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Pathways to becoming an Architect & Developer in the UK

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Pablo La Torre

New Member
My name is Pablo La Torre, and I have recently graduated from a BSc in Architecture. During my undergraduate studies I have always been interested in Real Estate development because it allows me as an architect to be more in control over a building project; its design, usage, and the profit I would earn, as opposed to a regular architect, however I am aware of the higher risks associated with development. Currently I am going through a transition phase, trying to understand which pathway to take in order to become a successful real estate developer, and taking on some freelancing architecture jobs to keep bread on the table.

To give you a bit of a background as a result of my interest in real estate, I did a couple architectural internships at two different real estate development companies. At the same time I took elective courses on Corporate Finance and Principles of Macro/micro economics in my University in order to understand more about financial, and economic factors that affect the real estate sector. Also I have been reading books on real estate such as "The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No Money Down", "ULI Real Estate Development: Principles and Progress" "The Book on Flipping Houses", "How Real Estate Developers Think", and "Architect&Developer". I plan to keep reading other books to keep broadening my basic understanding on real estate development. However, now that I have finished with architecture school, I am not sure which path to take. From my research and advice I have gotten from professors and contacts, I have a couple paths to choose from:

  1. -continuing my architecture education and work experience with developers until I get my architecture license (3-4 years) , and then enter the development game partnering with an investor to either do a residential flip, or a simple single-family house development.
  2. -Keep doing architecture freelancing jobs, plus broadening my real estate contacts through real estate clubs, events, meetups, etc. Once I find an investor willing to do a residential flip (I would be doing all the foot-work, managing the flipping process and my partner would only put in the finances) I would reduce my freelancing jobs to focus on the flip, and eventually after gathering some capital and experience I can then go on to make a simple residential development from ground-zero.
  3. -Start a Masters in Real Estate Development in order to solidify my knowledge and expand my network while at the same time finding possible investor to do a residential flip, and after gathering capital and experience go on for a residential development.
One factor that I still do not know how to deal with is my architecture license. I am not sure whether for option 2 and 3 I should aim to get my architecture license at some point since I will be acting as the architectural designer for the renovations and developments myself. I am not sure how much not having a license will hinder me as opposed to being licensed, because if paying a licensed architect to sign the drawings is not too much of an obstacle I would prefer to not get my license since the process is very tedious and takes time.

I highly appreciate anyone who would be kind enough to comment on my post, and I thank you very much in advance! :),

Pablo La Torre
 
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diyhelp

Active Member
All very interesting - do you need to be a licensed architect to work on your own real estate projects?
 
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