The untold truth of HGTV's Masters of Flip

HGTV's Masters of Flip, a home-renovation series, debuted in 2015, following Nashville spouses Kortney and Dave Wilson in their efforts to transform run-down wrecks into gorgeous dream homes to sell at a profit. The show quickly caught on, with the first season attracting 13 million viewers, and, the following year, HGTV, the network responsible for the likes of Hidden Potential, Good Bones, and Restored by the Fordsannounced plans for a second. "We're taking new risks this season, especially as we try to flip some of the homes in transitional areas of town," said Dave in the network's announcement. "Our hope is that the homes we renovate could spur the start of further renovations in these charming neighborhoods." Added Kortney, "The budgets are super tight, so we have little room for error in our design plans. We will maximize the results by preserving the original charm of the older homes, add show-stopping elements to properties that are underwhelming and bring in tons of color to punch up the appeal."

The Wilsons are among HGTV's most popular personalities, but there's a lot that their fans may not know about this fascinating couple. Read on to discover the untold truth of HGTV's Masters of Flip

HGTV's Masters of Flip stars Dave and Kortney Wilson were originally musicians

HGTV's Masters of Flip stars Dave and Kortney Wilson met while she was living in Nashville and he was residing in London, both pursuing their dreams of becoming music stars. "Dave was living in London, England and was literally here for two weeks on a writing vacation. We met through a mutual friend and I called my parents a month later to tell them I'd fallen in love," Kortney told the National Post. "And I called my band and said I'm not coming back to London," added Dave. "And the rest is history. We became roommates and then we got married and had three children shortly thereafter."

Music has always been a passion for the Wilsons, even though it's no longer their primary focus. "We are so in love with this town and passionate about the opportunity we have to transform homes here," she told The Tennessean. "What initially drew us to Nashville was the incredible and diverse music scene, since we are musicians, too. Now, we are smitten with the homes and real estate landscape here." Kortney added, "Ultimately, renovating a home is like writing a song — there's a beginning and an end and then you enjoy it."

Before HGTV's Masters of Flip, the show's stars had a record deal

In 2001, Kortney Wilson released two singles under the name Kortney Kayle, with one of these — "Unbroken by You" — peaking at No. 50 on the Billboard country singles chart. After they became a couple, and before HGTV's Masters of Flip, Kortney and Dave Wilson decided to team up professionally as well as personally, forming a musical duo together. In the midst of this, they had also begun renovating and flipping homes, which eventually became more lucrative than music. "While all this was going on we were in and out of publishing deals and we were still making music. We did eventually get another record deal and we were on the road," Kortney told the National Post

The pair began performing professionally as The Wilsons, releasing the single "Stick Together."

The arrival of the couple's sons, however, made pursuing music more complicated. "Obviously, when you have kids, things change dramatically," Kortney admitted to the Windsor Star. "Everything becomes a lot harder."

HGTV's Masters of Flip stars are Canadian

Kortney and Dave Wilson are longtime residents of Nashville, Tenn., but they are actually Canadian. While both are now dual citizens of Canada and the U.S., Dave hails from Canada's capital, Ottawa, while Kortney is originally from the Ontario city of Windsor, according to Windsor Star.

In 2016, Kortney took to Instagram to jokingly admit she felt "conflicted," with Canadians celebrating Canada Day on July 1 while their neighbors to the south celebrate Independence Day on July 4. "We're dual citizens, but you can't take the Canadian out of us," the star of HGTV's Masters of Flip told the Sudbury Star

While the pair have established deep roots in Nashville, Kortney offered a surprising response when asked where she would live if she had to move to another country. "I'm sort of in love with Italy right now," she told Marketplace Events. "Dave and I visited this year and felt like we could live in Florence for a while. Not forever, but a year or two would be wonderful."

HGTV's Masters of Flip wasn't the Wilsons' first TV show

Before they were seen renovating in HGTV's Masters of Flip, Dave and Kortney Wilson starred in an earlier television show that had nothing to do with flipping houses. In 2009, the pair starred in Meet the Wilsons, a CMT Canada reality series described by the Windsor Star as "a kind of Truman Show about workaday Nashville folk trying to juggle music careers with the demands of raising a family."

"Produced by Canada's RGK One Shot Productions in association with CMT, this eight-part half-hour series documents this Canadian couple living in Nashville as they embark upon flipping their house, launching a music career and adopting a third child," noted the network's announcement for the series. "With the help of their family and friends, one of whom is crashing with them temporarily, the Wilsons are determined to make all of their dreams come true."

To the Windsor Star, Kortney explained that the family chose to do the series after facing "hardships" while trying to make it in the music industry. She noted, "We needed to come up with an angle that would work for us and keep us together doing something we both enjoyed."

HGTV's Masters of Flip star Kortney Wilson was a soap opera actress

In 2001, HGTV's Masters of Flip star Kortney Wilson — then an aspiring country singer using the name Kortney Kayle — began appearing sporadically on the daytime drama One Life to Live

As MTV News reported at the time, the singer was set to appear "in a recurring role" on the show throughout the summer. "Kayle will portray herself and have several musical performances on the show," the outlet shared.

For Kortney, who had performed in musical productions as a teenager, acting was both a creative endeavor and a financial one. "I always liked to act," she told the National Post. "It definitely didn't feed my soul like music but it did feed the bank account. So I did a brief stint on One Life to Live playing myself at the time. I went back and forth between New York and Nashville and that was fun but music was always where it was at for us, even though it didn't pay the bills like TV did." She noted that because of how difficult it was touring with a family, TV became a great option for her.

Renovating their first home led them to flipping (and later to HGTV's Masters of Flip)

One of the facets of the Wilsons' lives chronicled in their CMT reality series Meet the Wilsons was the couple's renovation of their Nashville home. As Kortney Wilson revealed to the National Post, home renovation was something they kind of fell into.

"We started a renovation on our own house and found it really expensive to hire contractors," the star of HGTV's Masters of Flip explained. "It wasn't a major renovation so we decided to subcontract it ourselves and consult a contractor, which is exactly what we did — and we did it for less money." She continued, "We started to love the process and then an agent friend of ours said to us, 'You bought this house a few years ago and completely transformed it. Why don't you buy another one and do it there too? Take the equity that you've made out of renovating your own house and use it.' So we started doing that, lipstick renovations, and made $10,000."

As Kortney told the Edmonton Journal, "Instead of writing songs and presenting them to the listeners of the world (like we once did) we're flipping houses and presenting them to buyers. It's very much like a parallel creative world."

The Wilsons of HGTV's Masters of Flip fame own five to ten properties at any given time

As house-flipping became more lucrative than making music, Kortney and Dave Wilson eventually went all in, turning their efforts into renovating Nashville homes and selling them at a profit. HGTV's Masters of Flip stars become experts at their trade, with Kortney serving as realtor and designer while Dave oversees construction. "As an agent, I know where to spend the money," she told the Toronto Star. "And Dave is really good at what areas are going to be the next big thing. Location, as they say, is the key."

However, making money in real estate can be a roll of the dice, and the Wilsons are well aware of the risky nature of how they make a living. "Look, we own five to 10 properties at any time," Dave told the newspaper. "Imagine if the market turns?"

While he was proud to reveal that he and his wife have never lost money on a deal, he's enough of a realist to recognize that's always a possibility that must be considered. "You can lose your shirt in a heartbeat," he admitted.

HGTV's Masters of Flip star Kortney Wilson will cry at the drop of a hat

In addition to HGTV's Masters of Flip, the couple's brand also extends to their own website, with one section featuring Kortney Wilson's blog. In one blog post, she shared a revealing fact about herself. "I cry. A lot," she wrote, admitting she can get "pretty sentimental" in certain circumstances. "I'm tough as nails when it comes to certain things, especially business, but I can cry at the drop of a hat over little more than a good grocery store commercial," she wrote. "Don't even get me started on Disney movies. When [Frozen's] Elsa unfroze Anna with her act of love I was a ball full of bubbles and Kleenex."

While she wasn't much of a crier when she was younger, Kortney believes becoming a mom unleashed the waterworks. "Those damn hormones kicked in and left me over-thinking everything," she continued. "I can go down a tunnel of whys, hows, and what ifs if the mood strikes me." Still, she noted that "tears are nothing to be ashamed of in my world."

Why HGTV's Masters of Flip stars decided to adopt a third child when their second was still a baby

In addition to their two biological sons, the Wilsons are also parents of adopted daughter Lennox. Adoption, Kortney Wilson explained, was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. "When I met Dave, one of the very first things I said, no joke, was, 'Someday I want to adopt a baby, and if this is a deal-breaker for you just let me know!' He was, of course on a first date, saying, 'Oh no, that sounds great!'" she revealed in an interview with website This Mom Loves.

"I remember one day nursing our second child, and he was really young, maybe two or three months, and I said, 'It's time!' and Dave said, 'Time for what?' and I said, 'Time to start the adoption process!”" she continued. "And as any father of a second baby would say, his response was, 'Are you kidding me? Our child is two months old!'" The star of HGTV's Masters of Flip argued, having looked into the process, that adoption can take a long period of time, and she added, "I just felt like that was something that I was always supposed to do..."

The Wilsons, the stars of HGTV's Masters of Flip, homeschool their kids

The Wilsons' sons are both homeschooled, something that Kortney Wilson has occasionally referenced on social media. in an interview with This Mom Loves, the star of HGTV's Masters of Flip explained the reason why she and husband Dave Wilson decided to go that route. "We live in the urban core of Nashville where you have to lottery in and out of schools and although they did go to a great elementary school, we weren't entirely satisfied with our middle school options," she said, pointing out that the boys were spending so much time on homework that "wasn't really benefiting them all that much" and was causing them to drop extracurricular activities. 

"Where we live there are hundreds of homeschooled kids in our own community," she added. "Right now they are at a homeschooling event that happens every Friday where there are probably a hundred mothers. It's pretty amazing, and several of those people have been or are teachers, anywhere from elementary school to university level, so it's really great to be able to say, 'Hey, I know you teach biology to Vanderbilt students at the university, how about doing a swap, and we'll teach music?' So it's pretty awesome."

HGTV's Masters of Flip stars Kortney and Dave Wilson wrote a book

In addition to being TV stars and musicians, the Wilsons can also add "authors" to their list of titles, thanks to the 2019 publication of their book, Live Happy: The Best Ways to Make Your House a Home.

"It's a compilation of tips, everything from décor, life, parenting, marriage — it's a mishmash of stuff," Kortney Wilson told the Edmonton Journal, revealing they came up for the concept for the book after they were approached by publishing house HarperCollins.

"We felt like everybody who watched the show had a glimpse into our lives — our house-flipping lives," the star of HGTV's Masters of Flip said. "So we weren't sure how much more we could offer them. So that's when we came up with the idea to do stories on how we got here ... so we decided to take tips, things that we used over the last 21 years together, and interject little anecdotes into each tip so we each have a voice in the book."

The Wilsons of HGTV's Masters of Flip converted their master bedroom into... a closet?

Of all the Wilsons' numerous renovation projects, the one that remains nearest and dearest to them is their own home. One of the reno's most distinctive aspects, HGTV's Masters of Flip stars told PopSugar, is the unusual design of their master bedroom.

"Kortney converted our master bedroom into her own personal closet!" said Dave Wilson, with wife Kortney Wilson explaining, "I moved our bedroom to the sitting room. It was smaller than our bedroom, obviously. And then I made the bedroom my closet, and I gave David the closet off our master bathroom." She continued, "It's seriously awesome, and it's my favorite room in the house. You can actually find me there drinking Champagne on a Saturday afternoon, reading a book."

So elaborate is Kortney's closet that she's even decorated it for a holiday party. As she told TRNTO, "It's not one of those necessities, like say, your kitchen, but I'm proud of the space. After sharing a two-by-four-foot closet for most of my life with my sister and graduating to sharing a slightly larger walk-in closet with Dave, it has been a joy to start my morning off in a space that reflects me."

HGTV's Masters of Flip stars Dave and Kortney Wilson launched a new show

After the fifth season of HGTV's Masters of Flip aired in 2019, HGTV Canada announced the couple would be starring in a new show on the network, Making It Home with Kortney and Dave.

The new series, HGTV Canada noted on its website, shifted the focus from the Wilsons' renovating and flipping by having the couple share their expertise with homeowners. In Making It Home, the couple helps homeowners "make strategic moves with their money by using their flipping expertise to turn a fixer-upper into the home of their dreams — all while making smart investments into the biggest asset these families own." The description continued, "With Kortney taking the lead on design and Dave on project management, they will gather inspiration and intel to make the right reno moves for homeowners, before taking the reins for the full renovation. With the keys and budget in hand, they'll transform each unloved space into a show-stopper — making it beautiful, making it bright and making it home!"

HGTV's Masters of Flip stars announced plans to divorce

Fans of HGTV's Masters of Flip were stunned and saddened when the couple announced in December 2019 that they were separating. 

"It is with a very heavy heart that we share with all of you that after nearly 18 years of marriage, we have decided to separate," the couple revealed via Instagram. "As most of you know, there is so much more to every story and ours is no different. What we want you to know, most of all is that we have the utmost love and respect for one another." The couple then requested "kindness and understanding" while they navigate life apart. They also promised, "We will always be a connected family and together, we will build a strong, new path."

As for their future on television, a rep for HGTV Canada issued a statement to ET Canada, "We wholeheartedly support Kortney and Dave during this time. When it comes to matters related to their own family, we respect their privacy and honor any decision that works best for them and their children. Kortney and Dave will continue to appear on HGTV Canada."