A 30-year-old woman tired of the grind of working hard to be able to buy more stuff decided to downsize.
Jessie Lipskin not only left her New York City apartment, she purchased a 1966 GMC Commuter Greyhound bus on eBay and spent the next three years of her life transforming it into a chic, tiny home.
“I was working very long hours [in finance] at the time and I felt like there was something else out there,” she said. “I saw people were holding onto what I felt was way too much stuff.”
Lipskin, a Manhattan native, didn’t even have a driver’s license when she purchased the bus in 2015 for $7,000.
Two friends drove the bus across the country from Perris, California, to New York. Lipskin moved seven times with the bus over the past three years as she found new places to park it and new people to help her with the ultimate DIY project.
“Growing up in New York City, I didn’t have a lot of experience doing DIY and repairs,” she said. “I tried to learn as much as possible and help where I could, like installing and finishing the countertops.”
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Lipskin, who is devoted to a sustainable lifestyle, sold the bus’ seats to a restaurateur. She relied on the skills of friends and family too, who offered mixed reactions to her decision to live in a converted bus.
“My mom thought I was crazy. She would tell all the people in her apartment building, ‘My daughter is buying a bus to live in,’” she recalled. “People thought it was a big undertaking but they thought if anyone I could do it, it would be me.”
Lipskin moved into the 400-square-foot bus full-time in January in Asbury Park, New Jersey. She spent three years and around $125,000 on the renovation project.
She has listed the converted bus for sale for $149,000 because, in part, she says it is even too big for her.
“When I walk in, it feels huge,” she said of the bus, which has just over 100,000 miles on it. “It feels even bigger than my New York City apartment.”
Lipskin, who still works in finance but remotely, plans to spend a few months abroad. When she returns to the United States, she will be in the market for an Airstream or sprinter-size van to continue her tiny home living.
“I see so many people working their day-to-day jobs who are miserable and don’t see a way out,” she said. “I wanted to be able to experience life.”