“Fixer Upper” fans likely know that Chip and Joanna Gaines have a pair of vacation homes for rent near the show’s home base in Waco, Texas. But a stay at what one reporter called “shiplap Disney World” may not be exactly as you imagined.
For those who aren’t aware: Chip and Joanna opened their massive Magnolia Market store in Waco in 2015 and Magnolia House, a nearby vacation rental, in 2016. Tourism to Waco tripled that year, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. This month, reservations opened for Hillcrest Estate, another Gaines’ rental in Waco that will open in the fall.
The famed Magnolia House sleeps eight guests with its five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and plenty of cutesy sitting areas. If you’re itching to book a stay, here’s what you should know.
You will not be sleeping in Waco.
Magnolia House is actually in McGregor, a town about 20 minutes from Waco and Magnolia Market. Visitors, who seem to have nothing but love for the property, say McGregor is a charming place to explore due to its cupcake shop, antique stores and the largest cigar lounge in Texas.
You will not see Chip and Joanna.
The duo bought and renovated Magnolia House after another couple on “Fixer Upper” turned it down. But don’t expect the Gaineses to check in often: Another couple, Rob and Marianne Ward, run Magnolia House. They live in a former carriage house on the property, and guests say they’re incredibly friendly.
You will feel totally Joanna-fied.
Visitors say the house looks like a “Fixer Upper” to a T, with plenty of Joanna’s signature shiplap and subway tiles. One of the bedrooms was even modeled after the Gaineses’ kids’ room. Guests are greeted with 25 percent-off coupons to Magnolia Market, and one visitor reported that “Fixer Upper” was queued up on the TV upon arrival.
You will not get a reservation easily...
In the past, Magnolia House has opened their reservation system twice per year ― in August and February ― and spots have filled up quickly. So if you missed the most recent round of reservations (spoiler alert: you did), then your chances of scoring a stay in the near future are slim (more on that below). Magnolia House is currently booked through June 2018. Mark your calendar for February and register for email updates here.
...but you might be able to snag one last-minute.
Reservations at Magnolia House must be made in two-night increments for weekday stays and three-night increments for weekends, with check-in dates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. According to Country Living, you can email Magnolia House to inquire about booking any single-night stays left over in the system. Magnolia House recommends routinely checking their availability calendar for last-minute openings, too.
You will pay BIG time.
And you’ll feel like a celebrity during your stay.
The “Fixer Upper” fan base is huge, and visitors say people drive by nearly all day, every day to snap photos of the house. You can smile and wave at them from both upstairs and downstairs windows, if you please.
Welcome to life as a Gaines.