On July 8, a man charged with drunk driving crashed into a Waco, Texas couple's home, smashing through the front and severely damaging their home. While the incident is terrible in its own right, it's gotten bigger publicity due to the fact that the home was renovated on the hit TV show "Fixer Upper." It also sparked some backlash, as the couple told reporters that it tops off a year of crime in the neighborhood.
Ken and Kelly Downs were sleeping when Allen Wayne Miller drove his Hyundai Accent into their home, but were thankfully not hurt. However, they are understandably frustrated, doubly so given that this incident is a symptom of much bigger problems.
“It’s like the Wild West here. There’s been a lot of commotion coming from the bars and the store across the street,” Kelly told the Waco-Tribune Herald. “It’s been a problem from the beginning. We’ve lived here a year and a half and we feel deceived by the city of Waco and Magnolia Realty.”
The nearby bars and hotspots, originally a draw for the couple, have turned out to be a source of ire and they've had to complain to the police multiple times of suspicious activity in the area. In short, the move hasn't been as much of the new start they hoped it would be. After this wreck, they are suspicious as to why they were even shown property in this area to begin with.
The couple's home was featured on Season 3, Episode 12 of HGTV's "Fixer Upper" and was known as the "Three Little Pigs" house. Originally, they loved the renovation concept show hosts and Magnolia Real Estate owners Chip and Joanna Gaines proposed, but after moving in they began experiencing problems. At this point, the Gaines nor HGTV has made any statements responding to the crash or the accusations.
"Fixer Upper" is credited with helping to boost the economy in parts of Waco, but the Downses have experienced a darker side to that story. When they moved in other locals expressed annoyance, even outright hostility, as to what that could mean for the neighborhood. Just as the popular TV show has acquired a reputation for good, it also gets a bad rap for making areas unaffordable for residents.
"We have been intimidated and harassed," Kelly said. "People have complained about their taxes going up because we moved here. Store owners have complained about taxes."
The couple aren't sure if it's worth it to put in more time and money to fix their destroyed house and to keep trying to make a home out of a neighborhood that isn't welcoming to them. The accident may just have been the push they needed to search for more agreeable pastures.