Tarek El Moussa and his ex-wife Christina Hall turned their financial struggles into a hugely successful real estate TV empire. But El Moussa admitted he had zero experience flipping houses before he pitched Flip or Flop to HGTV. Here’s what El Moussa said about faking it until he made it and the key to his success.
Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall | Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images
Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall started flipping houses because they were struggling financially
Christina Hall and Tarek El Moussa were in financial trouble before starting their HGTV show Flip or Flop. The former couple used to share a successful real estate business until the Great Recession hit in 2008. The economic crisis forced them to move from a $6,000-a-month home into a $700-a-month apartment (per Redbook).
Hall and El Moussa realized they had to make a drastic change, so they decided to start flipping houses. “I clearly remember my first house flip: It was May of 2010, when Christina was five months pregnant,” El Moussa told Realtor.com. “Located in Santa Ana, the house was up for auction. We bought it for $115,000, poured $15,000 into renovations, and sold it for $169,000. We made a profit of $34,000, which felt like $34 million back then!”
He said that first house meant so much more than the profit he and his then-wife made. “But this first flip ended up paying off in a far more surprising way: It landed us on reality TV.”
Tarek El Moussa revealed he pitched ‘Flip or Flop’ to HGTV before he and Christina Hall had ever flipped a house
Christina Hall and Tarek El Moussa had zero house-flipping experience before pitching their renovation show to television networks. “There was no casting. TV didn’t find me, I found TV,” El Moussa revealed on an episode of the Endless Hustle podcast. “I forced it down their throats.”
El Moussa said that in 2010, he and Hall attended a real estate convention where they met a man from a local TV show. The man said the exposure helped him make money because people recognized him and wanted to work with him.
El Moussa said he had just bought the first house he was preparing to flip. “So I was like, ‘What if we flip houses on TV?’” The HGTV star started Googling LA production companies and sending them emails with pictures and bios, claiming that he and his wife were house flippers.
“I actually pitched the show before I ever flipped a house. So I did it kind of backwards,” he admitted. “A year later, we finally got picked up for a pilot, which was a huge deal,” …….