The Stunning Transformation Of Heather Rae Young

When Netflix's hit show "Selling Sunset" hit the streaming platform, it took the world by storm. The amazing properties in the Hollywood Hills, the high-stakes office environment, the drama between model-gorgeous real estate agents — the show has it all. Of course, many of us avid viewers were hooked on the inner personal drama that was the feud between Christine Quinn and Chrishell Stause, according to Us Weekly. And, of course, who could forget when Stause's heavily public divorce hit the star during filming? But, while there was so much drama happening between Quinn and Stause (and you know that Davina Potratz was always up in other people's business), agent Heather Rae Young largely focused on the business.

Sure, Young was in and around the drama but, of all the agents who worked at the glamorous Oppenheim Group, she seemed to be one of the least frazzled when newcomer Stause joined the firm in Season 1. Since then, her star power has only increased, especially given her engagement to HGTV star Tarek El Moussa. So, who is Young, and what was her life like before "Selling Sunset" made her a star? Here's the stunning transformation of Heather Rae Young.

Heather Rae Young had a fairly rural upbringing

Heather Rae Young certainly brings all the glitz and glam to the screen during her appearances on "Selling Sunset," but what if we told you that she had a rather rural and outdoorsy upbringing? Young grew up in Running Springs, California, a small mountain town that is situated close to the San Bernardino National Forest. Before she embraced the life of high heels and billboards, Young spent her childhood with "a national forest as [her] backyard," and spoke about the experience with MotorTrend. "I would hike down to the creek and swim, go sledding in the winter, and I had a handful of ski resorts to choose from. It might sound dorky, but I love skiing," she told the outlet. 

In a separate interview with Playboy, Young's childhood was described as "idyllic," and she spent a good chunk of time outdoors, hiking with her dogs, taking dance lessons, and enjoying the small-town life. She highlighted her experience "learning good, small-town values and a strong work ethic from [her] parents," that have carried on throughout her life. However, the big city was calling her name.

The Selling Sunset star wasn't in any kind of clique in high school, but had rather relaxed teen years

Given how gorgeous Heather Rae Young is, you'd think that she was definitely the queen bee in high school. It seems as though every high school has one — the girl who rules the hallways, and always looks just about perfect. While the Oppenheim Group definitely is filled with different queen bees (looking at you, Christine Quinn), Young's actual days in high school were far more relaxed than you might imagine. 

Because she grew up in such a small town, Young's high school was made up of students from a number of different communities surrounding her own, and by her estimations, her class had more than 100 students. In a sit-down with MotorTrend, she made it clear that, even though the class wasn't super small, "we didn't have separate cliques in school." "We still had different types of kids but everyone was friends with each other," she said. And, as far as her senior superlative goes? Young almost won for best hair because, as she put it, it was consistently smooth and silky. Although, the realtor did admit that, due to photoshoots, her locks have "seen some damage."

This was Heather Rae Young's first job

We all worked odd jobs in high school. From babysitting (which seems like a rite of passage), waiting tables, or bussing at coffee shops, so many of us used the weekends and the summer breaks from school to make a couple of extra bucks. Heather Rae Young was no exception and, in an interview with MotorTrend, she revealed what her first jobs entailed. It was no bed of roses for Young, and her very first job ever was as a waitress at a pizza restaurant. 

As aforementioned, Young lived really close to the San Bernardino National Forest and, as such, skiing was the big thing. Her second job, she revealed, was as a ticket checker for the Snow Valley Ski Resort. Before she took the plunge and moved out of her hometown, she also worked as a video store clerk. But, Young knew that staying in Running Springs wasn't for her in the long term. "I moved out right after I turned 18," she said. "Even though Running Springs is a great place to raise a family, I knew I wanted something more and, to get that, I needed to move off the mountain." Young relocated to Redlands, California, and her career started to move from there.

This was what motivated Heather Rae Young to pursue a career in modeling

A cornerstone of "Selling Sunset" is the glamorous looks and lifestyles of the real estate agents. But, before Heather Rae Young was called to the lights of the Sunset Strip, she pursued a career in the modeling industry. What drew her to such a profession in the first place? She told MotorTrend that when she was just 14 years old, she saw her very first issue of Playboy magazine. Belonging to the father of a boyfriend at the time, she was taken aback by the beauty she saw and wanted to pursue the same for herself. "It sounds stereotypical, but I thought Playmates were the most beautiful women in the world," she told MotorTrend. "I looked up to them and I wanted to be glamorous and sexy like they were." 

After she set her sights on booking a job with the storied publication, Young worked on her modeling chops and booked gigs, but it wasn't until she worked with photographer Josh Ryan that she made a conscious effort to go for the Playboy approach. She got herself a manager, an agent, and finally felt ready to send her shots to the Hugh Hefner-led empire.

Heather Rae Young landed a job with this iconic magazine

It was due to a lot of hard work, research, and being ready to photos that Heather Rae Young made it to Playboy. As noted on her Playboy webpage, Young discovered that an amazing opportunity with the magazine was around the corner, and she took the plunge to submit herself for consideration. "One day I went online and found out about the 55th Anniversary Casting Call at the Playboy Mansion in 2008," she said. "I freaked, because I think it's every girl's dream to go to the Mansion and see what it's like. So, I did." And the decision paid off, because Young scored a callback and modeled for PlayboyGirls.com as a result. 

On her modeling career taking off so quickly, Young said, "It happened so fast that I'm stunned." Young went on to model for the likes of Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Baileys, and Jose Cuervo, and was featured in a number of calendar shoots (no surprise there, given her Playboy history). She was a featured model in an ad campaign for the Affliction Clothing line, and went on to model for other clothing lines, including DSO Eyewear, 7 Til Midnight Lingerie, Carrie Amber lingerie, Superstar Swimwear, and Calao Swimwear, as noted by IMDb.

Heather Rae Young made a splash in the modeling world when she was chosen for this centerfold look

The modeling world has a few publications that truly stand out from the rest — Vogue, Sports Illustrated, and, of course, Playboy. Heather Rae Young may be known as a successful realtor nowadays, but she was previously known as Miss February — she was the Valentine Playmate in a full centerfold of Playboy. Young — who was 22 at the time — was ecstatic over her modeling accomplishment, and told Playboy that she never would've imagined accomplishing such a feat within the industry. "I'm so thrilled to be representing the love month because I have tons of love in my life," she said. "I loved Playboy when I was growing up in those mountains, and now look at me: I'm Miss February! Unbelievable." 

On the process of becoming one of the magazine's iconic centerfold models, Young told MotorTrend that it was "such an honor" to be picked by Hugh Hefner, himself, for the all-year-round feature. "I felt like I dreamt the whole thing, but when I found out that I was going to be Miss February, it meant the world to me," she said of the experience. "One of my lifelong dreams came true."

After her modeling career, Heather Rae Young turned her sights towards acting

Like a lot of people in and around the Los Angeles area, Heather Rae Young turned her attention towards the entertainment industry. While she reached heights of success as a model, getting in front of the camera seemed like a natural progression. In fact, her acting path crossed those of some very successful actors, including Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Keith David, and Sheryl Lee Ralph. She even made a guest appearance in the television series "Til Death," according to IMDb

While she conceded in an interview with Women's Fitness that being an actress was not a dream come true for her, she did admit that it was something she had a fun time exploring — of course, it was more to add to her ever-growing resume. "I was basically thrown into acting," Young said of her career on the silver screen. "It's not my passion, but I had some fun with it. I went to a serious acting school for about three years, worked on a few great sets and movies alongside Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson but, when I stopped loving it, I quit going to auditions and moved on to other things that I enjoyed."

Heather Rae Young's career crossed paths with these two iconic late night hosts

While it may not surprise you now to hear of Heather Rae Young being interviewed, it might shock you to find out that her path crossed with two of late night's most renowned hosts before she even made her way to "Selling Sunset." Yes, that's right, Young appeared on the "Tonight Show" when it was hosted by Jay Leno, and she also made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's late night show, too. 

In her sit-down with Women's Fitness, she spilled about the experiences. "It was super fun and nerve racking doing a live skit. And they didn't tell me what he was going to do or what I was going to read beforehand. So, it was all on a whim," Young shared about the experience. "When I walked off the stage I said, 'Did I black out?' because I don't remember what I said. But I did good!" We were surprised too to learn that Young had a brush with what sounded like improv comedy, but given how quickly she has to think on her feet during "Selling Sunset" — in addition to her stage presence — it's not super shocking.

In her mid-20s, Heather Rae Young transitioned into the real estate business

So, Heather Rae Young jumped into modeling, transitioned into the entertainment industry, and then set her sights on the real estate industry. Young clearly had a natural talent for engaging people, of course, based on her years of being in the spotlight, so turning her attention to selling multi-million dollar homes isn't as far of a stretch as you might think. As reported by Screen Rant, Young got her real estate license in 2014, and quickly made a name for herself within her new industry. 

Calling it a very natural progression of her career, Young characterized the switch as a positive change in her life, and she has certainly benefited because of it. "Real estate felt like a good transition for me, because I'd met so many people and I'm really good at building relationships and making contacts," she said, as noted by PopSugar. "A couple of my friends actually suggested it, and originally I said no. But, you know what? I did it! I studied my ass off, I passed the test and, then, within my first three months of doing real estate, I sold a $7.2 million house and a $1.5 million condo."

Heather Rae Young joined the Oppenheim Group in 2015

After making a splash in the real estate industry, Heather Rae Young became a prominent agent with a successful firm behind her. Yes, we're talking about the Oppenheim Group, the central focus of the hit show "Selling Sunset." Of course, Young joined the firm before the show took off. Not only this, but she was very happy to defend her real estate record and that of the firm when it was questioned by none other than Chrissy Teigen. 

Teigen took to Twitter and said that, in all her years of being in and around Hollywood real estate, she had never heard of the agents at the Oppenheim Group. Young was not having it. "My response to that is, I have had my real estate license since 2014. I've been with The Oppenheim Group since 2015. I sold my first house within three months of having my license ... you can look up the proof," she said, as noted by E! News. She went on to say that she and other agents had been in business for "almost six years" at the time Teigen handed down her criticism. "Maybe because she doesn't know us doesn't mean we're not real real estate agents," Young clapped back.

Heather Rae Young became a cast member on the hit show Selling Sunset

So many of us know about Heather Rae Young's star power because of her role on the hit Netflix show, "Selling Sunset." Young proved a number of times that she had what it took to be successful within the office and, unlike some of the other agents, she was pretty welcoming to newcomer Chrishell Stause, which was the main plot point during Season 1. And, speaking of Season 1, avid "Selling Sunset" fans will remember that Young was maintaining a long-distance relationship with her international hockey playing boyfriend, Nick Ebert, during the first couple of episodes, according to Screen Rant. Their FaceTiming even got in the way of one of her important sales, which wasn't the best look for the budding agent. 

Of course, Young's fall from grace during Season 1 was when she showed up to the coveted $40 million listing without her client, which was just as awkward for her as it was for her boss, Jason Oppenheim. While most of the drama from Season 1 took the form of Stause and Christine Quinn's budding feud, Young was there to witness it all. Plus, her personal life would soon take a turn that would go on to impact Season 2.

Heather Rae Young was still dating her ex when this TV personality asked her out

The long-distance relationship between Heather Rae Young and her boyfriend was definitely a defining feature in Season 1 of "Selling Sunset," and it turns out that her relationship also stopped her now-fiancé, Tarek El Moussa, from going out with her when he initially wanted to. As noted by People, El Moussa asked Young out on a date, but she responded by saying that she had a boyfriend, so his efforts were halted — or so he thought. El Moussa recalled that he bumped into Young again with some friends, asked her out on a date again and, luckily for him (because being rejected not one, but twice, is a bit cringey), she said yes. 

The two were first spotted as a couple over a Fourth of July weekend in Redondo Beach, California, and soon became social media official — which is basically like announcing your engagement at this point. "My heart is so full and happy," Young wrote on Instagram about her new man. "Sometimes someone comes into your life and you just know they are meant to be there." Young and El Moussa got engaged in July 2020, as noted by People at the time.

Heather Rae Young became a fiancée and stepmom to Tarek El Moussa's kids

Heather Rae Young went from Playboy model to actress to real estate agent to reality-television star, and now she can add one more defining factor to the list — stepmom. Her fiancé, Tarek El Moussa, has two kids with ex-wife Christina Haack and, as such, Young has stepped in as a "bonus mom" to the kids, Taylor and Brayden. As noted by People, El Moussa finalized his divorce from Haack in 2018, and Young has all but stepped in as an important figure since. 

As far as their wedding plans go, El Moussa and Young revealed to Entertainment Tonight that they're hoping to tie the knot in the summer of 2021 (but since this story was published in August 2021, they better hurry; otherwise, summer will be over). Young said that they were still in between a location decision, but had narrowed it down to either California or Cabo. It's been reported that Young has her wedding dress, that her sister will be her maid of honor, and that El Moussa's kids will be part of the day. However, the couple has a rule about their impending nuptials — no exes at the wedding.

Heather Rae Young is set to open the new Oppenheim office in Newport Beach

Heather Rae Young will be able to add another line to her resume. As noted by Fox News, Young has been slated to launch the Oppenheim Group's new office, located in Newport Beach, California. The location move will be a welcomed change for Young, no doubt, as her fiancé lives in Orange County, California — when we talk about Los Angeles traffic, that 45-mile drive can take up to two and a half hours. 

But don't worry. Young will still be a part of "Selling Sunset," as she is taking on a "popping into the Orange County office" approach to the new opportunity. Calling the move a "long time coming," Jason Oppenheim seemed very supportive of Young and the new venture. "Heather is going to be working out of that office and my best friend is going to be managing the office," Oppenheim said. "The office that we're looking at is insane. I mean, it's insane. So, hopefully, I'll be signing the lease soon." How will the potentially new Newport Beach office fold into the existing realm of the Oppenheim Group and "Selling Sunset"? We'll just have to wait for the new season to find out.