Only this show doesn’t highlight El Moussa’s own flips. Rather, it shows him teaching other house flippers his tricks. And we must say, it’s a nice twist—and one that’s blessedly free of all that marital drama!
In the premiere episode, “Shared Driveways, Slim Margins,” El Moussa doles out advice to Victor and Deanna on their first flip. However, tensions soon surface as these novice house flippers proceed to ignore much of his advice.
Will El Moussa be able to save this flip, or will his students turn their investment into a money pit? Here’s how the drama unfolds, and what all house flippers, home buyers, and homeowners can learn from what happens.
A backsplash should add visual interest
After flipping so many houses, El Moussa is a pro at picking the right accent tiles for the kitchen backsplash and bathroom. But apparently, Victor doesn’t trust him.
While El Moussa, Deanna, and Victor chose one colorful tile for the backsplash, Victor goes behind their back to choose a plain, white backsplash instead.
Not surprisingly, the result is terrible. With white cabinets and mostly white countertops, the backsplash blends into the kitchen and makes the space look boring and bland.
Since the backsplash is already done, El Moussa knows they don’t have the time to redo it, but he does have an idea to save the day. He recommends putting the tile he picked on the peninsula for a splash of color in the kitchen. Luckily, his idea works, giving the room the personality it needs.
Shared spaces can pose a problem with neighbors
El Moussa points out that one big issue with this house is the shared driveway. He points out that no one wants to share a driveway with their neighbor, and is determined to fix this problem before listing the house.
The solution he finds is rather genius: Create a back entrance to the garage so that the new owners can enter without bothering their neighbors. But the cherry on top is the new gate El Moussa installs for extra privacy.
It’s a perfect way to give the neighbors, and the new owners, some separation. El Moussa loves the finished product, and potential buyers who stop by during the open house love it, too.
“This is beautiful, this is really nice,” one potential buyer says when she walks outside.
Sometimes it makes sense to close up a window
While El Moussa admits that there are a lot of problems with this house, one of the biggest issues is the unsightly view into the neighbor’s yard. El Moussa can’t clean up the neighbor’s mess, but he can fix the home’s sightlines.
In the kitchen, El Moussa sees two problems: a terrible view from the window and a lack of storage space. He decides to attack both problems at once by closing up the neighbor-facing window and replacing it with a wall of cabinets.
It may sound risky to close up a window, but the kitchen already has another large window, and the house gets a good amount of light. El Moussa knows that the wall is better used as cabinet space.
Open concept doesn’t need to be 100% open
El Moussa knows that buyers love open-concept living these days, but he’s concerned about breaking down the kitchen wall. The kitchen is small, with limited storage, and he doesn’t want to take out the charming built-ins. So he tells Deanna and Victor to remove only part of the wall. This gives the living space a better flow and the dining space a little privacy and some storage for dinnerware.
In the end, the kitchen looks amazing. The built-ins look perfect, and the kitchen flows perfectly into the rest of the house.
Choose lighter floors
For the floor, El Moussa shows these flippers two samples of laminate. One is dark, which he warns can make a space feel smaller. The other sample is light, which will make the space seem brighter and larger.
The flippers end up installing the lighter flooring—and the results are incredible. The living space in this home may be small, but this new flooring lightens it up, making it look surprisingly spacious.
Was the ‘Flipping 101’ tutorial a success?
While this renovation may have had a rough start, El Moussa is able to help Victor and Deanna create an incredible home with impeccable style.
The couple had bought the house with a $510,000 loan, then spent $125,000 on the rehab. After $20,000 in closing costs and commission, plus $15,000 on interest, they have a break-even price of $670,000.
At first El Moussa isn’t sure if they can sell the house for over $700,000. But after renovating, they decide to list the home for $739,000. After just a few days on the market, Deanna and Victor get a full-price offer, meaning they get to enjoy a profit of about $63,000.
That’s not too bad for a first flip! It looks like El Moussa is a pretty good teacher.