This Bus Became The Perfect Small Home For This Incredible Woman
Living in Manhattan was starting to feel cramped for Jessie Lipskin when she decided her life needed a big change. No longer comfortable with her path, she desired more freedom and personal flexibility. To achieve this, she turned to eBay, where she started looking for a new home. Not just any home, though. She wanted a bus she could envision living in. Lipskin was about to embark on a life-changing DIY project that would give her everything she wanted. This is her incredible journey to freedom and happiness.
You won’t believe what DMV issue Jessie had to overcome…
Ditching The Everyday
Jessie Lipskin was 27-years-old and living in New York when she began to grow weary of the hustle and bustle of the city. Seeing the people she loved struggle to survive made her realize she needed a way out.
That’s when she came up with her tiny home idea. She saw happiness on the road and just needed to figure out a way to make her new dreams come true. Little did she know her small ambitions were about to turn into a massive project!
Jessie Missed Nature
Going to college at Binghampton, Jessie Lipskin found nature was easily accessible. Her school had a nature reserve nearby, and she fell in love with the outdoors. When she moved to Manhattan, she wasn’t able to be surrounded by nature and her happiness began to fade.
In 2015, Jessie began researching housing alternatives. All of her research ended up paying off when she found the perfect solution to get back into nature. What she didn’t know was just how much work her dream life would take.
What is eco-architecture and how did it inspire Jessie? Keep reading to find out!
Inspired By Eco-Architecture
Figuring out her next step was easier than Jessie anticipated. While researching she came across the documentary Garbage Warrior, a film about sustainable living alternatives. It was here she learned about eco-architecture – the practice of building homes out of recycled material.
The film inspired Jessie to build her next home out of old material. Now that she knew she wanted to live on the road, she just needed to find the right vehicle!
No RVs Allowed
As she began searching for her mini-mobile home, Jessie Lipskin knew one thing; an RV wouldn’t do. She didn’t like the way they were designed and wanted something simpler. Then, searching eBay one day she found the perfect vehicle.
Staring at the page, Jessie fell in love with an old defunct school bus. Without a second thought, she paid $7,000 to jump-start her new life. She would probably have to jump start the bus, too, but that’s a story for another slide!
The Greyhound Dreams Are Made Of
The bus that Jessie bought was a 1966 Greyhound. She had 400 square feet of space to play with if she could get it delivered to her location. Buying the bus was easy, bringing it to its new home was not!
The bus was parked in California when Lipskin made the purchase. Living in New York, her purchase suddenly didn’t seem so wise. To get the bus and start her project, she would have to fly out to California and drive it cross country back to her base of operations.
The only problem was getting Jessie behind the wheel…
Jessie Couldn’t Drive…
While the idea of flying out to California and driving cross country was fun, there was still one problem; Jessie Lipskin didn’t know how to drive. Growing up she learned to rely on public transportation and never ended up getting her license.
Even scarier, the bus she had just bought was a manual, meaning not only did she need to teach herself to drive, but she also needed to learn without the ease of an automatic transmission! While Jessie stayed in New York to get her license, a few good friends flew out to California get the bus.
Starting From Scratch
Jessie rented out a location to park her new home so the renovation project could begin. Once it arrived the first step was adding a fresh coat of paint and stripping the inside clean.
In order to get an idea of what her dream home would look like, Jessie needed it to be completely empty. To help with her vision, Jessie brought in expert carpenters. Once she could see how much space she had to work with, she could finally begin.
Jessie had a clear passion for her DIY home, but she didn’t have a clue about where to get started. To help out with the logistics, she brought in professional designers to help.
Along with her friends, Jessie began to lay out exactly where everything would go in the bus: the bathroom, the kitchen, the bedroom, and the general living area. A lot needed to go into a small space, and Jessie was determined to make it perfect.
Just how small was her room for error? The answer is just ahead!
No Room For Error
Designing her perfect home wasn’t just a matter of putting what she wanted where she wanted it. Jessie needed to make sure her measurements were exact and that every structure was perfectly fixed into the wall.
It would be a disaster to be on the road, hit a bump, and have everything topple over! There was no room to make an error on any of the measurements, which made putting her new home together that much more difficult.
The Bathroom Is Standing Room Only
Designing the bathroom was an interesting task for Jessie Lipskin. She got lucky in one regard that because she bought a bus, there was plenty of room for a fully functioning standing shower. She just needed to figure out where all the water would go.
To solve this problem, Jessie and her team built a slotted wood floor for the runoff water. This would allow excess liquid to fall through the slats into a grey water tank to be recycled.
Creating Closet Space
With no room for bulky dressers, creating closet space was the next big challenge Jessie needed to figure out. Installing one closet was easy and surprisingly simple. Now she had a place for her clothes, but what about her other things?
Incredibly, after building one closet, the team realized they could build two more, giving Jessie plenty of room for all of her stuff! Now that she had plenty of storage space, the real work could begin.
Deciding to live a life on the road meant Jessie needed to make sure she had certain appliances: a clothes washer, a fridge, a stove, and other electronics that needed to be meticulously researched.
Jessie wanted to make sure that every purchase she made would fit in her new home and be as energy efficient as possible. Once she found all the right appliances, her friends helped her install them.
The Kitchen Made Cooking A Breeze
If Jessie liked cooking before she created her mini-home, the finished results made her love it. Her stove top was in front of one of the bus’ many windows, giving her a gorgeous view of nature while she cooked.
In her new kitchen, Jessie could make anything her mind could come up with. Not only was her stove the perfect size, but there was a small oven located underneath it, making life a breeze. Especially with the window open!
Jessie wasn’t the only person trying to live small. Find out about what she learned from others coming up!
Learning From Others
As great as Jessie’s vision was, she knew that at times she would need to be flexible. Not all of her plans would work perfectly in a converted bus home. Knowing this, she researched how other tiny home owners created their houses.
The most striking thing to Jessie about other inspiring tiny home builders was their process. She found hundreds of pictures on social media and decided she would document her own journey on Instagram, too.
The Master Bedroom
As the story goes in any house, the most important room was the master bedroom. Jessie had just enough space in the back of the bus to make the most luxurious tiny master bedroom she could come up with.
To start, she brought a queen bed aboard and adorned the bus windows with velvet curtains. Jessie then set up a table next to her bed where her small but mighty book collection would go. What could be better than waking up to the morning light and reading a chapter from your favorite book?
Everything Was Included
It took Jessie Lipskin and her crew of friends three years to complete her tiny bus home. The journey was long but worth every second. Inside the finished home, Jessie was able to include three closets, two AC units, and an environmentally-sustainable water and electric system!
It was perfect but lacked one finishing touch. To truly make her bus feel like her home, Jessie needed to add a touch of her personality to it.
Keep going to find out what her heartfelt touch from home was!
Bringing The Past Into The Present
With all the traveling Jessie planned to do, she wanted to make sure she didn’t forget her roots. To do this, she brought a set of fine china with her that had been in the family for generations.
Jessie’s grandmother originally bought the fine china while living in immigrant housing in New York. The dishes were subsequently passed down from generation to generation until they belonged to Jessie, and she wasn’t about to let them go.
Who Needs Television?
Deciding to live a simple lifestyle meant one creature comfort of everyday life needed to be left behind: television. For Jessie, the decision to cut the cord was both easy said and easy done.
Nature would be her television. She could go anywhere she wanted and see anything she desired. She no longer needed to be taken to another world like the one on TV. Instead, she could create her own new and amazing world.
The Bus Lacked Color
For the most part, Jessie had chosen a white paint scheme for her bus, which left a lot to be desired visually. To make up for this, she went to her local Goodwill store to find cheap artwork.
At the store, she found the beautiful oil painting pictured, as well as other small homey touches. The painting was placed in her new home’s central hallways, and everything was placed in other spots needing extra love.
Jessie had been so focused on creating her mini home for so long that when it was finished she realized she had a few regrets. She wished she had read more, among other things.
It wasn’t long after Jessie finished her bus that she made another drastic decision. Once again she would re-purpose the tiny bus home, but this time it wouldn’t be for her convenience, but the world’s instead.
Once Jessie finished her travels, she knew it was time to move on. It wasn’t an easy decision, but she wanted to settle back into regular life, and selling the bus was the best option.
Jessie listed the bus for $149,000 on Craigslist. Overall, she had put $125,000 into the renovation, so she wouldn’t be making a huge profit from the sale. Money wasn’t her goal, sharing her happiness with the world was.
A New Home
Today, Jessie Lipskin’s 1966 converted Greyhound bus lives in Joshua Tree, California. Anyone looking for a unique camping experience can rent out the tiny bus home on Air BnB. Reviews so far have been stellar!
While returning the bus to California might not have been the original goal, it was a poetic ending for Jessie’s tiny home journey. The bus’ story, as well as hers, really came full circle when the bus arrived at its new home.
Living A New Dream
Since letting go of her bus and moving on, Jessie has found herself living a brand new dream life she never imagined. Currently, she works remotely, which allows her to create her own schedule and travel to her heart’s desire.
Surprisingly, Jessie says she has more freedom now than when she had her bus. She no longer has to worry about maintenance and another day to day issues. The best part, of course, is that she can travel abroad, which has opened up a whole new world to her.