It’s a dream Nick and Elizabeth McElhatten have had since the early 2000s, and with their background in design, real estate and construction, the two are well on their way. The couple recently started a new Facebook page for their combined efforts and debuted the Facebook Live series Nick and Liz featuring all of their tips, flips and finds.
“HGTV, here we come.”
“We want to show people the mistakes we’ve made and the mistakes we make,” said Nick, laughing. The idea for the series came from Elizabeth’s product haul videos she does for her store, King Hardware and Gifts.
Inspired by shows like “Fixer Upper” and “Trading Spaces,” their goal is to show people how to flip property and be transparent while doing so. Eventually they plan to move to YouTube, but for now their core audience is on Facebook.
“It’s so important to invest in historic neighborhoods,” said Nick. “We want the community to sustain. We want the areas of the city already built to remain built.”
We popped by one of their flip houses to catch up with the duo and ask them a series of questions:
1. Favorite style of home?
Liz: Southern. My dream house is a southern style house with a wraparound front porch and a big backyard.
Nick: I like Georgian. I like the two-story boxy look. I like brick.
2. What color would you paint an accent wall?
Liz: A shade of blue.
Nick: A shade of turquoise. Navy or turquoise.
3. Wallpaper — in or out? Both: In.
4. What is the most interesting thing you’ve found in a home?
Liz: Well, we did find a dead cat.
Nick: World War II letters. A stamp collection from the turn of the century.
5. When you’re looking at houses to flip, do you prefer a standard foundation or pier and beam?
Both: Doesn’t matter.
6. What’s the main difference between them when it comes to buying?
Nick: Bathrooms are easier to move with pier and beam homes.
7. Which neighborhood has the best pricing?
Both: South Highland and Highland.
8. What are your thoughts on curb appeal?
Liz: One hundred percent. It’s all about curb appeal. You have to have landscaping. Your front yard needs to be pretty. Your house needs to be repainted. That’s a person’s first impression.
9. What is your favorite show on HGTV, past or present?
Liz: “Fixer Upper.” It’s always on. (Joanna Gaines) is really good. I watch it all the time.
Nick: “Trading Spaces.” I love the old one because they did hay on the walls.
10. What is your favorite show on television overall?
Liz: HGTV is all we watch.
Nick: I watch everything on Netflix. We completely whiffed on “Game of Thrones,” but “Schitt’s Creek” is pretty good.
11. What are three words to describe your personal style?
Liz: Traditional, trendy and conservative. I kind of do all of them. Maybe just eclectic.
Nick: Clean, Swedish modern, minimalist.
12. What is a red flag on a home you’re thinking about purchasing?
Liz: Structure, to me, scares me. Definitely foundation. If a house doesn’t have good foundation, to me that’s the worst part. That’s where you can go in and blow your whole budget.
Nick: Foundation. It’s number one.
13. Follow up question: If it’s the house that you love, would you still buy it?
Liz: If I could get a good enough deal on it.
Nick: Almost everything can be fixed.
14. When you walk into a home, what’s something right off the bat that seals the deal for you?
Liz: Layout. If I can tear out walls and if it has a good flow and easy to take stuff down.
Nick: Ceiling height. If it’s nine feet, I love it. The bathroom really seals the deal. If the bathroom makes sense and is big enough of a modern bath. It’s got to feel like a spa.
15. What is one tip you would give all homeowners?
Liz: To keep up and maintain your house. Probably the one thing that people don’t do over time is that they don’t maintain their properties.
Nick: One percent of your home’s value a year should be spent on physical maintenance, whether it’s painting or whatever. Biggest problems are water through the roof, termites and plumbing issues. People should just fix those things when they happen instead of letting them build up. Otherwise, it can be a mess.
16. What is one tip to give you sellers?
Liz: To declutter your house.
Nick: Clean. If a buyer walks into a house that’s clean and they can see the blinds clean or the oven, they assume that you take care of everything else.
17. When you are not flipping or at the store, what do you enjoy doing?
Liz: I go workout. We’re either with the kids or at the gym or the kids are at the gym with us.
Nick: I like to coach my sons’ teams. It’s fun getting involved with them. I used to like to go play myself, but I like to hang out with the kids.
18. What is your favorite local restaurant?
Liz: Bistro Byronz.
Nick: Giuseppe’s PastaCaffe or Herby K’s.
19. Uptown or downtown?
Liz: Uptown. This is where we live. For us, our whole life is right here in the middle of South Highland.
Nick: I want downtown to be awesome. I wish that I had been born before everything moved from downtown to see how it was really like. I want someone to start flipping those buildings downtown and really turning it into a place where people can walk, live and get groceries and do all those things.
20. Final question: What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger selves?
Liz: Stop and take advice from people. Sometimes you might feel like you know everything but sometimes you need to ask for help, ask for advice.
Nick: Watch your money. Always watch the people who are around you. You always have to have a check in place. Everyone has the best intentions, but there are hard lessons. Also, do something. Don’t sit and wait for something to come to you.
Follow Nick and Liz now on facebook.com/nickmcelhatten