The Shocking Reason Why Tarek and Christina El Moussa’s House Just Sold for a $500,000 Loss
It’s highly ironic that the hosts of a show called Flip or Flop ended up with such a massive flop on their hands.
The show portrays the couple turning decrepit properties into enviable homes and making a hefty profit in the process. It seems like everything Tarek and Christina touch turns to gold — even during episodes with unexpected issues, the pair always managed to make money on their property flips.
Tarek and Christina’s personal life is a different story. Their divorce was finalized in January 2018, and after living in their dream home solo for a few months, Christina opted to list it and move her family elsewhere. Here’s why they ultimately took a $500,000 hit on the property.
Their house didn’t have time to appreciate
One of the best ways to gain major equity in your home is to wait a while before turning around and selling it. Tarek and Christina purchased their five-bedroom, 8.5-bath Mediterranean mansion in Yorba Linda in 2013, so it hasn’t had much time to appreciate.
Next: They sold for a huge loss.
The list price was high, but not enough to recoup what they spent
Property records show that the El Moussas purchased the property for $2 million and then dumped $1.5 million on renovations, bringing their total spend to $3.5 million. Even though the property sold in a quick two weeks, it only fetched $2,995,000 — a loss of about $500,000.
Next: This was where they overspent — by a lot.
The couple spent too much on renovations
Not only did the couple sink $1.5 million on renovations — they did some of it twice.
As Tarek told People, “We thought it would take about six months to finish our house, and it actually took two years. We actually kind of remodeled our home twice. The first remodel was about 25% in, and it was a totally different look—it was more browns, beige, more of a rustic look.”
But then as the renovations got going, Christina realized she didn’t like it.
“As it started I was, like, ‘I just love gray, black, and white, and I really want to move forward with that look.’ So we just ended up clearing everything out and starting fresh,” she explained.
Next: This is the reason they spent so much renovating.
The El Moussas never intended to move
There’s a difference between flipping a house to make a profit and renovating a home you plan to stay in forever. Tarek and Christina thought they’d stay in their home indefinitely, which is why they were willing to spend so much cash on the renovation and redo part of it in the middle. That’s also why the property ended up selling for so much less than they spent on it.
Next: They broke their own renovation rules.
It has extremely personalized elements
It’s obvious that the El Moussas didn’t plan to sell. Instead of doing renovations that would appeal to a broad audience, they incorporated personalized elements such as removing two bedrooms to create a massive gym. Those kinds of changes don’t appeal to all buyers and are part of what ended up costing them.
Next: The house was too new for so much new stuff.
The house was over-renovated
Spending $1.5 million on a renovation is excessive, especially since the home was just built in 2004 and probably didn’t need that much work. According to California real estate developer Tyler Drew, the house is “gaudy, over-renovated, and backing up next to a hill that catches on fire every five years. It’s also a cool million dollars overpriced for comparable properties. This is a flop, hands down.”
Next: Did the renovation lead to their divorce?
The renovation may have hurt their marriage
Renovating can put a huge amount of stress on a relationship. While it’s not guaranteed that the huge renovation caused Tarek and Christina to break up, the added tension certainly didn’t help soothe any of their existing problems.
“Often couples will approach me stating they want to do a major renovation. My first question is not where or how much, but how is your marriage?” Bruce Ailion, a real estate agent and attorney in Atlanta told Realtor.com.
Next: They’ll never make this mistake again.
They learned an important lesson
Even though Tarek and Christina are divorced now, they’ll continue making Flip or Flop episodes for the foreseeable future. This loss will hopefully serve as an important lesson for future projects.
In order to keep making profits, Tarek and Christina will need to keep their emotions out of renovations and try not to over-improve any of their flip properties. Rather than opting for impractical finishes or excessive details, appealing to the broadest audience possible is the best way for them to avoid future flops.
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