Tarek El Moussa is demo-ing out the “Flip or Flop” mold with a show of his own, “Flipping 1o1,” which premieres Thursday night on HGTV.
El Moussa’s greatest renovation may not even be a house, however — in our eyes, that distinction goes to his custom Dodge Sprinter van. Ahead of his “Flipping 101” debut, which sort of co-stars his “mobile office,” we asked El Moussa to tell us everything about that baller work-and-chill space on wheels.
“My mobile office, honestly, that’s my second home. I can be anywhere… if I’m in my van, I feel like I’m in my living room,” El Moussa told us. “That’s the beautiful thing about it. Because I probably spend between three and six hours a day on the road. I live in that van, I eat in the van, I work in the van, I change in the van, I go to set in the van.”
The limo-bus-on-steroids brings a whole new meaning to telecommuting.
“I had it built out to be an enjoyable spot, right? So I have 50-inch TV screens, I have four laptops, a cool surround sound system like a movie theater. I have a cool bar in there, an ice bucket, a kegerator,” he continued.
Naturally, El Moussa is flipping it.
“I’m actually building a new one that’s going to be done next week that’s going to be similar but bigger — but also include a bathroom in the back,” he said.
The new one is going to be “10-times cooler,” El Moussa promised.
One lesson that HGTV viewers tend to take away from shows like “Flip or Flop” or “Flipping 101” is that it takes money to make money. That’s exactly how El Moussa came up with this unique (and very Los Angeles) plan.
“Years ago I got the idea for it because I was always on the road and sitting and waiting. My efficiency was dropping because I’m spending so much time driving,” El Moussa said. “Once I realized that, I bought the Sprinter, hired a driver and my productivity increased.”
So just do that, everyone on the 405.
“Flipping 101” follows Tarek as he mentors first-time flippers, helping them navigate costly mistakes while they race to get a renovated property on the market, according to the show’s logline. Facing obstacles at every turn, from unexpected construction delays and crumbling foundations to rotting roofs and dilapidated interiors, these flipping newcomers need Tarek’s invaluable expertise to transform their risky investments into big rewards.
The series, which at the time of our conversation with El Moussa had completed “four or five” of its 14 Season 1 episodes, debuts Thursday, March 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.
The season kicks off with a young couple who bought a century-old Craftsman-style house sight unseen. To help them attract buyers and make top dollar on the sale, Tarek must convince the couple to install a proper garage instead of a party room. He also recommends they do whatever they can to keep the property’s historic charm in lieu of a too-modern layout. Despite dramatic ups and downs and twists and turns, Tarek’s expertise could lead to smart design decisions and a favorable realtor commission rate that keeps them from losing out on their investment.
Throughout the season, Tarek helps more rookie flippers navigate challenging home renovations, including a property that catches fire mid-reno, a high-dollar home where reno costs blow the budget and a house previously inhabited by animal hoarders.