“Flip or Flop” debuted on May 16, 2013, with the episode, “The Foreclosure Heebie-Jeebies.” It featured El Moussa and Haack purchasing a four-bed, two-bath home in La Mirada, California, at auction for $275,000. Once inside, the home ended up being in much worse shape than originally thought. They were hit with unpermitted additions in the main bedroom and living area, faulty electrical, and foundation issues causing uneven flooring. Much of the early work on the house was undoing all of the unpermitted spaces, making the house smaller than when they originally bought it. According to Ownerly, unpermitted work is updates, construction, or remodeling that skipped over the permit process. When an inspector finds such work, the changes need to be reverted.
As the renovations drove on, concerns settled in about how the small bedrooms and closets would impact their sale price. Upon completion, the home totaled 1,125 square feet. After a month on the market, the house received multiple offers, which drove the sale price up from $349,999 to $368,500. After subtracting renovation and closing costs, the profit was $58,000.