“Just because someone lives on a bus or in a van shouldn’t be a reflection of who they are as a person. There are a number of ways to live life.”

The wise words of a woman from New Jersey who was fed up paying exorbitant rent with nothing tangible to show for it. Her name is Raven Tyler. About half a year ago she spotted a Facebook Marketplace ad for a converted school bus. But it was in Florida.

Not a problem. A determined Raven flew down and made the deal for $20,000 and drove it back up the east coast. Now she owns her own home, it just happens to be on wheels and used to cart kids to and from school.

With New Jersey facing an affordable rent crisis, something Dave Matthau reported on recently, she took matters into her own hands.

I was giving literally all of my money away every month,” says Tyler. “It just didn’t make much sense.

She had seen videos and stories of people living the "skoolie" life (living in converted school buses) and with only her and her daughter and two pets it sounded doable. The bus came fully converted and furnished. She resides there with her little girl Myla, 5, and a German shepherd and a cat.

School bus in Duluth, MN
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

For now Raven shares a queen-sized bed with her daughter in the only bedroom but there's a play area where later she plans on adding another bed. It has all you’d need. A small kitchen and living room area, with an oven and stove, refrigerator and pantry, a bathroom with a toilet and shower.

The cost of a one-bedroom apartment in New Jersey can easily be $1,670 per month. In one year you've paid for this livable school bus. Not sounding so crazy, is it? Of course as an article on njmonthly.com points out there are maintenance and diesel fuel expenses. But there's also freedom. And that has to be worth something.

Jersey City home transformation: From falling apart to full luxury

41 Bentley Ave. was basically falling apart. It was typical of many homes you see in the older sections of Jersey City, before the developers get to them, that is. Many of them are rundown, neglected with the population of the town not having the means to repair and update them.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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