Affordable 'Fixer Upper' Home? A Chip and Joanna Creation Is Available for Only $290K

By Lisa Johnson Mandell

Not every owner of a "Fixer Upper" home remodeled by Chip and Joanna Gaines lives happily ever after.

The only constant in life is change—life happens and people move on. But there is one thing you can count on: A home will increase in value once America's favorite house flippers have deigned to (re)design it.

However, the return on investment isn't always as high as sellers might hope. Take the “Plain Gray Ranch” house featured in Season 4 of the HGTV hit show. The redesigned home in Woodway, TX, went on the market over a month ago for $310,000, and just recently the price was reduced to $290,000. An affordable option for Magnolia maniacs? Perhaps.

Chip does his best to come up with cute names for the homes he and his wife work on, and he called this three-bedroom, two-bath home the "Plain Gray Ranch" for obvious reasons. The nickname wasn't catchy, but it was apropos. While it wasn't in terrible shape, the home was nearly 60 years old and needed updating inside and out.

Now the traditional-style home with the double garage is a true showpiece. It comes with not only Joanna's signature shiplap, but also a statement piece of furniture designed by Joanna.

"The built-in dining room table that Joanna designed is truly unique and transfers with the home," says listing agent Jake Russell of Magnolia Real Estate in Texas and CORE in New York.

Chip and Joanna also added a living room fireplace from scratch.

"When we were looking at other houses, something we really wanted was a fireplace," said Melissa Yielding, who bought the home with her husband, Matthew. "So, I was pretty bummed when this house didn’t have one. When we walked in and saw the fireplace, it was such a fun surprise."

In addition to the home's all-new design, Russell cites the lot and location as awesome features.

"The backyard is very large, and it's a short walk to Whitehall Park, so there is lots of great room for a dog. This property is also conveniently located near major shopping venues, restaurants, and quick access to I-35 if you want to visit Dallas or Austin," he says.

A few other "Fixer Upper" homes have been in the news lately, thanks to the exorbitant prices the owners have been asking.

Homeowners Cameron and Jessica Bell spent around $140,000 for a one-bedroom shotgun house, but after a "Fixer Upper" treatment, it's now on the market for a whopping $950,000!

And then there's the famous (or shall we say infamous?) "barndominium," a former barn that the Gaines turned into a five-bedroom, two-bath home in Lacy Lakeview, TX. The owner had the home on VRBO for up to $1,500 per night, but when the neighbors raised a fuss about short-term renters, she put it on the market for a whopping $1.2 million. After three months on the market, it's still waiting for a "Fixer Upper" fan to make an offer.

Those two examples make this Season 4 star seem like a bargain. Even if the median listing price in Woodway is only $159,900, the price must account for the "Fixer Upper" effect.

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