This coastal dream cottage mobile home comes to us from one of our readers and group members, Liane. Recently, she shared her story on our Facebook group page and as soon as we saw it we had to know more. Lucky for us, and for you, she was more than happy to tell her story and we are now sharing it with you in her own words.
On a Mission
For five years I was on a quest to find a dream vacation home on the Gulf Coast. My journey took me from the Carolinas to Louisiana. I realized very quickly that 90% of the homes I viewed were out of my budget range. I found an article on Mobile Home Living about upscale manufactured homes in California and I was energized. My spirit was lifted and I realized that if I found a mobile home on the Gulf Coast, I could renovate it and make it my coastal dream home on a modest budget.
Last February, after searching for a winter rental in Southwest Florida, I found a cancellation in a mobile home park in Estero, Florida. I had never rented a mobile home before, but I thought that I would give it a shot. I arrived two days later and woke up the next morning, seeing the largest palm tree I have ever seen. I knew instantly that I was in the right place.
I had my dog with me and needed to buy dog food. I Googled the closest Walmart and passed a gated mobile home park that piqued my curiosity. What is this? I pulled over and went to the gatehouse and asked if I can come in. They said not without a realtor. The name of the community is Jamaica Bay. I did not give up.
The gatehouse guard handed me a card and said, call this lady. The card read, “The Mobile home Lady.” I immediately called her, still sitting at the gatehouse. She said, Come right in.” I told her to show me her three worst mobile homes. One said, “Needed to be renovated.” I was looking for a project. The Mobile Home Lady, Antoinette Fazlic, showed me three properties. Keep in mind, at this point, I have not seen the Gulf or the beaches.
I fell in love with a home that was priced at $17,500. I paused for a moment and asked Antoinette if I could look at the resort’s amenities. She said, “Sure, take your time.” I thought to myself, if these amenities are even adequate, I must make an offer based on my proximity to Sanibel and the white beeches that I had not yet seen. I knew that I had to make an offer immediately based on the home’s price point. To my astonishment, the amenities were 5-star. I ran as fast as I could to Antoinette and made an offer, $12,500.
As I left the community it dawned on me, I know nobody in Fort Myers. If my offer is accepted, I will have to gut and renovate the entire home without a crew. The offer was accepted. As the old Chinese proverb goes, “Be careful what you wish for,” you might just get it.
Dive Right In
I made the offer in February 2020 and moved in May 2020. I went to Craig’s List and assembled my workers. I was on a mission to make my coastal dream cottage mobile home a reality. I started with tearing two half walls, one in the kitchen and one in the dining room. I tore out all the old paneling. In the sunroom, I installed a French door. I put up all-new wide white beadboard throughout the entire home. My idea was to make the home all white and bright, recognizing that mobile homes have a negative connotation because they are generally viewed as dark and compact.
My vision was to create a coastal dream cottage mobile home that was a place of rest and peace, based on how the turquoise waters make me feel. My vision was to have a home primarily all in white with accent colors of blues and turquoise. I had 11 windows that face a park in the community, creating plenty of light and beautiful panoramic views.
The kitchen renovation was relatively easy. I bought Home Depot stock cabinets for $245 and a butcher block countertop from Lowes for $700. The lighting, paneling, and paint used were all from Home Depot. The floors throughout the entire space are white distressed laminate.
I was able to complete my projects for around $30,000 including labor and material and a purchase price of the cottage mobile home for $12,500 with around 5 months of renovation time. My happiest moment came when my furniture arrived and I was able to create the environment I for so long dreamed of. We tore off the clamshell hurricane shutters and I then watched my first sunset, sitting on my pure white sofa with a glass of wine, realizing that I made my dream came true.
A big thanks to Liane for sharing her cottage mobile home story with us! Have a remodeling project you would like to share? Comment below and you could be our next feature.
As always, thanks for reading Mobile Home Living.