“Flip or Flop” isn’t the only show where Christina El Moussa will now strut her stuff. After months of speculation, the word is finally out that she’ll be doing her own solo series, “Christina on the Coast.”
This new eight-episode spinoff, which will showcase El Moussa as she expands her design business throughout Southern California, is set to premiere early next year. Is this her first step toward quitting “Flip or Flop?” It’s possible, especially since it must be hard to work side by side with her ex-husband, Tarek.
Or perhaps she wants to leave behind house flipping and focus on home decor—which makes all the more sense once you see the latest “Flip or Flop,” which shows just how gory flipping can be. In the episode titled “Pigeonhole Flip,” they face quite a debacle together. As they enter a home in Santa Ana, CA, that they’re considering buying, they see that, thanks to holes in the screen doors, pigeons have overrun the place—and not only are the birds flying around, they’re also defecating.
“This place smells like a thousand rotting skunks. There’s pigeons everywhere! I can’t even think straight,” Christina complains. “This is the worst smell I’ve ever smelled in my entire life!”
As she and Tarek struggle to get the three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,527-square-foot house into selling shape, with a $60,000 budget, they teach us plenty of useful tips we can apply to our own abodes. Watch and learn!
The sellers are asking $450,000 for the house, but Tarek wants to go in at $420,000, and Christina agrees.
“That gives us room for negotiation,” she explains.
They’re not worried about offending the owner with a lowball offer, or losing it to another buyer—after all, this property has been on the market for a while.
After some back and forth, they get the home for $435,000 and everyone is happy. Except, perhaps, the contractor, Jeff Lawrence, who has to arrange to clean the place and remove that horrible odor.
A small bathroom needs just one door
Oddly enough, both bathrooms are small, and both have two doors. The master bath has a door to the master bedroom and to the kitchen! Perhaps the previous owners had an impaired sense of smell. In any case, Christina says, “by closing off the bathroom door that goes to the kitchen, we’ll gain a lot of extra floor space.” So much so, in fact, that they’re able to put in nice-sized showers instead of the cramped, phone booth–sized ones that had been there.
A darker countertop adds interest
There’s only so much you can do in a very small bathroom, so although she keeps the rest of this room a creamy white, Christina puts a dark beige tile band around the wall at eye level, and installs a matching countertop on the single sink. This adds a bit of diversion and interest.
Define space with a hanging lamp
As usual, Christina and Tarek have torn down walls to give the home an open floor plan, and Christina brings in a large, square-shaped lamp to hang over the dining table. It helps define the dining space, making the large area feel cozy.
Change the roofline
The home has an unusual storybook facade, with scalloped trim everywhere, and one window with a gabled peak starts above the roofline and slopes almost to the ground—”like an arrow,” says Tarek. These are the first things to go, but then Christina observes that the long roofline makes the house look small and cramped. So she has the workers reduce the size of the overhang. Voila! The house has now gone from storybook to modern.
Add some frosting on the front
Without that dominating roof, the house looks a little blah, so Tarek comes to the design rescue this time. He decks out the porch with a custom pony wall (which goes only halfway up) of frosted plexiglass, and a wooden frame painted to match the trim of the house. They add much-needed style to the facade.
Is it a flip or flop?
That new roofline and a few other unexpected expenses put them $10,000 over their $60,000 reno budget. With closing costs and staging expenses, they figure they’re going to have to get $530,000 for the home just to break even. Comps are around $550,000, but since this house is just like new, Tarek wants to swing for the fences and list it at $599,000. Christina agrees.
The open house is a hit, especially the open floor plan and the light, bright color palette. They end up selling the house for $600,000. The house now smells like success!