Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack are finally through with each other: After 10 seasons, “Flip or Flop” will at long last end, on March 17, next Thursday.
Why put a stop to the “Flip or Flop” fun? Well, for one, the duo are no longer married, and both now have their own show, with Haack’s “Christina on the Coast” and El Moussa tutoring novice investors on “Flipping 101 With Tarek El Moussa.”
Whatever the reason, this means that our days are numbered for watching this former couple bicker over tile designs, bust down walls, and (usually) turn a profit. So, soak it in, guys!
The penultimate episode, “Red Hot Flip,” suggests that the show may end on a floppy note, with Haack calling the house “one of the worst ever.”
“I know I say that a lot,” she admits when she walks into the house, but “This is officially up there.”
Haack and El Moussa have bought a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Covina, CA. The place looks good from the outside, but on the inside, they find an ugly, trash-filled home that reeks of cigarette smoke.
Things go from bad to worse when their contractor, Jeff Lawrence, gives the flippers a renovation estimate of $120,000, which seems like a huge fee for a small, 1,500-square-foot house.
“You know how it is right now—crazy inflation,” Lawrence says. “My material costs are out of control. The labor costs are out of control.”
El Moussa complains from the get-go that this house might not be worth the investment, explaining, “It’s one of the slimmest profit margins that we’ve seen in a while.”
Still, they take a chance on the house. Here’s how it all turns out, with plenty of take-home tips you can apply to your own abode, too.
Make a house feel fresh with a new front door
El Moussa is happy to repaint this house a deep green, but when Haack suggests replacing the front door, El Moussa is hesitant. To decide, these flippers play “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” and Haack wins. In fact, it seems Haack always beats him because, as she says, it’s a “mind game.”
“She thinks what I think, and then I counteract what she thinks that I think,” El Moussa says. “But somehow she undoes that and gets me.”
The two end up choosing a $375 wood door with a long piece of glass. Haack initially wants to paint the door blue, but they decide to instead seal the wood, for a natural look.
“The door is actually beautiful in itself,” she says. “So, paint it blue, I think we would just take away from it.”
In the end, the door looks great. In fact, Haack says it’s her favorite part of the exterior design. This all goes to show that a new front door can be a great addition—even if it takes a few mind games to get it!
Use transitional style for a crowd-pleasing look
Inside, Haack and El Moussa are not pleased with the messy, dated living space.
“It’s really ugly,” Haack says. “It’s like it has just like puke brown on puke brown on puke brown.”
In addition to changing the color, they knock down a wall to open up the space. Then they choose gray cabinets and an intricate gray backsplash that Haack says has a “contemporary transitional vibe.” This style blends sleek modern with more homey contemporary styles, combining the best of both worlds.
Don’t settle for a typical accent wall
Haack and El Moussa want to highlight the large living room, so Haack suggests giving the space an accent wall. Right away, El Moussa agrees, but isn’t sure how to go about it.
“Wallpaper’s pretty expensive, paint can be a little bit too boring,” El Moussa says. “We can do, like, boxes on the wall, paint the drywall and the wood the same color.”
This paneled feature wall only costs $1,000, and it’s well worth the investment. When the work is done, this dark-blue feature gives the living room depth and makes the space look even bigger. When the flippers tour the finished home, they’re both impressed with the space.
“I think this room is actually the biggest selling feature in the house,” Haack says. “How often do you see houses this size have a room this big?”
“Never!” El Moussa says.
Go bold with small bathroom countertops
Haack says she wants to carry the transitional style into the main bathroom, so she chooses textured white shower tile and white cabinets, which have a modern and contemporary feel.
She shows El Moussa a sample of a simple white counter, saying she’s nervous that the space will look too white. Instead, she suggests a unique marble counter with dramatic black veining.
“This is a lot of white, so it might be nice to mix up the counter and do the marble,” Haack says.
Marble can be pricey, but Haack points out that since the bathroom and the vanity are so small, the marble won’t break the budget. When the bathroom is finished, El Moussa and Haack love the look. The dramatic veining adds a lot to this otherwise simple bathroom and shows that it’s fine to splurge on high-end materials, especially in small spaces.
Privacy is always in style
The team begins by focusing on bringing transitional style to the inside of this house, but El Moussa and Haack eventually need to turn their attention to the backyard. They plan to trim back the overgrown tree, but Haack realizes that this will uncover the baseball field just on the other side of the chain-link fence.
“Now you’re going to see everything,” Haack says. “And they’re going to realize that they are now the audience of every Saturday and Sunday baseball game. And probably weekday practices.”
Eventually, El Moussa agrees to pay $3,500 for a new wood fence. The classic design blends into this backyard and helps the property feel more private.
When the house is done, Haack says this upgrade is “expensive but worth it.”
So, is this house a flip or flop?
After buying the home for $500,000, they spend $139,475 on renovations. After closing costs and commission, the house has a break-even price of $669,475.
They list for a high $799,900—and end up getting 11 offers. They accept an offer for $856,500, which means that Haack and El Moussa stand to make a profit of $187,025.
So while El Moussa started out worried about profit margins, it turns out that this gamble paid off. As for what their absolute final flip on TV will be, we’ll have to wait and see next week.