Housing Solutions for the DOOMERS: Re-use a Schoolbus for Cheap Housing (300 sq. ft)

A few years back, I got tired of living the American Dream and struggling to keep up with a horrendous mortgage and rising credit card debt. I know there's really only two ways to balance a budget, spend less or earn more, and I didn't see a huge wage increase in the future. Also, I have always been interested in unusual homes and can't pass a two or three hundred square foot enclosure without wondering what interesting living space could be made there. Less space, less stuff, less consumed, less owed. It sounded like where I wanted to be.

Then, I got a call from a buddy that purchased a pair of used school buses from the Texas A&M surplus property auction. He knew I had been interested in one and was willing to hold on to it until I could head out to pick it up. I got myself to College Station, spent a few days changing fluids, ripping out the seats and doing general preventative maintenance. Then, for about $1400 for the bus and another $600 in diesel (probably twice that, now), I headed back to Florida with the beast. Two years later, I've got a fully functional, comfortable, clean living space for about $12,000 and my monthly housing and utility costs are less than $400/month.

  • September 05 2008 - US
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Answers (20)

Here's one for the doomers

  • September 05 2008
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Bump for the doomers.

  • September 05 2008
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Profile picture for kelargo

A Pain to fill the tank.

 

Maybe $1,000 ?

  • September 05 2008
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Profile picture for curiousm

What exactly is a doomer? A guy who is depressed? What does that have to do with real estate? Or are you writiing that the whole real estate market is depressed. I could agree with that.

  • September 05 2008
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Profile picture for kelargo

doomer:

 

A person with a realistic point of view of the current real estate market, chastised by blindly optimistic and myopic individuals.

 

  • September 05 2008
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Profile picture for blue screen exile

So bellfonteine admits to living in school bus on his parent's property in Florida rather than owning property in Seatle as previously claimed?

 

  • September 06 2008
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Profile picture for blue screen exile

Wonder why it cost $12k to furnish a $1.4k bus?  Wonder what all that $400 a month goes to?  Heating oil?  Parking fines?  Bus maintenance?  Sewer hook up?  Camp ground association fees?  Internet and satalite service connection?  Cell phone?  Desiel fuel for commuting to work in the bus?

 

 

 

 

  • September 06 2008
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It must be one of his rentals he brags about..

  • September 06 2008
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Profile picture for blue screen exile

Do you need a class B or class A licence for that?

 

How could it be a rental if he states his housing and utility costs ARE $400 per month?

 

It must be plarUSA with more pretend housing and pretend rentals, priced out of the rental market forever.

 

 

  • September 06 2008
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Dont park that thing near my house!

  • September 06 2008
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He couldn't park it near my house (even if it could drive that far) since it violates local codes.  It would be ticketed and then towed and impounded.

 

He would have to park it in a private driveway, behind the front of the house.  And if he didn't own or rent the house, it likely would be trespassing.

 

And most of the city does not allow overnight street parking, so I guess he would have to drive it to Duarte and park it in the nearest Walmart parking lot.

 

  • September 06 2008
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for sure...here in California we have many rules around RV parking...all the celebs and rich people do not like school buses around thier houses!

  • September 06 2008
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Profile picture for curiousm

So Bellafontaine is suggesting buying an old school bus and living in it is better than owning a house ? I have several friends who own RV's , and some have seriously considered touring around the country full time in them. I have never heard any of them suggest that was way better than buying their home or they would have been better off living in a bus all these years.

I think Bellafontaine is taking the housing problems way too personally.

  • September 06 2008
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No I am suggesting that this is a good thing for the doomers who usually spew garbage and use scare tactics to people.

  • September 06 2008
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Profile picture for curiousm

I see the media puts out all kinds of lousy news. I have been seeing it for a long time now. Foreclosures and fraud. Banks failing. But yet none of my friends have gone bankrupt. I think they report the most sensationalized news possible. I still have no idea what living in a bus has to do with the market as a whole. Do you really live in an old school bus?

  • September 06 2008
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Scare tactics...  Like facts.  And charts and numbers and stuff oh my!    I can see how things like that might scare people.

  • September 06 2008
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"Like facts.  And charts and numbers and stuff oh my!"

 

Reality is a harsh mistress.

  • September 06 2008
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When I was in high school, my band bought an old school bus for $1500.  Another $1000 in paint, lumber, etc and we had our very own tour bus.  We drove that thing for like 5 years all over the western U.S.  8mpg, 38' of (relative) luxury, and the coolest ride in high school.

  • September 06 2008
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When I was in high school, my band bought an old school bus for $1500.  Another $1000 in paint, lumber, etc and we had our very own tour bus.  We drove that thing for like 5 years all over the western U.S.  8mpg, 38' of (relative) luxury, and the coolest ride in high school.

  • September 06 2008
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Oh No!.  I saw Bellafonteine's house parked on Orange Grove Blvd in front of a prominant black church today, listed for Sale.  I took a photo.  I'll have to post it later.

 

I also drove by Bellefontaine St again today.

 

I think Bellafonteine was hoping to become the "Partridge Family" but found he just didn't have the musicianship skills.

 

Wonder where he got that strange spelling?

 

  • September 06 2008
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