According to Ooba, the worst house in the best area is the best one to flip. Picture: Needpix
According to Ooba, the worst house in the best area is the best one to flip. Picture: Needpix

WATCH: How to flip a home the Tarek El Moussa way

By Marchelle Abrahams Time of article published Aug 21, 2019

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When Tarek El Moussa started flipping homes in 213, he could never have predicted the success of his HGTV reality show "Flip or Flop". Now seven seasons later, he’s become the OG of house flippers.

After finding success as a real estate agent with ex-wife Christina El Moussa, the Californian then switched career goals. The couple bought distressed properties - foreclosures, short sales and bank-owned homes - remodelled them and sold them at a profit.

El Moussa recently made a guest appearance in Cape Town for the SA media launch of HGTV, and excitedly announced that "Flip or Flop" S8 would air in the US in August, with hopes of it also making an appearance on local screens at a later date. 

But what we see on TV doesn’t always translate to reality. He admitted that during the seven years that the show has been around, things haven’t always gone as planned. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs through the entire process, but it’s been one heck of a ride,” he said.

When asked to explain in a single sentence how he would sell a home, his advice was as cut and dry as they come: “Clean it up, paint it up, make it look as nice as possible. And price it right. It’s as simple as that.”

“Unless you want to gut the whole thing and demo it. That would be fun too,” he laughed before adding that he loves getting his hands dirty by helping out with the demo work. “It’s a lot of fun - great stress reliever!”

"Flip or Flop" was his first love, but El Moussa revealed that he’s also been working on a digital series with the network called "Tarek’s Flip Side", where he’ll continue working with Christina.

“My passion for real estate has led me to flip hundreds of homes over the years and I’ve been incredibly lucky as an entrepreneur to build a successful business,” he said in a press release. “Now I get to help first-time flippers learn the ropes, find the best property deals and show them how to make the most profit on their investment.”

The success of "Flip or Flop" and others like it bears testament to the fact that homeowners are no longer content with vegetating on their couches and watching home decor shows. No, they want a piece of the demo action.

Now it seems that celebrities have tasted the sweet success of flipping and are wading into unfamiliar territory. And on the flipside (excuse the pun), it makes for entertaining TV. 

US rapper Vanilla Ice even had a go at it with his 2010 series, "The Vanilla Ice Project". Surprisingly, the show went on to produce eight seasons for the DIY channel, and even won a number of television awards.

And Kourtney Kardashian’s ex and baby daddy Scott Disick recently premiered his E! series "Flip It Like Disick". In the show, Disick takes viewers inside his house flipping business, where he works with a colourful team of characters to buy and flip homes. 

During an interview with AOL, he explained his thinking behind starting his own reality TV series. "The truth is that there's so many people on the 'Keeping Up' show, and there's so much going on, that there's really not a lot of time to get every single little thing that everybody's doing," Disick told AOL.

Is it worth watching? Probably. Will it live up to the hype? Most definitely. For the series premiere, he’s enlisted dance DJ Steve Aoki to help remodel the too-large living space in his Las Vegas mansion. And judging by the number of celebrity friends Disick has, he’ll probably be calling in a few favours, ensuring a successful and entertaining series.

Advice for first-time flippers
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Step 1

Flipping houses can be immensely rewarding if you go about it sensibly, practically and with sound financial backing from a reputable bond originator.

Step 2

Develop a business plan so that you can apply sound financial practices to managing flipping houses. You want to make a profit, after all.

Step 3

Choose the location of your desired property wisely. The worst house in the best area is ideal.

Step 4

Select the team who is going to help you with the renovation.

Step 5

Get referrals, quotes and commitments of time and expertise.

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