The untold truth of Flip or Flop Fort Worth

Flip or Flop Fort Worth is a new type of show. Yes, it is part of the already-known and successful Flip or Flop franchise, but husband-and-wife duo Andy and Ashley Williams take this property to a whole new level. As veterans, they have made it their goal to help out fellow veterans when it comes to finding their dream houses and transitioning back to life at home. 

Not only is this show about the home remodeling, but it also brings in life stories of those who have dedicated their lives to serving their country. And, while the show lets us into Andy and Ashley's lives, there's more to know about this giving couple. So let's take a look at some untold truths about Andy, Ashley and Flip or Flop Fort Worth.

The couple met in the army under not-so-romantic circumstances

It was during their time in the military that Andy and Ashley met. As reported by Good Housekeeping, Andy served in the Marines, and Ashley served in the Army.

Meeting in Baghdad, Iraq, their first encounter wasn't the most romantic. While at the gym, Ashley was training for a fitness test, and Andy saw an opportunity to introduce himself. Ashley spoke to this first meeting, sharing, "I was sitting on the leg machine and Andy came up to me and said, 'Hey, do you need a personal trainer?' I was like, 'Uh, no!'"

Real estate first piqued Andy's interest while he was in the Marines in Iraq

While serving in the Marines, Andy experienced close calls that had a deep impact on him. It was during one particular intense moment that he decided, if he made it home, he would invest in real estate. 

Andy told the Star-Telegram that he had a close call with an "improvised explosion device." It was then that he made a mental note. He said, "If it had been a little closer, I would have probably been done. When I came back from that run, I was like, 'Either I'm going to die out here or I'm going to come out with a little bit of cash.'"

He decided to make that cash through real estate. As reported by Good Housekeeping, Andy had originally invested in rental properties back home in the United States. Buying his first house at age 22, he continued to find success while in the Marines. He said during the interview with the Star-Telegram, "The next thing I knew I was up to 10 or 12 houses and my buddies were calling me the 'Madcap Economist.'"

Real estate helped the couple adjust back to regular life

Real estate became a focus for Andy, and soon Ashley, when they returned back to the United States. In fact, the job was a way for them to adapt to their new lives back home after serving their country.

Ashley spoke to Shadow and Act about their transition to a new life and how they wanted to find a way to control their "own destiny." Being out of the civilian workforce for some time, it wasn't always easy to show how their work in the military could be used in a new type of industry. 

However, the couple found a way, through real estate, to make it work. She said during the interview, "A lot of things require certificates and training and a lot of times we don't get the paperwork behind it, so it's like it never happened. Real estate was a way that we could control our destiny."

Starting a family was their priority

Aside from finding an occupation that allowed them to have control over their situation, Andy and Ashley had another priority in mind as well — starting a family.

When they made their way back home from Iraq in 2012, the couple made a promise to each other that they would make settling down a priority. Andy told Good Housekeeping about this big decision, saying, "[Ashley] made it a point, she drew the line, that once we came home, I couldn't go back [overseas]."

Ashley was thinking of the big picture. Andy continued, "When we started a family, when we started having kids, she wanted me to be there. That was the big thing. She wanted me to be there to raise a family and have a family home together."

Their path to real estate success started with a vacation

By fate, it was on vacation that Andy and Ashley's lives changed forever. And it all started with a friendly conversation.

"We were there, just relaxing," Ashley told the Star-Telegram, "and Andy found someone who was interested in talking business. They hit it off and we literally went through the whole vacation talking to him." Andy was so passionate, he could talk about his flips for hours. Little did he know that his new friend would change the course of his family's life.

As Ashley described, "One day, Andy gets a phone call: 'Hey, the show might be an option.' Andy's like, 'The show? What show?' And he says, 'Well, I didn't tell you. I pitched your show. People loved it.'…. After that, it was like a boulder rolling downhill." 

It turns out that Andy's new friend worked in television, and their serendipitous run-in on vacation created a whole new career path for the couple.

The couple had no idea they would be part of the well-known Flip or Flop franchise

The life-changing encounter on vacation was not the only pleasant surprise for the couple. Andy and Ashley both knew they were being considered for a flipping show, but it was only when the show was announced that they realized they would be part of the Flip or Flop franchise.

Ashley was totally fine with that big news being a surprise. As she told the Star-Telegram, "I'm a nervous Nelly…. It definitely would have been extra pressure on me. So it was good to have a clean slate and not know. Plus, I love surprises. This was definitely a surprise."

Being part of a successful series, the couple was excited for more of a spotlight to be on their city, Fort Worth. Ashley continued, "I think our viewers will take away that Fort Worth is not just Stockyards and country living…. It has so much more to offer. It's really an up-and-coming city. I really want the show to put Fort Worth on the map as a destination to start moving here."

Andy and Ashley had an important request for HGTV before they agreed to the show

Aside from the obvious theme of flipping homes, Flip or Flop Fort Worth gives a spotlight to veterans and the work they have done for their country. This was a story that Andy and Ashley knew they wanted to tell from the very beginning.

When HGTV was first working with the couple on kicking off the show, Andy and Ashley made it very clear how important it was to focus on their mission with veterans. 

Andy shared this story with Shadow and Act, saying, "This is going to allow us to create a movement — change the narrative, and to bring value to other veterans that are coming back and looking to acclimatize and reintegrate. We just want to show all Americans that there's a pathway that you can take, and it's not easy, it didn't happen overnight."

They won't let a TV show weaken their marriage

A successful show can naturally make it more difficult for a couple to balance life. Especially when a previous couple on a HGTV show goes through a split, it becomes top of mind — it was something Andy and Ashley considered once they agreed to this show. However, this couple has made it clear since the beginning of their show that their marriage will remain strong through all of these big life changes.

After serving in the Marines and Army together, Ashley put their achievement into perspective. She spoke to ET Online, saying, "I don't think coming back home and having people see us [on TV] is going to be any worse than dodging a rocket or diving into a bunker."

The couple also always keeps their mission to serve veterans in mind, which helps them stay grounded. Andy elaborated, "It's a great opportunity with HGTV, but we're very aware that it's really about the mission, and we keep that at the forefront of our focus. And then, we're having fun…. Whether [the cameras] were here or not, we'd be doing what we're doing. We just continue to do what we love and serve, and we just have a spotlight."

Their top advice: do not buy the most expensive items

While the home transformations that Andy and Ashley create in each of their projects are impressive, they aren't as expensive as you might think. In fact, this couple makes it a priority to find cheaper options, helping to keep the overall renovation budget as low as possible.

While speaking on Megyn Kelly Today, the couple brought in a few examples of "real" versus "faux" stone, brick and wood. They wanted to show that the more expensive option isn't always the best pick. Ashley said, "You don't have to go with the most expensive option because no one is going to come up to you and say, 'Hey, this is not real wood.' Go with what's best for your budget. Get the great looks for less."