The HGTV star, who hosts Flip or Flop with ex-wife Christina El Moussa, shows off his new bachelor-dad pad

By Mackenzie Schmidt
July 30, 2018 03:35 PM
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Credit: Grant Rivera/ Apex Studios

Tarek El Moussa makes risky real estate deals every day on Flip or Flop, the HGTV show he hosts with ex-wife Christina. So when he spotted this four-bedroom Costa Mesa, Calif., home, he tells PEOPLE, he had know qualms about buying it “within hours.” He paid a reported $2.28 million for the home in March. The price, he later said, was conveniently under his budget.

“I walked in, and it had the absolute coolest bachelor-pad-meets-family-house vibes,” says El Moussa, 36, who shares custody of daughter Taylor, 7, and son Brayden, 2, with Christina, from whom he split in 2016.

Credit: Grant Rivera/ Apex Studios

He was excited to decorate from scratch. “I had nothing. When I left, I left. So I got to design and build most of the furniture,” he says.

In his master suite, a custom 8 ft.-by-8 ft. canopy bed takes center stage. “No comment,” he jokes when asked about the inspiration for creating the massive piece, before admitting, “I just wanted a big bed. My kids are always with me, so a huge bed is perfect for them. We all lay in bed and play, and there’s so much room. It’s just nice to have that.”

Credit: Grant Rivera/ Apex Studios
Credit: Grant Rivera/ Apex Studios

The kids also got a say in their bedroom designs: Taylor’s space features pink walls and a mermaid theme, and truck-obsessed Brayden has a car theme, including a racecar bed.

RELATED VIDEO: Christina El Moussa Has a New Job that Could Make Ex Tarek Her Professional Rival

The backyard pool and big driveway were also a big sell for the little ones. “[The driveway] is gated, so my kids play basketball and soccer. They rollerblade. They have their scooters. That’s why it’s a great house for me as a dad,” he says. Adding, “On the bachelor side, it’s really cool and hip and modern. It has the jacuzzi. It’s great for entertaining. It’s just beautiful.”

Credit: Grant Rivera/ Apex Studios
Credit: Grant Rivera/ Apex Studios

After decking out the place top to bottom, the real estate pro says he plans to stay put for a while. “The house is actually perfect. It’s just me and my kids and my live-in nanny. I don’t see why I’d need to move.”

He admits, however, after just two weeks in the new house, there may be some awkwardness with his neighbors: “Honestly, Christina lives like two blocks from me. So that should be interesting.”