It’s never easy to talk about a new flame—even for Christina and Tarek El Moussa.
In the episode called “Tri-Level Flip,” Christina is ready to talk about her new boyfriend, but worries it will cause problems on the job.
Their latest project is a four-bed, three-bath, 2,700-square-foot home in the city of Orange, CA. In the ep, Tarek puts the kibosh on all of Christina’s design ideas and even designs the kitchen without her.
Tarek says he’s set personal business aside and is simply coming down on Christina’s designs because he’s concerned about making a profit.
“This is a big house, and it has the potential to sell for a lot of money, as long as Christina doesn’t kill the budget with a lot of expensive design,” he says.
They purchased the property for $675,000, and Tarek estimates putting in an additional $90,000 so they can sell it at or above the comps, which are in the high $800,000s.
Even amidst relationship drama, there’s a lot to learn about home improvement as Christina and Tarek turn a dated trilevel home into a modern masterpiece.
When exploring the attic, tread lightly
Tarek and Christina note water stains on the ceiling, which could mean roof leaks. So Tarek hoists himself up into the small attic to investigate. But he accidentally places his foot and weight on the drywall on the floor, and his foot goes crashing through the rotted ceiling, raining debris onto Christina below.
Herringbone pattern is expensive, so use it sparingly
There’s a major debate about the flooring. The rooms in this house are large, and Tarek wants to use wood-look vinyl planks throughout. Christina prefers to use real wood flooring, in a chic herringbone pattern. Tarek thinks the pattern would look too busy and be too expensive. But Christina says anyone who would pay close to $1 million for a house will expect the finest finishes.
But when contractor Jeff Lawrence quotes them an extra $10,000 to lay the entire floor in the herringbone pattern, even Christina gets sticker shock. As a compromise, they go with real wood, laid mostly in the traditional way, with herringbone pattern in just the entryway.
Get creative when laying tile
When Tarek is selecting the tile for the kitchen, he decides he wants to jazz up the all-white palette with a wave pattern. He knows it will have a great visual impact on the kitchen (and be one of those “fine finishes” Christina said buyers will expect), but will Christina buy it?
“Oh my gosh, I love it!” she exclaims. She’s just as surprised as he is.
Beware of shoddy DIY projects
Tarek and Christina get a nasty surprise when they turn their attention to the backyard pool. They know they’re going to have to refinish the pool, but they can’t believe their eyes when they see that the previous owners poured a new concrete deck over the old one. There are now two layers of pool decking, and they’re both cracking and crumbling.
Thanks to this ill-fated DIY project, Tarek and Christina need to pay to have the entire, expansive deck removed and replaced, a project that will cost an additional $25,000 to 30,000. Yikes!
So is it a flip or a flop?
Once Tarek and Christina sort through personal issues, they really do create a lovely new home, and put it on the market for $999,000. But will buyers pay that much in that neighborhood?
Time will tell.
“Even though this fllp was really tough for me and Christina personally, there is a chance it could be one of our biggest profits yet,” says Tarek.
They spent a total of $820,000 on the purchase and renovations, and estimate $25,000 in closing costs if they sell it for $999,000. Could they make a profit of $154,000? It looks like they’ll just have to wait and see.
Update: As of July 27, the house has been on the market for 28 days, and the listing price has dropped to $939,900.