Utah house flippers Mike Baird and Doug Clark have seen the bad, the ugly and the downright putrid in their profession. Coming this Fall, Spike TV’s new series “Flipping Foreclosures” from the producers of “The Biggest Loser”, gives you an up close and personal insight into what these two face every day – foreclosed houses infested with rats and mold, drug paraphernalia and even rotting meat.
Spike is coming to Utah specifically because of Baird and Clark. “Flipping Foreclosures” has a definite Spike TV spin to it — this is the “wild, wild West” of house flipping, according to Clark. It starts at foreclosure auctions in Salt Lake City, where 30 to 120 homes per day are being sold at the Matheson Courthouse.
“The heart of the series is our enterprising, ambitious hosts,” said Tim Duffy, Spike’s senior vice president of original programming.
The Clark & Baird Expedition
Baird, 33, grew up in San Diego and moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University. Clark is a native of Utah who grew up in Murray. They met at a foreclosure auction in 2004, and Clark quit his career as a commercial pilot to join Baird as a foreclosure flipper.
Each of the six episodes ordered by Spike TV will follow Baird, Clark and their team through the story of one home. See them throughout the entire process – buying the foreclosure, cleaning it, repairing structural damage, rehabilitating and redecorating, and selling to a new owner.
They buy and sell an average of 50-60 homes a year and have 15-20 in their portfolio at any one time.
Turning Filth into Fortune
“Some of these homes have been vacant for years and years,” Baird said. “They’re rat-infested. And neighbors are just wishing that something would finally be done to some of these homes.”
Many times they encounter the unthinkable. Dead animals. Stolen cars. Meth labs.
“You have mold throughout the entire home,” Baird said. “You have people who have left meat that has been rotting there for months and months and it’s completely infested with flies.”
“One time we sent in people in biohazard suits to clean out meat,” Clark said. “By the time we put it in the Dumpster, the health department had already come to cite us because the Dumpsters smelled so bad. It was absolutely awful.”
“You never know what you’re going to find,” Clark said. “We had one home that had tens of thousands of hypodermic needles. There are situations we’ve seen that kids have lived in that would just blow your mind — worse than a third-world country.”
Clark & Baird Making A Difference
The plan for “Flipping Foreclosures” is to concentrate on the happy endings. “It’s tough when people are losing their homes,” Baird said. “But the reality is that there are victors in this, too. In the beginning, the neighbors are really curious. And then at the end, it’s kind of a hugs-and-kisses thing. They’re excited to have a new family in their neighborhood.”
“If we’re fixing America one house at a time, then at least we’re making a difference,” Clark said.
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Written by Lanee Neil