Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead have renovated tons of homes on “Flop or Flop” (now in its 10th season), yet despite their experience, they can still make mistakes.
In the episode “Busy Flip,” these two buy a house in La Mirada, CA, that has a lot of issues. This home costs just $415,000, but it comes with a long to-do list, which includes fixing the electrical system, addressing plumbing issues, building a master bathroom from scratch, and expanding the kitchen. It’s overwhelming—these two know they’re going to need a big renovation budget in order to make this small home livable.
With so much going on, it’s no surprise that these two make one big mistake that almost ruins the house. Read on to learn how El Moussa and Anstead get their flip back on track. Plus, find out how they make a small house feel twice as big.
Don’t be afraid to use risky colors
While the exterior of this home is in fairly good shape, Anstead knows that it could use a new coat of paint. She decides on a pretty straightforward design—light-gray stucco, dark-gray siding, and navy blue trim—but she surprises El Moussa by saying that she wants to paint the door yellow.
El Moussa hates the idea: “It’s going to look like a clown house,” he says.
Still, Anstead decides to go ahead and paint the door. It’s a risky move, but once the exterior is done, the yellow door seems to fit.
When El Moussa and Anstead finally see the finished exterior, they both love the look.
“Even the yellow front door looks kind of cute,” El Moussa admits.
Reserve plenty of space for cabinets
Sometimes trying to improve one space can detract from another. El Moussa and Anstead get into trouble when they fail to set a priority.
This house is compact, so when El Moussa and Anstead make space for a laundry room in the hallway, it takes square footage away from the kitchen. While they’re ready to sacrifice some space for a laundry, it seems that they go overboard.
When they visit the construction site one day, they find a huge jut-out on one wall of the kitchen. They realize that the laundry room is way too big.
“Weren’t we supposed to do, like, uppers and lowers here or something? Now you can’t even put cabinets on this wall,” Anstead says, looking at the kitchen. “We just ruined the whole house.”
Fortunately, the house isn’t ruined. Although it costs extra, they decide to push the wall back, taking some space away from the laundry room and putting it back in the kitchen. And that was a valuable—if costly—lesson about trying to expand a small space!
An open dining space provides better sightlines
Anstead and El Moussa work hard to make sure the kitchens in their flips are beautiful and functional—but what about the dining spaces?
Many buyers consider formal dining rooms a thing of the past, preferring more casual eating areas. Still, in a small home it can be hard to make room for even a relaxed dining space.
In this house, El Moussa and Anstead plan to expand the kitchen, taking over the dining space, so they’re left with only a little space for seating. They decide to put in a peninsula, so that they can create a breakfast bar while still providing space for storage. Then, to finish the dining space, they add a small table off of the kitchen.
In the end, this house has only small spaces for dining, which means throwing dinner parties may be difficult. Still, it’s plenty of space for the new homeowners to enjoy their meals comfortably.
When El Moussa first sees the finished house, he’s thrilled with the setup.
“It looks so freaking good in here,” he says.
Use paint instead of tile for a cheap fireplace design
Anstead and El Moussa love covering old brick fireplaces with modern tile. The tiles they choose alway make the fireplaces look luxe, so Anstead is surprised when El Moussa decides to skip the tile in this house.
“This fireplace is actually in really good condition,” El Moussa tells Anstead. “What if we just blasted the entire thing a bright white, see how it comes out?”
He points out that skipping the tile on the fireplace facade will save them $2,000, and assures her that if it looks bad they can always put tile over the painted brick.
Anstead agrees to try the paint, and when the fireplace is done, they’re both glad they saved the money. The white fireplace surround looks beautiful, and after adding some light-colored geometric tile to the hearth, this inexpensive fireplace looks amazing.
Bold wallpaper can complement chic tile
Anstead usually handles the designs for her flips with El Moussa, but this time she asks for help—from their 10-year-old daughter, Taylor.
When Anstead and El Moussa first see the house, it has only one full bathroom and one half-bathroom. So they decide to take over some closet space and turn it into a master bathroom. It’s a good investment because it makes the master bedroom feel more luxurious and helps this small house seem roomier.
In this new bathroom, Anstead wants to use a flashy wallpaper behind the vanity. However, she needs to be careful not to use a design that clashes with the more traditional gray shower tile they have already chosen.
She enlists Taylor’s help, who picks out a fun blue and black wallpaper design. Anstead loves the pick, and luckily the design complements the bathroom tile. The wallpaper and tile represent two very different styles, but they work together well.
When El Moussa and Anstead finally see the finished product, they love the look.
“It is gorgeous,” El Moussa says.
It seems like Taylor may have a future in design!
Is this flip a flop?
El Moussa and Anstead buy this house for $415,000 and expect to spend about $95,000 on the renovation. But they end up going way over budget, spending $145,200 on the renovation. But it was money well-spent.
With $25,000 in closing costs and commission, Anstead and El Moussa have a break-even price of a whopping $585,200.
El Moussa points out that, with the addition of a bathroom, their house stands out as the only four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom in the area. So he decides to list the house at $650,000.
After only a few days on the market, the house gets multiple offers, which starts a bidding war. El Moussa and Anstead end up accepting an offer for $700,000, which would leave them with an amazing profit of $144,800.
That just goes to show that a flip can be very successful, even with a few mistakes along the way.
The post Tarek and Christina Prove That Even Professionals Can Mess Up a Flip appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.