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Old 08-31-2015, 06:02 PM   #1
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Question Monthly Living Cost

Greetings!

I'm planning to convert a bus to live in full time in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, I have a great living situation (cost wise). I want to make sure this is financially the best move. I know I want to have a space that's mine, but I don't want to end up paying out more monthly, after the initial build.

With all that being said, how much do you pay monthly to live in your skoolie?

I will to have a small kitchen (I don't cook much) with two burner stove, microwave, toaster over, a compost toilet or dry flush, a shower, a nice size sink, washer/dryer and the normal amount of outlets for a laptop, tv set up...

Thanks,

Ingrid
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:05 PM   #2
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Welcome, where in the bay area are you?
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:51 PM   #3
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Welcome, where in the bay area are you?
Thanks!

I'm in Oakland. I know a couple people who are trying to do tiny living. But, they have set ups in the back yards of friends. There is also a illegal shipping container group on the west side of Oakland. i don't know how well that's going, but I'm not interested in that type of set up.

I am willing to move outside of Oakland, if it's worth it. However, gentrification is happening and property values and rental rates are climbing through the roof. Thanks San Francisco!

So, moving would be significant.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:42 AM   #4
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Hey there, we are also in the Bay Area in a skoolie. Berkeley and Oakland are both pretty good for parking. SF is a lot tougher but can be done. We spend around $300-$400 between the two of us. That's with gas, insurance, bus payment (I financed it) and food stuffs.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:08 AM   #5
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Hey there, we are also in the Bay Area in a skoolie. Berkeley and Oakland are both pretty good for parking. SF is a lot tougher but can be done. We spend around $300-$400 between the two of us. That's with gas, insurance, bus payment (I financed it) and food stuffs.
That's pretty good! For two people? Wow. What does your set up look like? Short bus or full size? Do you all have a shower and toilet?

One of my main concerns is I work full time as a Human Resources Manager and am generally busy afterwork. I don't want to look for parking every day of the week. I don't have the time or desire. How has finding a few decent locations workes for you?
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:47 AM   #6
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If you have a current living situation already, it would be very foolish to move into a bus in the Bay Area without having a parking location.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:59 AM   #7
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If you have a current living situation already, it would be very foolish to move into a bus in the Bay Area without having a parking location.
Hi!

Do you live here in the East Bay? What has your experience been like?

Best!
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:26 AM   #8
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I have been driving commercially in the Bay Area for over 30 years. Mainly West Bay Area but have been all over. I have moved buses around trying to stay one step ahead of the meter maid. One ticket could be as little as $50 or as high as $150. If towed, it could cost you $500-$1000. If you don't have a job and are with your bus all the time, moving it isn't a problem. When you have a job and try to stay ahead of the craziness, it is difficult.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:39 AM   #9
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I have been driving commercially in the Bay Area for over 30 years. Mainly West Bay Area but have been all over. I have moved buses around trying to stay one step ahead of the meter maid. One ticket could be as little as $50 or as high as $150. If towed, it could cost you $500-$1000. If you don't have a job and are with your bus all the time, moving it isn't a problem. When you have a job and try to stay ahead of the craziness, it is difficult.
Wow. So you know the area well.

Yikes!!! That's scary to have to dodge the meter person soo often.

What were the tickets about? Do they ticket when they see an rv set up or if you are just in a no parking zone?

Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it. I have this real burden to be free of pouring into someone elses lifestyle. My apartment is great but I want to invest that rental money in my own future.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:42 AM   #10
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Hard to believe its worse here than the San Fran area! When I got my notice it was "move this or you will incur a $250 per day penalty".
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:50 AM   #11
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Hard to believe its worse here than the San Fran area! When I got my notice it was "move this or you will incur a $250 per day penalty".
Whooaa. Are there some laws I should know about? Could I get directed to a site or page on this forum?

I'm a complete newbie. Just a passion for change.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:31 AM   #12
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You'll have to look into your local laws... But its always impossible to fight city hall.
I own a commercial lot in a downtown area of a rural town. Semi's were parked right next to my bus but I got the code enforcement letter, not the semi's.
I ended up having to get rid of that bus.
This time I had several options for storage. Which still isn't quite enough.

I'm going to have to buy my own land somewhere remote. Seems no matter where I put a bus someone cries about it. Even out in the country on twenty or so acres.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:25 PM   #13
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Florida might be worse than California. I have heard some crazy HOA stories in Florida.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:28 PM   #14
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Wow. So you know the area well.

Yikes!!! That's scary to have to dodge the meter person soo often.

What were the tickets about? Do they ticket when they see an rv set up or if you are just in a no parking zone?

Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate it. I have this real burden to be free of pouring into someone elses lifestyle. My apartment is great but I want to invest that rental money in my own future.
Mainly parking in excess of 72 hours. Got towed once. I promise you it is not something you want to deal with. If you don't have a safe place to park off street, it will be like having another job.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:44 PM   #15
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Mainly parking in excess of 72 hours. Got towed once. I promise you it is not something you want to deal with. If you don't have a safe place to park off street, it will be like having another job.
OOoo.. I just read something about the 72 hours ordinance. I'll keep this in mind as I move forward. Challenges on every side. But solutions exist too. Exiting!
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:03 PM   #16
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You might look into a stealth camper van for city dwelling.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:00 AM   #17
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You might look into a stealth camper van for city dwelling.
+1
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:06 AM   #18
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Hola.
Yea..the van life... that wouldn't fit my lifestyle and to be honest the cool factor would be lost for me.

I really want a tiny house but that comes with its on set of challenges in this area..I see the skoolie as the next best thing.

I have a great apartment! I am not going to move out anytime soon. Definitely not for something which isn't a dream fulfilled. Plan is to source out a place where I can build out the bus and store it within a 100 mile.

We cross each bridge as it comes. A challenge is just a door waiting to be opened. Had a friend of a friend come up to me Sunday wanting to create t-shirts for my social enterprise...I didn't have the resources to create the shirts.. I was waiting on a miracle and it came to me.

Glad I put this post up. It allowed me a peek into some of the serious challenges and got my brain to working for solutions.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:21 PM   #19
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There is a HUGE catch 22 with tiny living and cities. Most building codes won't allow for tiny homes, so look for micro apartments, nope those are against zoning too... Ok well how about a bus or rv? Sure but you can't park them inside the city limits thats against codes too. If you want to live inside a city and be a minimalist, it is Stealth van or nothing. If you need some more space get a cargo trailer and convert it too. A lot of cities have ordinances against vehicles over 7ft parked on streets at night, I have a feeling this might change a bit as there is a shift to work vans taller than 7ft. 100 mi near the bay area can end up being a 5hr round trip, good luck.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:07 PM   #20
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There is a HUGE catch 22 with tiny living and cities. Most building codes won't allow for tiny homes, so look for micro apartments, nope those are against zoning too... Ok well how about a bus or rv? Sure but you can't park them inside the city limits thats against codes too. If you want to live inside a city and be a minimalist, it is Stealth van or nothing. If you need some more space get a cargo trailer and convert it too. A lot of cities have ordinances against vehicles over 7ft parked on streets at night, I have a feeling this might change a bit as there is a shift to work vans taller than 7ft. 100 mi near the bay area can end up being a 5hr round trip, good luck.
Very true. Not going the Stealth van route. The bus route takes more effort but I'm not in a rush. I can take my time and create what I want.

Today I thought about using the it as a rental place. I saw a number of campers on airbnb. Friends own homes it could be a joint investment.

Crossing bridges when I get there... wow hopefully laws change soon.
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