Brian and Starla Sullivan live in a very unusual home!
The parents of 3 shunned conventional city life two years ago, when they made the decision to swap their flat for a converted school bus.
Starla explains, ‘we were living in an apartment about an hour away from Brian’s work and the commute was awful. He would work overtime just trying to pay the rent and then he would sit in the car for about three hours a day in rush hour and we would just never see him.’
‘So we decided to make a change.’
‘We were watching YouTube videos about tiny houses and there was this one in particular – we called them ‘The Crazy People Who Lived In A Blue Bus’ – and we just looked at each other and went ‘do you want to live in a bus with me?’
‘I thought she was joking at first, I was like ‘yeah! Sure!’ And she was serious, so I started to think about all these little things that were benefits I hadn’t thought about before like being able to be mobile.’
After making the life-changing decision, the couple bought the school bus from a local dealership in 2014, before spending a year and $30,000 converting it into their dream home.
Now, instead of being filled with seats, the bus boasts beds for all the family, a fully functioning kitchen and even a bathtub big enough to fit all three kids at once!
Although the project has been costly so far, Brian and Starla are confident that their new set-up will save them plenty of dosh in years to come.
Starla says, ‘living in the bus we pay $500 a month in rent, verses the $1500 a month that we would have to pay for an apartment. So we pay about a third of the cost of living elsewhere.’
‘As for utilities, they’re also about a third of the cost so we have money to pay off debts, student loans. We have money to eat the foods that we want, go to the places we want.’
Despite the financial upsides, living in the bus has not been a completely smooth ride for the family.
Starla admits, ‘we have had frozen pipes, no running water, we’ve ran out of propane in the night and had no heat, no hot water. We’ve lost electricity. Whenever one of those things happens I’m just grateful none of them happened at the same time.’
Alongside the practical problems, the family has also faced criticism from people who don’t believe they should be raising their children in a bus.
Starla says, ‘I know a lot of people don’t think it’s possible for us to raise kids in this bus, especially until they’re 18, but I disagree.’
‘We added full-length mattresses in the kids room plus extra space in the bunks. They’re going to grow into it and have their own private space.’
And despite the criticism, the Sullivan family has no plans to leave their unusual lifestyle behind them anytime soon.
Starla says, ‘if we do move out of the bus it is going to be something equally ridiculous.’
‘We want to build a house out of mud, and that is probably going to be our next step.’
‘We’re ridiculous people and this is a ridiculous lifestyle – it just works!’
Each to their own! Watch the video to take a look inside…