“I feel like I’ve always been flipping homes,” Hagit Taylor says. “Maybe not full time, but it has always had my heart.” Born and raised in Israel, Taylor relocated to the area with her family when she was young. She grew up tagging along behind her father, a local contractor, and was bit by the home-renovation bug at a young age.
Now she and her husband, Timothy Taylor (with Taylormade Real Estate at eXp Realty), complete projects together across Greater Palm Springs while she documents it all on social media.
“We buy really sad, run-down houses that I flip into beautiful, livable, happy homes,” she explains. “He finds the flips and negotiates amazing deals for us, and I design the home. He originally got his real estate license for our business, but now that’s his career.”
We asked Taylor to give us the real deal on her work as a real-life flipper.
A pair of pendant lights hang above an island with seating, removed walls, and porcelain “wood plank” tile floors. Two island tops (including the photo at the top of the story) are quartz; one is custom butcher block by Arbor & Quarry.
Is flipping glamorous?
Flipping may look very glamorous on TV or if people only see my before and after photos. But it’s definitely not. It’s dirty, rough, and stressful. Some days you want to quit or want to cry. Even so, it’s all really worth it at the end. Once you stage it and walk into your masterpiece, that is when it becomes glamorous and gives you such satisfaction.
How long does it take to flip one of your homes?
My goal is usually to be done within six to eight weeks. From the day we start demo to the day it’s staged, I like to stay within two months. No pressure! I work around the clock in those two months. For this one I’m doing right now, we had exactly 10 days in between the last one that sold and starting this one. Sometimes we have more of a break if we can’t find inventory, but I like to keep going.
Is it difficult to find a potential flip in the current real estate market?
Yes, it actually is. The prices are really high right now, so as soon as you find that diamond in the rough, you have to jump on it and do the best you can to wheel and deal. My husband checks the MLS [Multiple Listing Service] three to four times a day because things pop up and then they’re gone.
Does the market have room for more flippers?
From what I see, a lot of people are trying to get in the business, and there are a lot of other people who want to. But there isn’t a lot of inventory, so it’s a little harder right now. It feels likes it has leveled out, and I don’t know if there is room for more flippers until there is more inventory. If someone is just getting into flipping to make a quick buck, that’s not a good choice. You have to truly love the process, or you will hate it and wish you never got into it.
What are some misconceptions about flipping?
I think people see a house that needs a lot of love and say they will paint it, add flooring and some new cabinets, and it will be perfect. But you have no idea what’s behind the walls and what you’re getting into. You have to be prepared for all the unexpected. Anyone expecting to come in and do a quick flip doesn’t understand the depths of what it takes in terms of work and investment. If you want to get money out if it, you can’t cut corners.
Do you watch HGTV?
Only every day! Fixer Upper is my absolute favorite show ever. For our wedding anniversary, my husband surprised me and we drove all the way out to Waco, Texas, so I could shop. It’s an 18-hour drive, but it’s amazing.
Does the show stack up to real life as a flipper?
They do show a lot of behind the scenes, but it is only one hour, so you don’t see everything. They also have a huge crew helping them make the deadline. For my homes, I’m doing all the design and picking out every single thing. It’s a lot harder than it looks on TV. And things like moving a water heater or putting on a new roof are really expensive.
Do you attend your open houses?
Yes! After I put so much work into a house, I love hearing what people have to say about it and learning the truth about what they think. I like to see how they enjoy it, and I get feedback for the next one. They don’t know that I designed it when they walk in, of course. No one has ever said, “This style is terrible,” but I do get very protective when they make suggestions. I especially love meeting the people who buy the house. Knowing who will live there makes me happier than any money could.
Your choice for white paint?
My favorite go-to whites are both by Dunn-Edwards. Whisper is a nice bright white with a tiny bit of warm tones underneath. Swiss Coffee is a warmer white with an undertone of cream, but still pretty bright.
Any top resources you can share?
I love Bedrosians Tile & Stone, Stonehouse Tile, and Arizona Tile in Palm Desert. If I don’t find the perfect one, I’ll go to Anaheim or Riverside. I go to the Ferguson showroom in Rancho Mirage for plumbing and lighting fixtures. Online, I shop Wayfair for lighting, accessories, and hardware.
A tired, yellow-beige color formerly washed across this flip in La Quinta Cove. Taylor painted the exterior a fresh white, removed overgrown vegetation, then added new landscape, windows, furnishings, and lighting fixtures.
In a destination with no shortage of small vintage bathrooms, a new bathroom with a double vanity and huge, 10-foot shower is always a selling point. below: Star pendant lamps follow the Spanish-modern style Taylor chose for this home.
One of Taylor’s favorite “afters” is this Spanish-modern shower tucked behind a space-saving glass panel. She added an arch covered in white subway tile to a standard shower to softly frame the new black-and-white tiled wall. Though the footprint is modest, the effect is bold and current.