About Mobile Home Living
About Crystal Adkins
Hi! I’m Crystal Adkins, the creator of Mobile Home Living.
I hope Mobile Home Living® is a welcoming and informative resource for you.
I want Mobile Home Living® to be a place where we can all be proud of our homes, share helpful tips and advice on manufactured housing, and support each other with positivity and love.
I try my best to offer articles that are relevant and helpful to all manufactured homeowners. I take the advocacy of manufactured homes seriously because our homes, and all of us living in them, deserve to be respected.
I was raised in Southern West Virginia by a single father that worked in the same underground coal mine for 39 years. He taught me a lot about rebuilding old cars and fixing homes throughout my entire childhood.
We lived in a single wide mobile home until I was 8 and then he bought a brand new 1986 model Redman Homes double wide and had it set up on top of a mountain at the end of a dirt road (aka a holler).
Yep, I’m a coal miner’s daughter named Crystal Gail (all y’all country music fans should get that reference but if you don’t Crystal Gayle is Loretta Lynn’s sister and my grandmother looked a lot like Loretta Lynn).
I’ve been with Joe for more than 24 years and we have a 17-year-old daughter named Livingston Grace.
Starting Mobile Home Living
I started Mobile Home Living shortly after we bought a 1978 single wide in 2011. It was our first owned home and I was ecstatic. The seller wanted $6,000 for it and we would rent the lot it was on for $250 a month.
Except, we didn’t have $6,000. Heck, we barely had $600 so he agreed to a rent-to-own contract with a $1000 down and low monthly payments. Luckily, work was steady for a while and we were able to the mobile home off in 18 months. He eventually sold me the land on an owner-financing contract, too.
After we moved in, I searched for examples of mobile home remodels on Google but I didn’t find much. I figured if I was looking for these topics then 20 million people living in mobile homes were probably looking too.
I saw a void and tried to fill it.
Since I have lived in a mobile or manufactured home just about my entire life and my husband has been a master plumber for over 20 years I figured we could at least help people with mobile home plumbing issues.
In addition to our own repairs, I’ve helped him with dozens of mobile home repair and improvement projects over the years. I can also pick the brains of our many construction friends when needed.
Over the last 8 years, Mobile Home Living evolved into what you see today. This site is now the most popular manufactured home repair, remodeling, and decorating resource online (besides Pinterest, of course).
I think it’s important that manufactured homes be seen in a positive light. Manufactured housing is one of the nation’s most affordable housing options and they’ve given me a place to call home for over 40 years.
Issues we Want to Change
Unfortunately, there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed.
The biggest issue is that parks are raising their rent too much. One well-known park owner said we should always expect a 3% lot rent increase every year. He then went on to say that they are raising their rents to be equal to the price of apartments. Parks are not apartments. If we wanted to pay apartment prices we’d live in an apartment.
The second issue regards warranties that aren’t honored. The notorious blame game has to go!
Lastly, I believe manufactured home installation needs to be better regulated, I’ve read that 80% of all warranty complaints are due to improper installation. It’s vital to have the home setup properly for a long life span.
Also, our elders and low income families need to be better protected when parks close.
Our 1978 Single Wide Mobile Home Makeover
Here’s our 1978 Homette single wide in the coalfields of Southern West Virginia before its very affordable makeover. We still have a lot of work ahead of us but I’m very happy with it so far.
The entire home had its original, unpainted paneling but the ceiling and flooring had been modified. The home had a brand new metal roof installed the year before. The bones were good but the plumbing system was a total mess.
The kitchen and dining room when we first bought our home:
We built the deck quickly after we moved in:
Then we painted the siding, you can read about it here. We have lot more great plans!
Here’s our living room now. I joke that my favorite style is ‘Pinterest’ cause there’s just so many great ideas there!
The kitchen needs a lot more work. New paint and floors made a huge improvement.
We have about half an acre on the outskirts of a small WV town. Here’s our backyard:
We also have a 1965 Airstream Safari that we’ve been slowly refurbishing. The interior is about 85% finished but I need a couple of pieces of skin (aluminum) replaced so if you know anyone that has a 1968 model or older with a few panels of aluminum in good shape let me know! It has to be a 1968 or older because that’s the last year they used the high shine aluminum.
Let’s start a movement that shows the world what real mobile home living is all about.
Mobile Home Living’s Mission
The mission of MHL is simple – to provide mobile and manufactured home remodeling and decorating ideas, home improvement help, and other relevant information for all makes and models of factory-built homes.
Affordable housing is needed more than ever and these homes are not the tin cans that some people think of – they are real homes built with the same framing and roofing that stick-built homes have. They just happen to be placed on a steel chassis with wheels.
If you don’t own a manufactured home, I hope we’ve given you a closer look at the homes and a better understanding of them. Our latest articles are a great place to start:
Thank you so much for stopping by,
Crystal Adkins, Founder Mobile Home Living®!