'Fixer Upper' Dream Homes Turn into Rentals & Chip & Joanna Gaines Are So Mad

When Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV's Fixer Upper fame offer to renovate your house, you don't turn that kind of thing down. But when you want to rent out that new dream home? Be prepared for some serious home decor drama.


The demand to stay at one of the couple's remodeled homes around Waco is at an all-time high, and homeowners are obliging, causing a Texas-sized controversy -- namely, Chip and Joanna just aren't happy with the fact that their clients are now flipping their flipped homes to vacation rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO, many of them for hundreds of dollars a night. Because all that shiplap doesn't come cheap.

For instance, you can stay at the glibly named Bardominium for $1,277 a night, or the Mailander House for a more wallet-friendly $250. 

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Brock Murphy, the spokesperson for the couple's company, Magnolia, told the Waco Tribune in a statement:

We have no problems with our clients' interest in using sites like VRBO and Airbnb to rent out their homes. In fact, we get it. But we are going to be more strict with our contracts involving Fixer Upper clients moving forward. We want to honor our national viewing audience. We want to do remodels for clients' homes. That's the true intent of our show, and we want to ensure that does not get lost in this new vacation rental trend. 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.

So the Gaineses are in a tizzy about the homes they worked on being unofficially flipped to accommodate a slew of tourists hoping to have easy access to the Magnolia Market or other Fixer Upper favorites.

And when we tried to unpack the rest of the statement -- especially the part about putting a "shadow of a doubt on the much bigger picture" -- we were struck with how silly this "controversy" is.

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Here's the thing -- these houses belong to the people who paid money to live there, so really, what's the big deal? It's totally within these homeowners' rights to do that. And also, there are TONS of Airbnb rentals with interesting hooks to get you to stay -- take this Frank Lloyd Wright house, or the cute cottage in France where Julia Child once cooked up delectable, waist-expanding treats.

And you can even stay in New York City's Gehry Building (for a price, of course), proving that no starchitect is truly off-limits when it comes to vacation rentals.

Sure, we can understand why HGTV is a little bent out of shape -- and we feel for those poor producers who spent all that time playing up the idea of making a dream house, just for people to turn around and rent it out. But beyond disrupting the HGTV narrative, this is really a non-issue.

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In generations past, we get it -- the American Dream was being able to get a good job, proudly save up for your first home, and make it your own personal Versailles.

But maybe the dream of the future is really just about the gig economy, and flipping your flipped house to get a few extra bucks. After all, that's some good entertainment.


Image via Rob Kim/Getty Images

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