The Over-The-Top Home Trend Tarek El Moussa Can't Stand

For over twenty years, house flipper Tarek El Moussa has seen the ups and downs of the real estate market. While the former "Flip or Flop" star's style is typically modern, yet functional, there's one outrageous home trend that he can't stand. In an interview with Realtor, El Moussa expressed, "The only trend I don't like is the builders building giant houses and [there are] no more backyards anymore."

Based in the Los Angeles area, many of these large, newly constructed homes that the property investor discovers may be leaving out the perks of outdoor leisure space. While backyards may vary in size and function, having an immense garden or pool with dining and/or seating areas are often an ideal place for social interaction among family and friends.

According to El Moussa, home builders are going over the top by eliminating these spacious, alfresco amenities. "They're taking up every square inch of the lot for the house, and there's no outdoor entertaining space anymore," he continued. The benefit of having a smaller yard for a homebuyer may present low maintenance costs. However, there may be higher house bills and more upkeep with an oversized home. Whether you have a large family or not, a restrained yard may be a home trend you dislike as much as Tarek El Moussa.

A home without a backyard is limiting

After several years as a house renovator, Tarek El Moussa knows exactly how important having a backyard with room to entertain can be. While a patio or terrace is nice to have, there may be opportunities lost from not having a spacious yard as well. Whether it's an intimate, fireside corner, a green lawn for playing sports, or a refreshing swimming pool, builders are limiting these types of spaces altogether, especially within El Moussa's neighborhood.

"Our favorite houses are in Hollywood Hills, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, more like the modern, big glass windows, modern yards — that's what we love and you don't really see that much in Orange County," El Moussa told Realtor. Establishing various social areas in the backyard is also an essential part of a home for "The Flipping El Moussas" host.

Ironically, his current Newport Beach home that he shares with his wife and co-host Heather El Moussa came equipped with a small, covered patio and no lawn. Despite the lack of spatial amenities, the couple has fashioned their quaint space into a posh patio with a linear fire pit and sleek black and gray furniture. Additionally, the El Moussas have installed a rooftop deck for more elevated entertainment, including a hot tub with an ocean view, which he shared on Instagram.

Why builders neglect to include the backyard

When developers opt to build supersized houses with limited backyards, this design approach goes beyond what Tarek El Moussa can take. But why is this home trend happening? Depending on lifestyle and need, some homebuyers may actually prefer little to no backyard at all, especially with land values rising. Additionally, a larger space may require more time and money for homeowners to spend on lawn and garden care. However, there can be more to clean and maintain within a huge house, including costly utility bills and replacement parts.

Known for turning boring, rundown backyard spaces into inviting outdoor areas on his roster of HGTV shows, Tarek El Moussa sees the backyard as a versatile playground of possibilities. On "Flip or Flop" season 6, episode 3 "Backyard Staycation," El Moussa and his now ex-wife Christina Hall transformed a vast, empty back lot in Riverside into an enthralling, party-worthy place. With new heights, the panorama included a pool, barbeque bar, fire pit, bocce ball court, and several seating areas.

While Tarek El Moussa may cringe at properties with tight outdoor accommodations, he knows there's always potential for more — whatever the size.