Fixer Upper - Ken and Kelly Downs’ House - Then
Ken and Kelly Downs were newlyweds looking for their first home in charming Waco, Texas. They found themselves on Chip and Joanna Gaines’ hit show Fixer Upper. Their featured episode was Episode 10 Season 3. The two found a rundown home, and thanks to Joanna, it turned into their dream house.
Like many contestants on the show, the home was remodeled by Joanna and her top-notch team. The house was completely gutted and up-cycled to reflect both Ken and Kelly’s unique styles, making it a perfect fit for these newlyweds. This home turned out to be a stellar home despite its previous condition.
Fixer Upper - Ken and Kelly Downs’ House - Now
Unfortunately, in 2017, a vehicle crashed into Ken and Kelly’s house! The car hit the front left side of the home and ran through the front living room. Fortunately, no one was injured. However, the couple pondered picking up and moving because of the treatment they received from locals in the town.
Ken and Kelly shared that they “have been intimidated and harassed,” since moving to the town during an interview with the Waco Tribune-Herald. Apparently, the locals are not big fans of Chip and Joanna because of the absurd rise in property taxes in the area since the HGTV superstars essentially took over the town.
HGTV Dream Home 1997 - Jackson Hole, Wyoming - Then
Every year, HGTV gives away a wonderful and fabulous Dream Home! This all started in 1997 with this Jackson Hole dream home. On a gorgeous plot of land, this high-end cabin was hidden among the forest with pristine views of the Grand Tetons. This home was entirely constructed in Finland, right down to the beams and trim pieces.
Every piece was refurbished and coated for safe travel to the United States. The home was right at home in the American West with its rustic Nordic pine log beams and green tin roof. This home was packed with charm but still had many warm creature comforts, all with spectacular views of the surrounding nature.
HGTV Dream Home 1997 - Jackson Hole, Wyoming - Now
The winner of the very first HGTV dream home giveaway was Michele Rambo of Tulsa, OK. Not a whole lot is known about how things went down with this home. However, a quick look at the track record of winners shows that no one holds on to these homes for long. The fees and taxes incorporated in the deal are just too steep.
The only person to date who actually lived in the home for a substantial amount of time is the 1998 winner. She lived in the 1998 HGTV Dream home for 8 years but had to take a mortgage out on the property to pay the taxes associated with it. HGTV eventually started to offer cash options instead, but sadly that wasn’t an option for the 1997 winner.
HGTV Dream Home 2009 - Sonoma, California - Then
Located in the heart of California’s wine country, the 2008 HGTV Dream Home is a picturesque venue in the beautiful city of Sonoma. This traditional home featured gorgeous porches, intimate sitting rooms, and luxurious bedrooms. HGTV calls this home a “traditional farmhouse,” with “oversized light fixtures and period-appropriate plantings.”
This house was perfectly done. Built with careful consideration of the home’s beautifully traditional aesthetic. It was packed with all the necessities for a modern family. The kitchen had twin refrigerators, dishwashers, and islands. Entertaining in this home would be a breeze! There was even a comfy breakfast nook right off the kitchen.
HGTV Dream Home 2009 - Sonoma, California - Now
In 2009 Cheryl Smith was the lucky duck to win the HGTV Dream Home sweepstakes. Obviously over the moon, Cheryl and her family were elated to win this beautiful Sonoma hamlet. After the party was over, however, Cheryl and her family had a big decision to make. What were they to do with this expensive house?
Well, just three months after winning the home, they sold it for $2.2 million. The sales tax on this piece of property came in at $500,000, and the property tax, in addition, was $25,000. Unless you’ve got deep pockets those are steep prices to pay for a home you didn’t plan to have. They sold the home back to the builder who eventually sold it, but Cheryl donated the contents of the home to charity.
Fixer Upper - Jaime Ferguson’s Remodel - Then
Little did we know, contestants on Fixer Upper don’t always get to keep the furniture shown in their home on the show! You would think a network like this would let the contestants keep the furniture. After all, what would the network do with it afterward? Contestants are however allowed to buy pieces.
Jamie Fergusons’ home was remodeled by Joanna Gaines during the third season. This 1970s home got a major overhaul, including relocating a massive fireplace and transforming a sitting room into a high-end bathroom. This home got the makeover of a lifetime while staying true to its character and charm!
Fixer Upper - Jaime Ferguson’s Remodel - Now
While Jamie absolutely loved her home remodels, she revealed in a 2018 blog post that she didn’t get to keep the furniture featured on the show. She did, however, purchase the coffee table and striped chairs shown on her episode, but everything else was removed from the home after filming.
While it kind of stinks to see your home dressed up with fabulous furniture only to lose it all once the cameras leave, the home did get a remodel, which is the most expensive part of a makeover. While the furniture isn’t free, Joanna Gaines will however gift special pieces to contestants on the show, like custom-built pieces or pieces special to the individuals.
Fixer Upper - David Morrow’s Mailander House - Then
This Mailander house was flipped on season 1 episode 12 of Fixer Upper. Built in the 1900s, David Morrow’s wife wanted to restore this unique home to perfectly fit their active lifestyle. The house is right next to the park where the couple rides their bikes, so it was a perfect fit for their daily escape!
Before Joanna got her hands on it, this house was in pretty dire condition. It was nothing short of dilapidated. However, with a little creativity and elbow grease, it turned into a gorgeous southern home with no shortage of charm. Joanna even surprised them with a vintage bike hung over the home office!
Fixer Upper - David Morrow’s Mailander House - Now
David Morrow’s house got its Fixer Upper remodel in season one of the show, way back in 2014! Ever since the home has been a hot spot for tourists in the area checking out Joanna’s work. Who knew the show would be such a sensation? David says that people drive by the house constantly.
While some limit their tourism to a simple drive-by of the home, others stop to get out and take a selfie. More than a few times, people have even knocked on the door to ask for a tour of the home! David says, “They’re mostly women in their 50s and tend to be big ‘Fixer Upper’ fans” during an interview with the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Fixer Upper - Cameron and Jessica Bell’s Shotgun House - Then
Cameron and Jessica Bell were first-time homebuyers featured on Chip and Joanna Gaines’ hit show Fixer Upper. If you haven’t at least seen a few episodes of the show, you’ve been living under a rock. The show puts an emphasis on renovating older homes that need work known as “fixer-uppers.” For this couple, the show helped them renovate their newly purchased shotgun house.
Cameron and Jessica Bell’s home was one of two remaining shotgun-style homes left in the Waco, TX area. This style of home could be called the original tiny home. The home needed a lot of work, and at only 700 square feet it would require unique and innovative solutions to make the most of the small space.
Fixer Upper - Cameron and Jessica Bell’s Shotgun House - Now
Many people who end up on these home makeover shows end up ultimately selling their homes or even losing them due to excessive property taxes. These homes skyrocket in value after the show. While the physical enhancements to the property increase its value, the fame it has due to the show also makes it valuable.
Cameron and Jessica actually listed their little shotgun home but took it down quickly after. They now make the home’s fame work for them! They rent the space nightly on Airbnb for around $325. The home reportedly has an occupancy rate of around 90%. So, while there are some unexpected expenses, this home turned out to be a moneymaker for its owners.
HGTV Dream Home 2010 – Sandia Park, NM - Then
The HGTV Dream Home 2010 was built along the Turquoise Train in sunny New Mexico. Its traditional Southwest-style architecture blends seamlessly with the desert sands of New Mexico. It even stayed true to its Turquoise Trail roots by incorporating stunning locally sourced turquoise in its design.
This home had a stunning view of the deserts of New Mexico. Sitting on top of a hill, it looks over what seems to be endless peaks and valleys of white sand and red rock. The sunsets here would leave anyone breathless, as well as the design of the home that showcases the same color pallets of the New Mexico sky.
HGTV Dream Home 2010 – Sandia Park, NM - Now
The lucky winner of this dream home was Myra Lewis. Myra was a New Orleans native whose home was sadly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. According to Country Living, her friend encouraged her to enter the contest daily. Myra listed the house for sale at $1.195 million, but it only sold for $899,000.
For many, winning a home like this would be a dream come true. At the moment it totally seems like it is for these winners. Left speechless and excited for what their luck has brought them, they’re soon left with a massive financial responsibility that average people would never be able to shoulder by themselves.
HGTV Dream Home 1998 – Beaufort, South Carolina – Now
HGTV’s second giveaway home was this beautiful southern home built in Beaufort, South Carolina. The home’s layout is a highly sought-after design that gives the true-to-life feel of a southern home with a more modern and open layout. With wrap-around porches, it’s obvious that entertaining in this home would be a summer’s breeze.
The designer, Lisa Woodrum, says she was inspired by the traditional spaces in other southern homes like porches, sunrooms, and bay windows. She incorporated all these things when building this true-to-its roots southern charmer. A quote from Lisa to HGTV says this, “We have, of course, the front covered porch, which is so traditional, southern, waiting to greet people…”
HGTV Dream Home 1998 – Beaufort, South Carolina – Now
The winner of this 1998 HGTV dream home was Tina Carlson of Thousand Oaks, California. Unlike most contest winners, Tina was in the position to accept the home and maintain ownership of it for seven years - the longest any contestant has been able to keep a dream home to date. To do this, she took out a mortgage and used the property as a vacation rental home to afford the upkeep.
To afford a home like this, it would need rental income to sustain the taxes imposed on the property. It’s obviously an amazing home, and she made a smart decision to make ownership of it feasible.
Love It or List It - Deena Murphy and Tim Sullivan Lawsuit - Then
Most of the people on home makeover shows are pretty chipper to have the home of their dreams; however, that wasn’t the case for this North Carolina family. Deena Murphy and Tim Sullivan had their quaint home remodeled in 2016 on the show Love It or List It. Despite loving the home, they later wished they listed it.
Deena and Tim actually decided to sue the production team for the show because of the halfway remodel their home received. In an interview with The Charlotte Observer, they even went as far as to call the work done on the show “shoddy!” They even alleged that the company didn’t use the full $140,000 the couple provided for the repairs.
Love It or List It - Deena Murphy and Tim Sullivan Lawsuit - Now
We don’t blame them for being livid. For $140,000 you would expect a stellar remodel! Apparently, after the filming teams picked up and left, the couple discovered “damaged and stained floorboards, open holes, and low-grade carpeting over chipped concrete.” according to CBS This Morning. As you can find by doing a quick Google search, the couple were not going to be quiet about the bang-up treatment their home received by the production team of Love It or List It.
After numerous interviews exposing the bad work done off-camera, which were no doubt a tactic used to pressure the company into reparations, the two parties filed to dismiss the case in April 2017. However, the settlement terms were not released to the public. So we'll never really know how it went down.
Curb Appeal: The Block - Cenate and Wendy Pruitt’s Leaky Basement - Then
Cenate and Wendy Pruitt’s home was featured on an episode of HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block. The couple’s home was given a fabulous $20,000 makeover to upgrade and enhance their home's...well, curb appeal! The overhaul consisted of refurbished landscaping and outdoor finishes.
Wouldn’t it be so amazing to have your home redone by a team of professionals? So many hometown landscapers and contractors are notorious for their shoddy work. However, working with a team of pros used by a network like HGTV seems foolproof! Right? Well...that unfortunately just wasn’t the case for this Atlanta couple.
Curb Appeal: The Block - Cenate and Wendy Pruitt’s Leaky Basement - Now
The $20,000 upgrades given to this perfectly fine home ended up not living up to the buzz of the show. In fact, the upgrades were a bust. The builders used on the show actually built a retaining wall in the home’s basement. Over time, the retaining wall sadly started leaking and leaving water trapped inside.
The leaking was so bad that the couple actually had to buy a pool pump to continuously pump water out of the home’s basement. They had no idea they were getting a new pool! All joking aside, this is pretty shocking considering the success of the network. Not to mention, they used completely wrong plants in the landscaping that all died straight away.
HGTV Dream Home 2007 – Winter Park, Colorado - Then
Located in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, this 2007 dream home has a wide-open floor plan, balconies, and gorgeous large windows to fully take advantage of that dream-home view. This home is styled after a mountain ski lodge, with a built-in hydronic in-floor heating system that keeps your feet warm during those chilly winter months.
It’s no secret that the Rocky Mountains is one of the most beautiful scenery settings for a dream home. On this wooded and secluded ridge, this house blends seamlessly with its surroundings. With such compelling views, the home was carefully crafted to look like it belonged. The home’s designer, Linda Woodrum, told HGTV this: “I kept it very simple outside because there’s no way to compete with the kind of beauty nature provides here.”
Part of good design is making your home look like it fits with the setting around it. As for this home, we’d love to look out of those big picture windows every morning and watch the sunrise. Or watch snow drift down the mountains during the winter!
HGTV Dream Home 2007 - Winter Park, Colorado - Now
The 2007 winner, Robert O’Neill Sr. actually put the home up for sale shortly after winning. In fact, O’Neill was no stranger to winning things--he was a Florida state lottery winner as well! The home apparently pulled in lots of attention while on the market due to its notoriety for being on the show but sold to someone who had no idea this was an HGTV dream home.
This home will always be timeless. Its cabin feel is sure to make anyone who lives there slow down and take a breath to enjoy the scenery. Who wouldn’t want to spend their days watching the nature around you all from the comfort of your dream home? It’s no doubt the new owners are enjoying that heated floor and picture windows.
We’re sure whoever bought this home was able to hold on to it. As mentioned, planning to have an estate like this makes ownership more feasible. Otherwise, you’re sure to be shocked with unexpected costs of ownership!
HGTV Dream Home 2008 – Lake Lure, NC - Then
It's a beachfront paradise--the 2008 HGTV dream home sits in the gorgeous Florida Keys. With three stories, its bright blue and yellow exterior shows off its seaside views and stunning sunsets. Its outdoor dining areas and overlooking balconies suggest one to slow down and live life by the beach.
Just steps from the beach, this home showcases stunning ocean views where you can dine alfresco right off your porch. Every room in this house is thoughtfully curated to maximize space and provide lots of storage. It’s truly a beachside dream home inside the home with its cool blues, peachy pinks, and sunny yellows.
HGTV Dream Home 2008 - Lake Lure, NC - Now
Despite the home being in the serene Islamorada, Florida Keys, the 2008 winner, Stephanie Dee of Iowa, would have needed to pay around $700,000 in taxes to obtain the home. But it doesn’t stop there, she would also need to pay $20,000 annually to maintain ownership of the property. She sold the home for $1.65 million to a buyer who also sold it just a year later for nearly half of what he paid for it.
This home surely fell victim to the housing market catastrophe that happened in 2008, resulting in the massive price reduction. Otherwise, we’re sure this home would have held on to some of its original value. Either way, it’s sad to think that the home's buyer had to sell the home barely a year into owning it for half its value.
HGTV Dream Home 2011 – Stowe, VT - Then
The 2011 HGTV Dream Home is a ski enthusiast’s “dream.” Pardon the pun! With stunning views of the ski slopes, this Vermont home could hold a whole family and then some. With dorm-style living quarters, this home is the perfect ski lodge for a family’s winter vacation. It even came with a mudroom to take off your gear.
This home is all about living life on the slopes. With reclaimed stepping stones and patios paved with tumbled Pennsylvania bluestone, this home is a locally sourced masterpiece. Not only is the home spectacular in and of itself, but it’s perched perfectly with 360-degree views of the picturesque snow-tipped slopes of Vermont.
HGTV Dream Home 2011 – Stowe, VT - Now
The 2011 winner, Eric Makstenieks, caused quite the controversy when his name was leaked on Twitter by a neighbor far before the show’s announcement. Eric and his family tried to make the most of their short time owning the home, only using it five times before selling the home for $2.7 million, $1.1 million less than HGTV said the home was worth.
At least they were able to make it work for a short while. But like most dream home winners, they sadly needed to get out from under such high taxes and costs of ownership associated with properties like this one. If you’re not part of the super-rich, it’s hard to have a mansion on some of the most sought-after property in the country.