What kind of writer would I be if I worked for a real estate publication and never watched HGTV? I mean, of course I watched last night’s debut episode of Flip or Flop Fort Worth — it involves three things I like a lot: drinking, home improvement shows, and typing quickly.
Don’t be jealous of my mad fast phalanges. They type as fast a school board trustee can talk, or as fast as Ashley and Andy Williams – the stars of Flip or Flop Fort Worth – can talk.
I learned a few things with this episode, and I’ll explain as I recap. But in no particular order, these things are: there is a limit as to how many times you can refinish hardwood floors; if you try to play a drinking game where you chug every time someone says “problem,” your spelling suffers a lot; and the affection for shiplap is universal and unabashed.
The episodes starts as most of these Flip or Flop iterations do — Ashley and Andy are driving to a home in Arlington Heights. Andy says that although they utilize a lot of ways to find the homes they put offers in on, this one he found driving around the neighborhood. It’s listed for $200,000, and is a cute two-bedroom, one-bath cottage with a huge backyard.
Right off the bat, you can see some solid potential. “You’re in a good mood today,” Andy says. “A good mood for deals,” Ashley responds.
When your show is about to premiere on HGTV…
— HGTV (@hgtv) November 3, 2017
Good news, on the inside, it doesn’t look like a murder house. I actually dig it. I think Ashley and Andy do, too.
“I love that it has the original floors from 1926,” Andy says.
The double-sided fireplace separates the living room. You can see the wheels turning when Ashley turns to suggest that they make their 2/1 a 3/2.
“Look how big this space is – what if we make this the master bedroom?” she asks. “DO IT LADY! DO THAT!” I say, quietly but emphatically, because my child is asleep and I will end whoever wakes him up, even if that someone is me.
But then Andy mentions a dip and he’s not talking guac because then he points out the cracks. Foundation problems. Having spent $17,000 fixing the foundation on my own 1950 bungalow a few years ago, I choked on my Moscato when he said it was $4,000 in foundation issues.
They walk into a decently sized kitchen for a 1,200-square-foot house. It’s kind of pretty much a gut job — new cabinets, new counters, new floors. Andy estimates they’ll spend about $14,000 on the kitchen.
The lone bathroom has a hot water heater in it, and is kind of small. There are two big bedrooms next, and both are bright and airy already. Back doors off the kitchen and one bedroom open to a large backyard with a garage and a soon-to-be-torn-down carport.
The two estimate that their total renovation budget will be around $55,000, and with comps in the area somewhere in the $300,000s, they feel confident they can make a deal with Pam for $190,000.
Pam says she has had a few other offers. Oh Pam, don’t you watch this show? Let’s not do this. Andy points out he can give her all cash, and a 10-day close.
Pam is no fool. Pam takes the money.
OK, we’re maybe 10 minutes in and so far nobody’s said the drinking word. But you guys do know that we’re gonna find a problem. There will be at least two regular problems and one capital P problem that will require speakerphone. Mark. My. Words.
Demo day has arrived, and Andy lays out an ambitious plan to fix the foundation and do the demo in the same day. They get the interior demo done and Ashley arrives.
“It looks so different,” she says.
And then we have our first problem. My notes say, “ISSUE WITH THE FLOOR I CALLED IT.” Andy says the subflooring is shot in the hallway, so they can’t have hardwoods throughout the house. Ashley is cool though. She just suggests continuing the tile from the kitchen down the hall.
I drink another half glass of Moscato.
Then Andy points out SHIPLAP and asks Ashley if she wants it gone.
“You don’t tear out shiplap,” she says, and looks at him like he’s nuts. He is nuts. Ashley is in the cult of shiplap, too.
— Maya (@BiAllOdds) November 3, 2017
Oh, but look. Here’s Blue Shirt Man, standing next to the house, like a harbinger of doom. PROBLEM, he says. The house needs a new pier.
Blue Shirt Man says, “I think you need to be prepared for it to be about…”
CUT TO COMMERCIAL LIKE YOU DON’T KNOW I’M GOING TO WATCH REGARDLESS. Seriously, HGTV, who would go, “Oh, that pier is going to cost $10,000? WELL, NOW I DON’T HAVE TO WATCH THE REST OF THE SHOW, I WAS ONLY WATCHING BECAUSE I LOVE FOUNDATION REPAIR ESTIMATES.”
Back from commercial, and we learn it will be $4,500. So $4,000 plus $4,500 is $8,500 for those of you wondering if I can do math and drink at the same time.
“This is not the best way to start a flip,” says Andy. Agreed, says the lady still wincing over her foundation that costs the same as a car.
Next thing you know, we’re with Andy and Ashley, looking at the framed-in master bath and bedroom. The bathroom will be a good size because they stole footage from one of the large bedrooms.
Ashley shows off the finishes she’s picked. That tile. Guys. I like that tile. If I can get a close up of it at some point I’ll put it in the comments, but it is perfect for this small cottage.
Ashley says she’s going with soft colors, since the house is small. “I want it to feel light and airy,” she explains. A gray and white tile will checkerboard through the kitchen and down the hallway, and white and pastel finishes will complete the house.
Oh! Here’s our capital P problem. Andy’s on speakerphone. The floor guy says that he can’t sand the hardwood floors because they’ve been sanded too much. Apparently, they’re worried that the nails will be revealed and the boards will pop up.
My notes: “If I drink every time they say the word “problem” in a home improvement show, will my liver give out three episodes in or two?”
They opt for wood laminate flooring instead, since an open house is looming.
A lackluster back porch is spruced up with slate tile, and with the carport gone, the yard looks huge. Ashley opts to have two ribbons of concrete from the garage to the curb, instead of one giant slab of concrete.
With the house done (except for staging), the two take a walk through. The master suite, with it’s fireplace and gorgeous master bath, is an amazing addition and great use of space.
In the kitchen, the light grey and white checkerboard flooring ties in well with the countertop choices, and the light finishes have made the smallish kitchen seem a lot bigger.
“Mama’s goooooood,” Ashley purrs. Girlfriend ain’t wrong.
Now we get to see the outside of the house. It was kind of a dirty white and fairly unremarkable from the curb before, but now it has a bright blue paint job, with white trim and a cute yellow door. The garage is painted to match.
They meet up with Andrew Turner, who is doing the landscaping for the home. Andy and Ashley are both veterans, and they make a point of working with fellow veterans like Turner when they can.
Next up? Staging.
“Today is staging, and it’s the best part,” says Ashley. I AGREE. GET ME ALL THAT FURNITURE PLEASE.
The two walk in the day of the open house like it’s the first time they saw the house staged (real talk, you know it isn’t, but that’s OK because I kind of just want to stand there with them and oogle this house, too).
“Wow,” says Andy. “It feels real homey and cozy.”
Guys, the master is GORGEOUS. I’m gonna cheat on my house with this master bedroom. I mean, I like the whole house, but that master bedroom is a giant hug from a cotton-wrapped Oprah while Martha spritzes the air around you with lilacs and Joanna hands you a cupcake.
Anyway, they bought the house for $190,000, and spent $67,000 on the reno. They list it for $329,000, and now we’re having an open house.
Oh Gawd the babies are helping with the open house. “Welcome to our open house,” a tiny voice says, and I am ded. So ded.
— Ronell @ Work (@MisterWhitaker) November 3, 2017
Looks like plenty of people love the house, too. At the end, Andy says three weeks later they had an offer for $326,000, but it fell through. No worries though, because …
— Ashley and Andy (@AshleyandAndyFW) November 3, 2017
There was a watch party at the Fort Worth Stockyards Thursday night, and even Mayor Betsy Price attended.
Mayor Betsy Price joined us! HGTV #FlipOrFlopFortWorth
So what did you think? I think the Williamses are adorable, and the show was fun to watch. It will be fun to see the neighborhoods they visit this season — anyone have any guesses at where they’ll end up?
Bethany Erickson is the education, consumer affairs, and public policy columnist for CandysDirt.com. She also has opinions about TV shows and wine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.