Waco, Texas has a problem with the homes featured on the show Fixer Upper.
Chip and Joanna Gaines have become two of the most recognizable TV personalities in the nation for their gorgeous renovations of Waco, Texas, homes on their hugely popular HGTV show Fixer Upper. But there’s a big problem. The couple’s who choose to have the Gaines’ remodel their homes are not living in them or only moving in for a short while, then selling them at exorbitant prices in an effort to capitalize on their fame.
They’ve apparently miscalculated. No one is buying the houses. Homes from three seasons of the show are currently on the market with prices being reduced but they’re still not selling. Past homes have languished on the market finally being sold at much reduced prices.
It’s the homebuyers.
It’s not the fault of the Gaines’, whose philanthropy and Christian values have been a positive force in culture. It’s the homebuyers.
Real estate experts say the home owners, in an effort to make some quick cash, have over-priced the homes in a market that won’t bear it.
The average price for a home sold in Waco is around $215,000—a lot less than the $679,000 price tag attached to Season 2’s “Asian Ranch House,” which is currently on the market, Fox News reports.
The listing agent representing that particular home says the owners purchased it for $262,000 before it was remodeled on the show in 2015 with a $190,000 budget.
The owners then listed it this year, originally for $739,900.
“I know big cities do that, but Waco’s not there yet,” the agent said of the high price tag.
Realtor.com calls it “the Fixer Upper curse,” pointing to three Fixer Upper homes that have been on the market more than 100 days, all of them listed for more than $500,000.
They’ve all become what realtors say your home should not be: the most expensive home in the neighborhood. Since many of the homes were in what some would say were undesirable neighborhoods, home buyers don’t want to be stuck next to a house that’s falling apart.
Property taxes have also been increasing in Waco.
In 2017, the city’s chief appraiser told the Waco Tribune-Herald that the increase is not directly tied to the show or the couple’s Magnolia brand, and he acknowledged, “We have a different neighborhood code for those than other homes in the neighborhood, because they are actually selling for more than regular homes.”
Other real estate agents and owners have noticed the difficulty that can be attached to selling a Fixer Upper home in Waco. The listing agent for Season three’s tiny “Shotgun House,” which was listed for sale for $950,000 in 2017, said at the time the price was justified, and even the “Asian Ranch House” agent says the markups on Fixer Upper homes make sense thanks to “the value of bragging rights.”
Still, the homeowners have been forced to defend themselves after being roasted in the Waco media and by people in the community for what they see as extreme greediness.
In the end, the selling prices only make sense if someone wants the homes. So far, that’s a tough sale.