Why We Love 'Desert Flippers'
Palm Springs was once a sleepy California retirement community — and Lindsey and Eric Bennett are our favorite wake-up call.
Southern California’s Coachella Valley is a one-of-a-kind desert paradise, and no one knows that better than Wisconsin-to-Palm-Springs transplants Lindsey and Eric Bennett.
“We’ve been out here for 12 years, and in that time the downtown district has just boomed, Lindsey says. “And it’s fun to see this area grow.”
“[Palm Springs has] sunshine 350 days a year, swimming pools everywhere, beautiful palm trees lining the streets... [W]hen I [was growing] up, the desert was sand, a couple of cacti, a roadrunner and a coyote,” Eric adds. “And now that I’m out here it’s an oasis like no other part of the country.”
Lindsey and Eric, in turn, put a unique spin on flipping. How do we love their Desert Flippers M.O.? Let us count the ways.
They’ve perfected indoor/outdoor living
Palm Springs has it all...except rain checks.
“If you want to go out and party here you can do that,” Eric says. “If you want to lay low and hang by the pool you can do that here. If you want to get rained out, you...can’t do that here.” The Bennetts know that focusing on their projects’ outdoor spaces is time and money very well spent.
“Staging these homes out here is different from any other area because I’m bringing more furniture sometimes for the outside than I am for the inside,” Lindsey explains. “There’s a huge amount of value [in] bringing the outdoors in and having the outdoors feeling like you have an outdoor living room. So we do a number of different elements outside—from outdoor living rooms, fire pit areas, poolside lounging, dining. It’s really like your [outdoor space] is an extension of your home.”
The stakes are high — and they don’t blink
The downside of Palm Springs’s skyrocketing real-estate values? Potential flips are snapped up in an instant, so Lindsey and Eric have to be prepared to take big leaps of faith for potential rewards.
“[The houses] are getting stinkier, they’re getting smellier, they’re getting more fire-damaged!” Eric says. “We have to take the ones that other professional flippers won’t take on. That’s how bad they are.”
“There’s risks,” Lindsey adds, “and some of it is calculated and some of it is really just — we’re jumping in with both feet and we’re going to struggle through it together with a smile on our faces and hope to get through it to a rainbow at the end.”
Speaking of risks,
The makeovers are drastic
When Lindsey reimagines a space, she’s thinking way beyond cosmetic updates. A cramped family room like the one pictured above could look a bit better with new surfaces...
...but in her flip, it’s becoming a second master bedroom — because she blasted out the property’s front patio and raised a sunken dining area to create a new great room in another part of the house. "I can take ugly and make it amazing," Lindsey says.
She and Eric will also make big-ticket adds like new pools to stay competitive with offerings near their properties. We repeat: Big risks, big rewards.
Eric looks on the bright side
Though he pushes back a bit when Lindsey’s ready to spend, he’s a glass-half-full guy at heart. Even when, say, a property’s right in the flight path of the local airport and beside a major thoroughfare.
He can — and will — make light of anything.
Lindsey has an open-concept vocabulary...
Look, she makes her living rearranging things.
...As does Eric...
...Who might be a vampire?
Palm Springs is rather well known for its active-senior community. Eric’s kidding, of course, but he does have a fondness for items of advanced age.
Ventilation is crucial in desert heat.
They meet each other halfway
Sure, Eric’s the “money man” and Lindsey’s the design maven, but when the Bennetts land a property, they’re side by side for demolition all the way through staging. Thriving in harsh conditions is all about teamwork, and these two have figured out how to make the desert bloom.
Tune in for “Attack of the Tree,” an all-new episode of Desert Flippers, on Tuesday, July 24 at 9|8c.