Fixed up and rented! Joanna and Chip Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, have used their popular reality series and flourishing renovation-oriented businesses (construction, design, etc.) to breathe new life into Waco, Texas, via freshly renovated family homes with cutesy nicknames such as Barndominium, Chicken House and Shotgun House.
But what if those family homes were instead used as profitable vacation rentals?
As reported by The Waco Tribune, nearly a dozen of the Fixer Upper homes renovated by the Gaineses are currently listed on rental sites such as Airbnb and VRBO, and the famous remodelers aren’t pleased. The Magnolia Market couple didn’t intend for the homes to be used for financial gain and want to change the application process for upcoming seasons of the show, according to Brock Murphy, the spokesman for the couple's businesses.
Murphy said in a statement that Magnolia Market has "no problem" with clients using those sites to rent out their homes featured on the hit HGTV show, but "we are going to be more strict with our contracts involving Fixer Upper clients moving forward."
“We want to do remodels for clients’ homes. That's the true intent of the show, and we want to ensure that does not get lost in this new vacation rental trend," Murphy continued. "What started off with perfectly understandable intentions could cast a shadow of a doubt on the much bigger picture, and we are going to do our best to protect that moving forward.”
Most of the homeowners renting their Waco Fixer Upper homes reached by the news outlet never intended to do so. According to The Waco Tribune, their decision came after too much unwanted attention from HGTV fans, a change in employment or when other plans simply fell through.
The Gaineses are primarily concerned with their “national viewing audience” and the perception of what’s happening in Waco. Murphy noted in his statement that the Gaineses want to reassure viewers that their intent is to renovate homes for residential use, not commercial. “That’s the true intent of our show, and we want to ensure that does not get lost in this new vacation-rental trend,” Murphy said.
Fixer Upper’s fourth season returns to HGTV in fall 2016.
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