Step 3: Getting it
There are two main styles of school bus, 'dog nosed' and 'flat nosed' being common terms for each. In the 'flat nosed' category, there is also the distinction of front or rear engine (pusher) configurations. This is all a matter of personal preference here and all models have their pros and cons. I avoided the more traditional 'dog nose' style because I wanted to look more like a motor home than a school bus once the thing was painted. People often confuse my bus for a Blue Bird motor home since the style is very similar. This can make it easier to get into some parks.
Fuel choice should also be important if you plan on being mobile often. My goal was for a home that I could occasionally move, not a big car to live in, so diesel seemed to be the right choice for me. While on the topic of engines, you might want to enlist the help of a trusted mechanic to inspect your purchase before you bid or buy. Even if you live 'around the corner', towing charges can be astronomical for a dead bus. Buses are meant to travel hundreds of thousands of miles in their lifetimes and are often sold with a good deal of life left in them. As with any used vehicle, keep your eyes open and you should do fine.
So where are these buses? Almost every school district auctions off old vehicles that have outlived their 'service life'. Prices are usually very cheap, around a couple thousand dollars, and detailed maintenance records can often be had for the asking. In addition, many unfinished conversion projects can be found online on auction sites lie eBay motors and in newspapers and trader type publications.
There are many reputable bus dealers that are listed online as well. With these, you will be paying more for the same bus that you could have bought at auction, but some consider it worthwhile to have the dealer remedy any of the mechanical issues and have some sort of warranty. The choices are many and there is plenty of advice to be had in the online communities.
Once you make your choice, the rest is a matter of signing on the dotted line and getting your baby home! However, there's one last dirty little detail before you can really get started.