How do you become a real estate developer?

By | November 24, 2015

Hi, I’m interested in becomming a real estate developer. I have the funding so loans are not a problem. I am not willing to get a degree in it because I honestly feel I will not need it. Plus, I am almost done with a degree in Psychology.

I have looked online for books but cannot find one that is really helpful to me. I can take a few classes in it including General Contracting, but that is it. Finding a mentor has proven difficult because not many people are willing to share what they know.

So does anyone know of any good books or classes that I should take (be specific) so that I can get started. Please answer my question with any references you may have.

I want to build houses and sell them. I am not looking into ‘flipping houses’. Plus, I will be hiring a General Contractor. Basically, it’s like I want to build my own house then sell it. Why is that difficult?

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5 thoughts on “How do you become a real estate developer?

  1. Michael B

    first of that is a broad question and secondly no there will not be a “book” that will tell you what you need to know. If you mean you want to buy or lease land and build something on it to sell for profit – that type of developer then I strongly suggest atleast working for a company that does that work for a year or two or more to get your feet wet. Its not as cut and dry as it looks. Its not rocket science by no means but there are lot of different issues you may not be aware of… permits, environmental issues, etc. If you do not follow all of these properly the fines may wipe out your funds fast. Good luck though. I work in that field and its alot of fun and alot of money to make.

  2. Janet P

    It isn’t difficult, there isn’t enough to it to write a book. Since you have funds it will be very simple.

    Buy land, making sure it is zoned for what you want to build.

    Hire attach and get all plans approved by city you are building in.

    Hire contractor and start building.

    The process takes about 2 years, most of it prep, building itself about 6 months.

  3. nnohio

    I think that you are overlooking something here:

    You might be surprised to find that many General Contractors know how to do exactly what you are talking about. However, because of problems with funding or cash-flow many don’t pursue developing property. They simply stick to what they know best…building.

    When interviewing GCs for your project ask him/her what experiences they have with development. Choose one that offers experience in building as well as development. After you choose have them help with the process much like a Realtor would in a sales transaction. Trust me, any GC not willing to put forth an effort in order to build several homes in this (competitive) market is not someone you should work with.

    I hope this helps.

  4. Kristin W

    Have you looked into online certification? ProSchools offers online courses that are fairly comprehensive.
    * Construction Contractors Board (CCB)
    * Employer requirements and employees’ rights
    * Contract law
    * Construction lien law
    * Taxes, record keeping and business practices
    * Project management
    * Building codes
    * Occupational Safety and Health Administration
    * Environmental law
    It’s a 16 hour course with a state certification exam at the end. Definetely an option to consider if you’re not looking to get another degree.
    Hope this helps – good luck.

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