The cost of home ownership, as well as the cost of living, has grown significantly in the last couple of decades, and in today’s uncertain economy, young people are finding it especially difficult to make ends meet. Some are finding it much easier — and more sensible — to challenge and transform their own expectations of what their ‘dream’ lifestyle looks and feels like. Living fully and within one’s means may not look as flashy as a McMansion lifestyle, but many are finding a more minimalist way of life to be much more rewarding than they thought.
Take Julie and Andrew Puckett, a couple based about half an hour outside of Atlanta, Georgia. They have ditched their city apartment and are living a relatively short distance away from the cultural highlights of a major urban center. But they don’t live in a house — they are living in a 1990 Blue Bird school bus that they converted into a comfortable, 200-square-foot one-bedroom home.
Getting used to the idea of living in a renovated bus, which they call Housebus, took some time. Having moved to Atlanta from Chicago, both were working more than one job to help pay the rent on that aforementioned apartment in one of the city’s gentrifying neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, when it came time to renew their lease, their landlord raised their rent a whopping 30 percent, forcing them to consider other options. Julie says that they thought about purchasing a tiny home, but the huge initial cost was an obstacle, in addition to the fact that most local tiny house builders had a months-long waiting list, and the Pucketts were obliged to move — soon. That’s when Julie chanced upon the idea of converting a bus, as she tells Country Living:
“At first, my reaction was incredulity, but after seeing some interior shots, that quickly turned into excitement. The most exciting part was when I found a bus conversion that had been done by a cattle rancher for use during calving season—it was in our budget, and only a few states away. I immediately shot off an inquiry, and the rest is history.”