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Gaineses' new vacation rental already booked through year's end

Gaineses' new vacation rental already booked through year's end

Hillcrest Estate

This file photo shows a house shortly after Chip and Joanna Gaines bought it last year. The couple recently announced the house would open as the Hillcrest Estate vacation rental, and reservations are booked up through the end of the year.

“Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines apparently still have the knack for attracting crowds, whether at Magnolia Market at the Silos downtown or at their new vacation rental, called the Hillcrest Estate in North Waco.

“We were fully booked for the year within 45 minutes of opening it up for reservations. The dates were September through December of 2017,” Magnolia spokesman Brock Murphy said in an email response to questions.

The stately, 4,600-square-foot residence affords sleeping accommodations for 12, and guests who book a stay have access to the entire house. The rate is $995 per night, and there is a two-night minimum on all weekday reservations and a three-night minimum on weekend stays, according to the Magnolia website and information provided by Murphy.

“Bookings can only start on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, and reservations can be made online only,” according to tips on the site.

In a posting, Joanna Gaines wrote, “Chip and I had so much fun restoring this old Waco icon and cannot wait to welcome guests starting this fall. This house dates back to 1903, and we definitely kept its old world charm — our hope is that friends and families from all over can make lasting memories here during their visit to Waco.”

The Tribune-Herald reported that the duo bought the 114-year-old Greek Revival-style house last spring, with no specific plans for its use. The house, which includes an 800-square-foot servant’s quarters, had been on the market about a year before the Gaineses made an offer.

The sales price was not disclosed, but it was listed last year at $525,000, then reduced to $498,000.

Hillcrest Estate historically has been known as the Bradshaw Estate, named for prominent local retailer Leo Bradshaw Sr. and his wife, Eleanor Rose Bradshaw, who lived there from the 1950s through 1993. The Bradshaws owned Cogdell’s department store, which became a sporting goods and outdoors emporium that featured a towering stuffed bear on hind legs in a menacing pose near the entrance.

The Hillcrest Estate serves as a complement to the Magnolia House, a rental that opened in McGregor early last year. Joanna Gaines designed the residence, which was featured on “Fixer Upper” to appear much like the family’s own farmhouse. It has a maximum occupancy of eight, four twin beds, two queen beds and two baths, according to

When it opened to accept reservations, the demand was so great that the online booking site crashed, the Tribune-Herald reported.

The bed-and-breakfast in McGregor rents for $695 a night. But the online booking site said little availability remains for the balance of 2017.

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