Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young Move Into New O.C. Home Together: ‘Exciting’ but ‘Chaos!’
El Moussa is saying goodbye to the first home that he bought for himself and his kids after splitting from ex Christina Anstead
In just one week, the Flip or Flop star, 38, and his girlfriend of nine months, 32, who stars on Netflix's Selling Sunset, sold his Costa Mesa home off market, found a new place to live in Newport Beach, packed up their things and moved — all in the middle of a pandemic.
“It’s been chaos,” El Moussa joked, while speaking exclusively to PEOPLE shortly after the move.
Young agrees, explaining that everyone was decked out in masks and gloves during theprocess. “It's been an interesting time, but we're making it work.”
The couple — who began dating in July — say they had been looking for a new place months before the coronavirus pandemic began, and recently found one that they thought could be their forever home. They quickly made an offer on it and listed El Moussa's house.
Not long after, they decided the home had a few flaws, and they needed to back out of the offer — but their current home had already sold. Instead of panicking, they found another option: a chic, modern beach house just a block from the ocean, which they plan to rent for at least a year.
“This is our in-between house until we build or find the perfect house,” El Moussa says. “But I mean, this is a super killer house. It's nicer than the house we were living in — it's right by the water and kind of looks like a hotel.”
The house he just sold was the first home that El Moussa moved into after his divorce from Christina Anstead, with whom he shares son Brayden James, 4, and daughter Taylor Reese, 9.
El Moussa and Anstead split publicly in December 2016 and finalized their divorce in January 2018, though they continue to film Flip or Flop together. That property was only two minutes away from the home Christina shares with her new husband Ant Anstead, El Moussa previously told PEOPLE, but the new one is just 15 minutes away.
Despite the upgrade, El Moussa is still sorry to let go of his Costa Mesa home.
“It's especially sad for me because it's the first place that I felt like I had a home for the kids,” El Moussa says. “Obviously Heather moved in several months ago and she just made that place so much more special to me. But I'm letting a piece of the past go. It was a very defining moment in my life after my divorce and now it's time to move on to the next chapter.”
Young agrees. “I loved the other house, and him and the kids really made me feel like it was my home from the second I walked in,” she says. “That was our first place we lived together and we made a lot of memories in such a short amount of time.”
The pair say they are thrilled to start fresh in a new place that is entirely their own, and begin a new chapter with the kids. Young has been a staple in Taylor and Brayden's lives ever since they started dating — going to the kids' sporting events, watching their school performances, and attending their birthday parties.
“The biggest thing in the move is obviously making the kids feel comfortable, so Heather's been going above and beyond to make sure that happens,” El Moussa says. “We're making the bedrooms very special for the kids and that's Heather's big goal right now.”
Young adds, “We wanted them to feel involved. Especially Taylor, now that she's turning 10 soon, we wanted it to be a big girl room for her.”
The result? A bedroom awash with baby blue, silver and hints of pink — just like Taylor asked for. “She's definitely a girl that knows exactly what she wants,” Young says with a laugh. “She's like her father!”
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While the couple continues to settle into the new home and make it their own, Young is busy promoting season 2 of her reality show Selling Sunset, which premieres on May 22.
The show, which first aired last March, follows Young and her co-workers at The Oppenheim Group — a high-end real estate firm in Los Angeles. In season one, the associates stirred up plenty of drama as they worked to sell luxurious properties, and this season promises even more.
“I think it’s even better than the first one,” Young says of the upcoming season. “There's a lot of drama — it's very juicy, lots of changes in people's relationships. Plus, there are a lot more gorgeous homes.”
The Southern California native says filming for the season began around when she and El Moussa first started dating, so her feelings about the blossoming romance are captured on film. “You get to hear how I met the kids and how the relationship began."
Balancing work, filming, and a new relationship definitely came with its challenges, Young says, but she wouldn’t change a thing.
“With everything that we've both gone through, we're used to things being thrown at us,” she says. “We always make it fun and exciting.”
Season 2 of Selling Sunset premieres May 22 on Netflix.