Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead Landed "Flip or Flop" After Sending HGTV a Home Video on a Whim

Kelly Corbett, Taylor Mead
·7-min read
Photo credit: Aaron Rapoport / Contributor - Getty Images
Photo credit: Aaron Rapoport / Contributor - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

HGTV's Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead (formerly El Moussa) prove that even after divorce, maintaining a healthy relationship with your ex is still possible. The pair continues to amiciably co-parent their two children, Taylor and Brayden, as well as film the show that started it all: Flip or Flop.

Since the home renovation series began in 2011, Tarek and Christina raised two kids together, faced a few medical scares, got divorced, found new romantic interests, and so on. However, despite what was going on in their personal lives, their passion for the show and design remained unwavering.

Currently, Flip or Flop is gearing up for its 10th season. This will Christina and Tarek's fourth season together following their divorce. Let's take a look back at their journey — from when they first met, to present day. Here's everytrhing we know about Christina Anstead and Tarek El Moussa's relationship.

Early 2000s: Tarek and Christina met

Given that Tarek and Christina are both passionate about real estate, it's no suprise that their paths crossed while working. "We met at a real-estate office," Christina said in a 2014 HGTV video. "We started our relationship working together."

It's unknown the exact year the couple met as their relationship pre-dates Instagram; however, during an interview with the Orange County Register, they reflected on how the 2008 recession had affected their business. With that being said, they most likely met prior to or in 2008.

2009: Tarek and Christina got married

The couple married in 2009 during a ceremony on Coronado Island in San Diego, California, according to Country Living. Christina was 26 and Tarek was 28.

Photo credit: Anne Cusack - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anne Cusack - Getty Images

2010: Christina became pregnant with their first child

"I clearly remember my first house flip: It was May of 2010, when Christina was five months pregnant," Tarek wrote in a guest post on Realtor.com. As it turned out, this flip was their ticket to success. "While renovating this house, we'd made a home video, and I got this crazy idea to send it out to production companies to see if it could be turned into a reality TV show," El Moussa continued. They sent the video to HGTV on a whim.

July 2011: Christina and Tarek shot their first pilot episode for HGTV

The couple's home video was a success! In 2011, Christina and Tarek shot the Flip or Flop pilot episode with HGTV. "The studio loved it so much, they signed us before it even aired," Tarek wrote on Realtor.com. "It happened so easily, like it was fate."

Of course, it wasn't all that easy. The couple really had to pick up the pace. HGTV's contract stated the duo would have to flip 13 houses in just 10 months. "To put it in perspective, the entire year before, Christina and I had only flipped three houses," Tarek recalled.

April 2013: Flip of Flop first aired on HGTV

After months in the making, the first episode of season 1 of Flip or Flop aired on April 16, 2013 on HGTV. The show would go on to develop a cult-following as well as inspire spin-off series' Flip or Flop Nashville and Flip or Flop Atlanta.

Photo credit: Gina Ferazzi - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gina Ferazzi - Getty Images

Late 2013: Tarek El Moussa is diagnosed with two types of cancer

Shortly after Flip or Flop premiered, a nurse, who was a fan of the show, wrote in to producers because she believed that a lump she saw on Tarek's throat was due to thyroid cancer. She was right. After seeking further medical attention, Tarek was also diagnosed with another form of cancer — tesicular cancer. Within a month, Tarek had his thyroid and lymph nodes removed and was undergoing iodine radiation.

2015: Christina and Tarek welcomed their second child

In August 2015, Christina and Tarek welcomed son Brayden James El Moussa, who joined their daughter Taylor El Moussa. However, this pregnancy was no walk in the park to say the least.

Tarek's cancer posed a threat to childbearing, leading Christina to undergo in vitro fertilization treatments. After one failed attempt and another that sadly ended in miscarriage, Brayden was finally conceived. "I had to do one full week in bed. For 13 weeks after that, I couldn't go for a walk and couldn't lift anything over a gallon of milk," she told People. "We did everything we could to make sure this one worked."

May 2016: Christina and Tarek separated

Between raising their children, filming a TV show, and navigating their medical diagnoses, Christina and Tarek definitely had a lot on their plates. The couple quietly separated in May 2016 after seven years of marriage. In December 2016, they went public with the news.

January 2016: Tarek filed for divorce

Tarek officially filed for divorce in January 2016. "Like any couple, we had our share of issues," Christina told People. "But we went through a lot in a short amount of time." At the time, the couple had already filmed six seasons of Flip or Flop together and were about to tackle seven 7 production.

October, 2017: Christina started dating Ant Anstead

Christina started dating Wheeler Dealers star Ant Anstead. Initially, they stayed quiet about their relationship on their social media channels; however, it was later confirmed that the couple started dating in October 2017. Christina revealed that the two of them were introduced through a mutual friend.

August 2018: Flip or Flop continued filming despite the couple's divorce

While Christina admitted that working with Tarek was definitely awkward, the exes successfully made it through season 7 production of Flip or Flop. In fact, it became clear that this arrangement could actually work out. The show was renewed for season 8.

December 22, 2018: Christina gets remarried

Christina married Ant Anstead in their home in Newport Beach, California. Tarek was not invited.

March 2019: Tarek announced he is cancer-free

Six years after his thyroid and prostate cancer diagnosis, Tarek announced he was officially cancer free.

View this post on Instagram

CANCER FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!🙏🙏🙏🙏 . As most of you know...2013 was the scariest year of my life! I didn’t only get hit with one cancer..but got hit with two different cancers😬 . I found out at the beginning of filming season 2 of Flip or Flop. I remember the production company calling me and telling me they understand if I can’t move forward. I said thank you but no thank you let’s keep going!!!! . I gained 50 pounds that season from cancer side affects, had two surgeries and went through radioactive iodine treatment. I was very sick with terrible migraines and nauseous every day. But, I told myself no matter what you can’t quit!!! It was tough but I knew deep down I had to keep going. I was very scared and suffering inside but never showed it. Looking back I should have. . Today I got the best news ever...I’m cancer free and I’m healthier than ever!!!!😊😊😊. This makes me so happy not for me but for my babies ❤️. I have to be healthy and alive for them!! (I’m tearing up writing this😭😭😭) . Ugh...they are my everything and they need their daddy! This news is so good because I’m alive to be here for THEM!! . From the bottom of my heart I love all of you. I read all your comments and feel like I know so many of you. You have followed me so long I’d probably recognize you on the street. I’m saying this because I appreciate you and all of your support...thank you again from the bottom of my heart ❤️ . OFFICIALLY CANCER FREE- TAREK😊 .

A post shared by Tarek El Moussa (@therealtarekelmoussa) on Mar 14, 2019 at 6:06pm PDT

May 2019: Christina's first solo-show premiered on HGTV

In May 2019, Christina on the Coast premiered. The show, which is currently gearing up for season 3, follows Christina as she meets with families and helps them redesign their homes

July 2019: Tarek El Moussa started dating Heather Rae Young

Tarek met Selling Sunset star Heather Rae Young on July 4, 2019. They started dating later that month.

March 2020: Tarek's first solo-show on HGTV premiered

Tarek's first solo-series Flipping 101 W/ Tarek El Moussa premiered in March 2020. The show, which is currently in production for season 2, follows Tarek as he mentors real estate rookies on how to successfully flip a home.

July 2020: Tarek El Moussa proposed to his girlfriend

Tarek proposed to Heather Rae Young in a romantic ceremony on a private beach.

September 2020: Christina announced she is getting a second divorce

In a post on Instagram, Christina shared the sad news with her fans. "Ant and I have made the difficult decision to separate," she said, adding that, "We are grateful for each other and as always, our children will remain our priority."

November 2020: Flip or Flop is renewed for season 10

HGTV greenlights 15 new half-hour episodes of Flip or Flop. Christina took to Instagram to celebrate the show's success as well as note how it served as a memory reel for the family. "I love the fact that Tay and Bray will get to look back at this journey and watch themselves grow up," she wrote.

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