Regular readers may recall that HGTV host Tarek El Moussa had a business arrangement with Arthur Aslanian, who put his tenants through hell, broke the law repeatedly, arranged two arson fires, hired a hitman, and is now in prison where he belongs.
Let me be clear on this: I don't know what, if anything, Tarek knew. It's hard to imagine that someone who is in the public eye would knowingly make a deal with the Devil - particularly since networks or investors might choose to rescind a lucrative business arrangement if there is enough backlash.
But I do know, from speaking with affected tenants, that he blocked people who called him out on partnering with a dangerous criminal.
Real mature, Tarek.
As a general rule, I avoid LinkedIn for reasons beyond the scope of this entry. My publisher referred me to this tone-deaf post from a week ago. I've screenshotted it below in case it gets taken down later.
Here is Tarek's exact wording:
Here is why you don’t flip houses…you are scared! You are scared you won’t be able to find them. You are scared that if you do, you won’t be able to buy them. You are scared that if you buy them, you won’t be able to fix them. I’m here to tell you… that you are wrong! You are scared of things you shouldn’t be scared of! I can teach you to find deals! I will teach you to hire contractors and realtors to fix and sell the flip while you look for your next deal!
Now…here is a question! If you knew that if you found a great real estate deal and you could partner with me, would you? Seriously, would you flip a house with me 50/50? If so, Let me know in the comments by saying YES!!!
Tarek, you are mistaken - at least about some of us.
Despite my aristocratic heritage, I don't come from money. Both of my parents grew up poor.
My parents, like so many other home buyers, had a modest budget and no financial help from their families. They worked hard, saved what they could, bought a small fixer in a neighborhood they could afford (not all that far away from North Hollywood, as it happens) and fixed it up themselves.
They had a modest enough budget that my dad would check out Sunset Magazine's series of home improvement books from the library instead of buying them.
Even now, every time they move, they end up buying a fixer they can afford.
It's hard to afford a home in Los Angeles, and in most of Southern California, for that matter. It's even harder when regular people are constantly outbid by investors with all-cash offers, or at least with higher offers.
I don't EVER want to take a cheap fixer home away from someone who can't afford to buy a flipped home.
If I ever buy a home - and if I do, it's very likely to be in dire need of restoration because I am not rich - it will be for myself. Not for profit.
I've said this before, but Tarek: go flip yourself.
I don't mean that in the pejorative sense (this time). You renovate houses all the time, but have you considered renovating your soul?
In the interest of fairness, I won't assume you knew anything about Arthur Aslanian when you initially cut a deal with him, but the way you responded when called out for it was really not appropriate. Doubling down did not do you any favors.
And calling non-flippers "scared"? Really? I know I'm not. I just don't want to take a cheap home away from someone who needs it more than I do. There are other ways to make money.
And no, I would not partner with you. Ask the Lourine Court tenants why. (Oh, wait - you stopped communicating with them!)
You're a family man, Tarek. Take a moment to think about all the families that want to buy a home, but can't beat investors' higher offers and can't afford a house that has been flipped.