Masters of house flipping: Kortney and Dave Wilson

Humour goes a long way to creating great TV

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Masters of house flipping: Kortney and Dave Wilson

The back story is the stuff of fairytales: Two teenagers from two completely different smaller Ontario towns have big dreams to be singers. Independent of each other they set off for Nashville, Tennessee. Not only do they both sign recording deals, but they meet, fall in-love, record music, star on a TV-show and start a family.

Then life hits. After the entire U.S. economy tanked in 2008, Kortney and David Wilson found themselves scrambling for any work that paid the bills. Perhaps it’s those humbling days waiting tables that gives this now-famous family a lot more humility than most. A humility that comes through on and off the set of their new reality property show: Masters of the Flip (which premieres tomorrow night, May 12, at 10 p.m. EST on W Network).

The premise behind the show is simple: Can a pair of Canadians find happiness flipping homes in America’s music city? Watch an episode or two and you’ll quickly answer that question yourself.

Truth is, though, home flipping—whether it’s in Nashville, TN, or Scottsdale, AZ, or Toronto, ON—is becoming tougher and tougher.

“Nashville has undergone a complete transformation from when we first bought into the market in 1998,” explains Kortney. “Back then we opted for a neighbourhood that had not yet ‘arrived’ but had potential.” The gamble paid off. “We had neighbours who bought their home for $15,000 (after the devastating 1998 hurricane),” says Kortney. “These days they could easily sell the home for $700,000.”

But the big numbers and bright lights don’t wash away the couple’s desire to make a living—and help others do the same. Even more impressive is that the numbers at the end of each episode are realistic.

“We don’t take pro-bono work,” says Dave. “It’s a bad business model.” When pressed, Dave answers simply: “We don’t believe anyone should work for free.”

So that means everyone gets paid: from carpenters, to electricians, to drywallers, to tapers, to cleaners and stagers. The only costs that are not taken into consideration are the transactional fees: land transfer taxes, legal fees, realtor fees, property taxes, etc.

OK. I know. Closing costs and realtor fees add up. But these are also costs of doing business that any house flipper, real estate investor, or home buyer will need to take into consideration. I’m just impressed that the Wilsons pay their trades and report closer to accurate construction costs on each episode. You and I both know this is not the case for a large number of reality shows on the air. Also, at no point do they sugar-coat the house-flipping business and they are quick to add that this already tough business model is getting tougher and tougher. Kortney explains: “Nashville is a booming market and it now feels like it’s on everybody’s radar.”

It’s this down-to-earth honesty that leaves me with the impression that the Wilsons aren’t trying to convince people that flipping real estate is a great way to make money. They just want to share their adventures with other people, not convince people to pick up a hammer and try their hand at real estate speculation. That approach is refreshing even if there are two-dozen other property shows on the air. (It also helps that Kortney’s designs are eye-popping and trendy.)

To sum up: The Masters of Flip will offer us a snappy, fun and funny glimpse into the gritty, stressful business of flipping houses. It’s a refreshing watch…and I’m sure my PVR will end up with more than few of these episodes in the coming weeks. But I’ll confess: I really am a sucker for people who can weather a storm well and come out smiling.

Read more from Romana King at Home Owner on Facebook »

20 comments on “Masters of house flipping: Kortney and Dave Wilson

  1. It is too much like the series Flip this House. I found it a little boring and uninteresting. The Property Brothers and Love it or List it is a more interesting and moves along at a nicer pace.

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  2. I just love the show. Its refreshing from watching all the other ones. I’ve always loved the property brothers, but I must admit I like your show better. The transformations are amazing. Great job guy’s.

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  3. I can’t stand this couple. It seems like their primary goal in life is to get on reality tv. Get a real job.

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  4. I am a fan of several renovation reality show. But Masters of flip is a refreshing take on a now familiar TV theme. Good work on showing the good, bad, and the ugly of the renovation world. Our society needs to see a lot more of the kind of problem solving and business decision-making skills that you demonstrate.

    And of course, it’s nice to see fellow Canadians make good!

    I look forward to more Master’s of Flip.

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  5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show, and Kortney and Dave. I particularly LOVE that they always treat each other with respect……contrary to a show I shall not name in which I find the husband to be SO ABUSIVE to his wife and all the subcontractors. Kortney and Dave have faced all kinds of unexpected challenges in their renovating phases, and always treat their subcontractors with respect. Congratulations to everyone behind the scenes with this great show! And a fellow Canadian HUG to Kortney and Dave !!

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  6. Love the show, but it seems like its the same 3 shows playing over and over… Have you done more than 3… not seeing them on tv..

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  7. I’ve watched quite a few episodes of this show and I must say that the transformations are impressive . One thing that really bugs me while watching the show is how Kortney not only takes credit for all the decisions made during.a renovation , but makes sure that her partner/husband knows that all his ideas are stupid . I wonder if she is always that arrogant or if this is the way she acts when the cameras are on? Someone should sit her down to watch the insults she hurls at him and to have her realize that if it.wasn’t for the fact that her business partner is also her husband , she’d be looking for a new business partner . Nobody should have to put up with her demeaning tongue lashing ..

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    • yes i agree , that’s why i don’t watch her show .. blah blah blah
      she doesn’t shut up , husband ok

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  8. I like Kourtneys creativity and taste. The girls make the house a home. Great Ideas!

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  9. Great show, they do everything right. However, please tell Kort that painting brick on exteriors is well…GHETTO.
    DONT PAINT BRICK. If it’s a commercial building, ok, but not a home.

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  10. She seems to love attention. She does most of the talking and her husband seems like he is afraid of her. Other than the demo, they just hire other people to do everything. I can’t imagine this show being renewed. Now Fixer Upper…there’s a talented duo.

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    • yes i think so
      talk talk blah blah . LOL

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  11. i don’t like this show at all , Kortney Wilson is terrible , she think she know everything blah blah blah
    the best show are property brother , love it or list it . i watch everyday , when i see master of flip … change diffrent program

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  12. Great show guys and I would love to see more but I have to ask , has anyone heard of asbestos??? All drywall an plaster has asbestos in it and I would hate to ever hear of anyone from your show getting it, from just wearing white dust masks,just and FWI. It was also so great to see you guys coming north to Canada!! Next time try Vancouver you would love it.

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  13. Love these two…funny, happy, very real unlike the Gaines from Waco who are shallow, silly and a bit phony.

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  14. great show

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  15. we all love the show,my daughter wanted to know if you have any kids-thanks RITA

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  16. I used to really enjoy this show, however, for the past several months I have noticed a change in Courtney’s personality. She appears to have become a design diva and not in a good way. There is a big difference between confidence and arrogance. She now appears to show an air of superiority when speaking to people involved in the show. It is quickly becoming my least favorite show! Have a little humility Courtney!

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  17. Like the show but do not like the design assistant. She is phony. Drop her fast.

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  18. Kourtney needs serious help with her wardrobe!!! Her choices are sooooooo bad, it is distracting – and not in a good way….. Otherwise I enjoy their show.W

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