Over five seasons of their smash show “Fixer Upper,” Chip and Joanna Gaines turned many run-down houses into modern farmhouse megastars. Given that many of the show’s fans were dying for a closer look, we weren’t all that surprised when some of these homes began popping up on short-term rental sites like VRBO and Airbnb—much to the apparent displeasure of Chip and Jo.
That’s why we were surprised to hear of the latest “Fixer Upper” homeowner to hop on this bandwagon: the show’s very own executive producer! Michael Matsumoto—who had a four-bedroom house in Crawford, TX, renovated for the season four finale of “Fixer Upper”—has just listed his digs on Airbnb for $300 a night.
The listing reads, “Stay at the Producer of FIXER UPPERS home built for the finale of season 4. A 20 minute drive to Waco it’s the perfect retreat. This home is family friendly and ideal for entertaining family and friends. It has a beautiful open concept kitchen with plenty of cooking essentials, 2 full baths with a rain shower in the master, original bunk beds seen on TV, huge yard great for kids complete with play structure, basketball court and a small gym. …”
Clearly, this place is great … so why is Matsumoto moving out?
“It was hard to make the decision to put our house on Airbnb, but two things help us with that decision,” Matsumoto told People magazine. “Work may get busy so I wanted to be closer to the office. And truthfully, our house is such a special gift and so many fans have told us that it’s their favorite, it’ll be nice to let them get to experience the magic of it.”
So why not just sell it to one family that will make it their forever home? “We will be back,” Matsumoto told People. “I doubt I’ll be able to stay away from that house for long.”
Matsumoto farm: Airbnb bargain?
In case you’ve forgotten the backstory: The Matsumotos had purchased their “little shack on the prairie” for the astonishingly low price of $12,500. And you can totally understand why, once you see the “before” pic below:
So, Chip and Jo really had their work cut out for them! But in the end, as always, the place looked beautiful.
Although no guests have stayed at Matsumoto Farm officially yet, there are bookings starting in the first week of December.
At $300 a night, Matsumoto stands to make a decent profit. However, considering that it sleeps 12, he’s not being half as greedy as he could be. At least six other homes renovated on “Fixer Upper” have been offered up as short-term rentals, at higher prices. Here are just a few, to give you an idea:
- The one-bedroom shotgun house from season three is on Airbnb for $325 per night.
- The four-bedroom German Schmear House, which sleeps eight, is up for rent on Airbnb for $327 per night.
- The five-bedroom, two-bath barndominium, which sleeps 16, is currently going for $799 per night, although in the past, that fee on VRBO has shot up to as high as $1,200 to $1,500 per night!
Why ‘Fixer Upper’ rentals can stir up trouble
These rentals aren’t popular with everyone, mind you. When the barndominium’s owner began renting out her place, her neighbors worried that it might impact property values, increase traffic, and generally disrupt their tranquil town, filling it with “Fixer Upper” fanatics.
This rental situation prompted the Gaines’ Magnolia spokesperson, Brock Murphy, to issue a statement saying, “We are going to be more strict with our contracts involving ‘Fixer Upper’ clients moving forward.” He indicated that Chip and Jo prefer clients who will actually live in the 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,” the statement continued. “We are going to do our best to protect that moving forward.”
So have Chip and Joanna Gaines changed their tune? It’s certainly possible; they have a whole lot more on their plate right now (hello, new TV network!).
So if you want to bask in some “Fixer Upper” ambience at a bargain price, here’s your chance!
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