So I Bought A Bus... with @homeonthehwy
Updated: May 21
Name: Jonathan Perera
What inspired/led you to buy a school bus?
It all started when I was a college student. Freshly buzzed, flipping channels, and very likely procrastinating. I landed on HGTV and could not look away... I think the show was called “Tiny House Big Living” and they were featuring a young couple that converted an old school bus into their home on wheels. I was hooked! After years of imagining “hypothetical” scenarios, I planned a 5,000 mile road trip in early 2019 as a test run. Shortly after the trip started I knew I wanted to spend the foreseeable future traveling with my pup, so I sold my car at the end and committed to making my skoolie dreams a reality!
Did you have any criteria for what you were looking for in a bus?
At first, I had no idea what I was looking for in a bus. My assumption was a newer bus with low mileage was the way to go, right? After hours on YouTube and online forums, I decided I wanted a flat nose bus for maneuverability and maximum interior space. But aside from that I still wasn’t sure what criteria to look for. This was about the time I got in touch with Luke at Skoolie.com and started narrowing things down. Fast forward almost a year, and I bought a 2004 Blue Bird TC2000.
Where/how did you find the bus?
My bus came from BGA School Buses (WeSellSchoolBuses.com) and actually the staff at Skoolie.com helped me find it, buy it, and relocate it to their warehouse space in North Carolina. Although I wasn’t present for the actual buying experience, I had seen several links beforehand and Luke FaceTimed me while he was in the lot. He walked me through a few different options, gave me his thoughts, and after some back and forth he pulled the trigger for me.
How long were you searching before you found the one you bought?
It’s hard to say exactly how long I was searching for a bus before finally getting one, but I guess you could say I was “casually” searching for about 8 months and then seriously searching with Luke’s help for about 2 months.
Did you look at multiple buses before buying the one you did? If so, what stopped you from buying the others?
Yes, there were a few different buses I was looking at before ultimately buying the one I did. Rust, mileage, and bus length were the deciding factors.
Was there anything that excited you about the bus you bought when you first saw it?
I first saw my bus via FaceTime and was shocked at how clean and “new” it looked. Almost no visible rust and it definitely didn’t look 15 years old. After the bus made it’s way back to North Carolina and I got to see it in person things got real. Obviously I’m no expert, but walking around the bus confirmed my initial feelings about how clean and “new” it looked. Walking through the inside of the bus for the first time was wild too! Envisioning the completely transformed interior of my future home and all the incredible places I’ll take it made me feel like a kid again.
What did you learn during the buying process? What would you do differently if you did it again?
Like any major purchase, the buying process takes longer than you think. There are so many factors I hadn’t thought about before connecting with Luke at Skoolie.com too. If I were to do it again it would have been nice to be in-person at the lot, but I’m very happy with how things turned out. Luke really knows his stuff and I’m thankful to learn from his expertise throughout this entire process.
Did you drive the bus home? What was it like driving it for the first time?
I did not drive the bus home, nor have I driven it yet. Kind of weird to think about it that way, but I’m definitely not worried. I’ve driven big vehicles before.
Is there anything else you want to share for those that are in the buying process or will be in the future?
For those looking to buy a bus, or in the process of looking for one now, take your time and enjoy the search. This purchase is the beginning of something truly spectacular! Sure, the search will probably take longer than you thought, but it’s worth being patient. My experience has been different than most considering the help I’ve had from Skoolie.com, but I hope that serves as a reminder that it’s okay to ask for help too. Happy hunting!
If you want to hear about more bus life stories click here