$500 Single Wide Goes Retro with Affordable Mobile Home Remodel

Kirk Montgomery usually reads the headlines as a TV anchor. Today, he’s making headlines after paying $500 for a 1968 Landola single wide and transforming it with his own version of an affordable mobile home remodel.

The Michigan native recently moved back to his home state to launch and anchor a 4pm newscast and needed to find a new place to live.

Being a TV anchor, Kirk was familiar with the current trend of small homes and debt-free living. He was intrigued with the flexibility that a smaller home could give him, and naturally, the smaller price tag was enticing.

This 1968 Landola Mobile Home is a Perfect Example of an Affordable Mobile Home Remodel

Kirk began his search for a new home and quickly stumbled upon an ad for a 1968 Landola single wide at an incredibly low price of $499.99. With an open mind, he contacted the sellers and found the home to be in fairly decent shape considering it had set completely empty for 7 years.

The home had just enough space and was located in a nice park with affordable lot rent. It had potential and that’s all a vintage mobile home needs when the right person gets ahold of it!

Kirk was ready for a new adventure, but was he able to handle a complete mobile home remodeling project? Could the structure really be transformed with an affordable mobile home remodel?

The answer to both questions is a resounding yes!

After a contractor’s inspection, Kirk bought the vintage mobile home. The result of his affordable mobile home remodel is absolutely amazing!

“My friends think I’m nuts.”

Since starting his affordable mobile home remodel, Kirk Montgomery has learned to deal with the friendly, yet vaguely negative, comments made by well-meaning friends.

My friends think I’m nuts! “How can you live in something so small,” they ask? I just remind them that this is bigger than the studio apartment I rented for $1500.00 a month while working in Denver, CO!

To the unfamiliar, mobile homes still conjure negative opinions. Luckily, people are quick to change their minds once they witness a successful mobile home remodel firsthand.

There’s a reason debt-free living is catching on so quickly around the country. The benefits far outweigh the negatives. You may have a couple of friends that think you’re nuts, just like Kirk, but proving them wrong is kinda fun. The extra money in your bank account is just an added bonus for choosing to remodel a vintage mobile home!

1968 Landola Before the Affordable Mobile Home Remodel 

The following photos show the home’s condition when Kirk first purchased it.

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (home before remodel)

The paneling and windows were original. The home was in ‘good’ condition with decent bones.

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (home before)

After Kirk’s Affordable Mobile Home Remodel

The finished kitchen in Kirk’s $500 1968 Landola mobile home is amazing!

Kirk combined retro styled furniture and decor elements with modern appliances and a sensible color palette. The end result is spectacular:

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (gorgeous retro style kitchen)
affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (gorgeous retro kitchen decor)

Muted greys were used on both the walls and the appliances and matched with a gorgeous natural stone backsplash. 

Retro diamond patterns in a contrasting baby blue adds a little pop to the space.
It’s not too retro or modern – it’s a perfect balance of both.

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (retro kitchen)
affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (stone backsplash after)
affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (retro kitchen decor)

Kirk uses the built-in breakfast bar in the kitchen as a showcase for his collector lunchboxes and kitchen gadgets.

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (retro decorating)

Using a round table in a small dining area is a great way to maximize space and create flow. With all the square elements in a kitchen, a round table catches the eye quickly.

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (dining area after)

Related: Before and After Manufactured Home Remodel: It’s a Mod, Mod World

Living Room 

Kirk’s living room is beautiful! Ample light helps make the small room feel larger. Low furniture with clean lines help make the ceiling seem higher and creates balance.

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (living room after)

Light blue and grey with lots of white is a great color combination – light bounces throughout the room while the grey furniture creates weight to the space.

The wall-mounted ventless fireplace acts as an accent wall and gives the room balance against the large television.

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (ventless fireplace on wall)

Related: Beginner’s Guide to Small-Space Decorating

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (kitchen and dining room after)


Using aluminum diamond plate metal panels over the bathroom walls is an ingenious and creative way to update a bathroom.

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (bathroom after)

We’ve seen sheet metal used in kitchens and bathrooms before but this is a first for the diamond plate.

As long as the seams are sealed well the metal acts as water-proofing in the bathroom, a smart thing to have in vintage mobile homes. Sub-flooring is often made from OSB, a product that quickly swells and bows whenever a bit of water reaches it.

Related: Mobile Home Bathroom Guide

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (retro decor in bathroom after)

This bathroom has a great retro/geek/tech style!

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (exterior trim painted)

Kirk didn’t forget the exterior during his affordable mobile home remodel.

The 1968 Landola single wide sits in a beautiful park! With the bright yellow trim, it won’t be hard to tell new visitors which home is yours, that’s always a plus in larger mobile home parks.

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (exterior after remodel)

Related: 14 Great Mobile Home Exterior Makeover Ideas for Every Budget

affordable mobile home remodel - 1968 Landola single wide goes Retro (exterior update after)

Total Cost of Kirk’s Affordable Mobile Home Remodel

Kirk spent approximately $10,000 on the home and the remodel thus far. That’s not a bad deal for the gorgeous home above!

This $10,000 price includes the following:

  • The Home (1968 Landola Single Wide)
  • New Laminate Hardwood Flooring
  • New Hot Water Heater
  • Lots of Paint (to cover the very dark paneling in every room)
  • New Stone Backsplash
  • Brand New Appliances (including full-size washer and dryer)
  • Replaced 17 Windows (energy efficient)

Future plans include insulating the plumbing better and replacing the bathtub and toilet.

Related: Affordable Single Wide Remodeling Ideas

The Secret to a Successful Mobile Home Remodel on a Budget

Over the years, we’ve noticed that the most successful and affordable mobile home remodels have three things in common:

Creativity and Resourcefulness

Being creative and resourceful is important when attempting to remodel a vintage mobile home. You will likely need to use material or products in a way the manufacturer did not intend.

For example, Kirk used diamond metal panels on his bathroom walls. This added waterproofing to a room that is easily damaged by water. It also created a great conversation piece, all at an affordable price.

Seeing the Potential in a Home

Having the ability to see the potential that a vintage mobile home has is just as important as creativity and resourcefulness.

Seeing a space and imagining what it can become and then envision the steps it will take to create that space is a handy talent to have when updating a 40-year-old mobile home. Imagination is always an asset!

Having the Right People Helping

Lastly, having a good team helping you is a great resource to have when attempting an affordable mobile home remodel. Whether it’s just one person or ten, hired or free, every bit of help you can find will make your affordable mobile home remodel a success.

Kirk’s Interview 

Getting advice from fellow mobile homeowners that have completed an affordable mobile home remodel projects is a big goal here at MHL. Remodeling a vintage mobile home is intimidating so every tip we can get is appreciated.

Kirk was gracious enough to answer a few questions:

Any tips or tricks you learned during the project?

I learn something new every day! I probably should have started with updating the plumbing pipes and electrical systems first, then went into the cosmetic stuff. I was anxious to move in and wanted it comfortable right away though!

Related: Plumbing In Manufactured Homes: The Basics

Proudest Room?

I think the kitchen turned out the best. It’s a great mix of retro styling with modern upgrades.

Future Plans?

I’ve only been doing this a few months so this is all a work in progress. The central air doesn’t seem to be working well so I need to check into that. Future projects will be replacing the skirting around the home, painting the exterior, and reinstalling all the awnings and shutters. Adding some nice landscaping, too.

Favorite room in the home?

Living Room is cozy, modern, and has lots of light!

The advice you would give someone about buying and living in a mobile home?

Well, honestly, if I had to do it again I may have waited for something in the $3000.00 range that didn’t need as much work. That way, I could have spent the rest of the money on cosmetic stuff.

Thanks so much for letting us share your gorgeous home, Kirk! And thank you for reading Mobile Home Living! 

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Crystal Adkins
Crystal Adkins

Crystal Adkins created Mobile Home Living in 2011 after buying a 1978 single wide and searching online for mobile home remodeling ideas but finding very little. Today, it's the most popular resource in America for mobile home information and inspiration and has been visited over 40 million times.


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  1. I just wish I could find a manufactured home for ~$500! I have a neighbor that also found one for $500 that they’re ‘rehabbing’..! Sadly, now in 2022, I cannot seem to find one that has an asking price below $20,000. I could go $2,000, but definitely not 20k. Any of the ones I did find under 20k looked to be in some pretty seriously bad shape (would probably require a full frame up restore/rehab)…. I suppose it doesn’t help that, from what I understand, local “code” or “ordinance” says I have to have (specifically) a manufactured house, and NOT a mobile home (made AFTER June 15, 1976)… Zoning ordinance appears to state that any and all “mobile” homes (made before June 15, 1976) will NOT be issued an installation permit..! It’s been that way in this county since JAN 5, 2004! Only “manufactured” homes (made after June 15, 1976) will be issued installation permits…

    Does anyone around here happen to know where I can find a “manufactured” home (made after June 15, 1976) for $500-$2000? I don’t really know where to begin trying to find one that cheap! So far FB marketplace and CL (craigslist) sure haven’t seemed to be of Any help…! Also, using “search engines” (google / duckduckgo / etc) don’t seem to be of much help either (it was hard enough finding this website!), every time I search anything involving “mobile” or “manufactured” and “home” or “house” it always wants to point me to brand new stuff, like dealers!

    Anyway, I enjoyed the article/story and the pictures, like I said I have a neighbor doing the same exact thing. I currently own a vacant parcel of land that I was thinking about doing the same thing on!

  2. You absolutely must see my remodeling!! Neighbors bring other neighbors to see! Susan Phoenix, az . 602-820-8256.

  3. Hi Bruce,

    A newer manufactured home should have enough space for a wheelchair but older homes built before the ADA rules took effect probably won’t have wide enough walls or doors. I’m not 100% on that though and I think some states had rules about that before others.

  4. I love the restoration I have a funny thing the cabinet doors over the fridge my 4 yr old said the cabinets are SAD I looked and chuckled but are those mobile home big enough to run a wheelchair to the bathroom and back and getting out to go to Dr appts .

  5. I have the same style window in my living room! Ours was already painted over in a light blue when we bought it. I have a 1966 herrli that was kept up well by the previous owner. I’m trying to get ideas for the kitchen and bathroom. What you did with your bathroom was so unique! Ours has PVC coated walls, and what seems to be lattice around the sink. I’m going to have to remove the entire 72 inch vanity just to remove it. ICK

  6. Hi Sal,

    I have never accepted dealer or builder advertising on this site. I did trademark Mobile Home Living but I did that was for simplicity’s sake. The name of the blog was way too long!

    Sorry, you feel that way.

  7. sounds like you gave in when DEALERS said they would,nt advertise if you did,nt change the name thought we had a special little thing just my opinion

  8. Kirk,
    Beautiful job. Can you elaborate on what you used on the exterior. It looks brand new!



  9. What is the size of his mobile home? We live in a 12×60 1971 Schult, I love living debt free but we still have some things to take care of … so I love looking at what others have done to their older mobile homes.

  10. So much fun! My husband and I may be moving into his grandfather’s small double wide with our two kids. It would be free and we could really pay down some student loan debt this way…but it’s a mobile home…I have been a little hesitant b/c I’ve never really liked mobile homes, but now that I’m seeing some really great ideas on how to remodel or even small budget “dress ups” I am getting a lot of inspiration and great ideas. I’m seeing a lot of potential. Thank you!

  11. Hello, Crystal! I’m planning a remodel of a 1959 Spartan 10 x 45 MH..some of the repairs that have to be done, roof, window stripping/gaskets, and plumbing..I’m needing to correct with the best materials and procedures possible as they involve water and leaking possibilities. Can you less me to the right person? I’m a single Mom, needing a simple life. Thank you!

  12. Thank you so much – I’ve never done anything like this before it was trial and error but lots of fun!

  13. Love Kirks home, we did the the same with a $1000 1974 Mobile, it was a wreck, we had new Windows, new bathroom, new plumbing and electricity, new walls, we are still working on the kitchen but people can’t believe what we have accomplished, would of been done sooner, but with the loss of our daughter and money being tight , we have a nice place, I would love to send you pics

  14. Inspiring! I just walked through a $425K home yesterday (a friend is the Realtor selling the home). Your trailer certainly has more character! Dream on!

  15. What an amazing home! I love the kitchen…it’s beautiful!
    And the vintage (haha, from my childhood) telephone in the living room is absolutely perfect!