Waco ‘Fixer Upper’ Properties Marketed As Trendy Vacation Rentals Through AirBnb, VRBO

Waco fixer upper

The Shotgun House was renovated on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and is for rent on AirBnB for $325 a night. It was featured in season 3, episode 12 of the show. Photo: AirBnb

If you’re a fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines on HGTV’s Fixer Upper, then you know their renovated homes are all near Waco, Texas. It turns out several of the owners of these monuments to shiplap and style showing up on popular rental services AirBnb and VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) as celebrity-designed spaces available by the night.

The cable television stars have made their name creating rustic chic homes in this town about 95 miles south of Dallas. And people from Dallas and around the country are flocking to these homes, according to The Waco Tribune. People come to Waco in part to see the Gaines’ Magnolia Market and take part in the celebrity culture.

As the Tribune notes, “the Gaineses themselves tapped into the potent combination of Fixer Upper popularity and the convenience of online booking when they renovated a McGregor house into a bed and breakfast named the Magnolia House. Mere hours after online reservations were made available to fans in February, the Magnolia House had booked customers throughout 2016.”

At least six of the Fixer Upper houses were for rent in the Waco area, according to the Tribune, with a seventh joining that number next month. Most were listed as renting from between $200 to $350 a night.

The Shotgun House, pictured above, is described on AirBnb as “completely renovated. Enjoy the ambiance of this historic Waco home nestled in the heart of downtown, and Baylor. The Magnolia Silos are down the street, as well as countless restaurants.” It rents for $325 per night.

The Mailander House is another AirBnb rental, described in the listing as “close to The Silos, Baylor, Cameron Park, restaurants and dining, family-friendly activities and nightlife. You’ll love staying here because of the high ceilings, the kitchen, porches and decks, the coziness, the comfy beds, and the quiet. Mailander House is a great place to relax and unwind; good for couples, business travelers and friends.” It rents for $200 per night.

A third is a midcentury modern, described as, “expertly remodeled by Magnolia Homes. This home features a state of the art kitchen, beautiful patio, a gorgeous view of wooded ravine, & comfy beds w/ luxurious linens.” It rents for $295 per night.

HGTV is not exactly thrilled with the situation, noting they will be tightening up their contracts in the future to prevent this kind of situation.

“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,” Magnolia spokesman Brock Murphy said in a statement.

“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.”