Tarek El Moussa of “Flip or Flop” has worked on hoarder houses before, but none quite like the one he sees in the latest episode of his new show, “Flipping 101 with Tarek El Moussa.”
In the “Horrible Hoarder House” episode, El Moussa meets Allison and Armando, a married couple who are in way over their heads with their new flipping business. Their new investment home in Cypress, CA, is in terrible shape, filled with trash and and animal waste.
But to El Moussa, what’s even worse than the mess is the flipping duo’s determination to do all the renovation work on their own to save money.
As El Moussa fears, this DIY renovation soon falls behind schedule, and looks pretty amateur, too—all of which could cost these flippers dearly once they put this house up for sale.
Read on to find out if this couple can pull off the flip, and the renovation lessons that might apply to your own home, too.
Create a welcoming staircase
When Allison and Armando first buy the house, they find a staircase that’s both ugly and outdated. With ugly orange-green carpet and cheap white railings, this staircase clearly needs an update.
Armando and Allison end up choosing an ornate black railing that looks perfect with the simple handrail, clean white risers, and wood-tone steps. After renovation, this staircase looks modern and fresh.
Make the master bathroom a private oasis
When it comes to the bathroom, El Moussa, Allison, and Armando know they have a lot of work to do.
Armando and Allison do great work expanding the shower, choosing beautiful tile, and updating the vanity. But when Allison says she wants to add a second door to the master bath, El Moussa is skeptical.
While Allison says buyers might like the option of using that bathroom as a hall restroom, El Moussa is sure the extra door will scare buyers away. He says buyers will want a master bathroom that feels private.
In the end, El Moussa is proved right. When buyers stop in for the open house, some notice this weird setup.
“Neither of the bathrooms is private,” one buyer says. “There’s two master bedrooms, but yet it feels like you have none.”
Allison learns a valuable lesson from El Moussa: For a master bath to feel like a private retreat, it really has to be private.
Counters can make or break a kitchen’s style
Two-tone countertops have been on the rise, with one color on the kitchen perimeter and another complementary hue on the island.
However, when El Moussa stops by to check on their progress, he thinks that their two counter colors clash rather than complement each other. Allison explains that she doesn’t have the budget to redo them, which is a shame because this obvious issue might turn off buyers.
At least it’s a good lesson for these novice flippers to pay attention to detail. When it comes to a kitchen, buyers love to see homes that have an original style, but only when it looks polished.
Don’t go too crazy when it comes to tile color
With the kitchen counters already causing problems, El Moussa is surprised to learn that there’s another issue with the kitchen’s style.
The kitchen is on the smaller side, so El Moussa recommends installing a plain white backsplash to keep the space looking clean and bright. However, Allison wants to put up a dark blue tile that El Moussa insists is too bold.
Allison thinks white grout lines will soften the tile’s dark look, but once the blue backsplash is installed, the grout simply makes the backsplash look busy.
When the kitchen is finally finished, the blue tile looks better than expected. Still, it’s a lot of color for such a small space.
Go for a big patio in a big yard
One of this home’s biggest assets is the large backyard. And with a big backyard, El Moussa knows that buyers will expect an impressive patio.
However, since Armando and Allison are trying to save money, Armando does the back patio himself. While his patio is an impressive DIY project, it’s very small, much to El Moussa’s dismay.
While many home buyers would like a patio where they can entertain, the space isn’t big enough for a dining table or grill. It’s barely large enough for a few chairs.
“Wow, the backyard is big,” one potential buyer says at the open house. However, she points out that the patio is so small, “you couldn’t really do much.”
Still, El Moussa explains that while a big patio would be better in this large space, it’s better than nothing.
“The good thing is, you guys did just enough to where they see the vision,” he says.
A small patio is better than no patio at all.
Is the latest ‘Flipping 101’ tutorial a success?
After Armando and Allison purchase the four-bedroom house, sight unseen, for $560,000, they spend $85,000 in renovations. They also pay $21,000 in interest and $20,000 in closing costs. By the end, El Moussa calculates that they’ll need to get at least $686,000 to break even.
They list the house at $799,900 and luckily get an offer of $805,000 within days. If the sale goes through, they stand to make a profit of $119,000.
Clearly El Moussa’s tutorial is paying off!