Why am I moving on a bus with an 11 year old child, a dog and a cat
A bus isn’t Charlotte Fielding and her son’s dream, but it can be a stepping stone to a home.
OPINION: I bought a bus for a living, because I’m sick of paying other people’s mortgages.
I bought a bus because last year I was kicked out of a house I loved, after planting fruit trees and befriending my neighbors, because my owners have divorced and that one of them was coming back to settle.
I bought a bus because when the owners of my current rental did an inspection, they opened the closets and lifted my belongings to make sure they weren’t leaving any marks.
I bought a bus because over 50 percent of my income goes to rent making it impossible to save for a house deposit even though there were houses to buy in Wellington at a reasonable price .
* After her divorce, Sue Boyce realized she would never return to the housing ladder
* Waihi Beach bach sold in three hours, for $ 1.666 million, by junior agent
* Keep children entertained in a confined space
I bought a bus because I have a dog, a cat and a child, and although we are not homeless yet, this little “still” is a constant fear. My son has lived in 10 houses and he is only 11 years old.
A bus is not a dream for me. I don’t want to be a #vanlifer, traveling from the campsite to the parking lot, posting bikini pics on Instagram, doing yoga on the roof of a van (do they ever fall, in the middle of Warrior III?) . I like to watch nature, but I don’t necessarily want to touch it every day.
The dream is a house of mine that I can fill with books and paint the walls if I want. One of those with working plumbing and enough yard for a trampoline.
Wellington is where I was born, and I chose to settle here because I love this place. I have work and friends here. My son has friends here, most notably his father – my ex-husband – is here.
Moving to a cheaper city is not an option. Sadly, Wellington is now the most expensive area in the country to rent.
I read the story of a woman who went from a hairpin to a small cabin. I don’t have enough faith or spare time for that, and I can never find a hairpin when I need it, but I kept thinking that if I can’t buy a house now , I could start with something smaller and work my up.
My original idea, declared on Facebook with New Year’s enthusiasm, was to buy a trailer, renovate it, vacation there and sell it. The public idea was a downgrade from the more private idea of building a small house. I’m not ready for this, and it’s easier to park a trailer.
The next idea was to buy a small motorhome. The kind that backpackers used to travel in, back when we had tourists.
I applied for a loan to see if it was a possibility. I wanted something with a warrant, but no flash. I watched some wonderful van conversions on YouTube and chickened out when I realized the Mercedes Sprinter – apparently the favorite #vanlife van – was out of my budget.
Smaller, I thought. We don’t need to get up. We can cook sitting down and take a shower in swimming pools and campsites.
However, I’m quite a fan of standing up straight with my neck intact, so I looked at other people’s pop-tops and unfinished projects. Nothing was going well.
When my loan was approved, I panicked.
It meant that I was choosing a direction to take. It was not an irreversible decision, but a big one nonetheless. I want a house, so why waste money on a van? I am fortunate to have a place to live. It doesn’t feel like home, but it’s comfortable and it works.
Then I found the perfect little bus on Facebook when I was cruising late at night. I bought it without seeing it in person as it was in Christchurch. I borrowed $ 17,000.
I have booked flights using credit from a trip to Australia that was canceled last year. I put ferry tickets on Afterpay. I’m taking a friend with me because she can drive manual and I can’t. Again.
Was I crazy? After years of living barely above the poverty line, I am finally in a more comfortable financial situation, and I was about to play with it. I didn’t own any tools and I don’t know how to turn a motorhome into a house.
But unless I win the lottery – and I’m not likely to buy tickets – getting out of the rent trap seems like the only way to work on housing security for my son. and myself.
So I bought a bus.