Bayport’s very own Jon and Dani Wrobel have made it to prime time.
The couple, married eight years, star in the new HGTV series “Flip to a Million,” which airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on HGTV and is available to stream on discovery+. Each episode follows the Wrobel’s, as well as Jason and EJ Williams of Chicago, who all relocated to Dallas for six months.
On the program, both couples receive an initial budget of only $1,000 before they enter the flipping market. They must buy, renovate and sell various properties to build up to their ultimate goal of flipping a house for $1 million within six months.
The show is not a competition, and the couples rooted for one another to succeed. Nonetheless, there is still plenty of pressure and overwhelming emotions.
“There’s a lot of heart, love, all the feelings,” Dani Wrobel said. “There’s frustration, surprises, but there’s really good moments, a couple tear jerker moments.”
“It’s a very organic trip, you see raw, you see emotion,” Jon Wrobel added. “That’s something you don’t normally see in home renovation shows that you’ll see in our show.”
When the new reality series premiered Aug. 1, the Wrobels held a viewing party at Five Points Café in Sayville.
“It was nice to reminisce because it brought us back to when we first started,” Dani Wrobel said. “It brought us back to that beginning when it was all uncertain.
“Looking back, we took on a task that was close to impossible,” she continued. “That fear, that uncertainty came back into our minds. But it was a really great moment and I’m happy that our friends and family all got to be there to share that.”
The Dallas difference
Soon after they met 10 years ago, Jon and Dani Wrobel took to renovating and flipping houses.
“Every property we’ve lived we bought either as a foreclosure or a distressed property and every house has been a renovation,” Jon Wrobel said. “That’s what we love to do.”
In New York, the seasoned veterans tackle properties in various states of rack and ruin, from those in need of cosmetic surgery to those in critical structural condition.
Down in Dallas, starting with meager funds, the couple shied away from anything too dilapidated.
“With the small budget we had on that first house, we were definitely looking for all those big ticket items to not be on our to-do list,” Dani Wrobel said. “The roof we wanted to be pretty much in tact, foundations are always a nightmare to repair. Really, we were just looking for cosmetic updates with good bones.”
Even skirting major problems, the renovation on their first house was still costly. The couple decided to negotiate, securing kitchen cabinets on credit from a local shop owner and borrowing furniture to stage their first open house in exchange for some business promotion.
“Limited funds makes you do things that you normally wouldn’t do out of your comfort zone,” Jon Wrobel said. “I think in general we’re very adaptive, we always brainstorm solutions and ways to get around obstacles.”
Their real estate agent, who lives next door to that first flipper-upper, was even willing to lend set pieces for the open house.
“They have that southern charm,” Dani Wrobel said of the helpful Texans.
‘No dream is too big’
Back home on Long Island, Jon and Dani Wrobel are expanding their True Place Co., which they began as home renovation morphed from hobby to business. What started as a real estate investment firm grew to include “a design wing,” as Jon Wrobel described it.
In a few weeks, the couple will open their first True Place Co. retail storefront in Sayville. The home goods store will sell clothing, jewelry and lifestyle items perfect for staging a newly flipped home.
The couple said their storefront will also function as a design studio, where people can plan renovations with their help.
With all the excitement surrounding a new television series and a new store, the couple are perhaps most excited to inspire their twin 6-year-old daughters, Ava and Lily.
“We had to prove to our daughters that if you set your mind to anything, you can do anything,” Jon Wrobel said. “The whole concept about the show is the American dream, starting off with a little, working your way up. That’s what I love about this show.”
“No dream is too big,” Dani Wrobel added. “No dream is too outrageous to do.”
Top: Jon and Dani Wrobel, courtesy of HGTV.