Fixer Upper is a success like no HGTV show before it, and the show’s popularity has been a boon for the city of Waco, which sees an estimated 20,000 new tourists per week thanks to the show. However, that surge in attention also affects the lives of every Fixer Upper couple and family–and not always in a good way.
As we’ve written about before, a surprising number of families decided to turn their Chip-and-Joanna specials into rental properties and move to entirely different homes in town. No fewer than a half-dozen Fixer Upper homes are now available for rent, most prominent among them the Barndominium from Season 3; the mid-century modern from Season 2; and The Beast, Clint and Kelly Harp’s home from all the way back in Season 1. (You can view a full list of Fixer Upper homes for rent here.)
But the crush of tourists also means that at least one families decided to simply put its house up for sale and rid themselves of the Fixer Upper association entirely. According to McLennan County tax records, two of the families featured on Fixer Upper no longer own property in or around Waco. (However, that number does include the Meek family, the original owners of what would become the Barndominium–they were transfered out of Texas for work before moving in.) The North 40th Street house (Season 1, Episode 7) appears to have an entirely different owner.
But the couples and families featured on Fixer Upper Season 4 appear to be a bit better prepared to deal with whatever the show’s popularity may send their way–that, or the enthusiasm from the still-recent experience is powering them through. Brittany Chapman, who appeared with husband Andrew in the season premiere, said in an interview on Joanna’s blog that her new house’s size makes it the center of family activity she was hoping for. “It’s been really special to be able to fit the entire family easily,” she explained. “With 20 people in the house, 2 large dogs and 2 little dogs—this is a big accomplishment. We are so excited to host holidays and have even more people over to the house in the future.”
And The Morgans, whose “Mid-Century Modestly Priced House” featured the week after the Chapmans, were asked how being Fixer Upper “had affected [their] day-to-day life.” Their answer was endearingly honest: “Just living in the home, we feel like every morning we wake up in a vacation cabin. It feels refreshing, like a sweet gift.”
Fixer Upper‘s march toward total renovation domination continues with new episodes Tuesday nights at 9 PM on HGTV.
(Photo credits: Fixer Upper couple via Instagram)