With no building experience, one lifelong Austinite decided to turn an Austin Independent School District school bus into his home. It took him more than a year and $15,000, but his Reddit and Imgur posts have garnered more than 600,000 views in 24 hours.
Michael Talley bought the bus for $2,200 in an online auction. His desire to live in a bus stemmed from wanting to move often and save money.
"I've had no carpentry experience, no metal experience, no electrical experience, no water experience," Michael Talley said.
Armed with YouTube and a background in graphic design, Talley moved out of his North Austin apartment and into a tent on his friend's property. That's also where he kept the bus.
He saved the $1,200 he had been spending on rent and bills and used it to build his tiny home.
He started with a design. Cleared out the bus, and got to work. From Sept. 2015 to Sept. 2016, Talley's life changed a lot. He lost a job, a girlfriend and a grandpa.
"It was really a difficult time, but luckily all I really had was this bus and the bus was all I had, and I put everything I had into it," Talley said.
The bus is 202 square feet. It sounds small, but it's everything Talley needs.
"I have a bigger kitchen than my last studio apartment," he said. "I have the biggest entertainment center I've ever owned in my entire life. I have the same couch I've had for the past two apartments. I have the biggest desk I've ever owned."
Talley admits bus living isn't for everyone, but it does save a lot of money.
"Having the opportunity to own my own house and only pay less than $100 a month in rent, is too good to pass up," Talley said. "If somebody limits their spending and is okay with roughing it for a little bit, they really can accomplish anything."
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