"The Magnolia Story" By Chip and Joanna Gaines

Summary: A review of my favorite flipping couples first book "The Magnolia Story". This book documents how the famous husband and wife team from Fixer Upper got their start and built the company that is at the center of the show.


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When I picked up "The Magnolia Story" last night I had no idea that I wouldn't be able to put it down. A memoir about two reality TV personalities doesn't feel like it would be a page turner, but it is! The story of how they built their mega real estate and design firm from humble beginings to the center of the hit HGTV show "Fixer Upper" is inspiring and entertaining. I found myself often laughing out loud as I turned page after page. I began reading last night at 7 pm and by 9 am I was done.


For me personally, Chip and Joanna are role models. There story is what I hope Max's and my story will be. Just replace the word Waco with Rutland and you have what I hope to be my future. This couple has done so much for the city of Waco. They have transformed it from a town known only for the 1990s FBI raids to a destination comparable to Austin or Dallas for anyone that visits central Texas. This is what I hope to do for Rutland Vermont one day.


Chip got his start flipping Waco on a street full of $30,000 homes (Third Street). "He owned a bunc of tiny little houses along this stretch of road that was also home to a school for troubled youth." No one believed in the area, but Chip saw a future for it and went all in. "Chip was his fearless self and saw the area as a spot full of underprices properties with potential." That is how I see most of Vermont. It is a beautiful state with plenty of oppurtunity. It is just waiting for the right people to come along and put everything together.


The inspiring thing about Chip and Joanna is that they never give up. "I don't like when things get to comfortable. To me, it's a motivation thing. Comfort is what you do when you retire, so if there's any way you can keep pushing off that 'I'm completely comfortable' idea, then it keep you a little wily; it keep you young; it keeps you hungry" (Chip Gaines speaking about living in his flip houses). Well I'm hungry and this book has served as good inspiration to remind me that anything is possible.


As for the real estate value of the book, there are some interesting bits for anyone that watches Fixer Upper. For example, on the show Joanna always meets with new clients at "the farm house" to go over her design ideas. Well we learn in the book that they purchased the farm house from an older lady and her son after selling them a new home they had built in a small development they called "Magnolia Villas" (on Bosque Boulevard in Waco). The sellers carried back the mortgage on the farm because Chip and Joanna couldn't qualify for a mortgage.


Biggest Takeaway: "I realized most people don't want to do what it takes to do a lot of things. I made up my mind right then and there - I would do whatever it takes to be successful." -Chip Gaines.


Casey Richards

Rutland, Vermont


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