As homeowners, we embark on a journey filled with excitement and adventure as we buy, sell, and move into our dream homes. However, sometimes this journey takes an unexpected turn, revealing strange and surprising discoveries that leave us in awe. From hidden treasures to haunting mysteries, the stories of these homeowners will make you appreciate the unpredictable nature of real estate. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be amazed by these eight unexpected things found by US homeowners in their properties.
1. A Stash of Cash
Imagine stumbling upon a hidden treasure in your own home. That’s exactly what happened to artist Josh Ferrin from Bountiful, Utah. While exploring the attic, he made a remarkable discovery – a stash of cash and coins totaling $45,000! Instead of keeping the money for himself, Ferrin made the selfless decision to return it to the previous homeowners, teaching his children a valuable lesson in honesty.
2. Love Letters from World War II
In our digital age, receiving handwritten letters is a rarity. But for Zac and Shannon Carter, buying a house in Pensacola, Florida, led to a heartwarming discovery. During renovations, they came across a stack of old love letters hidden in the original cabinetry. These letters, postmarked from 1948 to 1949, told the beautiful story of a World War II veteran and his sweetheart. The Carters were able to reunite the letters with the couple’s children, allowing them to relive their parents’ blossoming romance.
3. An Unexpected Cemetery
While some discoveries bring joy, others can be quite unsettling. Helen Weisensel, a homeowner in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, experienced a chilling surprise during foundation repairs – she unearthed a child’s skull in her basement. It turned out that her home was built on top of an old, forgotten cemetery. As more human remains were discovered, Weisensel’s house became an official historic burial ground, leaving her with a haunting and disturbing situation.
4. Prehistoric Mammoth Bones
Uncovering a piece of prehistoric history in your own backyard sounds like something out of a movie. For John and his sons in Oskaloosa, Iowa, it became a reality. While blackberry-picking near a creek, they stumbled upon a 4-foot-long femur belonging to a mammoth that roamed the area over 100,000 years ago. This discovery led to an excavation led by the University of Iowa’s Museum of Natural History, unearthing more bones from the same animal.
5. A House Infested with Snakes
Finding your dream home can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not careful. Ben and Amber Sessions thought they had found their perfect rural home in Rexburg, Idaho, until they realized it was infested with snakes. Dozens of snakes were found in their yard and even inside the walls of their home. The Sessions had to abandon their house after discovering it was sitting on top of a snake hibernaculum, a den where snakes gather in large numbers to hibernate. This unexpected discovery cost them their dream home and forced them to file for bankruptcy.
6. A Hidden Room Full of Toxic Mold
Discovering a hidden room in your home might seem exciting, but for Jason and Kerri Brown in Greenville, South Carolina, it turned into a nightmare. As they removed bookcases in a bedroom, they uncovered a secret passage that led to a hidden room. However, their excitement quickly turned to horror when they discovered the room was infested with toxic black mold. The house’s contamination was so severe that the Browns had to cancel their plans to move in and take legal action to address the issue.
7. A Live Artillery Shell
Moving into a new home should be a joyous occasion, but for Wally and Linda DeForests in Goshen, Indiana, it became quite the bombshell – quite literally. Linda stumbled upon a live mortar round while hanging things on the wall in their basement. This unexpected discovery led them to contact the Elkhart Police Department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit to safely remove the military-grade weapon. The old mortar round was believed to be from either the Korean or Vietnam War, leaving the DeForests with a memorable housewarming gift.
8. A Priceless Faberge Figurine
In a stroke of luck, a family in upstate New York discovered a hidden gem in their attic. While going through their belongings, they stumbled upon a porcelain figurine that turned out to be one of only 50 in existence. Crafted by renowned Russian jeweler Faberge and adorned with precious jewels and diamonds, the figurine was sold at an auction for a staggering $5.2 million. This unexpected find turned their regular home into a treasure trove.
The Importance of Due Diligence
These stories of unexpected discoveries serve as a reminder of the importance of due diligence when buying a home. Before making such a significant investment, it’s crucial to ask the right questions, hire an experienced local real estate agent, and prioritize a thorough home inspection. By taking these precautions, you can avoid ending up in a house full of snakes or facing other unforeseen challenges. So take the time to do your research, and may your homeownership journey be filled with pleasant surprises rather than unexpected shocks.