We are a couple of guys who met as realtors in Richmond Virginia. Here is a little background about each of us.
My name is Fred and I graduated from drafting school at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. I took a job at a design firm in Dallas for a few years and gained a lot of experience in the field of real estate. I also did a lot of international travel working as a contractor through the design firm and was blessed to have been able to witness some of the most beautiful buildings and on-going projects in the world. I will talk about some of these in this blog.
Missing Richmond (and being a Redskin fan living amongst rival Dallas fans), I moved back and got a job with Pierce Arrow Real Estate. They were a very small broker who mostly were in the business of buying properties and either renting them or selling them, not finding homes for clients. This was quite a lucrative venture and a lot of fun. Richmond was, and still is, growing and changing rapidly. The city went through tough times in the 70’s and 80’s and was trying to revitalize itself, so they started offering very attractive tax credit and abatement incentives to investors willing to come in and completely gut and renovate the stately old houses that had become run down and frequently vacant. The vacant homes attracted drug addicts and other miscreants, so the city came up with this plan to try to pick itself up by the bootstraps.
It turned out to be a great idea as investors came pouring in. In the early 2000’s, these people were snapping up gorgeous old brick homes and renovating them. The city wanted to maintain the old look and feel, so in order to qualify you had to, for example, commit to keeping the old rope windows and getting them working again rather than put in new efficient double-paned vinyl windows. If there were columns in the house, as is often the case with some of the 100+ year old homes, they had to remain even though it may have been much more efficient to remove than to put in walls or whatever.
And my name is Kevin. I actually grew up in Bangor Maine, but was always fascinated by building design and therefore left to attend Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) in Annandale, Va. due to its reputation as being one of the best drafting schools in the country. I then accepted a job at Atlanta-CAD in Hiram Georgia and learned a ton about the industry while there. From there I took a management position at another drafting company called Arcxen in the San Francisco Bay area. I did a lot of international travel working for Arcxen doing design work in Japan, Dubai, Brazil, and a few other countries before finally wanting to settle down and move back to Virginia. I found my way to Richmond through some acquaintances and settled into a much slower and sane routine buying, renovating, and selling old homes in the downtown area. I met Fred at Pierce Arrow while doing this and we became very good friends.
Now, after 10 years of doing that, Fred and I have decided to combine our knowledge and pictures and create a blog memorializing some of our travels and experiences. We were torn on whether to make it a site focused on big international projects or focus more on local single family home work that is so prevalent in the Richmond area. We could not decide so chose to include both on the blog.
We hope you enjoy the site.