03/22/2013 AT 02:30 PM EDT
It was love at first sight.
Back in 2004, when Jeff Lewis first set foot inside the 3,700-sq.-ft. Los Feliz pad that is now his home, "I had an instant connection," he says. Not that it stopped the reality star from flipping the house for a profit – a decision he later questioned. "This house is so beautiful and interesting," he says. "I regretted selling it."
So when the home came back on the market in 2011, the 43-year-old star of Bravo's Flipping Out and Interior Therapy snapped it up.
"The universe clearly wanted us together," he says. After a 12-month remodel ("We went a little crazy," he admits), Lewis and his partner of four years, Gage Edward, 27, are thrilled to be back.
"Each morning Gage and I walk our dogs, and I say a little prayer of gratitude," he says. "This house has helped me find balance."
Now that they're settled in with their three dogs, one cat and loyal housekeeper (and fan favorite) Zoila Chavez, "we're kind of like the poor man's Downton Abbey," Lewis jokes. "But we're a very happy family." One that may be expanding shortly.