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There's a Little Problem With Waco's Fixer Upper Homes

They can be tricky to sell, considering the asking price for some
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2019 11:53 AM CDT
Updated Aug 31, 2019 5:00 PM CDT
In this March 29, 2016, file photo, Joanna and Chip Gaines pose for a portrait in New York to promote their home improvement show, "Fixer Upper," on HGTV.   (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Chip and Joanna Gaines are famous for their gorgeous renovations of Waco, Texas, homes for their HGTV show Fixer Upper. There's just one problem: The average price for homes sold in that area at the moment is around $215,000—a lot less than, say, the $679,000 price tag attached to Season 2's "Asian Ranch House," which is currently on the market, Fox News reports. As the listing agent representing that particular home told Insider, the owners purchased it for $262,000 before the Gaineses fixed it up 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.

Property taxes have also been increasing in Waco, which some think is tied to the Gaineses' strong presence in the area. But back 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 the area, but the listing agent for Season 3'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." (Read more Fixer Upper stories.)

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