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chessiegal

Flip or Flop Follow Up

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I like the follow-ups too, especially when they get to go and see someone living in one of their flips. Notice in both cases we never saw the actual buyers at the "open house." If there's a drawback, it's that they're basically admitting the show lied about stuff, because the original episode about the house they bought the big, fancy front door for showed a much higher profit at the end that what it really turned out to be. 

 

I like all the unseen footage though, especially the bomb shelters that guy built. And it was pretty cool they found an identical house to compare their to - the other one still had carpeting all over and wasn't nearly as nice.

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After watching the "Follow up" show for the first time it reinforces my thought that they play very loosely with the truth on profit.

 

For me I'm going to take this show for something to watch ideas and the journey of the reno/flip and ignore the hype on these exaggerated profits.

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I've only caught one segment of a follow-up show so far, but I enjoyed seeing what the owner had done with the place since moving in.  Christina and Tarek do a great job targeting the mass market, but it's by nature repetitive (and generally not my style), so it gets boring to watch.  Seeing the house personalized was interesting. 

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Here's a topic for the follow-up show, which has started running episodes. I've moved some posts from the original show discussion thread into this one. If anyone has ideas for a catchy name, feel free to toss out suggestions!

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What always struck me about "Flip or Flop" is that there were no flops.

 

"Follow Up" pretty much tells us that what we saw in the regular series wasn't always the truth.   And apparently some of these properties had bigger problems than Sarek and Kristina ever let on (I know it's Tarek but it just occurred to me what a great show it would be if it really were Sarek and Christina).

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I know they have a Facebook page and I've read they got some real flack from their fans when they did that house that appeared to be "vandalized" after a big party, and everyone watching that episode call that out as fake. This may be an opportunity for them to open up a bit more about the realities of some of these past flips. Although I'd be shocked if they ended up revisiting that particular house and copping to the fake vandalism.

 

To be fair, I'm willing to believe that HGTV and/or the producers of this show have a say in the narrative and the timing of releasing these episodes so in some cases they may well have incomplete information by the time the show is ready to air. And I appreciate Tarek and Christina going back over some of those old episodes and filling in the blanks and updating what the actual profit was or wasn't. But I don't ever expect them to come right out and say "We lied about that" even if the network or producers are responsible for the fakery.

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I like this series. A lot more details on their flips rather than just the standard "surprises" and staging, etc. For one, I liked the fact that they revealed one of their flips was burdened by bad timing - the January blues. Although I don't understand though how they could enter a flip into December with the holidays and all, knowing that they're going to sell the house by January, the worst month to do big purchases. They've been agents before, so I'm sure they know when the market is hot or not.

 

I missed the first few minutes of the new episode - what was the deal with Gary?

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I know they have a Facebook page and I've read they got some real flack from their fans when they did that house that appeared to be "vandalized" after a big party, and everyone watching that episode call that out as fake. This may be an opportunity for them to open up a bit more about the realities of some of these past flips. Although I'd be shocked if they ended up revisiting that particular house and copping to the fake vandalism.

 

To be fair, I'm willing to believe that HGTV and/or the producers of this show have a say in the narrative and the timing of releasing these episodes so in some cases they may well have incomplete information by the time the show is ready to air. And I appreciate Tarek and Christina going back over some of those old episodes and filling in the blanks and updating what the actual profit was or wasn't. But I don't ever expect them to come right out and say "We lied about that" even if the network or producers are responsible for the fakery.

 

I always felt that the episode in which they allegedly found a squatter living inside the house (who springs up and runs away like the Gingerbread Boy, nearly out of view before they can get a camera on him even as Christina utters her trademark "Eek!") was also pure fiction.

 

One thing that really, really disturbs me is when they go into a house overrun with roaches (or mice).   The walls are teeming with them.   First they set off a bug bomb (like that's going to make a dent), then call in an exterminator.   After the commercial break we're told the exterminator killed the roaches and the flip can go forward.   They remodel, stage, have an open house and everybody lives happily ever after.   But ... aren't thousands of dead roaches stacked up behind the walls and under the floors?  Aren't their rotting bodies going to stay there forever?    How do the new owners see this on the show and live there knowing the Lost Colony of Roachanoke is entombed behind the freshly painted walls?   Or corpses of dead mice?   Eek indeed.

Edited by millennium
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I like this series. A lot more details on their flips rather than just the standard "surprises" and staging, etc. For one, I liked the fact that they revealed one of their flips was burdened by bad timing - the January blues. Although I don't understand though how they could enter a flip into December with the holidays and all, knowing that they're going to sell the house by January, the worst month to do big purchases. They've been agents before, so I'm sure they know when the market is hot or not.

 

I missed the first few minutes of the new episode - what was the deal with Gary?

 

Once they bought the house, they found it needed all new plumbing, something Tarek said Gary should have disclosed if Gary knew it. He asked him to at least split the cost, and Gary blew him off, saying it wasn't his problem. Tarek said, well this means we won't be doing business with you anymore.

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Once they bought the house, they found it needed all new plumbing, something Tarek said Gary should have disclosed if Gary knew it. He asked him to at least split the cost, and Gary blew him off, saying it wasn't his problem. Tarek said, well this means we won't be doing business with you anymore.

Thanks. Is Gary the seller/agent of the home, or a partner like Pete de Best?

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Gary is another flipper. He started the flip, but decided he needed to get rid of it because he needed the money, so he sold it to Tarek and Christina.

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What I want to know is how that one house that they only made $4400 on had $83,000 in closing costs!?!  Usually on their highest projects they're only around $30,000 or so.  Did they get hit with a massive lien they didn't want to talk about on camera?  Did they end up paying a down payment for someone?  That was just so bizarre.

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This latest "follow up" was an eye opener. The early footage of Tarek and Christina when she was still pregnant with Taylor must have been some kind of un-aired pilot or audition. They were living in his mother's garage? Wow. I can only guess their path to financial security included trying to make a TV show out of flipping to coincide with the actual flipping itself. 

 

I hate to say it but sometimes this show makes Tarek and Christina seem . . . not too bright. If they are former agents themselves how could they not realize comps would come down at the end of January? The show made it seem like something that hadn't occurred to them. And if their real estate careers tanked so badly they had to move into Tarek's mother's garage, maybe they were never very good at it to begin with. Odd how they lost everything as realtors and yet their flipping business is also dependent on them being able to sell houses.

 

It occurs to me that they really aren't making a whole hell of a lot of money flipping. It seems that way on the surface because every episode tells us they will make a profit of anywhere between $35 and $65K on average. But with the losses that no doubt accompany those profits, and taking into account the number of flips they have going at any given time and how many houses they can sell in a year, at most they're probably making about $200 - $250K pre-tax. Not chump change but in Southern California not a gold mine either. I wonder how much the show itself supplements their income and/or business.

 

One thing I wonder about is Tarek's father. He doesn't seem to be in the picture; we've met his mother and sister, and when they borrowed money from his mother it was just her, not his parents. Have they ever said if he's passed away? Or are his parents divorced and his father maybe isn't a big part of his life.

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The flips themselves never seem to demonstrate any special skill on the part of Tarek or Christina.   I never watch and think "Oh, that was really shrewd."

 

They try to make us think they possess mad skills.  For example, Tarek said something in the most recept ep I saw, like "Christina really rocked the auction and got us the house for $210,000."  Really rocked the auction?  An auction is an auction.   There's no talent needed to win, you just have to have the most money or a willingness to buy what others may consider too great a risk.

 

More often than not, the houses they buy have hidden liabilities, such as additions built without permits, sinking foundations, liens, etc.   Tarek and Christina rarely brainstorm the solutions to these problems, they merely follow the advice of contractors, sometimes opting to spend a little extra.   The rest is formula.   To be honest, Christina seems to be the one who brings the most to the party, and her role is little more than picking out whatever tile, granite or travertine strikes her fancy.   As designers they seem to have about four colors on their palette and that's it.    God forbid they should ever stray from browns, grays, blacks or whites.

 

I have always thought that Christina is the raison d'etre for this show.   Tarek comes off as kind of a doof.  His voiceovers always sound like he's reading a script.   Christina too, to a lesser extent.   But she's a pretty blonde and that buys you a lot of latitude in TV land.

Edited by millennium
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I'm sure their making extra coin with the show & followups. I guess they got out of the garage with the flipping of house coinciding with the landing of the show, too. That said, if the show got cancelled where would they be?

Once again, the staging does alot for the show. When the homeowners move in & put the practical furniture in the house it doesn't look as glamorous.

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They must be doing pretty well since they posted on their Facebook page that they are expanding into Atlanta and are looking for contractors.

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Atlanta? That seems awfully random for a couple who are headquartered in Southern California. Are they going to fly back and forth between LA and Atlanta every month?

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Atlanta? That seems awfully random for a couple who are headquartered in Southern California. Are they going to fly back and forth between LA and Atlanta every month?

 

They said that they do flips in other states, just not for the show.

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I don't understand how they can do flips in other states unless they take a decidedly hands-off approach to the remodel and just hire some crew they trust. This show makes it look like they are on-site during these flips every single day, making every decision about every little detail. I realize that's probably not true, but I'd hate to think it's fake to the extent that they don't even go look at the house, they just hire people to do all the work and sit back and collect the money.

 

I didn't feel like we gleaned anything new from this last "Follow-up" episode. I remember the house with the old-fashioned spindles, and there was an argument about whether or not the water heater could stay in the kitchen, nothing about the washer and dryer. Makes you wonder how they decide what makes it into the show and what doesn't.

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I don't know if that investor guy (Pete?) is a really bad actor or just uncomfortable in front of a camera, but everything he says sounds like he's reading from a cue card. Particularly funny when he's trying to be "angry."

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A lot of shows are now in Atlanta; in the closing credits you'll see a Georgia peach alongside of, or in place of, Ontario.
 

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Now that they're pulling back the curtain a little on how this all works, it's sort of killing their premise and showing how arbitrary it sometimes is whether they consider a flip a success or a flop. The first house they re-visited (the bug-infested one), they eventually made a profit of over $36K, but since it sat on the market for two months they labeled that one a flop. Yet the next house netted them a profit of only five thousand more than that and they called it a success. 

 

Also, now we see they have an entire staff in an office somewhere doing all this work for them, including someone whose job it is to find flips for them. So any future episodes where they go "Oh look, we found this listing online" is going to be fake and we know it. Maybe now they can change the format and show us how this really works.

 

Also, while I enjoy seeing them revisit houses with people living there now, every time they've done it they've shown the home-owners "before" pictures and they all act shocked like they can't believe how it used to look. Didn't they see the show?? Surely when they bought the house they knew it had been featured on TV. If I knew a house I bought had been on a TV show I would have looked it up online.

 

And this house was from this most recent season yet they said the home owners had been there a year. Yet when they showed that episode (the one where nobody showed up for the open house) they left us hanging not knowing whether it sold but it turns out it sold within a week. So why didn't they tell us that if that was a whole year ago?

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Who cares if the homeowners look surprised by the before pictures. It's all about re-creating the scene because none of us were there when they first saw it.

 

Let's face it, ALL of these house/flip shows are re-creations for the viewers. And I couldn't care less if they have a staff of 100 looking for their next flip. I just want to see my house porn, and I'll take it any way I can get it.

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Let's face it, ALL of these house/flip shows are re-creations for the viewers. And I couldn't care less if they have a staff of 100 looking for their next flip. I just want to see my house porn, and I'll take it any way I can get it.

I loved the unseen footage with the house infested with roaches. Sure, some of the "unseen footage" is staged, but you can't fake bugs crawling around. And even if it wasn't their first time seeing it, I loved Tarek and Christina's reactions--the screaming and the bleeped exclamations. I was horrified but couldn't turn away.

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Yes, I wish they could have gone back and visited the people who bought the roach-infested house, and see if the roaches came back. Or the house people kept breaking into. I wonder if they still have break-in problems.

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Is Cristina pregnant during the Follow-up episodes? She looks fuller. I remember reading somewhere she's pregnant (or maybe have given birth already). 

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I hate when any of these flippers take on a mid-century modern, because I love them as they were built.
Do what you will with Victorians or craftsmen, but leave mid-century, and colonials, alone.

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I like this show but the episode where they butchered the mid-century home made me cringe all the way through.  I have an emotional affinity and attachment to everything mid-century and really only want people touching these homes who know what they are doing and who show respect for the way these homes were designed and built.

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They still haven't explained why they painted the doors & the wood in that Mid Century Modern house.

 

They explained that in the full episode. After they decided on the concrete flooring (which was mistake #1 IMO), they discovered that the flooring did not match the original beechwood paneling and doors at all. That's why they stained them a light gray color so they would match better. So essentially they lost what little character they were trying to preserve.

 

I got a kick out of seeing how that guy furnished the flip they revisited. That was like something out of a 60s Mod Party. You'd never see one of the open houses staged like that! I'm not sure how sincere Christine was being about the pink over-the-cabinet lighting either. (Although the guy said they could change colors but I'm guessing the other colors are probably pretty mod too.)

 

That pad was groovy, baby!

Edited by iMonrey
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What about their conflicts with their second investor (Pete?)? In the episode I recently watched (either "Cash Crunch" or "Risky Flips"), Christina and Tarek showed portions of the episode when they first brought the investor on board and when he tried to take over the remodel. Which is understandable because "all of a sudden" the rehab costs were way higher than predicted, and Tarek called to ask him for more money. 

 

All I can say is that Christina and Tarek know how to eat some humble pie. And even though they stage the conversations we hear with "Pete" or with Christina's parents or Tarek's mom, the two of them really had to break down and ask them for money at some point, which couldn't have been easy. But I suppose that after losing everything and being forced to move into your in-laws' garage with your young daughter because you have no place else to go, they'd already hit financial rock bottom (or got very close to it), so they probably give zero fucks at this point about asking for help. 

 

But now that I think about it, are they really so cash strapped? Between their real estate business and whatever cash they get from doing the show, and a relatively modest home, they seem to be living within (or slightly below) their means.  They have no cash savings put aside just for flips? Or why can't they just say no to a flip if they can't afford to pay cash for it?

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So new episodes airing now. Unfortunately, the gimmick of this show has worn thin, and that's too bad. I still like Tarek and Christina, and the flips are interesting, but the formula is tiresome:

 

"Oh, no - what did we buy????" 

 

"Uh-oh, there are unexpected costs! We're going to have to up the budget!"

 

"This is turning out to be a disaster!"

 

"We made a profit of over $55K!"

 

You know, they did themselves no favors by airing those "follow-up" episodes which not only confirmed a lot of the fakery that goes on in these episodes but also fleshed out their behind-the-scenes business with full-time employees that actually do the searching for them. No doubt they already know exactly what they're getting into every time they purchase a property, what the profit margin will be, and how much to set aside for hidden costs. Why do they still need to put on the pretense of being so green they are constantly surprised at the condition of properties they buy? It just makes them look stupid! They treat every episode like this is the first time they've ever flipped a house and it doesn't work after three seasons.

 

These guys are pros running a successful business. I don't see why they can't just show us exactly how it really goes down. It would still be interesting even if their involvement in the actual day to day work is minimal. They're hosts and they own the business - that's enough.

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So new episodes airing now. Unfortunately, the gimmick of this show has worn thin, and that's too bad. I still like Tarek and Christina, and the flips are interesting, but the formula is tiresome:

"Oh, no - what did we buy????"

"Uh-oh, there are unexpected costs! We're going to have to up the budget!"

"This is turning out to be a disaster!"

"We made a profit of over $55K!"

You know, they did themselves no favors by airing those "follow-up" episodes which not only confirmed a lot of the fakery that goes on in these episodes but also fleshed out their behind-the-scenes business with full-time employees that actually do the searching for them. No doubt they already know exactly what they're getting into every time they purchase a property, what the profit margin will be, and how much to set aside for hidden costs. Why do they still need to put on the pretense of being so green they are constantly surprised at the condition of properties they buy? It just makes them look stupid! They treat every episode like this is the first time they've ever flipped a house and it doesn't work after three seasons.

These guys are pros running a successful business. I don't see why they can't just show us exactly how it really goes down. It would still be interesting even if their involvement in the actual day to day work is minimal. They're hosts and they own the business - that's enough.

Season 4 was actually filmed before the follow up episodes, so that's the biggest reason why the formula hasn't changed at all. I think they're actually filming Season 5 currently, so it'll be interesting to see if anything changes in the format.

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The more I watch this show the more I find it insulting on how they do business. This flip business would only work in CA with cheap ass labor and inflated housing prices.

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On ‎7‎/‎8‎/‎2016 at 0:28 PM, CaptainCranky said:

The more I watch this show the more I find it insulting on how they do business. This flip business would only work in CA with cheap ass labor and inflated housing prices.

All these flip shows are like that.  The only way to make a consistent profit is in a market where demand far exceeds supply and housing prices are ridiculously high.  Where I live, it is virtually unheard of for there to be a bidding war on a house or for anyone to pay over list price.  Just doesn't happen; if you don't get one house, another will be available in a similar location and price point soon enough.  And, even in areas where home sales are steady, having a house on the market for more than 2 weeks is hardly the huge failure that Tarek and Christina paint it as.  Most of the houses they sell couldn't get half the price they ask in most of the rest of the country.

For that matter, most homeowners here in the Midwest know that you should only renovate if you yourself are going to get your money's worth out of the remodel because it is never going to be a 1:1 or higher profit at resale.  Anyone who flips houses around here does it for rundown properties in low to midpriced areas where the only way to make a buck is to go for cheap cosmetic upgrades and ignore any major fixes.

An elderly relative died, leaving behind a home which, in addition to needing an update in décor, had major issues such as a crumbling foundation and old wiring and plumbing.  It was bought by a flipper and on the market within 2 months. We went to the open house; cheap new carpet and tile (ripping out some really cool old art deco ceramic tile that could have been repaired),  simple paint job, and builder's grade kitchen and bathroom cabinets (ie cheapest ones available).  Nothing done to the foundation and most of the original wiring and plumbing still there.  They sold it in about a month and made less than 20 grand on it.  Had they done the basic upgrades to the 'bones' of the house or restored some of the beautiful original finishes, they would've

lost money because there is no way they could've gotten the investment back in that particular neighborhood.  That's why flipping only makes sense in California and areas where homes are overpriced.

Edited by doodlebug
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