A couple has revealed they have been called ‘crazy’ for selling their perfect home and spending over $100,000 renovating a bus – leaving them without any savings.
‘As soon as we saw one another, something just clicked between us,’ she said. ‘After we discovered we had lots of the same passions and goals, I knew I had met my soulmate, and a year later, we were engaged and went on to wed in 2017.’
After Hannah graduated in 2018, she began working as a marketing coordinator while Cody started a new career as an account manager.
‘We owned a beautiful home together. We were super settled in life – but despite all of this, something just didn’t feel right for us,’ she explained.
Mobile home: Hannah Lane, 24, and her husband Cody Lane, 33, have spent the past year living in their renovated bus, which they spent over $100,000 fixing up
Looking back: The couple met in 2015 when Hannah was in college. The duo hit it off immediately, and they got married in 2017
Inspired: After seeing a number of tiny homes on social media, they sold their house and used the money combined with their savings to buy a used 1987 Newell Coach to renovate
Cost: They spent $34,000 on the bus and an additional $90,000 renovating it
Then and wow: They ripped up the inside of the bus and started building their dream home from scratch
‘We constantly had this feeling like we were living to work, instead of working to live, and we knew there and then that something needed to change.
‘I had been seeing lots of videos on social media of people living in tiny homes and something about having less space and being able to travel full-time really appealed to us.’
They knew they would have to keep working in some capacity if they were to take their life on the road, but they figured they could make a living while discovering new places in their mobile home.
Living it up: Hannah and Cody have been traveling around the country in their bus
Luckily, the pair already had $25,000 in savings due to their modest lifestyle, but they knew they needed some extra cash to help make their dream a reality.
‘We decided to sell our home in 2019, and we were left with around $59,000 in savings that we could put towards our bus and renovation upfront,’ Hannah said.
In September 2019, they bought a 1987 Newell Coach second-hand from a dealer in Texas, which cost them a total of $34,000.
‘We originally paid a contractor for the demolition and rebuilding process, as we wanted to start out from scratch and really make the bus our own,’ she explained.
‘However, we soon realized that he wasn’t very capable of the job so we decided to take over ourselves, where we ripped out the entire van and started rebuilding our dream home.’
They spent around $90,000 on renovations, including a brand new kitchen complete with lots of cabinets and an oven; a spacious work area; and a bathroom with a deep sink, bathtub, and walk-in shower.
They also purchased blinds, a butcher block, decor, a living room area, and a trailer.
‘Despite being happy with how our bus turned out, we believe we could have done it for around $40,000 cheaper had we done more research prior,’ she said.
Hannah admitted they’ve been told by people online that they are ‘crazy’ for spending this kind of money on a ‘depreciating asset.’
Cost: The couple had $25,000 in savings to put toward the project. They sold their home in 2019, which gave them another $59,000 to spend
Stunning: Hannah and Cody’s brand new kitchen is complete with lots of cabinets, an oven, and gold hardware
Added touches: The bus is filled with potted plants and homey decor. There is even a bathtub and walk-in shower in their bathroom
Neccesssity: One of the most important areas in the bus s there work space
Hard to handle: Hannah admitted they’ve been told by people online that they are ‘crazy’ for spending this kind of money on a ‘depreciating asset’
Just like home: The bus also features a large closet and a TV above the windshield
‘Although their comments have hurt us slightly, as we’ve put so much hard work and effort into this project, it was important for us to have an area that inspired us and a place where we felt comforted and safe, so we don’t see it that way,’ she said.
The couple originally had plans to explore Canada and South America, but COVID-19 hit five months after they completed their renovation. Instead, they’ve spent the pandemic traveling around America.
‘Typically, we stay in each area for a month at a time so that we can really get to know the location and explore it thoroughly,’ Hannah explained.
A typical day for the duo involves working up until 5 p.m., packing up the bus, and. driving four hours towards their next destination.
‘We love mapping out our destinations so that we can make fun stops at ghost towns and historical spots on the way,’ she said. ‘I believe over the course of traveling 10,000 miles, our favorite place was the coast of Oregon, as it was unlike anything we had ever seen before.
But she admitted it hasn’t been smooth sailing the entire time. She recalled how their bus broke down on the way back from Texas when they first started their road trip – and the same thing happened again nine months later in Nevada.
‘We ended up having to drive across the US with no generator for air conditioning and ended up leaving our bus in Oklahoma for three months while it was fixed,’ she explained.
‘However, it wasn’t all bad as we used that time to stay with family and friends as well as come up with a future game plan which allowed us to experience so many other things.’
Whoops: While they love their bus, Hannah admitted they could have done the renovations for $40,000 cheaper if they had done more research prior
Next up: A typical day for the duo involves working up until 5 p.m., packing up the bus, and. driving four hours towards their next destination
New plan: The couple had plans to explore Canada and South America, but COVID-19 hit five months after they completed their renovation. They’ve been traveling around the US instead
Looking to the future: When life on the road no longer suits them, they plan on renting the bus out on Airbnb and use it as an additional investment
Hannah and Cody plan to keep living the bus life for as long as it remains practical for their lifestyle. Once their journey comes to an end, they hope to rent out their bus on Airbnb and use it as an additional investment.
‘We hope to also start offering mentorships to other people who dream of traveling like this, as it’s not as easy as people might think – especially when you have no previous experience,’ Hannah said.
‘For us, the opportunity to be together every day has been a blessing and we really enjoy having the opportunity to live freely and not feel like every day is a waste.
‘Some people love going to an office and coming home, but not us. We like new adventures, constant stimulation, and the freedom to experience an adventure every. day.
‘We decided to share our bus life story online as a way to share an insight to anyone who has considered doing this lifestyle, while also creating a space that’s funny and inspiring.
‘We enjoy connecting our followers to brands that can help them and the tools they need to get started, which is something we wish we had.
‘Although the bus life might seem like fun, don’t just do it because it’s trendy. Your heart has to be in it for you to enjoy it and no big change comes without its challenges.
‘Just like anything in life, people will try to convince you that it’s not practical or realistic, but that’s only because they don’t understand that life doesn’t have to be black and white – there’s lots of colors out there, go find them.’