can learn a lot from things like that.
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  #54  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2011, 10:00 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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ChiTown, your outline above is pretty much correct, though a 203 (k) loan is only available to first time home buyers who want to purchase a property and renovate it for themselves. Most developers leverage other properties they already own, use hard money loans, or use a personal guarantee to get a start on their careers.

I was able to use an FHA loan to get a start on what I'm doing because I haven't bought a home before and could get slightly lower interest rates with an FHA loan since the government assumes the risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
Is a Project Development Manager and a Real Estate Developer any different? If so, what are their differences?

Also is it possible to be a commercial and a resedential developer at the same time?
A project manager generally takes on single projects and is often employed by a contractor or a developer to manage individual projects. The role is, however, very similar to what a developer does and many developers get their starts managing projects for other developers. I occasionally act as a project manager at my day job which has helped me build skills and contacts necessary to accomplish larger projects than those I am working on now.

There are developers that do commercial, residential, and even industrial projects all at the same time, however they tend to be extremely large developers. Most developers pick one niche and stick to it so as they get extremely good at that specific market.

PS: I really need to get around to posting picks of my current project. It's a three flat (frame, not brick unfortunately) that I've been rehabbing and I've already got two of the floors finished and rented out, more than covering my costs, the third floor (which needs a lot more work) will be gravy at this point. I think I'll be holding on to this property because I've got a long term loan at 4.8% and have $1,100 a month in expenses and will be getting about $1,800 in revenue.
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  #55  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2011, 10:37 PM
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PS: I really need to get around to posting picks of my current project. It's a three flat (frame, not brick unfortunately) that I've been rehabbing and I've already got two of the floors finished and rented out, more than covering my costs, the third floor (which needs a lot more work) will be gravy at this point. I think I'll be holding on to this property because I've got a long term loan at 4.8% and have $1,100 a month in expenses and will be getting about $1,800 in revenue.
That's the way to do it, definitely something I am eventually planning on doing further down the line after I go back for grad school and get some good work experience in architecture (which is what I have finished in undergrad so far.) I don't really have a huge interest in doing any large projects, mostly little infill things like what you have done, especially if it works itself as being something comfortable to live off of.
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  #56  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2011, 2:11 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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^^^ Yeah, I aspire to larger projects in the future, but really I'd just like to get to the point where I can make a living constructing modernist infill projects around Chicago's neighborhoods since no one else seems to have the balls to invest in quality architecture these day.
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  #57  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2011, 4:09 PM
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^Okay thanks for the responses.

So I'll hopefully be able to get some good connections over the summer then go to school at one of the CUNY locations for my business degree in Finance and Management. Hopefully I'll have a part time job that I can save up every penny from. And when I graduate I'll come home, renovate a property (or two) and use that money to help get rid of loans (I don't like debt) in a few years. Then I'll eventually be able to start a couple of infill projects.

Basically I want to do infill projects in the commercial and residential sectors. I really want to bring the artistic value back into architecture so badly because all of this cheap garbage current developers/architects have been spitting lately is just killing me. Maybe if everything runs smoothly, I'll be able to build apartments over 60 ft. by the end of this decade. Most of my projects would be on the South and West sides where they need development the most.

I'm hoping that my marketing strategy will actually work when I get the ball rolling....
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  #58  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2011, 5:16 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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^^^ There ya go, that's really what you have to do. Go learn the basics, get a job and save up money, then take a risk and work your ass off to make it big. I'm still in the "work your ass off" phase myself lol.
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  #59  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2011, 6:04 PM
ChiTownCity ChiTownCity is offline
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^You should really get around to posting those pics. I'm interested in seeing your work.
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  #60  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2011, 3:42 AM
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Any of you guys watch Flip this House? Or any other similar shows that document what it's like to be a small time renovator/developer?
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