The Most Dramatic Flip Or Flop Makeovers Of All Time

Arguably one of the most-watched shows in HGTV history, "Flip or Flop" just ended after a remarkable 10-season run. Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack captured audiences across the country on Thursday nights, flipping properties ranging from mansions to condemned houses, as per Curbed. They took molded, foundation-cracking, trash-filled diamonds in the rough and often walked away with a sizeable profit. We watched as they battled over who's design prowess (usually Haack's) would win in the kitchen and bathroom, and took in their constant appreciation for utilizing the color gray for cabinets and exterior paint. 

We also saw them navigate their personal life's ups and downs, including their heated divorce, starting new relationships, and figuring out how to work together as exes in the public eye. The show's popularity even paved the way for spin-offs, creating versions in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Nashville (via Us Weekly). As we say goodbye to this weeknight home improvement staple, let's look back at some of their most dramatic and memorable flips.

Their first house flip

"Flip or Flop" debuted on May 16, 2013, with the episode, "The Foreclosure Heebie-Jeebies." It featured El Moussa and Haack purchasing a four-bed, two-bath home in La Mirada, California, at auction for $275,000. Once inside, the home ended up being in much worse shape than originally thought. They were hit with unpermitted additions in the main bedroom and living area, faulty electrical, and foundation issues causing uneven flooring. Much of the early work on the house was undoing all of the unpermitted spaces, making the house smaller than when they originally bought it. According to Ownerly, unpermitted work is updates, construction, or remodeling that skipped over the permit process. When an inspector finds such work, the changes need to be reverted.

As the renovations drove on, concerns settled in about how the small bedrooms and closets would impact their sale price. Upon completion, the home totaled 1,125 square feet. After a month on the market, the house received multiple offers, which drove the sale price up from $349,999 to $368,500. After subtracting renovation and closing costs, the profit was $58,000.

Their biggest profit margin

As the show progressed, El Moussa and Haack began venturing into some of the highest dollar areas in California, giving them the potential to make high dollar profits. One of their largest profits on record was the "Million-Dollar Cookie Cutter" episode. This was a three-bed, two-bath, 2,100 square-foot home in Newport Beach, California, and they paid an eye-watering $900,000 for the house. 

With an initial renovation budget of $100,000, this was going to be an extensive remodel, so keeping the costs in check was critical to ensure they wouldn't lose money in the end. El Moussa handled this flip with the help of an interior designer friend and pulled out all the stops to help the house stand out. He well exceeded the original renovation budget, landing at $1,349,000. At the end of the show, the house had not sold. It stayed on the market until 2020 and, according to Redfin, sold for $1,909,267.

The biggest structural nightmare

In the episode "Take It or Leave It," El Moussa and Haack tackled a four-bed, two-bath 2,200 square foot home in Costa Mesa, California. During the initial walkthrough, significant cracks and dips were seen throughout the home. They purchased the house for $740,000, giving them some cushion to figure out the foundation scope. However, that safety net was immediately blown through once they received a foundation estimate of $92,000. 

Once renovations got underway, they tore down walls and removed dead space to enlarge the main bathroom and create an open floor plan. The home ended up with a midcentury modern feel, including grays and muted tones, clean lines, and a unique kitchen backsplash that extended all the way up. They added an indoor/outdoor feel by utilizing bifold doors and creating a fire pit area perfect for entertaining. They listed it for an optimistic $1,699,000 when HGTV aired the episode, but it had not sold. 

Their biggest flop

Although it's difficult to know exactly how many flops this duo has experienced (many episodes end with their houses still being on the market at the time of air), "Big Lot Little Flip" checks the box as a bonafide flop. The property was a two-bed, one-bath home in Buena Park, California. They were pleasantly greeted with trash and a disaster zone of a yard. Despite the landfill in front of them, El Moussa and Haack were excited about the large yard because it presented an opportunity to add a rental unit to create a multi-family property. 

They purchased the home for $272,000, a sizable jump from the original asking price of $240,000. Once they took ownership, they were hit with two large punches — they could not build a rental unit on the property unless they lived there, and the home's foundation needed a complete lift. This added a whopping $30,000 expense. They ultimately listed the house at $399,999, and after a month, they received an offer for $400,000. According to HGTV, the buyer asked El Moussa and Haack to pay their closing costs, and after they factored in the renovation, closing, and buyer costs, they recorded a loss of -$3,330.

The smallest space they flipped

In the "Small House, Big Problems" episode, El Moussa and Haack tackled a three-bed, two-bath, 1,100 square foot house in Fullerton, California. The home was in an undesirable location with a commercial property right across the street, so the renovations had to be top-notch to sway buyers. They purchased the house for $390,000 and had a renovation budget of $75,000. 

At first sight, one of El Moussa's pain points was a massive oil stain on the driveway. In a dire attempt to avoid paying an additional $10,000 to replace it, he enlisted the help of his mom to figure out how to remove the stain. Sure enough, the combination of baking soda, soda, and a pressure washer did the trick! But their first snag came when they learned that their outdoor laundry room was not permitted, and to relocate it inside, the contractors would have to tear out all of the concrete to move the laundry drain lines. They listed the home at $599,000 and eventually had to lower the price to $575,000 for it to sell. According to the episode, they made a $72,700 profit after closing costs.

The flip with the most divorce drama

In the episode "Two Houses for Sale," Haack wrestles with deciding how to tell El Moussa the news that she wants to sell the home they shared during their marriage. While she stews over how to address the news, they look at a three-bed, two-bath 1,200 square foot home in Buena Park, California. After the walkthrough, she calls El Moussa to tell him the news, and he decides to get off the phone quickly. Prior to the scene, Haack says, "You're about to see stage one of the five stages of Tarek: avoidance." 

The show gets back to the main flip, and they purchase the Buena Park home for $465,000. Throughout the episode, El Moussa references Haack's desire to sell the house but appears indifferent to her decision and attempts to redirect focus to the renovation. They hit a snag in the bathrooms as the wrong tile is installed in both bathrooms. In a confessional scene, El Moussa admits that Haack's news impacted him more than he let on, and he inadvertently told the contractor to install the wrong tile. They eventually had a heart-to-heart about Haack selling their married home and listed the Buena Park house for $674,900. According to the episode, the house sold for $639,000, giving them a $69,000 profit.

The flip with the best outdoor space

In the "Backyard Staycation" episode, El Moussa and Haack tackle a four-bed, 2.5-bath, 2,500 square foot ranch-style home in Riverside, California, with views of the mountains, a golf course, and the city. They purchased the house for $450,000 and immediately created an open floor plan and added features to bring the Spanish-style home back to life. 

One of the most striking features inside was the fireplace that they made with mismatched colored tiles to tie in the Spanish theme. Their $160,000 backyard design included a pool with curved lines and an elevated spa, a pergola with room for a full-sized couch underneath, an outdoor kitchen and bar, and a fire pit. To add even more entertainment space to the backyard, they also added a bocce ball court. They listed the outdoor oasis for $749,900, but according to the episode, they eventually sold it for $699,999, giving them slightly over $10,000 in profit.

The flip where their car got stolen

In the "Junk Yard Flip" episode, El Moussa and Haack purchased an 861 square foot, two-bed, one-bath home in Long Beach, California, for $307,000, sight unseen as it was occupied during the sale. The tiny house needed a lot of work, and they were unpleasantly surprised by the extensive junkyard that awaited them in the backyard. They also walked into a garage structure that was part workshop, part bedroom. They even found an eerie note from the previous tenant: "Leave this room alone, I'll be back tonight." Needless to say, this was not the best first impression! 

As renovations proceeded, they made a big design error in the small kitchen by putting the oven in a tight corner, rendering some of the cabinets hard to open. However, they pushed through and made sure that they paid closer attention to the rest of the house to soften the loss of space. As they finished painting the exterior, they were stopped in their tracks when they heard someone take off in their car! Haack laid her purse down on the porch, and someone hopped in and drove off in their Escalade. They list the home for $409,900, and it sold at their asking price, giving them a profit of $49,472. According to the episode, their good fortune continued as they were able to get their car back in the end!

The house with the most historic charm

In the "Century Flip" episode, El Moussa and Haack secure a 100-year-old, three-bed, one-bath, 1,400 square foot home in Santa Ana, California, for $510,000. The house has good bones, but its age requires extensive upgrades to be competitive in the current housing market, such as a second bathroom. Throughout the renovations, their main concern was balancing the home's character with modern touches that buyers expect. The city required all exterior facing components — such as the front windows and door — to remain intact because of the house's historic status. 

They utilized many vintage-inspired pieces throughout, including blue kitchen cabinets, which they helped pop with a gold grout backsplash. They swung for the fences with their list price, coming in at $800,000. According to the episode, their renovation efforts paid off, as it went into escrow at $890,000, giving them a $193,100 profit.

Their most expensive flip

In the episode "Go Big or Go Home," El Moussa and Haack enlist the help of their investor friend to make a go for a five-bed, 5.5-bath, 5,300 square foot house in Anaheim Hills, California, for $1.45 million. It's one of their most expensive purchases. The home boasted striking views as well as a pool and basketball court. 

They added top-of-the-line touches to match the high-end expectations of buyers. This included hardwood floors throughout the home, a faux marble slab in the kitchen, the same slab behind floating shelves to make it a statement piece, and a wine rack with a chevron design for the existing wet bar. The renovations exceeded initial estimates, running them $274,100, and they had to forgo redoing the outdoor kitchen to avoid going into a deeper hole. True to the episode's title, they went big and listed for $1.9 million, which paid off. At the time the show aired, they were in escrow at $2.25 million.

The flip where they made the sneakiest changes

In "Buyer's Remorse," El Moussa and Haack find a $740,000 hidden gem on a hill in Yorba Linda, California, with striking views and a pool. From the beginning, they struggled to find a design theme that would have widespread appeal for the various buyers in the area, but ultimately decided to go with a modern look. To maximize the views from the house, they decided to spend a whopping $11,000 to remove a brick wall and fireplace to provide uninhibited views from the living room. 

During the bathroom design, El Moussa and Haack have differing ideas on how much of a busy black and white tile should be used in the bathroom. They come to a middle ground that incorporates parts of both styles, but El Moussa decides to go rogue and get 100% of his design installed without Haack knowing. She reluctantly obliges but decides to get revenge by making the remaining fireplace her own design. Originally stone with different shades of brown, she changes it to an all-white stucco look, with a black tile pyramid going up to the top. Once the renovations are done, they decide to list the house for $1,039,000 and go into escrow at the asking price, giving them a profit of $163,400.

Their townhouse flip

Venturing into the world of townhouses in the episode "Townhouse Flip," El Moussa and Haack purchase a three-bed, 2.5-bath, 2,249 square foot house in Corona Del Mar, California, for $1.4 million and have a renovation budget of $350,000. From the beginning, they were hit with a $55,000 cost to update the house's structure by removing the closed-off spaces, extending the livable areas, and adding on-suite bathrooms. 

They pulled out all the stops to make this home stand out in the highly competitive and extravagant neighborhood, including installing a white brick backsplash that spanned the kitchen and living room, a balcony off of one of the bedrooms, a fire pit, a custom accent wall, and a wet bar. Once renovations were completed, they spent a whopping $482,500, well exceeding their original budget. They listed the home for $2.7 million at the time the episode aired, but the house had not sold.

The flip where they welcome their son

One of the most memorable moments in someone's life is the birth of their child, and El Moussa and Haack are no exception. In the episode "Labor of Love," they embark on a flip as Haack gets close to her due date. They purchase a four-bed, 2.5-bath in Fullerton, California, for $875,000. The house is in a desirable area, but has massive structural issues and an old-school kitchen layout. 

Once they begin demolition, they are hit with a massive $40,000 cost to level the entire house, which adds an additional six weeks to the timeline. Halfway through the episode, Haack alerts El Moussa that it's time to go to the hospital. Their son, Brayden El Moussa, is born, and they officially become a family of four. The renovation pulls together as Haack is on maternity leave and they list the home for $1,299,000. The house gets an offer for $1,260,000 and lands them a profit of $107,650.

Their grand finale flip

Even though all good things come to an end, the final episode, "Spanish Lessons," did not disappoint. They purchase a nearly 2,800-square-foot, four-bed, three-bath, Spanish-style home in North Tustin, California for $900,000. Right off the bat they are hit with a big $20,000 cost to replace all of the concrete around the pool to replace substantial cracks throughout. In one of the confessionals, Haack shares that she prefers designing for her own clients (a subtle plug for her own show, "Christina on the Coast"), over debating with El Moussa over design and costs. 

As the house staging wraps up, El Moussa and Haack butt heads over her heading out of town and not being there to discuss the list price. In spite of her physical absence, they decide to list the house at $1,499,900 over FaceTime. At the end of the episode, Haack tells El Moussa that she no longer wants to flip houses with him, closing the chapter on their "Flip or Flop" story.