Share and Follow
Clearly, Fixer Upper wouldn’t have stuck around long if the clients from the show walked away unhappy. That doesn’t mean every homeowner is one hundred percent thrilled with Chip and Joanna Gaines‘ work, however.
Not only that but some of Fixer Upper is alleged to be fake, which could be part of the problem when it comes to one refurbished property that appeared in the series. Many local residents in Waco, Texas have complained about the impact Fixer Upper and the Gaineses have had on the area. That sentiment was echoed by a couple that owns one of the show’s previously renovated properties. An unfortunate accident at the property led the owners to criticize Magnolia Network and, by extension, Chip and Joanna.
A Previously Fixed Up Property Was Damaged In A Car Crash
One of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ early Fixer Upper projects was damaged when a vehicle drove across the lawn and into the front of the property. The driver was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, though it’s unclear exactly what led the Hyundai Accent to veer so far off the street (and at an apparently high speed).
In images shared by Today, muddy tire marks can be seen cutting across the front lawn, while the left side of the home (including a window) is boarded over. An interior photo of the damage shows Ken Downs’ office space, which Joanna designed with her trademark raw shiplap.
In Joanna’s recounting of the fix-up, she wrote about moving walls in the home; the two offices were originally one room, and a portion of the wall was removed to make a foyer area.
The accident happened a while ago, in 2017, and it seems a lot has happened since then.
Which Fixer Upper House Was Hit By A Car?
The home damaged in the car accident was the property known as the “3 little pigs house,” owned by Ken and Kelly Downs. According to Magnolia‘s recap of the season 3, episode 13 fixer-upper project, newlyweds Ken and Kelly bought their cottage in Waco, Texas to start their married life.
In 2016, Fixer Upper came in and renovated the home extensively, redoing the foundation, roof, plumbing, and electrical, among other things. The nearly century-old home was also modified to include two offices, one of which was damaged in the crash.
Notably, while Today’s recounting of the car crash suggests that the vehicle entered the home “one room away” from where the Downses were sleeping, the floorplan from Magnolia indicates that’s incorrect.
Instead, the main bedroom is at the rear of the home, with a living room and bathroom between the crashed office and the main sleeping area.
The vehicle did create significant damage after going “aiborne,” according to Waco’s Assistant Fire Chief, so while the porch railing, wall, and window were impacted, the home’s hedges were untouched.
The Homeowners Are Unhappy With Fixer Upper
While Chip and Joanna clearly can’t control Waco, Texas’ drivers’ poor decision-making, the Downses were not thrilled post-accident. While neither Kelly nor Ken was injured in the crash, they complained of “issues” in the neighborhood.
One complaint? Noise from the nearby bars, possibly the place the drunk driver was being served at before careening into the home.
Another complaint centered on “anti-Fixer Upper sentiment from neighbors,” highlighting how dissatisfied many locals are with Chip and Joanna’s impact on the neighborhood.
Kelly Downs noted, “There’s a big problem here. It’s not safe. This is a Fixer Upper gone bad,” elaborating that it wasn’t the first time someone missed the stop sign on their street.
Kelly also compared the street to the “Wild West” and said that when she attempted to report suspicious activity to local authorities, nothing was done.
After all that, she felt deceived by Magnolia Realty for having shown her and her husband a home in the area in the first place.
What Happened To The Three Little Pigs House?
The 3 Little Pigs house from Fixer Upper was repaired following the car accident, but it appears that Ken and Kelly Downs may have sold the property. Whether they still own it or not, the Downses clearly do not live in the Waco property any longer; it’s listed for rent on various sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
Per the property’s Airbnb listing, which advertises the home as “Three Little Pigs house as seen on Fixer Upper!”, someone named Lauri serves as the host (Alyssa is the co-host). The listing is rather sparse apart from photos showcasing Joanna’s design work inside the home, but it does include a bit of a warning to potential vacationers.
“Waco is a city that is extremely diverse! You may see a mansion on one corner and a true “fixer upper” on the next! Most of the city is going through an extensive revitalization project or transition stages with some construction areas as you should expect to see boarded up homes, new construction homes and rehabbed homes through out along with homes that haven’t started the transition yet.Our neighbors are very friendly and welcoming and the neighborhood itself is fairly quiet and full of families that have been there for 20+ years! We have never had any crime or problems at our property but rest assured we do have 24 hr surveillance on the outer perimeter of the home.We love the progress Waco is making and can’t wait to see it grow to its full potential in the coming years! If you or your party are not comfortable staying in a transitional neighborhood please consider choosing another home.”
The four-bedroom, two-bath property rents for about $253 per night as of June 2023. And although the host’s claims about the property “never” having “problems” are patently false, the reviews from vacationers are overall positive; the only sub-4.7-star rating is due to the home’s location.