Tarek El Moussa has helped a lot of novice house flippers get their homes on the market in his new show, “Flipping 101 with Tarek El Moussa.” But he’s never worked with a team as inexperienced, or unprepared, as his latest flippers.

On the latest episode, “Failing to Plan,” Lidia and Fernando buy a fixer-upper in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, even though they have no experience flipping. Their plan, to El Moussa’s chagrin, is to simply watch how-to videos on YouTube and do the renovation themselves. That’s a massive mistake.

With lots of expensive problems and Fernando and Lidia’s tendency to cut corners, it’s not clear if this duo will make a profit, or if they’ll even get the house sold. Read on to learn what money-saving advice El Moussa gives this couple that might help the rest of us, too.

Make over a fireplace with tile

This fireplace needed some work.

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When El Moussa first sees the house, he says that Lidia and Fernando definitely overpaid for it.  However, he thinks the home has good bones; he likes the large living room and is happy to see a small fireplace in the corner.

The fireplace needs some work, so Fernando and Lidia cover it in a fun gray and white tile to make it pop.

With stylish tile, this fireplace looks stunning.
With stylish tile, this fireplace looks stunning.

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The patterned tile ends up being a great choice for this mini fireplace. It adds some extra style to the living room without overwhelming the space.

Open up the space as much as possible

Unfortunately, this awkward wall closes off the living space.
Unfortunately, this awkward wall closes off the living space.

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Lidia and Fernando make one big mistake early on when they leave a partial wall in the middle of the living area, which doesn’t work in the house. El Moussa would have advised the couple to simply leave a structural post, if needed.

This wall comes back to haunt them at the open house, when potential buyers disapprove of this bulky feature and the way that it ruins an otherwise beautiful open-concept living room.

Save on painting costs with colored stucco

El Moussa warns Fernando and Lidia that they may be in the red when it comes time to sell this house. Not only did they pay too much for the property, but they waste money with rookie mistakes, like hiring an unpermitted demolition guy who disappears with their cash.

El Moussa helps the duo to save money by advising them against painting the house. He knows that the exterior will need new stucco, so he tells them that using colored stucco will make the house look like it was freshly painted. Not only will it save them the time it takes to paint a house, but it will save them money.

In the end, the home’s new stucco looks great. The exterior looks fresh and clean—and it doesn’t cost too much.

Spend the money on a good lawn

This yard was a mess!
This yard was a mess!

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A great backyard can sell a house, so it’s unfortunate that Fernando and Lidia want to cut corners when it comes to the lawn.

When they buy the house, the front and back yards are a mess of dead grass, and while they significantly improve the outdoor space by cleaning it up and putting in some new grass, they leave a lot of dirt patches.

While this yard may look much better, there's still some unsightly dirt patches.
While this yard may look much better, there’s still some unsightly dirt patches.

HGTV

Potential buyers aren’t impressed by the not-so-grassy lawn, which means this shortcut could cost Lidia and Fernando in the end.

A great bathroom design makes a big difference

This bathroom needed a lot of work.
This bathroom needed a lot of work.

HGTV

While the couple may have made a few costly mistakes in this house, they end up doing one thing right: the bathroom. They end up giving the bathroom a beautiful, spa look with soft purple subway tile in the shower and elegant tile for the floor and countertop.

The bathroom comes a long way over the course of the renovation, and the new look goes over well with potential buyers.

With a little bit of TLC, this bathroom is now stunning!
With a little bit of TLC, this bathroom is now stunning!

HGTV

“I wouldn’t change anything, I love it,” says one buyer, adding that the tile is “perfect.”

Was this ‘Flipping 101’ tutorial a success?

It’s clear from the beginning that Lidia and Fernando are unprepared for this flip, but is El Moussa able to step in and save their investment?

Maybe, maybe not.

The couple decide to list the house at $539,900 even though El Moussa recommends putting it on the market at $524,900. Surprisingly, Fernando and Lidia end up getting an offer for a stunning price of $570,000, but the sale falls through.

Undeterred, this flipping duo put the house back on the market for $550,000.

If everything works out, these rookie flippers could end up making a good chunk of money on their first project. And if nothing else, they definitely learned some valuable lessons from El Moussa during their first flipping journey.

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