Flip or Flop Hosts, Tarek and Christina El Moussa’s Miracle Makeovers

Do you ever watch the HGTV show, Flip or Flop starring Christina and Tarek El Moussa? I was shocked to read recently about Tarek’s harrowing experience with thyroid cancer. Apparently he had noticed a lump on his throat, but when he asked his doctor about it on two different occasions, the doctor told him it wasn’t anything to worry about.

Flip or Flop on HGTV


Amazingly, a savvy fan of the show who is a registered nurse, saw the lump and emailed the show’s production company with the message that Tarek had a large nodule on his thyroid and should get it checked out immediately. He did and it turned out to be cancer in a pretty advanced stage, it had even spread to his lymph nodes.

Fortunately, the cancer had not spread any further than his neck and he is fine now. So, a fan of the show actually saved Tarek’s life! Pretty awesome, right?!  You can read more about this at People.com.

Tarek El Moussa After Thyroid Surgery


I never have a lot of time to watch TV, but when I’m grabbing a bite for lunch or dinner, I sometimes turn on HGTV while I’m cooking or eating. I’ve seen several episodes of Flip or Flop and it’s always shocking to see the condition of the homes Christina and Tarek purchase.

Often Tarek has an investor who provides the money to purchase the home. Once the house is renovated and sold, the profits get split between the El Moussas and their investor. Since the show has been such a big success, I’m not sure they need an investor to back their purchases now, they are probably able to manage the expense on their own.

Flip or Flop With Tarek and Christina El Moussa


Here’s a great example of the kind of work they do. They took this house…

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 02


…and turned it into this! Amazing what window molding, sod and a fresh coat of paint can do for a property!

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 10


The inside was in as bad or worse condition than the outside. I’ll be honest, sometimes when I’m eating and I turn on HGTV, if Flip or Flop is on, I have to change the channel. I just can’t eat and watch the show at the same time, especially when they are walking through a home for the first time or tearing down walls. The stuff they find is so disgusting, it just doesn’t mix well with eating!

A room or house filled with mold…

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 01


….amazingly looks like this once they are done with their makeover.

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 09


If I purchased a foreclosed home and it looked like this on the inside, I’m not sure I could ever get this picture out of my mind.

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 03


You have to admit, the “After” is pretty awesome!

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 06


Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 07


It takes nerves of steel to buy some of these homes but the El Moussa’s say that the worse a home is, the better they like it.

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 04


It just adds up to even more profit for them once they turn it into this.

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 13



Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 05



I really like the bathroom in this home. On a recent tour of homes in Atlanta, I saw tons of subway tile in newly renovated bathrooms.

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 11


Love how the back entertaining area turned out!

Flip or Flop Home Makeover with Tarek & Christina El Moussa 12


Are you a fan of Flip or Flop? Can  you watch the show and eat at the same time or am I just a weenie? 🙂

You’ll find additional photos of this home’s makeover at HGTV where these photos were found.

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  1. Linda Page says

    You are just a weenie!!!! I really like Flip or Flop. These kids have guts!! Plus I like that not every rehab is a total success in that sometimes they barely break even so it shows how risky it really is. But they do amazing work. Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!! I also love Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna. It is based in Waco, Tx. Thanks for sharing about Tarek’s recent bout with thyroid cancer. Who would have thought that having fans could be a lifesaver!

    • lol Thanks a lot! 🙂 I like that, too…it seems a lot more realistic. Tarek is gutsy, I can’t believe some of the houses he takes on!

  2. charlotem34 says

    Hi Susan,
    My husband and I watch Flip or Flop each week, we are huge fans. Christina and Tarek do an amazing job transforming these houses. The houses are awesome when they finish. Best wishes for continued good health for him and success with their show.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Linda Page says

    I just noticed that The Brass Trunk in Marshall, Tx advertises on your blog. That is about 25 minutes from my house. How cool!!! I need to give them a visit.

  4. NEPA Gina says

    Occasionally I get to watch Flip or Flop & am always amazed at the transformations. My favorite though, is Property Brothers and Buying & Selling, with the Scott Brothers. I set the DVR up to record those shows, so I can watch it at my leisure. Not a big fan of eating & watching any of those “before” rooms, that look like an episode of Hoarders! The “after” of these homes is pretty inspiring and you can get some great ideas for decorating & color palettes. ❤ HGTV!

  5. OMG! I am a BIG fan of Flip or Flop! This is my favorite show on HGTV! I’ve set my DVR so I never miss an episode! Sometimes I even watch the reruns! Lol! As far as eating goes, it doesn’t bother me, I must have an iron stomach! I’m glad he finally got the help he needed! Kudos to the registered nurse!

    • I know…so amazing that a nurse could diagnose it via TV when his doctor didn’t diagnose it in person on two separate occasions!

  6. Michelle Hey says

    Just yesterday was the episode when the couple purchased a roach-infested home. My gag reflex kicked in!!!! You are not the only weenie!!!!!


  7. Susan, I’m a big fan of Flip Or Flop too! I love their before and afters, and their decorating style. Also, I love that there’s usually not too much over the top drama. I had no idea that Tarek has thyroid cancer. Thank goodness for the observant viewer! Sometimes it is hard to look at the befores, you’re not alone!

  8. Mary from Virginia says

    I totally agree about the the gross houses! I don’t know how they handle it themselves! They do some lovely make overs. Everything always looks bright and cheerful in the end.

  9. Susan W. says

    Yes, watch it all the time. I get your drift about the yucky parts. Usually Christina turns away. I would run for the hills.

  10. I love their show and I can watch anytime, during anything. So glad Tarek was cured of his cancer.

  11. Love the show! There is a yuck factor to most of their houses. I bought a foreclosure last year that had mold throughout the basement. Turning that little house into a comfortable, safe home was hard work and a learning process, but I loved every minute of it.

    • Pam, how did you get rid of the mold? Good for you for saving it!

      • Susan, we called in a professional remediation company that used an enzyme product that “eats” the mold. The home was for my son who is a single father of 3 young children, so we wanted to make sure it was totally safe. When the bank took over the property they turned off the power during a very wet spring. The home has a sump pump, so with no power the basement flooded and just sat there growing mold for months. My pictures are not professional but I tried to take before and afters to document our progress.

  12. I just don’t know how anyone could of lived in the condition that the pictures show. (go figure) Another question I have is how can the contractor do the repairs so cheaply? When I had my bathroom redone I got estimates and it was over 30,000. just to put in a heated tile floor and tile in the shower area.
    So I said no thanks and became my own contractor and farmed it out for about a third of the cost. And that included new woodwork and cabinets. So when they say (on the show that was on last night) it’ll be 5,000 for the bath I just can’t figure it out.

    • I always wonder about that, too. Maybe because he gives them so much work, they cut him a deal. Plus, he’s hiring them directly, he is the contractor. I’m facing a bath renovation, actually 2…and dreading it!

  13. I certainly am not able to eat while the first part of the show is on. I do not understand how anyone can live like that!!!! Tarek and Christina do an amazing job bringing these homes back from a wrecking ball! Hurrah to the nurse who noticed the lump on Tarek’s neck and shame on his doctor for not following up. We know our bodies better than our doctors do. If the doctor had listened to Tarek, it would not have gotten to such an advanced stage. Thankfully thyroid cancer is very curable. I wish him all the best. The homes they transform are truly amazing and I wish them continued success with HGTV!!!!!!!!

  14. Patty/NS says

    How horrible for him and his young family! Love the show, it just started it’s new season. I can stomach it but I certainly can’t eat dinner during, or just before watching, The Walking Dead . My son said I’m a weinie!

  15. Regality (aka The Quing) says

    I had no idea of Tarek’s health issues. Here’s hoping that’s the end of them. I do like their work and that’s a lovely example. The use of orange is especially pleasing for me.

    Seeing that disgusting wall, I wonder what kinds of mold and asbestos regulations they have to conform to where they work. I’m in the middle of a project here in CA that started as an under $200 leak in a pipe and is costing many, many thousands to do the repairs because of all the fiddly-fooly stuff that has to be done.

    I also wonder, what exactly does Christina do? She seems to spend a lot of time just standing around looking pretty and perplexed. *L*

    • lol She does get involved in the design decisions and sometimes the actual layout/construction decision. They are a cute couple and seem to work well together.
      It’s amazing how a little leak can do so much damage!

      • She mainly focuses on interior design, hence the standing around looking pretty/perplexed. Also, both she and Tarek maintain their realtor’s licenses.

  16. Love the show and this cute little family. I think what makes such a difference for me is the staging they do to help sell the home. Love seeing it all fixed up that way and that they show what the staging costs. Breaking down the price is nice, too, to include all they spend on their end.
    Best wishes for continued health and success to them!!!

    • Patty, you’re so right! The staging really helps sell the home. It’s a lot easier to stage an empty home than one that’s lived in every day, I think.

  17. Dorinda Selke says

    Hi Susan – I just love Flip or Flop ! My husband and I never miss it. I have a very strong stomach after working in healthcare, so I can eat through anything, probably even an autopsy ! My husband…not so much ! Love to see how they redesign inside and outside to make these homes “happy” again ! We also love Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines, too – have gotten a lot of design ideas from her. These shows are worthwhile TV – not too common lately on some of the channels LOL

    • Dorinda, the opposite thing happened to me, I think the longer I worked as a Social Worker going into homes that were eventually condemned they were so bad, the more squeamish I got. I remember once I had to into a home that sent the policeman who was with me running out the door to throw up outside. Then there were the roaches and rats! Those 8 years almost turned me into a germaphobe! I think I’m better now that I’ve been away from it for a while, but I still can’t look at those homes while I’m eating, because I know how they smell!

  18. Karen Meredith says

    Susan, I am a fan of ‘Flip or Flop’, and agree that the before pictures are not conducive to eating. But, I am a huge fan of YOU, and your decorating style. Like Tarek and Christina, you are gutsy! Keep on sharing your beautiful tips and photos with us.

  19. I watch occasionally. Really prefer Fixer Upper. I love Joanna’s style. What I want is to have access to the people who stage these houses! It’s amazing how furniture placement and accessories can make all the difference.

  20. Oh yes, and don’t forget the impact of really nice landscaping.

  21. I love the show however I really question the cost of some of the renovations. One show the cost to replace all the windows in the house was 4 grand…no way!

  22. I don’t blame you Susan. You aren’t a weenie. That is some disgusting stuff! I haven’t seen the show.

    But I have to say his ‘care’ by his doctor is pretty typical.

  23. You know…I do believe that HGTV is “coming back” into good graces…for awhile it was just “yelling and shouting, etc. etc.” Luv Flip/Flop, Fixer Upper and oh, my, The Property Brothers. I do still miss those “oldies” that got me hooked…If Those Walls Could Talk, Candace Olsen, etc. They have “moved on uptown!!” 🙂 franki

  24. I recently found this show and like it too. As for his tumor, I had a tumor in my thigh and 2 Drs. also told me it was nothing to worry about. Well, I trusted my gut and they did surgery and it was a (benign) tumor but had grown to the size of a small cantalope! Thank God I trusted myself. I wish we had done some flips when we were younger. Maybe we could have gotten a show too:):):)

  25. I love the show also, but believe me, a lot of credit goes to their demolition and construction crews who do most of the really dirty and dangerous work. They’re good as stars of the show, and the ideas are theirs, but let’s give credit where credit is due.

  26. I really enjoy Flip or Flop too. Since I live in Southern California I’m familiar with cities the houses are in. I know it sounds weird, but I sometimes feel sorry for houses that look like the “before” version. I know they were once new and beautiful with a family living in them. It’s always nice to see their beauty restored.

  27. bobbi duncan says

    I can empathize. My honey had thyroid cancer surgery several years ago and the same situation happened whereby a doctor said he was fine. I made him go see another doctor. Always get a second opinion…more if necessary. I’ve seen the show a few times…amazing what you can do to bring a really bad looking place back to life… if you make sure you have money put aside for the rehabs that end up costing more than you estimated at first glance. I’m not that brave.

  28. I love Flip or Flop!

  29. Marianne in Mo. says

    Odd that you mentioned that cancer story, I haven’t heard about it, but the other night when I watched the latest show, I noticed a scar on his neck. Wondered if he injured himself during filming. Good for that viewer who cared enough to pursue reaching out to them – hope they were able to thank her! I will have to look for the story. I like the show, and they have improved over the years in their designs. But the obvious “staged” mishaps really drive me bonkers. I’m convinced that the stolen car thing was faked for dramatic purposes. This is what bugs me about “reality” tv.

  30. I’ve seen every episode some more than once. I like the fact that they do a lot of the work, i.e. demolition and tile work themselves. They’re not afraid to get their hands a little dirty!

  31. Great post. HGTV is one of our favorite channels. My husband enjoys this show more than I do. So glad that the cancer was found. Thanks!

  32. Love the show…thanks for the info about his cancer ….had no idea. keeping them in my prayers.

  33. I don’t know when he went through all this, but did notice he had lost a lot of weight.

  34. I also saw a doctor – 4 times who told me a spot on the bottom of my heel was nothing to worry about. I finally insisted on a referral. It was a rare and very large melanoma. The oncologist/surgeon got it all, but I will have pain and walk with a limp/cane for the rest of my life. Trust your instincts!!!

    • I’m glad you didn’t listen to him! Thanks for sharing that. I will remember to trust my instincts if I ever have a situation like that.

  35. Tarek and Christina, you are an amazing couple with amazing talents. I look forward to seeing your show and wishing I could do what you two do. Tarek I will keep you and your family in my prayers, and I hope you recovery is fast.

  36. Pat @ Life At Lydias House says

    I’m catching up on reading your posts that I missed while traveling and this one caught me eye. Last night while the TV was on a commercial came on for Flip or Flop. My daughter told me to look and even ran it back for me to look again. She noticed a big difference in Tarek’s appearance and said that she hoped he wasn’t sick or something bad! Thanks for bringing us up to speed! We too are always amazed at their work.

  37. I confess that I stopped watching HGTV after they fired the Benham brothers because of their Christian beliefs. But, even before that I was completely turned off by the over-abundance of real estate shows on the network. Flip or Flop appears to be a pleasant change from that.

  38. Is there any information on the paint colors, backsplash, chandelier in kitchen, and also the silver metal wall art in the dining room of Tarek and Christina El Moussa’s personal home? I’m in the process of remodeling my own home and would love to know the resources for those things.
    Thank you!

  39. Judy McCarthy says

    Where did Christina get the bath lights like chandeliers in the bathroom where she and tarek competed with the bathroom. Absolutely love your show thanks judy

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