As Bravo TV’s “Flipping Out” Season 10 gets underway, celebrity real estate investor/remodeler/designer Jeff Lewis gives us his take on where he’d be looking to buy in Orange County, how to target a neighborhood, and why he doesn’t shy away from making low-ball offers.
In addition to remodeling and flipping homes, Lewis has an interior design business and his own product lines. He designed the 2010 “House Beautiful” Kitchen of the Year and has been featured in “People” and other magazines.
“Flipping Out” fans know that this season, the show will track Lewis and his partner Gage Edward as they become new dads to daughter Monroe, now 10 months old. (They meet their baby on tonight’s episode.)
Did Lewis design the nursery?
What do you think? He did. And not just once, either.
“I’m on my second nursery renovation,” Lewis says.
He laughs, but it makes sense. “There’s different stages when you have a child,” he says. “The furniture that’s in there is not going to work when she’s a toddler.”
Especially not when dad is a pro.
Here are six takeaways from our conversation:
You can invest in Orange County real estate. The O.C. market is one of the priciest spots in the nation, and with the latest median home sale at $690,000, plenty of investors look for flips in less expensive Riverside or San Bernardino counties or out of state.
But what if you don’t want to manage a project long-distance?
It’s not necessary, Lewis insists. In fact, that would never work for him.
“I’m too hands-on,” he says. “I go to my properties every single day.”
If he didn’t, contractors would be making decisions without him, he says. And if you’ve watched “Flipping out,” you know that won’t fly.
“You can make money anywhere,” Lewis says. “It’s just a matter of the buy. Why can’t you start with a condo? Why can’t you bring in a partner?”
If you can’t get into a hot neighborhood because prices have soared out of reach, target a peripheral area. Lewis cites the now “ridiculously expensive” Bird Streets, an A-listers’ enclave above the Sunset Strip in the Hollywood Hills, where even a $10 million buyer can be priced out. So he bought properties just to the east, figuring that’s where those buyers would go. “All the developers have swarmed in,” he says.
“If you’re a little behind getting to a certain neighborhood, look at the adjacent neighborhood,” he says. “I target these areas that are…