Georgia couple converts school bus into tiny house


Georgia couple converts school bus into tiny house

Georgia natives Andrew and Julie Puckett always knew the picket-fenced five-bedroom house wasn't for them. Now, they live in less than 200 square feet.

More specifically, their less-than-200-square-feet is inside a custom-renovated 1990 Blue Bird bus, parked in a state park just outside the city.

Their big move to a tiny space started last year, when the rent in their 1,000-square-foot Atlanta apartment jumped by nearly 25 percent.

"We didn't see the point in collecting debt for something we weren't buying equity in," Julie said. "And the idea of having so much and cleaning so much just never appealed to us."

The Pucketts were initially interested in the tiny house movement, which has gained momentum across the country and often emphasizes minimal living as a tonic to our stuff-filled society.

But they soon realized the prices for such homes were much higher than they had expected. Then Julie saw a listing for a converted school bus in Tennessee.

The pair cashed all of their savings into a cashier's check for just under $10,000 and drove up to catch a first glimpse of their new home.

"It wasn't the most beautiful thing," Julie said. "But it had good bones."

About $1,000 and five months later, plus or minus some tremendous help from family members, and the couple was ready to move in.

Their bus is painted a rustic teal on the outside and white on the inside. A couch pulls out as a bed where the couple's dog, Starbuck — named after the character from "Battlestar Galactica "— often lounges.

There's an RV-style toilet, a shower with an on-demand water heater and a small kitchen.

The Pucketts, both members of their own folk-rock band, even have a vision of one day turning the bus into a "tiny tour bus." For now, they are documenting their day-to-day on a blog, appropriately named House Bus.

Julie said the move hasn't drastically affected the young couple's work lives, except that affordable living has allowed Andrew — also an actor — to transition from working full-time to taking part-time acting gigs around town.

"We realize tiny living isn't a one-size-fits all solution to the housing crisis," Julie said. "What we do hope is that people will see our story, and realize how freeing it can be to live with less."

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