What a crazy year it’s been for soon-to-be-divorced house flippers Tarek and Christina El Moussa: Between all the fighting and infidelities, it’s a miracle they didn’t cry, shout, or pout a whole lot more on camera (although we heard plenty of that was happening behind the scenes). But at long last, they’ve made it to the finish line. The “Flip or Flop” finale is upon us, and with no word on whether HGTV will continue the series, this might be the last time we see them on air together. Ever!
Although it must be an utter relief to Tarek and Christina that they don’t have to fake-smile at each other all day, we have to admit that for all their foibles, this house-flipping duo is riveting to watch. So, we clung to every last shot of this particular show, ironically titled “Beaming With Potential,” which kicks off with a doozy plot twist:
Tarek gets caught in a lie.
Here’s how it goes down: Tarek walks into a nail salon where Christina and their daughter, Taylor, are getting mani-pedis. All is fine until his daughter invites him to get a pedicure, too. Tarek feigns being freaked out.
“This is more stressful than flipping houses!” he says as he gingerly sits down and puts his feet in the water. That’s when he gets caught.
“You want the same thing you had last time?” asks the nail technician as she begins to scrub his feet.
While Christina and Taylor gleefully crack up, knowing full well Daddy’s been busted, Tarek sputters, “No, there is no last time. … This is the first time!”
Yeah right, Tarek.
Once their tootsies have been buffed and polished to perfection, Tarek and Christina turn to business—and, as always, teach us tons about house flipping in the process. Behold these final few lessons from the finale of “Flip or Flop.” Godspeed, El Moussas!
Lesson No. 1: Even the homeliest homes can be flipped
Tarek wants to buy a four-bedroom ranch in Cypress, CA, for $425,000. At first Christina isn’t into it, describing the place as “the worst I’ve ever seen.”
We have to agree with her. You can almost smell the stench through the smart TV when Christina wrinkles her perfectly pert nose and cries, “Honestly, it smells like 5,000-year-old milk!”
She further exclaims, “There’s spiderwebs, there’s fur, there’s poo! I don’t even know what happened in there. This is a disaster!”
Still, they decide to take it on, so clearly they see something beyond this ugly exterior.
Lesson No. 2: Never mess with the structural integrity of a house
At first, this flipping team is encouraged by the presence of a “pony wall,” or half-wall, separating the kitchen from the family room, and it seems like it would be easy to open up the room by simply knocking through. Then the contractor notices that the ceiling above the pony wall is sagging. Further investigations reveal that the previous owners had removed a load-bearing stud, which means the ceiling could collapse at any time.
At this point, they have two options: Build a pillar in the middle of the room, or run a support beam across the ceiling. Christina persuades Tarek to do the latter. Sure, it costs them thousands of dollars they hadn’t planned on spending, but it beats getting buried in rubble.
Lesson No. 3: There’s always a way to create more space
The house is only 1,200 square feet, so there’s not much room for expansion. But hey, where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? This time, Christina and Tarek find a way to augment the cabinet space by closing off two unnecessary doors—one to the master bedroom, and one to the backyard. After all, both the backyard and master bed have other ways to get in and out, so why have two avenues when one will suffice?
Lesson No 4: Pests are gross. Period.
One of the bedrooms is paneled—and, once the panels are torn off, reveals something that makes Christina scream, “It looks like a horror movie! That is so disgusting! What is it?”
“It’s a whole termite colony,” explains the contractor. Yep, termites have created a “city” behind the paneling that looks like a flesh-eating virus has invaded the drywall. Thankfully, though, further digging reveals that these pests haven’t eaten all the way down to the studs. That’s their one stroke of luck in a whole hot mess of bad, from calling in an exterminator to overhauling the drywall.
How’d it go?
In the end, since comps in the neighborhood hover around $600,000 and Tarek and Christina have already spent $560,000, they decide to list the house for $629,900. But after a few weeks on the market with no offers, they lower the price to $619,000 and get an offer. After adding closing costs, they make just over $60,000 on the deal.
So Tarek and Christina finish “Flip or Flop” on a victorious note, at least from a business standpoint. Still, though, we can’t help but wonder what lies ahead for this couple. Will we ever see them again?
Although the future is uncertain, rumor has it that Christina is lobbying for her own spinoff. Meanwhile, HGTV has announced it’s developing new versions of “Flip or Flop” in Las Vegas; Atlanta; Fort Worth, TX; Nashville; and Chicago. The Las Vegas version will premier April 7. Rest assured, we will be assessing how these new shows compare with the original.
Still, we have to say it will be hard to replace Tarek and Christina El Moussa. We miss them already.