Let’s face it. The economy and the real estate market have forced many of us to make some serious changes. This is the story of one couple who decided to upgrade their lives and leave those mortgage payments behind. The original story was reported in the online publication Curbed San Fransisco. Get ready to be inspired!
Nancy Broden and Michael Fortson were 40 something tech workers successfully living the dream in the San Fransisco Valley. Nancy had worked with Twitter, and was now looking for her next big project. Michael was a professional app developer. Together they owned a two bedroom condo close the AT&T park. Sounds great right?
Here’s the catch. They bought their condo in 2007 right at the height of real estate boom and just before the big crash. Now their high mortgage payments were squeezing the life out of them. They felt like they were working every day just to keep their head above water and hold onto a condo they were starting to hate.
One day, while bemoaning their current bills, Nancy spontaneously blurted out the idea of getting rid of it and buying an Airstream. Except wait. That would mean LIVING IN a trailer right? That’s weird. They didn’t want to be weird. But then a strange thing happened. The idea stuck around…and started made sense. The couple loved the idea of taking off and going anywhere their hearts desired. It would give them the type of freedom to pursue their passions.
Suddenly the idea was put in motion, and everything began happening really fast. They started looking at Airstreams, and only a few months later purchased one in Denver, Colorado while en route to a wedding. They new home was a 28-foot 2015 Airstream International. They would mean downsizing from 1,000 square feet to a mere 250 square feet. Could they do it? When they sat down to discuss their financing options, they found out the payment would be only $495.00 a month. They couldn’t help but laugh. $495.00 was a fraction of what their current mortgage was costing them. They were sure they could make the downsize happen.
After purchasing the Airstream and spending some time in it, they knew they had to customize a few things to make it tech friendly. After all, they were about to take their new life on the road, which meant the Airstream would be their home AND their office. Here are a few of the things they decided to adjust.
Since the main focus in the Airstream was on bed space instead of desk space, some adjustments had to be made. The first thing they did was turn the bed sideways to make room for a tiny flip up standing desk. Michael loved this customization because he now had a fantastic view out the window. At the other end of the travel trailer Nancy created a workspace with the addition of a wrap around dining booth and a desk rather than a table. This new work surface was more practical than the old double bench dinette.
Obviously, the internet is super important if you work online. Together the couple shares a mobile broadband router and an unlimited Verizon data plan which gives them all the internet they need. With their workspaces on separate ends of the trailer they can each hold Skype calls without disruption each other.
When the couple changed the lounge area, they made room for an extra kitchen cabinet. Space in a full-time trailer is essential, and more cabinet space was important to them.
Airstreams are known for their modern designs, and neither Nancy nor Michael feel like they have stepped down in living quality. Yes, space is tight, but if you use both the indoors and outdoors it has a natural flow. Now the couple who could barely afford life in San Fransisco pays less than $20,000 a year on their mortgage, insurance, pulling and parking their RV. They love their all new lifestyle and find that they get to know the people around them much more than they did living in an isolated condo.
For this tech couple their dream has become a reality. Now, what about you? Would you like to live in an Airstream? What would be the biggest adjustment? What would you change in the interior? Would you worry about the stigma of travel trailer trash?
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