Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LITTOF STORIES: 4 People, 1 Dog and an Airstream

Over the last couple of years I have had the privilege of hearing some pretty inspiring stories from readers of Love in the Time of Foreclosure. Opening these e-mails always makes my day. And because they've made such a difference for me, I want to pass the inspiration along to you.

Meet LITTOF STORIES, a new feature on Love in the Time of Foreclosure that will feature readers' inspiring triumph over foreclosure stories. The key word: Inspiring.

The format of this series will likely change. Nothing is set in stone. I plan to stumble my way into the best format for these stories. Also, I’m not crazy about the name. It’s fine. But fine isn’t what I’m looking for. But it does the job for now. I reserve the right to change the name when I’m struck by inspiration.

With that said, I am happy to introduce you to Tami Rawn.

I "met" Tami when she sent me an e-mail after reading my post Could You Live in an Airstream Without Any Closets? Her answer was, yes. Yes, you can. And I did! 

After selling her Florida home in a short sale, she moved into an Airstream with her two kids, boyfriend and dog. Two adults. Two children. And a Black Lab. In an Airstream. True story.

You know my obsession with Airstreams, right? Well, here she was living my fantasy. And so boldly.
 
Our initial e-mail exchange went like this:

TAMI: Currently my boyfriend, myself, my 8 yr. old daughter, 2 yr. old son, and last but not least my 10 yr. old black lab all live in our 1975 Airstream Land Yacht.  I know, it sounds crazy and that's what everyone says, but we love it.  I owned a house, until the market went upside down and so did the neighborhood, so I was forced to short sell.  Not wanting to rent or buy another house, I went to plan B, my bucket list, to buy and live in an Airstream.  And I am so glad I did. I love it and it has helped me to have the courage to take on other things in my life that I wouldn't of normally tried.

ME: I'm fascinated by the idea that you all live in this Airstream together! An 8 yr old AND a 2 yr old. And 2 adults and a dog?! Where do you live? How big is this Airstream? How much do you pay to have it hooked up to electricity? Do you move around and see the country or are you in one place?

TAMI: Let’s see… my Airstream is 31 ft. long, we have moved 4 times in the Airstream. As my daughter Coral Phoenix is now in the third grade, I am now stuck for a year at our new spot.  It's cheap to live like this, about $575 a month -- that includes power, water, cable, and of course lot rent.  Campground living is different than a trailer park, here people pick up and leave everyday and are replaced with new people from crazy places. My favorite thing about this so far is bbq everyday and watching the kids play on the swing set.  It's quiet and slower. The rat race is essentially gone from your to-do list. Oh one more thing, when you move your Airstream, you don't even have to make your bed, or pack up anything, so the kids adjust very easy, which is extremely important!

:::
So you can see why I had to find out more. I thought Tami had just the type of story to kick off this series. I pitched it to Tami, she agreed and we were off to the races...
 
4 People, 1 Dog and an Airstream-- 
A LITTOF STORIES Q&A with Tami Rawn:

ME: First, please tell us about the house you used to own. Where was it and how long did you live there?
TAMI: My house was a cute little green garden house in Boynton Beach, FL. We lived there almost 4 years, until the neighborhood turned very scary and dangerous.  The houses around us were rented out for very cheap and with that comes neighbors that just don’t care.

ME: Tell us about your short sale/ foreclosure. What were the circumstances?
TAMI: Our house was purchased for $147, 000. It was the perfect first time buyers' home, great to fix up and make it a nice home. But the market went upside down and the value dropped way below.  I tried to rent it out, but the neighborhood turned bad, and in return no one wanted to rent it for the mortgage payment of $1,200.  So essentially I would have to pay for someone to live there and destroy all our hard work that we had put into making it beautiful.  So our only option was to short sell it for a grand total of $38,000.

ME: How long was the process?
TAMI: The process went very quick because the neighbor down the street had moved here from Haiti and purchased my house and the one next to me for his family members moving to the states.  So needless to say it was started and finished in less than a month, once put on the market.

ME: What was the hardest moment?
TAMI: Hardest moment I would have to say was when I signed my home over and left with a free pen from the title company with no money and no house.  Also a month later I drove by the house that I put my heart and soul into, and found it to be without love.  I had filled the yard with beautiful gardens, and the new owners had took them all out. It took the breath out of me.

ME: What was your most triumphant moment?
TAMI: Feeling free of the concrete walls that never moved.  I can say I loved that house, but after that I realized that my family members are my home, not the walls and roof that we lived in.

ME: How are you better off now?
TAMI: I wouldn’t say better off, I would say wiser, freer if that’s a word, and more importantly aware that the “American Dream” isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

ME: What does your living situation look like today?
TAMI: Like a “silver bullet” as my daughter says.  But really it is smaller, cheaper, mobile, cozier.

ME: What advice would you give to someone who is either worried about losing their home or is actually in foreclosure?
TAMI: The world can really throw you to the wolves sometimes, but it’s how you handle it that proves how strong you really are.  Never, ever worry about material objects, as long as you have your family and everyone is healthy, then life is good, my friend!

ME: Anything else?
TAMI: I suggest to everyone:  Make a bucket list, and start crossing things off before it’s too late.

Tami, thank you so much for being the first to share your story here on LITTOF STORIES. I still find it to be totally inspiring. 

Readers, please let Tami know how her story has inspired you by leaving a comment below.

If you or someone you know would like to contribute your triumph-over-adversity story to LITTOF STORIES, please e-mail me: loveinthetimeofforeclosure at gmail.com


Thanks!

Steph

12 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating to hear the resiliency of people who have lost their home. I couldn't imagine going through something like this. Bravo to Tami and her menage for finding strength to survive the circumstances, and realizing the beauty in living simply! Great post. (and great pic!)

-Nate

Ps. Airstream living... sigh.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Very proud of my family.
Family is the most important where Tami has proven that over and over again.

Love,
Linda

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