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I don't know much about Real Estate Development, but I am somewhat interested in the investing and financing side. Specifically, mortgage backed securities and other types of real estate derivatives. I guess that would entail working for a big bank, which I'm not super keen on. Anyone have exp working with MBS's? What did you do, exactly?
Also, I think working as a research analyst for a REIT would be interesting. Kind of like working for a mutual fund, only instead of analzying companies, you're analyzing apartments, office buildings, warehouses, etc, right?
As for programs, I know that Wharton and Berkeley have good ones.
MBS is as far away from property as you can believe. Like anything when bankers get their hands on it, the underlying entity itself matters little - more how they behave when there are lots of them. It involves lots of ratios, data quality issues, more data, some data, and lots of too-and-fro with rating agencies and lawyers. And Data.
Most the factors of MBS are things that effect loan prepayment, it just happens to be houses.