Family delighted by £20,000 home - in a double-decker bus

When moving house means something rather different


The bus before conversion

Owning your own home is still an impossible dream for many, let alone owning it mortgage-free.

But one young family has managed it in Cambridge - one of the UK's most expensive cities - with a novel take on a mobile home.

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Rick and Amanda Hunt have created a stunning home for themselves and their two children, James and Caitlin, in a converted double-decker bus. And while a local three-bedroom house would have cost them around £300,000, they've done it on a £20,000 budget.

The family is featured on Channel 4's 'How to Live Mortgage Free', hosted by Sarah Beeny, which goes out on Wednesday on Channel 4 at 8pm.

The Hunts bought the bus for just £3,600, and Rick built everything himself - even the machinery he used. It's now become a stylish home, that's even pretty spacious - with a kitchen and dining area and bathroom on the ground floor.

There's a master bedroom plus two smaller bedrooms upstairs, along with another sitting area for when the bus is moving. And the bus is designed to run off solar panels, with heating and hot water supplied using bottled gas.

The job was made all the trickier by the fact that Amanda has mobility issues caused by a sky-diving accident when she was younger.

"With Amanda not being able to do things so easily, we decided to make the house much more friendly in that respect," says Rick. That means an automatic door with retractable disability ramp as an entrance, and a lift to give access to the top deck. There's also a special chair on a monorail to help Amanda move around.

"This is cutting-edge engineering on a shoestring," says Beeny.

The team admire the moving chair

The various episodes of the Channel 4 show give a number of ways of living mortgage free, from a prefab to a home built on the back of a trailer. However, it has to be said that many of the participants have quite a lot of help, both practical and financial, from family and friends.

For most of us, a mortgage remains the only option for owning our own home - a mortgage we'll be paying for decades on end.

You can watch the show online here.

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