— Natalie Martinez



If you’ve ever wanted the opportunity to invest in one of our projects, you now have the chance through GROUNDFLOOR, a crowdfunding source available to real estate investors. For as little as $10, you can become an investor in one of our projects with Black Dawg Construction, one of the intown builders we’ve been partnering with this year. We’ll be leading the design of a new Craftsman-inspired home within walking distance to the historic business district in the Kirkwood neighborhood.

Through GROUNDFLOOR, Black Dawg Construction is asking for a loan of $250,000 to pay for a portion of the construction of the home. Check out GROUNDFLOOR’s website and see how investors can select projects to fund and earn a rate of return between 6-26% in as little as 6 to 12 months. Seriously. Yes, that is probably better than what your cash is doing right now in any other investment.  You can check out the project profile and terms for the 2045 Dunwoody St project on Ground Floor and learn more about how it works.

If you’re curious about how exactly Natalie Martinez Architecture fits in to this, read on.

Our design and construction process with investor clients is very much what it is with other clients looking to build or renovate a home, but it’s a shorter schedule. Here’s the low down: we are approached by investors to design a home either before the investment property is purchased or shortly thereafter. We analyze the site and walk through the house looking for unique characteristics to preserve and examine the structural integrity of the home with an engineer.  We then begin the design process with our client and complete the design.  When we’re finished, the project is permitted through the City of Atlanta and then the construction phase begins.  Since this is a speculative house, the home will be listed and sold after the project is completed. You’ll catch me in the field checking in on the progress during site visits and working on marketing material for the sale side.

What makes this partnership with Jeff Raw unique is that he’s the licensed contractor who is building the project and he’s the real estate agent who markets it for sale. How exactly does this impact design? Well, for one, it’s highly collaborative and at the same time, very specific.  Unlike other projects with clients and their private residences, we’re asked to design a home that will stand out in the market.  We’re an experienced team and we know the ropes when it comes to designing in today’s market, so if the houses we design aren’t under contract in 30 days or less, something’s not right.

What’s great about our clients (and blog readers!) is that we share the same values about design… It’s a process and building two of the same thing is boring. Every house should be unique because every house has a story.

So that’s my big news for today.  Check out GROUNDFLOOR and consider investing in our 2045 Dunwoody St project! You’ll have your hand in a great quality home in the Kirkwood neighborhood and make some cash at the same time.

You know I’ll keep you updated on the construction progress on my social media channels. So, stay tuned for more project updates on the Dunwoody House. If you’ve got some design ideas, leave them in the comments section below!

Ground-Floor-buttonGROUNDFLOOR is a revolutionary new way to invest in real estate. Help fund 2045 Dunwoody St and be a part of building a home.


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I don’t like to play favorites, but getting out to 154 McClean St in Decatur has been tough over the last four weeks. I started a real estate practice class that has me out of the office about 30 hours per week for the last month. I’ve been balancing that with full-time architecture work, recruiting for an architecture position that I’m looking to fill, and planning for business growth. Lots of amazing synergy has been buzzing around the Natalie Martinez world this past month and my not so little McClean house hasn’t gotten any attention until now.  (If you want to keep up with the latest project updates, make sure you’re following me on Instagram.  I share photos of projects and places I’ve been throughout the week.)

In the past two years, I’ve designed many houses on narrow lots. (That’s just a reality when you build houses intown.  Most residential lots zoned residential have 40-60′ frontage. This combined with setback restrictions usually yields a 30′ wide house.   The lot for the McClean house was almost a double lot and afforded a more gracious design on the property. I took advantage of the space by adding a wrap around porch and  breezeway connecting the house and garage. Look for more Craftsman inspired projects this Fall brought to you by Natalie Martinez + Parclife Homes!


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People often ask me if I work with any builder and the answer is always no. I only work with builders who have an existing portfolio of quality homes that I have actually seen and walked through. In addition,  I prefer to work with collaborative clients who have just as much vision, if not more vision than I have when it comes to reimagining a dilapidated property or a home growing in the weeds.  Just like any other professionals, I choose to work with builders who are trying to become better at their craft.  These are just a few reasons why I like working with Atlanta builders Parclife Homes on their renovation and new construction projects in the city. They are very hands-on and even build custom elements with their own hands and their cabinetmaker is a man in his woodshop, not a guy in a factory line. I wish I could take credit for some of their details, but I can’t.

So, you want to get a taste for a project that’s coming soon? Check out one of my current project with Parclife Homes in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta right across from the Bessie Branham Park.

94 Kirkwood Rd is a Craftsman-inspired bungalow and will be listed for sale in Fall 2014!

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ice-bucket-challenge-fb-user-profile-1My friend and blog follower, Betsy Harvey, tagged me in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

Elena has watched a few of the ice bucket challenges on Facebook and cracks up everytime. When I asked her if she wanted to dump water on me, she said, “Yea!!” So here it is! Life is short. Why not?!

Donate to the ALSA.

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This picture was an outtake from a group photo last week, but I think it captures something special. I’ve been keeping a secret from you and I’m excited to finally share some big news!  I’ve joined the Raw Real Estate Team at Keller Williams Metro Atlanta! The Raw Real Estate Team is a specialized group of real estate, construction, and design professionals.  We’re a full service real estate group, so that means we have people who can help you buy or sell your house, but we also have a unique niche that separates us from the pack: we are really good at finding intown real estate opportunities for investors and savvy home buyers who want to capitalize on a home building or renovation project in Atlanta’s wonderful, walkable neighborhoods. The Team helps our clients find a property or lot, guides them through the financing process, collaborates on the design (that’s where I come in!), and then permits and builds the project! Sounds like something you’d want to be a part of, right?!

What does this mean for my micro residential architecture practice? Well, the business model doesn’t change much, except that I’ll have to continue to turn away work that isn’t a good fit for me and I will need to make a choice: I either grow and hire someone or I scale back temporarily.  When I’m doing strictly design, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. When I’m in real estate mode, I’ll be operating under the Raw Real Estate and Keller Williams brands because I will need to be affiliated with a brokerage.  I’m also going to become laser focused on the  investment, design, & construction opportunities in my key segments of Atlanta –communities that are walkable and family-friendly with great schools, but without neighborhood design restrictions–so we can infuse some small modern houses into the market. (Is anyone else smiling or is it just me?)

This recent evolution to expand and enter the real estate field came from my desire to better serve my existing clients, have my hand in the storytelling part of homebuilding, and create a practice that feels the most like me. The biggest perk of being an entrepreneur is that I can create something that truly encompasses all of my passions–design, storytelling, relationship building, and real estate investments.  This year has been amazing and exhausting, just like having a baby all over again.  Even when I’m tired and overworked, there haven’t been any regrets about stepping out and having a go at this.

So that’s the big news!  Let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help you with your home building/ renovation project or residential real estate investments. My business from the beginning has been referral-based so I hope you’ll continue to follow me on this journey to build homes and change a city.


Raw Real Estate Team. Ashley Pruett, Reuben Green, Natalie Martinez, and Jeff Raw

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