Why This ‘Fixer Upper’ Couple Was So Furious With Chip and Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines usually amaze clients with their incredible home transformations, but one couple was furious with the Fixer Upper stars after appearing on their show. Here’s why two clients who had their house renovated on the HGTV program were so upset with the famous couple.

Chip and Joanna Gaines smile and pose together at an event.
Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Chip and Joanna Gaines renovated the ‘Three Little Pigs House’ on ‘Fixer Upper’

A couple named Ken and Kelly Downs appeared on season 3 of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ show Fixer Upper. The Gaineses showed the Downses a dilapidated house built in 1905, which they called a “wild card.” The couple purchased the Waco, Texas home for a mere $35,000 (per Country Living).

The run-down house was nicknamed the “Three Little Pigs House,” after the fairytale in which the big, bad wolf blew down two pigs’ houses made of straw and sticks. But when he got to the third little pig’s house, which was made out of brick, he couldn’t knock it down by huffing and puffing. 

The “Three Little Pigs” house on Fixer Upper may have initially resembled one of the fairytale homes made of sticks or straw, but after Chip and Joanna Gaines put $215,000 worth of renovations into it, it was much more like the third pig’s sturdy brick house. 

One couple is unhappy that Chip and Joanna Gaines showed them a house in a bad neighborhood

“We take the worst house in the best neighborhood and turn it into our clients’ dream home,” Joanna Gaines proudly claims in the Fixer Upper intro. But Ken and Kelly Downs disagreed with that statement. 

After a year of living in their renovated Waco, Texas home, the Downsed became furious with the Fixer Upper stars. The reason they were so upset? The neighborhood they moved into felt very unsafe to the new residents.

In July 2017, an allegedly drunk driver crashed into the couple’s house. “It’s like the Wild West here,” Kelly told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “There’s been a lot of commotion coming from the bars and the store across the street.”

The publication reported that the Downses have continuously complained about “late-night noise from nearby bars, suspicious activity, and push-back, some of it anti-Fixer Upper.” The couple didn’t understand why Chip and Joanna Gaines showed them a home in such a “bad neighborhood,” despite their TV show’s claims to the contrary.

“It’s been a problem from the beginning,” Kelly said. “We feel deceived by the city of Waco and Magnolia Realty.” She added that she and her husband have been “intimidated and harassed” and that “it’s not safe” where they live. 

Fans have complained that ‘Fixer Upper’ is ‘bad’ for the home improvement industry 

Although Fixer Upper and its stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have no shortage of fans, there have also been plenty of controversies surrounding the HGTV show. Some fans complained that the reality series is “bad” for the home improvement industry.

They sounded off in a Reddit thread titled, “Can we all agree HGTV is bad for the home improvement industry as a whole?” Their chief complaint was that the show gives viewers an unrealistic expectation of renovation costs. 

“They promote an unrealistic idea of cost!” the original poster wrote. “There is no possible way to pay a semi decent contractor to gut a kitchen, install new cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and flooring for $25k.”

Another complaint is the estimated value the renovations add to the homes. “As an appraiser, my biggest gripe with those type of shows is how they give people an unrealistic expectation on how it is going to increase the value of their home,” one fan commented.

“Indeed! Just because you spent $40k doesn’t mean your house gained ANY value,” wrote another fan. “In many cases yes you’ve added a little, but not the 20-30% increases some show.”

And others pointed out the misleading timelines on HGTV. “As someone who renovates for a living, hgtv is a comedy,” one fan wrote. “Completely made up numbers as far as cost and timeline goes. People are shocked when a reno takes 4 months not 4 weeks.”

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