Reality realty: First the bling, then the ka-ching, when flipping homes in Las Vegas

Precarious risk-reward ratios, playing the odds, hitting the jackpot: HGTV’s decision to launch a Las Vegas spinoff of its "Flip or Flop" franchise was a sure bet.

Hosted by husband-and-wife team Bristol and Aubrey Marunde, "Flip or Flop Vegas" begins its second season in March. Bristol is a contractor, and Aubrey is a real estate agent and designer.

The high-stakes gambling comparisons are apt for the fiery Vegas market. Last year marked the third best sales year on record for Sin City home sales despite a tight housing supply, reports the Greater Las Vegas Assn. of Realtors.

The Marundes, both 35, live with their young sons Kale and Kane in a five-bedroom home in Henderson, 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas.

You’ve called Vegas the country’s harshest real estate market. Why?

Aubrey: The time frame. Things move so fast in Vegas. You can have an area that’s booming, and something opens next door to it and you start seeing declining value. You have to be really careful about which property you select and what you put into it — and how fast you get it on and off your books. (The couple’s average flip time is three weeks.)

The Las Vegas market for furniture and decor is immense. What trends have you been tracking there?

Aubrey: Velvet is super big right now — in draperies, couches and chairs. Fake furs are big to add texture. We’re seeing blue and pink furs as accents on chairs, throws and pillows. And shag rugs are back in style. We’re starting to pull metallic colors into the rugs. You have to do it sparingly.

The casino industry fuels Vegas. How does that influence your renovations?

Aubrey: The casinos set the trend. The glam, the high-stakes atmosphere — that’s what buyers want to see in their homes, especially the condo market. We went over the top with one house, with a lot of crystal, mirrored accents and white marble. There’s no limit here. People just want a piece of Vegas.

Bristol: We know that buyers want it, because our houses sell so quickly. Our average sell time is five to seven days.

What look have you sourced from a casino?

Aubrey: We constantly get our hands on remnants that you won’t find anywhere else in the world — leftovers from projects on the Strip. The supplier of Hakkasan nightclub had a remnant: a retro glam, smoky blue mirror. We wrapped it around a kitchen island and paired it with gold accents.

What’s hot in backyard looks?

Bristol: We do at least two seating areas with patios — one off the master, and one off the main part of the house. What’s trending: fireplaces with crystals in different colors rather than logs.

Do you often use synthetic grass?

Aubrey: We use it on almost every one of our houses. We call it Vegas grass. It’s popular because of the water restrictions. We run it between pavers or in an X pattern or a geometric pattern.

Have you ever placed a losing bet — a flop?

Aubrey: We’ve never had a flop. But we’ve definitely had properties where the margins were super tight.

Related video: The 10 best cities to flip a home (provided by Money)

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