11 Things to Know About Ken and Anita Corsini
The hosts of HGTV’s new Flip or Flop Atlanta started from the bottom with their family flipping business and have mastered the art of working with a spouse.
To say that Ken and Anita Corsini, married 17 years now, adore each other would be a serious understatement.
The hosts of HGTV’s new Flip or Flop Atlanta, premiering tonight on HGTV at 9|8c, have one of those "instant connection" love stories, a shared appreciation for goofing off, and almost two decades of stories from their post-college days until now, as they continue to build their family real estate business in the Atlanta area, one of the more competitive housing markets in the country. What will we come to learn (and not learn) about the Corsinis in Flip or Flop Atlanta? Here are a few fun facts about Ken and Anita (and their awesome love story).
They met in college
Anita was in a study group with Ken’s roommate their junior year of college at the University of Georgia, and Ken took advantage of the phone line he shared with his roommate.
“When Anita would call our apartment to talk to my roommate, I was diligent in making sure I picked up the phone first, so I could get a few minutes of ‘phone flirting’ in before passing the phone over to my roommate,” he said. “Keep in mind we’re old. This is before college kids had cell phones.”
Anita, a self-proclaimed “picky” dater, agreed to go out with Ken, and they had their first date picking strawberries. She made him strawberry shortcake that night, and the rest is history.
“I kind of knew exactly what I wanted in a guy, but couldn’t always find a complete package,” Anita said. “Enter: Ken. He, of course, is tall, dark and handsome, but he was also very funny, knew how to have a good time and shared my values. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.”
Anita was a math teacher
After earning her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and her master’s in math education -- “Proud nerd,” she says -- Anita was teaching high school math, with AP Calculus as her “sweet spot.”
“I really am a kid at heart and love being with people, so teaching was a great fit for me,” she said. “Plus those kids had me in stitches every day.”
While Ken was starting up his own real estate business, the pair learned they were expecting their first child, and Ken asked Anita to get her real estate license and join him in the business.
“So the teach went on and went to summer school, belly and all, passed her real estate exam and still had plenty of time to prepare the nursery for the baby,” Anita said.
They’re Both Georgia Transplants
Ken lived in San Jose, Calif., until his family moved to Marietta, Ga., just outside of Atlanta, when he was in grade school. The plan was to eventually head back west, but his family became stuck on the South.
“Atlanta is just a gorgeous place to live. With mild winters and lush green summers, it’s no wonder so many people move from other parts of the country to call Atlanta home,” Ken said. “Atlanta is also a melting pot of different cultures. I love the fact that my children have the opportunity to be exposed to so many different people, groups and cultures.”
Around the same time Ken’s family relocated, Anita’s family was moving from Raleigh, NC, where she was born, to Texas and finally on to Georgia.
“We love the fact that Atlanta offers so much,” Anita said. “You’ve got big city living, inner city living, life in the ‘burbs, life in the country – take your pick. Atlanta has it all, and we enjoy every bit of it.”
Ken Has Made Exactly One Design Decision in his Career
In 2010 … and his team hasn’t let him live it down since.
“I decided I was going to pick the outside color for one of our properties, and I wanted something in the green family,” Ken said. “Let’s just say the house was affectionately referred to as the ‘Kermit House.’”
They’ve Found Everything from Life Magazines to a Canadian Goose in Their Flips
Among the “unmentionables,” mannequin heads, bowling balls and heaps of clothing they’ve found left behind in properties they’ve purchased, a few things stick out as memorable finds.
“This season while we were filming, Ken went up into the attic of a house we were rehabbing and called for me – he found a trunk of memories of one of my former students!” Anita said. “The great thing was he was getting married in a few months to a girl from Germany, so she didn’t know him from these years of his life. He was able to come and get the trunk and share all of these beautiful memories with her.”
And last fall, Ken found another awesome keeper in a flip.
“I found a giant stuffed Canadian goose hanging on the wall of a house we had just purchased,” Ken said. “Suffice to say, that goose is now hanging in our warehouse.”
Their First Apartment Together Was a Bit of a Circus
For about six months right after their wedding, Ken and Anita, with “hardly two nickels to rub together,” rented an affordable apartment with sparse furniture, a great stereo system and an interesting neighbor.
“All I remember is waking up to some sort of circus music every night at three in the morning,” Anita said.
Ken remembers it a bit more specifically.
“I still remember the neighbor to our left, who only came out at night and was rarely seen without his bathrobe on,” he said.
Within a few months, they had purchased their first home in Woodstock, Ga., where they’ve lived ever since.
Their Current Home Has 12 Different Levels
Like many homeowners, the Corsinis’ home is perpetually in some form of change or upgrading, since they bought it in 2011. Ken calls the flow of the house “odd,” but its many other qualities, including the large square footage, acreage and privacy, make up for it.
“The house was built right on top of a private lake, which creates an outdoor setting that is pretty spectacular,” Ken said. “For this reason, we can look past the odd layout and appreciate the house for the amazing setting that surrounds it.”
Their 3 Kids Are Naturally Involved in the Family Business
While they’re still a bit young to actually be put to work, the kids are always around and involved while their mom and dad conduct business from home, and they’ll occasionally check out a job site with their parents.
“My oldest would tell you she plans to go into the family business when she gets older, fingers crossed,” Ken said.
Meeting Jimmy Fallon is on Their Bucket List
Anita really likes Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and even tried, to no avail, to get tickets to see him for her 40th birthday recently. (Anyone got the hookup?)
“We could be best friends – for real,” she said. “And the Roots: yes, please! Oh that would be a fun day in my book.”
They Solve Disagreements the Best Way
“Dance off!” Anita said. “Whoever has better moves wins.”
OK, she’s kidding. But the reality is, she said, that they both give and take.
“You see, we are two opinionated people, who are, ahem, a little bit stubborn,” Anita said. “So yes, there are times we don’t always see eye to eye on things. We work hard to find a compromise that we can both live with.”
“Within the context of a project, we both typically stay ‘in our lanes’ pretty well,” Ken said. “However, I may on occasion swerve into her lane and add some color commentary on a design decision she’s made. This rarely bodes well for me.”
Need a Pen? Ask Anita
“I always have snacks with me, for the kids, of course (wink wink), and about 10 different colored pens in my purse,” Anita said. “If you’ve known me for a long time you will know that I have always loved pens and have a bazillion of them. I guess that is the teacher in me … old habits die hard.”
Stay tuned for more about Ken and Anita and their series Flip or Flop Atlanta, premiering on July 20 at 9\8c on HGTV.
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