On “Flip or Flop,” Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack have seen a lot go wrong while flipping homes, but on the latest episode, they are dealt an expensive blow when a burglar steals their materials.
In the Season 13 episode “Time Is Money,” these flippers buy a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house for $425,000. This Yorba Linda, CA, property is a big lot, but the house itself is tiny. So to impress buyers Haack and El Moussa need to focus on choosing top-notch finishes—which become even more expensive when they’re stolen from the garage and must be replaced.
Read on to find out how El Moussa and Haack bounce back from this setback and surmount other challenges, which can teach you plenty about how to (safely) renovate your own house.
Exterior upgrades are worth the money
This home is small, less than 1,300 square feet, but fixing up the exterior is still an investment. They need to paint the house, add a fence to separate the home from the busy road, and replace the roof.
The roof is covered with gravel, a midcentury trend, and the pebbles are falling onto the yard. Unfortunately, replacing this roof will cost way more than expected: a hefty $21,000!
“People can’t just go and scrape off all the shingles,” says contractor Jeff Lawrence. “So they’ve got to get rid of all the rock first and then underneath the rock you have all the tar.”
With a new paint job, new fence, and new roof, this exterior upgrade isn’t cheap. But since a home’s exterior is the first thing everyone sees, it’s clear that every penny is worth the investment.
Dark cabinets can look great, even in a small kitchen
In a small house, a tiny kitchen is no surprise. Haack admits they would usually do white cabinets in a small space like this, but they decide to go with gray cabinets for a modern look. Dark cabinets in a small space can be a risk, but white quartz counters help keep the kitchen looking open and bright.
In the end, these flippers are happy they chose the darker cabinets.
“It would’ve looked kind of washed out if we would’ve done all white,” Haack says.
The right backsplash might be worth buying twice
While the quartz countertops lighten up this kitchen, Haack and El Moussa are smart to choose a light backsplash as well. And the tile isn’t cheap, costing $2,000 total.
However, before they’re able to install it, this property is robbed and the tile is stolen from the garage. While El Moussa wants to install simple white subway tile to save money, Haack insists on spending another $2,000 on a new set of tile. It’s an unfortunate extra expense, but it seems worth it in the end.
“My favorite part of the entire home is the backsplash,” Haack says when the renovation is finished.
“Do you like it the first time we bought it or the second time?” asks El Moussa.
“I like it both times,” she says.
Go for a big fireplace upgrade in a small house
This home boasts a large living room, but the space features a dated fireplace. Haack wants to add a mantel and replace the dated brick with a modern white tile. Right away, El Moussa pushes back, saying it would be cheaper to paint the fireplace white.
“This house is getting out of control,” he says. “We spent a lot of money. This was supposed to be a quick and easy flip.”
Still, Haack argues that buyers will want to see a modern fireplace, suggesting that the fresh tile might even help make up for the small square footage.
El Moussa finally agrees to the upgrade, and they spend $1,500 on the feature. It ends up being a great upgrade that proves a smaller home sometimes needs extra special details.
Carry tile onto bathroom walls for a high-end look
This house has just one bathroom, so El Moussa and Haack know they need to go all out in this space.
They decide on a simple white quartz countertop and pair it with a shower tile with a unique white and gray pattern. To add extra pizazz, Haack suggests buying some extra tile.
“What if we spend a little more money and carry this behind the tub?” she asks. “I think that will look really pretty.”
This upgrade costs an extra $1,000, but it makes the bathroom look extra elegant.
In the end, these flippers love the look.
“I actually dig that tile,” El Moussa says. “You know I thought it was going to be a little bit busy, but it’s kind of not.”
This home may have only one bathroom, but the upgrades make buyers feel like they’re not missing out.
“We definitely added everything that a buyer would want: a huge tub, gorgeous tile, large shower, double sinks,” Haack says.
Is this house a flip or flop?
El Moussa and Haack buy this home for $425,000 and spend $134,700 to renovate it in just three months. After setting aside $30,000 for closing costs and commission, El Moussa says the home’s break-even price is $589,700.
They decide to list the home for $799,000, and after just a week on the market, the home is in escrow for $850,000. If this deal goes through, they stand to make $260,300. That’s a huge profit for a tiny house!
The post Tarek and Christina Get Robbed on Their Latest ‘Out of Control’ Flip appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.