Tarek and Christina find out what a house seller tried to hide


Tarek and Christine El Moussa are savvy house pinball machines – and the latest episode “Flip or Flop” reveals how smart they are when they find out what a house seller was desperately hoping to cover up.

In the episode titled “Fantastic Flip,” the two walk into a five-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,700 square foot home in Costa Mesa, Calif., Listed for $ 600,000. It sounds awesome, but the only thing that confuses them is that in every room there are electric fans plugged in and are whirring at full speed.

Hey, what’s up?

Tarek is concerned that these fans are a signal that the home could experience water damage from a leak, which homeowners are trying to dry up. Upon closer inspection, however, they find that the fans are actually set to remove a foul odor from pets that permeates the entire home. Nice try, sellers!

Since Tarek and Christina will be getting rid of the carpet and repainting or replacing every surface, the pet stench isn’t a big deal. Nevertheless, it is the perfect bargaining chip. With tough negotiations, Tarek gets the house for $ 30,000 below the asking price.

That’s a lot, but they also have the huge task of bringing this’ 70s home into the 21st century and making it appealing to what Christina calls’ hipster ‘buyers in Costa Mesa. They estimate the renovations will cost around $ 80,000, and in a market where prices are around $ 750,000, the profit margin could be slim.

It also doesn’t help that these ex-spouses endlessly struggle between using fancy materials that Christina swears “buyers will love” and staying on budget so, as Tarek argues, they can. make a nice profit. Can they find the right balance that will attract those homebuyers who are more connected than you?

As they argue, we get wickedly smart advice on how to renovate, buy, or sell our own homes. Here’s what we learned this week:

Fences don’t need to be vertical

Before: a pointed fence resembling a prison


There is a brick wall and sharp steel posts around the front yard, which looks dated and even prison-like. They would like to demolish everything, but it’s not that simple: the large bricks at the base support the entire front yard. Without them, the yard would collapse into the street. So Tarek cleverly removes the steel posts and replaces them with horizontal planks of wood, stained to look like redwood. It offers a lot of privacy and looks very chic. Calling all hipsters!

Flip or Flop
After: Planks of stained wood replace the steel points.


How to know if a wall is load-bearing

Have you ever wondered, in your efforts to create the ubiquitous open floor plan, how do you know if the wall you plan to tear down is load-bearing? Service provider Jeff Laurent shows us that a trip to the attic can be very revealing. From there you can tell exactly what, if any, the vertical beams below are supporting.

This time Christina and Tarek are lucky, as two of the walls they intend to knock down are not load-bearing, and the weight the third is supporting can be taken with a long, sturdy beam. ceiling.

Never trust a small sample

Since the new kitchen has a relatively standard layout with no unique curves or angles, Tarek and Christina decide to save the money and order prefabricated cabinetry that can be assembled and hung on location. Christina finds a nice dark gray swatch, and they both decide it will look stylish. Unfortunately, when the cabinets arrive and a lot of time and effort has gone into setting them up, Christina notes that there is a lot of brown in their dark gray hue. In fact, brown appears to be the predominant color, a fact she hadn’t realized from the small sample. Pity!

Christina is upset that Tarek didn’t notice it sooner, but Tarek says that rather than tearing them down and ordering new ones, they can remedy the situation by using a patterned backsplash that will (hopefully) do. bring out the gray tones of the cabinets.

“When you buy pre-tinted cabinets, it happens all the time,” he says. “It doesn’t really matter anyway, because the backsplash options I chose are amazing.”

Flip or Flop
The kitchen with brown / gray cabinets and backsplash


Herringbone patterns are pretty but expensive

While Tarek just wants to paint the ugly stone fireplace white, Christina says it will look tacky and suggests covering it with wood-grain porcelain tile in a chevron pattern. Tarek, of course, balks.

” Additional work ! Extra cuts! Extra cost! ”He cries.

“Additional beautiful!” She answers.

This time Christina wins: the chevron pattern is in it.

Do you have too many bedrooms? Stage them as offices or dens

When there are five bedrooms to stage, potential buyers understand that there is no need to put a bed in every bedroom. Tarek and Christina choose to stage one as an office and the other as a den. All have windows and closets, so these are official bedrooms, but it’s good to show that the house you’re selling is versatile. Not everyone has so many children or so many sleeping guests.

If you are looking to sell a house with a lot of bedrooms, ask your agent for staging ideas. Here’s how to find a real estate agent in your area.

So is it a flip or a flop?

While there aren’t any major construction issues, the house is large and Christina’s taste is expensive, so they end up spending $ 97,000 on the renovation. Even though the comps are around $ 750,000, Tarek decides to go for the (horizontal) fences and lists the house at $ 829,900.

It turns out to be too ambitious.

“It was overkill to list it for $ 829,900,” Tarek admits, “but we ended up selling the house for $ 815,000.”

In the end, they make a massive total profit of $ 113,900, proving that they have what it takes to balance the profits nicely, all without having to hide anything (watch out, door-to-door sellers!) .


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