From Mansion to Mobile Home- The Key To Happiness

Tom Shadyac on Oprah.comMeet Tom Shadyac, director, producer, and screenwriter of movies like Liar Liar, Evan Almighty, Nutty Professor, and Patch Adams to name a few . Tom enjoyed a life of luxury in a multi-million dollar home in Pasadena. After an accident, he began rethinking his level of happiness in the world and what all the responsibilities of having so much did to his stress levels and his ability to be happy.  He even produced a documentary about his process and the questions he began asking himself called I Am.

It’s nice to see a different kind of thinking around living simply. Living in a mobile or manufactured home is a great start! Check out his interview and tour of  Tom’s home on

Granted, his mobile home is really lovely, but I’m pretty sure my closet is nicer than his! Anyway, enjoy your mobile home and make it the best home you can.  Home is where your heart is and your heart is in your home.

The McGees


  1. I have always been fascinated with Mobile Homes. My parents almost bought one in 1967. We bought our first one in 1972. It was a ’55, 8×35. I loved it. Unfortunately, after the kids started coming it was too small. We rented until 1985. In 1985, we bought a 14×60 2 bedroom 1 1/2 bath. Lived in it until 1999 and bought a 1997 3 bedroom 2 bath. We are still living in it. My husband thinks only poor people live in one. I live in mine because I love it. Glad to see your website. I wish there were more like it.

    • Thank you for visiting and posting, Debra. Welcome to our site!
      There are now mobile and manufactured homes worth over a million dollars. So, you can tell your husband that's an outdated idea! Plus, you are rich in your hearts when you can live comfortably without a ton of debt and in a space you can easily make into a cozy home. I'm so glad you love your home!

      The McGees

  2. I wish more attention could be spent on the "look fors" when considering purchasing a mobile home. My first (but not last) project was a LABOR simply because I had NO idea what to look for as far as worse case scenerio. Rest assured, I had to hit every disaster on the list of what NOT to buy. It did end up being a custom remodeled (ripped out walls) custom designed little place that really did look like a little vacation cabin. I tore down walls, designed built in entertainment center, combined the living room and kitchen together… It really was a great project and house. Just pay attention to the plumbing, electricity and structural integrity of the house. I promise you, it will be worth it.

    • Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Jessi! I agree, it would be great to have a list of things to watch out for when buying a used mobile home. I think I'll post it on our facebook page and see if people participate. Maybe a good topic for a full post here on the blog as well. I'm so glad to have your input here!

      The McGees

  3. Hi! I've been researching mobile home living for a couple weeks…It spiraled out of my like for the Tiny house movement…but that is just a little too small for me. Great concept tho.

    I have a condo presently that I'm working on and plan to sell. We've been waiting for the market to turn around. I've been stuck here for 9 years. Ok, not all of the years were bad. The first year was ok…and then it went down hill from there.

    Long story short was, I bought because I was encouraged to. I wanted to rent an apartment and decide from there where I wanted to live and what I wanted to do. But parents and elders, who I thought were wise thought renting was a bad idea. Buying was worse.

    The market is coming back up but I'll never make what I bought it for. It took me a while to come to terms with that fact. But here I am…we're doing repairs on our (I got married 6 years ago and became an ours) 740 sq ft condo and started looking at rentals and such to see what 's out there. HOLLY Crumb! Houses are huge! There are very few under 1500 sq foot in our area…and boy are they pricy.

    I wouldn't consider the Mobil Home option for a long time but my husband has brought it up a few times. He grew up in one in Colorado and Then bought one later to live in…relatively inexpensively and parked it behind his moms. Mom owns it now and has a renter. Go Mom!

    Anyway, I finally decided to look into a Mobil HOme…finally. I don't think I've ever been so excited. I'm still researching and looking at where to land and how to get there but I think the greatest feature I didn't know about was remodeling and you and so many other bloggers have just opened my eyes and my mind.

    I can't wait to read more and find out more.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for visiting our site and for taking the time to comment, Celeste! How exciting that you're exploring different living environments. Our home is a double wide on the small side of the spectrum and we have about 1250 sq. feet, so even at the size we have you might feel like you're swimming in free space compared to a 740 sq ft condo. We considered buying a new double wide back in 2007 and we looked at some homes that had a huge footprint. We had this idea that we were going to need to have tons of space, but in reality, our youngest kids were going to be attending college soon and we would be sharing that huge space between just the two of us. So, we decided to remodel the home we had and turned it into something almost unrecognizable from other double wides. If I could impart one piece of advice to you on your quest to consider mobile home living, it would be the best advice that my Dad gave us when we began our journey to remodel our home. He managed public housing for decades and he is a genius at making things fit or work or come together. He inspired us in our remodeling efforts to believe that nearly everything we see in a stick built home can be put in our manufactured home. Many forums and groups online will try to make you believe that you need to only use the cheaper, odd fitting mobile home special order products to create a comfortable and safe space in your mobile home. This is simply not true. Even things like tile, granite, and other heavy products can be used in a manufactured home as these homes are built in ways that allow them to travel over the highway for many miles, as well as being able to support items such as a full 2000 lb waterbed, or refrigerators, etc… If you have replaced your standard cabinets with newer, solid, standard sized cabinets in your kitchen, these cabinets can hold granite counter tops…and so can your floor. If you want real hard wood floors, you can use that product. If you want a tile shower stall, you can do that too. I have seen some amazing manufactured homes, even single wides, that have been remodeled using these types of products and they look spectacular!

      We wish you luck in your process and if you end up buying new or consider buying and remodeling a used mobile home, we hope you will come back and share your experience with us.

      All the best,
      The McGees

    • Celeste this is Great! I have renovated two (a double and half wide 1974 model), that ended up looking like a vacation home in Cape Cod and my little single-wide that we are currently living in. Highly recommend it! So much fun remodeling and making it your own little one-of-a-kind, down scale, simply your life, little dwelling!

      • Thanks for posting your encouragement, Dianna! It’s so great to see more and more people choosing this option for housing. So many ways for us to make our homes reflect our personalities and style!

  4. Just found your post and I couldn't agree more. My husband and I just bought a 1964 single-wide mobile home for $3,500 and we are happier than we have ever been. It took a lot of work – but we not only love it; but, it is inspiring so many others. Here is the "almost finished" interior:

    We even pulled out the carpet and handpainted the plywood subflooring:

    • Hi Dianna! Thanks for visiting our site and for taking the time to comment. I JUST LOVE YOUR PLACE! You're so creative! What you did with the floor painting is really magnificent. I wish I had the patience! At this point, I feel like we're just enjoying all of the work we've done and don't want to line up any new projects. But then, I see someone's terrific home remodel and I take another look at all my rooms to see where I might incorporate some of their ideas! You have accomplished a similar style to what we like, sort of a rustic cottage look. It's so lovely! Congratulations on purchasing your home for an amazing $3500 and for making it such a beautiful home. So fulfilling!

      Please visit again. And feel free to share your projects. We love to see what folks are doing!

      Happy remodeling,

      The McGees

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