British Columbia

'Magic' school bus home for sale in Kootenays

There's an unusual and exceptionally affordable home for sale in the Kootenays.

Woman searches for perfect buyer for her beloved, off-the-grid home

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      There's an unusual and exceptionally affordable home for sale in the Kootenays. For just $17,000, you could own a furnished place, equipped with a wind turbine, solar panels, a wood stove and an air conditioner.

      That is if you don't mind living on a bus.

      "Basically, it's a little house on wheels," said Steph Wetherell in an interview with Daybreak South host Jaimie Kehler.  

      The specs

      The home is fully off-the-grid, outfitted with 430-watt solar panels, a wind turbine, a portable toilet, a 12-volt fridge, a brand new 950-watt generator and insulating curtains to cover all the windows.

      "It's pretty toasty, to be honest," said Wetherell, whose only shelter from the Kootenay winter was her beloved bus, nicknamed Birdie.

      "It's been a great little home for me. I love living small."

      Despite its cozy size, the home is still suitable for entertaining, Wetherell said.  

      "I had a birthday party on it in January. I think I got about 40 people on there.

      "Because it's a long, thin structure, it's a little bit like having a party in a tunnel. You have to climb over people to get in and out to the kitchen, but it was fun."

      'Birdie' runs well, no special license needed

      Wetherell bought the bus roughly nine months ago after making her way across the country from Nova Scotia working short stints on 14 farms.

      After landing in the Slocan Valley, she fell in love with the area and wanted to stay a while longer, she said.

      The only problem was she had no home.  

      Lucky for Wetherell, a friend of hers was selling a recently upgraded 1998 Bluebird school bus.

      The bus, nicknamed Birdie, runs well, having only been decomissioned by the school district a few years ago, Wetherell said.

      The wind turbine folds down, and the bus is legal to drive on the street under a regular license, she said. 

      The hunt for the perfect buyer

      "I'm concerned about finding the right person for it," said Wetherell, who moves back to England in a few months.

      "I really want the bus to go to a good home — someone who is excited and feels the magic of it. It's not just an RV to go travelling in."  

      "Someone who's really going to love it, and really enjoy what a special place it is."

      To hear the full interview with Steph Wetherell, listen to the interview labelled: "Magic" school bus home for sale.


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