Got Questions?

I’m no Dear Abby and I may not have all the answers, but I do get a fair amount of questions from clients and contacts. The topics vary, from real estate, financing, marketing, business development, and local economy to philanthropy, parenting, travel, and work/life balance.

Here are a few from this week…

From Judy: My son and his wife are paying over $1,700/month in rent. They would like to own a home, they’ve even pointed out a few they really like, but they don’t have any savings for a down payment. Do they still do no money down loans for first time home buyers?

Yes, there are some lenders that specialize in doing no money down loans. They are often referred to as Down Payment Assistance loans. In fact, you don’t need to be a first-time home buyer to get one.

How they work is that you get a first loan for 96.5% of the purchase price, then there is a 2nd loan (forgivable loan) for the remaining 3.5%. This 2nd loan doesn’t have to be paid back if you make 3 years of on time payments on your first loan. To qualify for the loan, they need a credit score of 620 or higher.

I’m happy to consult with them and walk them through the steps to get them pre-approved, and help them avoid having to pay closings costs as well. Just have them contact me. – Mike

From David: I saw in a recent article you wrote about how you travel with your kids quite a bit. This is something we hope to do more with our kids. How do you manage them missing school? Or are they homeschooled?

I do try to work remotely from somewhere outside of the US each year, so that we can expose our kids to new cultures and new adventures. It’s awesome and I highly recommend it. We don’t homeschool our kids, although we have tried that out for one semester.

Here is some quick advice, but I’m happy to meet for a coffee to give all the tips and tricks we’ve learned from our experiences.

If you travel during the school year, I recommend discussing your travel plans with your kids’ teachers as early as possible. For instance, if we know we will travel over winter and the kids will miss 2-3 weeks of school, we bring it up at our first parent teacher conference. We’ve found that if we talk to the teachers about WHY we are traveling, they are usually more than happy to help us figure out a plan so the kids can stay up to speed. Some teachers provide us with materials in advance; others keep in touch via email along the way.

If your kids aren’t enrolled in a school and you’re not trying to keep up with a class and curriculum, you can also look into free online schools like Connections Academy, or the world of resources online for homeschoolers, worldschoolers, and even unschoolers.

We don’t travel like we are on vacation and just play all day. We ALL work in the morning. I get up super early just like at home and begin work; my wife gets the kids going with work assignments or even just reading time, and then she focuses on her own work. I can get a lot of work done in this environment versus my office back home, because there are fewer interruptions. By mid-day or early afternoon, we’ve earned our adventure time and we eagerly go find it.

Most days are like that.

The kids stay caught up on school, and my wife and I stay caught up on our work, which allows us to travel more and stay longer. – Note: I have a super awesome team I lean on when I’m home and especially when I travel, which helps a great deal. Again, let’s get a coffee sometime if you want to chat about it further. – Mike

Do you have questions?

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Cheers and happy Friday!

Mike T.