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A Father's Day Story From Emily Trebek

During tapings of the show, Alex often talks to the audience about all the work he does around his own house: carpentry, sprinklers, electrical, you name it. So when his daughter Emily – a recent grad of LMU – showed an interest in pursuing a career in flipping houses, it seemed only natural to call on his experience when picking out and renovating her first fixer-upper. Here’s her story.

“I have always been interested in homes. When I was little, I wanted to be an architect. After graduating, I decided to get into real estate. As I was getting ready to flip my first house, I told my dad that I wanted to do it with him. If dad can fix something, he will not have anyone else do it. I remember back when I was learning to drive, and I would accidentally run over a sprinkler head or path lighting in the driveway, we all knew dad would be out five seconds later fixing it. And I always watched him fix things, and wanted to learn.

Alex worked on the house as early as 7 a.m., not leaving until 4 p.m. some days.

“During open houses, dad came to every serious showing. He would look in crawl spaces, in electricity panels, at water heaters. He was looking in all those places where a lot of hidden costs could be. So it was helpful for him to be there at every house. 

“He didn’t even want to do the home inspection. He said, ‘I could tell you right now what needs to be changed.’ I still did the home inspection, but dad was basically right on everything. He already knew what was needed and what was going to show up on the inspection, and he identified any big concerns. So he was a great person to do this with.

“He’s into all the behind-the-scenes stuff. When an electrician said, ‘Your whole home needs to be rewired,’ dad disagreed. He said, ‘Maybe the kitchen and the bathrooms, because it’s tricky in there because there’s water, but you don’t need to rewire the living room.’ In instances like that, I learned what works, as well as what’s practical and what’s not.


Alex not only helped with hands-on renovating tasks, but he also helped Emily determine which updates were actually needed.

“Overall, I learned a lot from him. I love knowing how to do things on my own, but I’m nowhere near dad’s level. He saved a bunch of money with his advice and guidance. He basically demo’d the whole house. He demo’d the kitchen cabinets; he did the tile in the bathrooms. The things we clashed over were just design choices. And all of the opinions he had that we went with … I’m so happy that we did. 

“If anything, I just have more appreciation for him, and I know if anything goes wrong I can get on the phone with him and say, ‘This outdoor lighting isn’t working.’ He’ll say, ‘Okay, I’ll take a look at it,’ and 20 minutes later I’ll see him in the front yard fixing it. I have so much more appreciation for him and his dedication to working. 

“I don’t have words to express how much it means to me that he helped. Just telling him how much I appreciate it and how much I thank him for guiding me through this and helping me sounds so insignificant. I don’t have the words to make it sound as significant as I feel.”

Thank you for the story, Emily, and Happy Father’s Day to all the hardworking dads out there!