Grab the hankies, folks: Chip and Joanna Gaines, the lovable home renovation duo behind HGTV’s most popular show, “Fixer Upper,” has wrapped Season 4 with a finale that will make you laugh, cry, and vow to make some improvements around the house.
In “The Colossal Crawford Reno,” Chip and Jo go all out to create a dream home for the show’s producer. No pressure, guys!
Jessie and Michael Matsumoto had moved from Los Angeles to Texas two years earlier to produce “Fixer Upper,” and they’ve been renting ever since. But now, the real estate bug has bitten them (how could it not, working on a show like this?) and they want a home for them and their two kids.
They think the tiny town of Crawford, TX—yes, home to former President George W. Bush—would be perfect. The problem is, there aren’t many houses available there that don’t come with massive tracts of land. Yet Chip and Joanna are undaunted, and manage to teach these city slickers a thing or two about buying a home in the sticks, and renovating even the homeliest shack into something worthy of reality TV royalty.
Watch and learn, folks!
Lesson No. 1: Never set your heart on one house
Knowing that the pickings are slim in Crawford, the Matsumotos are eager to jump on the first property they see. The three-bedroom, two-bath house will be easy to renovate, but it comes with 20 acres of land, which the family wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to manage. It also has a $220,000 price tag—leaving them only $30,000 for renovations.
Chip suggests trying to buy the house and just 2 acres, and seeing if the owner will sell the remaining 18 acres to someone else in a separate deal. The Matsumotos are all over this—so much so that they stop house hunting entirely with the hopes that this deal will go through. But it doesn’t.
Ultimately the property gets sold to another party who wants the total package. Now Chip and Joanna have to start all over again.
Lesson No. 2: Don’t judge a house by its exterior
Even Chip cringes when he shows the Matsumotos their next option, and he’s the one who found it: a dilapidated, 100-year-old shack with a rusty tin roof flapping in the breeze (the B-52s would have loved it). The inside is filled with garbage and a bag of creepy dolls “that will wake up and kill us in the middle of the night,” says Chip.
Surprisingly, it’s Joanna who sees the potential in this place. The greatest thing about it is that the Matsumotos can get the shack, and the gorgeous acre of land it sits on, for a mere $12,500.
Joanna and Chip think they can do the renovation, which would include adding three bedrooms and two baths, for about $150,000, coming in substantially under the Matsumoto’s $250,000 all-in budget. Onward!
Lesson No. 3: Salvage everything!
The shack appears at first to be a tear-down, but savvy Chip and Joanna really know how to recycle! They reduce the shack to studs and save all the materials, cleverly reusing them in novel ways:
- Tin roof: Chip and Joanna take the old tin roof panels, turn them over so the rust doesn’t show, and use them for the ceiling above the back porch outdoor dining room.
- Weathered wood siding: Chip and Joanna use it on the ceiling of the new master bedroom to give it an authentic, rustic look
- Shiplap ceiling: Since the Gaines are going to raise the roof and gable the ceiling, the shiplap paneling on the original low ceiling is used, well, everywhere (and by now, you’re aware of Joanna’s penchant for shiplap).
- Beadboard paneling: They find one of the walls has beadboard paneling, so they use it on the ceiling of their clients’ 2-year-old daughter’s new bedroom.
Lesson No. 4: The earlier you change plans, the better
Originally the Matsumotos had asked Chip and Joanna if they could add a master bedroom, two children’s rooms, and two baths. But giving it a little more thought, they request an extra bedroom be added to the plans, because they’re a growing family. Since they make the request before the new foundation is poured, this is an easy addition, and ups the budget by only $10,000.
In the end, it seems that the Matsumotos were keeping a little secret from Chip and Joanna. After they oooh and ahhh over their new home and gush about how perfect it is, they reveal that they’re pregnant … with twins! Thank goodness for that extra bedroom.
Sad to see Chip and Jo go? There’s hope for you yet
For those of you who can’t get enough of “Fixer Upper” and are totally devastated that the season is over, here’s another surprise: Joanna is getting a spinoff show, “Fixer Upper: Behind the Design.” Come back to realtor.com® tomorrow for a sneak peek of the pilot episode and more to keep your Chip and Jo mojo going.
The post Bye-Bye, Chip and Joanna: ‘Fixer Upper’ Season Finale Will Leave You in Tears appeared first on Real Estate News & Advice | realtor.com®.
Author: Lisa Johnson Mandell
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