Couple convert £9,000 double decker bus into home to escape £1,200 a month rent

A couple fed up with forking out £1,200 a month on rent have decided to convert a double decker bus into a home for themselves.

Alice Keeler, 30, and Xavier Gstrein, 29, bought the £9,000 bus online from Northern Ireland in May.

The pair say they got the idea to live on a bus after ‘extortionate’ housing prices meant they couldn’t afford to buy a place of their own, and they grew sick and tired of paying £1.2k per month to rent their one bedroom flat in Brighton.

They plan to deck out their unusual new home with solar panels, an eco-friendly log burner, and a compost toilet, and reckon the complete conversion will cost them more than £20,000.

The couple also say they will save loads of money on bills after they move in, as the bus – which they’ve named Baloo – will be completely off-grid.

Alice, a speech and language therapist for adults in neuro-rehab, said: “The idea is to get off the grid, be rent free and have more freedom.

“Our bus will be powered by solar and we hope to grow our own veg patch.

“Hopefully with the knock on effect of being more conscious of how much food we waste and also eating more seasonally.

“We will get quicker access to nature in order to live a slower paced life and appreciating the things that are free for us and on our doorstep.

“Also, more freedom to continue our love of travel by either basing ourselves somewhere else with the bus or renting it out while we are away on adventures.

“It’s brilliant to repurpose a used bus that may have otherwise been scrapped and Xav and I are learning new skills together and learning things about ourselves along the way”.

Xavier, a nuclear medicine technologist and radiographer, and Alice bought the bus on May 14 this year.

They are paying for the conversion with savings and their monthly salaries.

The couple plan to convert the top deck into a space for two bedrooms as well as a chill out and lounge area.

The bottom deck will be a kitchen, bathroom and sitting area, and Alice says she is “excited” to buy second-hand furnishings, which are not only “cheaper” but give a “quirky” feel.

Alice says the advantages of buying a bus compared to investing in the conventional housing market are “endless”.

She added: “It’s far more economical than taking out a loan for a mortgage to buy and being in debt for many years.

“Brighton is great – we have a lovely little garden and small kitchen – but it’s just expensive.

“We are currently paying £1,200 a month, which is pretty reasonable if you think about it.

“But we were looking at buying a place – bearing in mind we are not on the worst wages in the world – and we swiftly realised purchasing somewhere in the Brighton and Hove area is just extortionate!”