Our New Home On The Homestead

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I thought it might be interesting to some of you to show you pic’s of our new home here on our little homestead. We bought it Feb ’08 as a foreclosure. It is a 2200 sq. ft. modular, and it came on a little piece of land. It was severely trashed when we got it. The whole place was splattered with mud, grease from a motorcycle, and who knows what else from ceiling to floor (literally)! And the smell was horrible! It wreaked of wet dog and cigarette smoke. There were holes in the doors, walls, and cabinets. The bathrooms and kitchen were beyond disgusting. And windows were broken. We all had to thoroughly sanitize our hands every time we visited the house. Little Jada nicknamed it “The Dirty House”.

It was definitely a “fixer-upper”. But, after a thorough inspection telling us that the home was in really good shape other than the cosmetic problems (it was only 7 yrs. old), and lots of negotiating with Fanny Mae, our offer was accepted. We quickly moved the home onto our own land before the owners could come back and do more damage (which did happen once during negotiations). Our cost to purchase the home was about $22,000, after selling the piece of land it had been on. Not bad, huh!

I wish that was all we had in the home, but of course we had to spend more moving and setting it up, and remodeling it. We still came out way cheaper than if we had bought any other house this size. And I pinched pennies in every way I could during the remodel, buying most of our materials from a salvage yard.

It took 8 months of mostly do-it-ourselves work before it was ready for us to move into. My dad and I spent countless hours and many, many late nights painting and doing trim work. It felt like we’d never be done! But, finally the big day arrived, and now that we’ve settled in, we couldn’t be happier. It’s quite an improvement from a single wide trailer! The Lord has truly rewarded our patience.

It isn’t a grand, gorgeous home (though you couldn’t tell my kids anything different), but we are proud of it. So, just for fun, here are the “Before” and “After” pictures 🙂

Front Entry/Dining area


dining room before

Filthy carpets. Mud splattered walls. Dark and dingy.


Dining Room

Much better!!

I found the chandelier at a yard sale for $20 (shades and all!), and the dining table and four chairs for $50!

Living Room


Living Room Before

Notice how NASTY it was?! Evidently the previous owners let a couple of big dogs run in and out throughout the home and they tracked red mud everywhere. It was even splattered all over the walls! Along with who knows what else. Yuck! And that strange platform built underneath the windows… what was up with that?



Living Room

Living Room After

Much better, right?! Yes, I painted those walls. And my dad pulled out that hideous platform thingy. But we did hire a professional to do the laminate floors. I wasn’t about to try to mess that up!

We bought the sofa and loveseat second hand for $200. I LOVE the large wall art piece I found to go behind the couch at a yard sale for $17!! Score! And the coffee table is a new addition, for $30.



Fireplace Before


Fireplace After

Just needed a little paint. We’ve added a woodstove to better heat the house. The chest of drawers on the right side of the fireplace was Jerry’s grandpa’s, and it fit perfectly in that little nook!

Bar Area into Kitchen




Kitchen Bar After

I searched for months and months for affordable bar stools that would look just right in this space. I was finally able to snag these off of Craigslist for $11 a piece. An awesome deal!!



Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before

That floral wallpaper had to go. Not to mention the ugly fluorescent lighting!


Kitchen After

Not too much to change, other than a paint job and new light fixtures. We did replace the dishwasher with one I found on Craigslist for $50, and the stove with the one from our previous home. Oh, and a white, extremely heavy cast iron sink that someone was just going to donate that I was able to snag for free to replace the old one (which had a hole in it). Notice we’re still missing a drawer or two… we’ll fix that someday!

Family Room (across from kitchen)


Family room before


Playroom After

Playroom After

Obviously I made it into the kids playroom. I love that it’s right across from the kitchen, so I can always see what they are doing. This is where we do some of our homeschooling as well. If you’d like to see it in more detail, check out my post on decorating a playroom on a budget.


Xia’s Nursery


Bedroom Before

Just plain dirty white walls and filthy green carpet.


Here’s baby Xia’s nursery. The twin bed I found for $30, and sold the metal twin frame I used to have there for $20, so really it was a $10 investment. The crib was given to us (our church was remodeling the daycare and let me have one of the cribs they were replacing), the changing table was bought second hand for us, and the crib bedding was like $30 off of Craigslist 🙂


Boys Room


All I can say is “Blah”!


Boys Room After

diy boys bedroom

My dad and I put up the chair rail and new baseboards (He cut; I nailed, caulked, and painted). I absolutely LOVE how this room turned out. You can read about how I decorated this room on a zero dollar budget here.

Jada’s Room


Jada's room before

Nasty, nasty, nasty!


Jada's Room After

Jada's Room After

If you couldn’t tell by all of the girlyness, this is Jada’s room. I bought this new bed for her for $30, mattress and all! I had Jerry cut out her name in wooden letters, and I painted them to match her bedding. And that cool green armoire in the corner… some friends found it on their neighbor’s curb!

Girls Ceiling Fan

The ceiling fan I just adore. I had been eyeing it for months, and one day I went into Lowes to look for other things, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw the exact same fan on clearance for $40! I was so excited, and scooped it up immediately!

I free-hand painted butterflies and flowers around the boarder. It took me forever, but I love the outcome!

handpainted butterflies girls bedroom

hand painted butterfly girls room

handpainted flower girls room

Jada loves her new room. She tells everyone it’s “gorgeous”! I’m so glad she loves it.

Guest Bathroom


Guest bath before

Who puts carpet in bathrooms anyways?


Guest Bath After

I thought this light sage green would look great with my beige and white dragonfly shower curtain. I’m kinda wishing I’d gone with a different vinyl flooring though, oh well…

Master Bedroom


Master Bedroom Before

See how nasty it was?! Obviously the carpet had to go! Lucky for you this blog doesn’t come with “smell-o-vision”… yuck!!



Clean, new carpet. We pulled the strips off the walls, filled the holes, and painted them a nice neutral shade. Add some new trim, a fan, and it’s set!

Master Bath


Master Bath Before

Check out the purple floral wall paper!

Master Bath Before

It had potential…


Master Bath After

Much better. Though I still need a new mirror to hang there on the wall.

Master Bath After

Nothing major. Just some new vinyl flooring, and paint on the walls. (Not to mention some elbow grease!)

Laundry/Mud Room

Before (Well, kinda. We’d painted the walls already):

laundry room before


Laundry Room After

Laundry Room After


Looks good now, but it didn’t start out nice and organized. Check out the Before and After pics on my Zero Dollar Laundry Room Makeover.


And here’s the office. It was just like all of the other rooms before- dirty, white walls with nasty green carpet. We replaced the solid white doors with french doors to open up the space into the main living area.

So, there you have it, our new home. Everything that we have in it has either been given to us, or bought super cheap second-hand. Just about all of the furniture has been given to us. We make due with what we have, and we feel very blessed to have all that we do.

I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in the future for our little home on the homestead! Thanks for stopping by!



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About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. Beautiful pictures of your house! You guys are really talented. Do you have any pictures of the outside of your house? I would love to see some.. you can e-mail me if you don´t want to post…

  2. Congrats on being featured on Mobile Home Living. I have a question regarding the strip that joins the wallboard. It looks like you have removed it in the after pictures and just painted. I live in a modular home also and have the awful floral kitchen and bathrooms. I would love to know how you did yours.

    • Hi Margaret,

      Thanks! Yes, we did remove those unsightly strips over the wall panels. We spackled the gap well and painted over it. I’m really glad we did. It looks a thousand times better 🙂

      • Did you do anything else to the walls to prepare them other than washing them down? After you spackled where the strips were did you sand the spackle after it dried? I’ve read where some people have taped theres and then spackled.
        Thank you for answering my questions, I want it to look good when I do this, I will probably start in my extra bathroom first to get the procedure down.

        • Margaret,

          It’s been a while, but I believe we may have used tape with the spackle. Definitely sand the spackle smooth before painting. We primed before painting, too.

  3. A truly inspirational transformation. I did not see how the windows were done. Did you replace them or just somehow make trim for them?

      • love your home…question re: windows as we just bought a 2004 Champion home and the windows are always wet at night (moisture coming in from outside). They don’t look damaged, it just appears that this is what manuf. windows do?…let in moisture? What ‘kind’ of windows did you use? can you buy typical home windows like at Home Depot, Sears, etc.? or do Manuf. homes have to have matching manuf. home brand windows too? I’m assuming putting in windows is something a professional has to do too, and is quite costly?
        Would LOVE your input (over 55 and new at this). We got stuck with an awful dark green carpet too (unfortunately no $ to replace it), and same wallpapered kitchen & 2 bthrms…after reading your write ups, I’m assuming one can just paint over the wallpaper directly without having to remove it first? Oh how I wish my home looked as terrific as yours! Congrats on a job well done!

        • Susan,

          Our windows do not let moisture in. They’re energy efficient standard house windows from a company called Window World. That’s all I remember. They aren’t “trailer” windows though, they would go in any stick-built home. We did have them installed professionally since we had no experience in that department. Regarding the wallpaper- we primed it and then painted right over it. Still looking good 7 years later! You can do this, too 🙂 It takes work, but it’s so worth it in the end.

  4. If I didn’t know better, I would not know these were the same rooms. You took a bunch of boxes, your modular house, and turn it into a very pretty home!!! There’s so much personality added. It looks homey and inviting.

  5. Wow! I think it looks amazing! All the hard work sure paid off. It’s a home that you can be proud of! I must say, I live tbe playroom, awesome. Live the nursery w/ a bed and crib! All the kids rooms look great. The whole house is nice. Iam a new fan! Hope you will visitme @http://www.mommiesandbeyond.com

  6. Hi Kendra,

    I have another question for you… You mentioned in this post that your home stunk terribly of smoke when you bought it… How did you get rid of the smell? Did you wash the walls, if so with what? Did you use primer on the walls? Clean the air ducts, etc.?? My husband and I just got an AMAZING deal on a foreclosure but it was smoked in (the home is only 8 yo) and smells of smoke. I just thought you may have some suggestions of how to get rid of the smell 🙂

    Thanks so much, any info is helpful!

    BTW I really thought your last post on Christmas was very well written and full of conviction and love for God and your neighbor. Happy Hanukkah friend! Hey if Yeshua celebrated it (Jn. 10:22-23)then why shouldn’t we!

    • Hi Diana 🙂

      Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement regarding our Christmas convictions. It has meant a lot to me to receive such an outpouring of support via email.

      Okay, so about the house. First, we pulled up all of the carpet and mopped the floors several times with gallons and gallons of that pet odor neutralizer stuff you get at the pet store. We primed the walls with Kilz (with odor blocker) before painting, and did the same on the ceiling. We vacuumed the vents as much as possible, though stuff still blows up every now and then (trash, etc). We also primed and painted all of the doors. And it worked!

      Congratulations on your home!!! So glad you were able to find a great deal as well :

  7. We bought a little farm in April of this year (2011). The manufactured home is 30 years old, but only the original owner ever lived here, so we could tell he had taken care of it. It’s much smaller than yours, only 960 sf, and our land is 1.17 acres, fenced securely in it’s entirety. The seller owner financed for us, and because of the great price we offered and he wanting to get to his new place 600 miles from here, we were able to finance it for only 5 years. Having no mortgage is best, but the next best thing is an affordable mortgage for a short time. Only 4.5 years left! We need to re-model, it’s very dated, but knowing how quickly it will be ours completely makes it all ok until we get the remodeling done.

    Love the photos! Have you ever done a post about the layout of your farm? I have looked, but didn’t come across it.

  8. Hi Kendra, I’m Crystal from Mobile Home Living and would love to use your story and a few photos of your mobile home update/remodel. you did a great job and I’m always looking for inspiration for my readers. Go to http://mobilehomeliving.org, and let me know. It would be used in the best of light…Thanks so much!

  9. How did you find your repo’d manufactured home? We currently live in NC and I hadn’t thought about buying land and sticking a home on it until I saw what an AMAZING job you did with your home. My husband and I have been looking at older fixer upers on a few acres here in NC but have recently come to realize financially we need to see if we can find a less expensive option. Maybe this is it? Any info would be helpful. Thanks in advance.


    • Hi Diana,

      We found our repo through a local Realtor. We told her we were looking for foreclosures, and she kept us up-to-date with the listings as they came in. If you can find a good quality modular home, I’d highly recommend you check into moving it onto your own land 🙂

  10. The green carpet reminds me of my parent’s house when our family moved in 15 years ago. My mom hated it the carpet.

    And carpet in the bathroom? Not a good idea! Glad you fixed it up. Good to see all of the second hand items too!

  11. This is acutally a paint question again. I can’t seem to find that color in Valspar anymore, do you happen to know what the paint codes were? That’s just the color/shading I’ve been looking for. thanks!


    • Dawn,

      Lucky you, I kept the paint card with all of the info 🙂 I’m assuming you are referring to the Hazelnut Cream. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this color. It’s perfect! I hope you’re able to get some mixed up, and like it as much as I do. Okay, so I got the color card from Walmart. It says ColorPlace on it, and -Light Base- underneath “Hazelnut Cream”. The number is 95243. I’ll give you the numbers on the back of the card for 1 Gallon; if you want the qt. or 5 gal amounts, let me know and I’ll be happy to post them too. One Gallon: AXX-2, C-36, L-38.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Yes, who puts carpet in a bathroom? Whoever chose the flooring for the house I live in that’s who… YUCK, YUCK, YUCK. But we also now have nice vinyl.

  13. Wow! Anyone out there that poo-poos the Self-Sustaining lifestyle or who looks down on those who choose to be Thrifty should read this post. Your home is proof positive that you can have a relaxing, beautiful, functional home that meets your family’s needs without spending a fortune and without having to have everything brand new. People out there think the thrifty lifestyle is all about self-deprivation and living in squalor just to save a buck but you’ve proven those people wrong! Beautiful job!

  14. Absolutely Gorgeous! I grew up off and on in Pre-Fab homes and they are always so beautiful on the inside (and can be made to order). You did a Fantastic job remodeling! Maybe you ought to paint murals for other people’s bedrooms as a side business!

  15. Your blog has been very inspiring Kendra thank you. I need some info on your home. Is it a modular home or a manufactured home? I’m a little confused since you were able to move it to your own land. I am asking because we live in an apartment and need to move urgently. My husband doesn’t want to entertain the idea of a manufactured home at all. But I would seriously consider it since it is more affordable than our other options. We have decided to move our family to the country to raise our two kids and be as self sufficient as possible. We see the storm thats coming to this country and sense the need to prepare. Since you’ve moved here from California you are probably more used living in a stick built home so can you tell me if you noticed any difference at all? Like noisy rooms oris it harder to heat? Thank you and congratulations on your new baby.

    • Mel-

      Great questions. I’d love to share what I can. There are on-frame and off-frame modulars. On-frame modulars are sometimes mistaken as manufactured homes, like a double-wide, so often lenders treat them as such. Off-frame modulars are built pretty much the same way, they just aren’t on a frame. That’s the best I can explain that. Ours is an on-frame modular, but we were able to prove to the lenders that it is not a double wide (manufacture home) and is truly a modular home, so they treated it accordingly. It can be hard to get a loan for a manufactured home. I would not suggest a double wide if you can help it.

      Modulars are built to the same standards as a stick-built home, not cheap like a trailer. The only difference from a stick built is that modulars are constructed indoors, in two or four sections (depending on size), and then put together once on site. In my opinion it would be an advantage to have a home built inside a warehouse and not exposed to the weather. Modular homes can even be two stories high! They don’t necessarily look like a manufactured home. The structure of the home is generally very well built, depending on the manufacturer.

      The downside to modulars is that sometimes the materials used inside aren’t as good of quality as a stick built. For instance, the cabinets here are pretty cheap, and some of the bedrooms did not have sheet rock but wall board stuff instead, which we painted no problem. We have not had any trouble with noises through the walls though.

      Ours is an Energy Star home, with super insulation and windows. We haven’t had trouble heating and cooling. I would totally recommend buying a modular if you find one you can afford, and yes, they are less expensive than a traditional stick built! You may be able to find a really good deal on a foreclosure, especially now. Good luck with everything. I hope you are able to get some land and make that move soon 🙂 Hope that helps!!

  16. Kendra- how inspiring!! My husband & I often(today) talk about exactly this. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to post b4 & after picts. Sharing such valuable, inspiring information is such a blessing. I sent him a link to your blog so he might be able to read up. I seldom if ever send him a link to a ‘chick blog’ as he calls them… ha.
    May you always be blessed in your efforts to serve the Lord, & may your home be one that serves you in your endeavors to seek His will.
    Looking forward to future posts-

  17. Thank you responding to my comment. I actually found the color at Walmart and bought a gallon. I painted a test strip on the wall and so far it looks great! The beige I chose before had kind of a orange tint so this will be a huge improvement 🙂

  18. Hi!

    I just found your blog via another blog and I really enjoy it! Thanks for sharing all your ideas and info. I was wondering if you could tell me what brand of paint and what color you used in the kitchen and living room areas? It’s exactly the color I’m looking for.


    • Katie-

      You don’t know how many shades of neutral beige I went through before I found the right color!! They were either too yellow, too pale, too fleshy, or too dark! Anyways, I’m glad you like it. It’s called Hazelnut Cream. I found it at Walmart… not sure which brand it was, I’m thinking it was Valspar. But I took the color card to Home Depot and had them match it with Behr paint (in Eggshell). Hope that helps!

  19. Thanks for sharing this… the trim makes so much difference!! I love how beautiful simple living can be!!! I have a friend that lives in a mcmansion… I would choose your home!! We live in a 1911 farm house.. and we have put in a lot of elbow grease and work, but our house payment is AFFORDABLE and are working to get it paid off ASAP!! LOVE our simple life!! Thanks for all you do to encourage others in this venture!!

  20. Hi there!
    I found you from a friend of a friend and love all of this! GREAT JOB! Me and my hubby are trying to get debt free before we buy, but it is so good to see how the Lord has blessed you guys with being patient and working hard! I can’t wait to visit your site more often as it looks like we have a lot in common!

  21. This is an inspiration. Your decorating taste is wonderful. I love your bedroom furniture and the happy decorations in Jada’s room. Best of all, however, are the floors — all of them. They bring elegance to the whole house.

  22. I like it best when people “rescue” an existing home rather than building one. This is now an awesome home! I love the cute little bed in your son’s room!

  23. Oops! Sorry Kendra, never heard of that term but different parts of the country have different terms, codes and so on. Like yours, our home is super energy efficient too, which we’re thankful for since our winters are long and cold here in the Northeast! Spring is almost here and we’re more than ready to welcome it back!

    Once again you have a very nice home and have done a fantastic job with the remodeling! Wishing you and your family much joy and happiness in your new home!

    Mrs B.

  24. Wow, Kendra! All the hard work has really paid off, you have a wonderful home now and I’m so happy for you and your family!

    There is one thing that I feel the need to correct and that is the term for your house. It appears that your home is a manufactured double wide and not a modular house. Many folks use these terms interchangeably but there is a difference which is easily seen in the pitch of the roof and material quality. We own a modular home on a full basement and while doing much research into manufactured homes have learned about the different building codes that are followed in construction of each type of manufactured houses.

    Anyway, congrats on your delightful remodel and thanks for sharing!

    Mrs B.

    • Mrs. B.

      Actually, when we purchased the home we really looked into the make and model and all that, and were told that this is an on-frame modular. Similar to a double-wide, only made with much better structural quality. It’s an energy start home too, which is great! It does look like a double wide from the outside though. If only I could do something about that… 🙂

  25. This looks awesome. Amazing what some hard work and time can do for your home. What an inspiration!

    May you be blessed in your new home!!

  26. It looks awesome! Your home is the same size as ours, except we paid full price for ours. You did so much better! It is beautiful!

  27. What a beautiful home you have created! It’s just stunning from the before to the after. I love the molding around the windows!

    I have a suggestion about the fireplace if you’re interested. Our fireplace had the tacky brass doors as well which I can’t stand. We removed the doors, did a light sanding to give them some ‘tooth’ and used black heatproof spray paint on them (taping off the glass with newspaper to protect it from over spray). They look like a whole new set of doors! We live in a rental and our landlord was fine with us revamping it and he thought we’d purchased new doors he was so impressed.

  28. Wow, I remember the pictures of your living room, on your old blog, but I didn’t realize it was a modular home. You’ve done an amazing transformation of the place. It’s beautiful.

    I love the colors & decorations in both of the kid’s rooms. Great job, all the way around!

    Gives me hope that we’ll be out of this single one… one day. 😉

  29. Great photos. Thanks for sharing the before and after. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we have a dream and the gumption to make it happen!
    Congrats on the new home, you all did a gorgeous job!

  30. Wow, this looks gorgeous!! I think the thing that struck me the most is the new trim around all the windows, doors, floors, ceilings, etc. It makes it look so finished, and you can see all the detail. I’m glad to see all your hard work paid off. 🙂

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