Reddit user Oblivious_Dude14 asked: 'People who bought a house. What is the weirdest thing you have found left by the previous owner?'
Buying a home is a daunting task, but it comes with the comfort of finally having a place to call your own after the lengthy process of purchasing.
One of the things new homeowners look forward to is renovating certain areas of their newly acquired domicile.
However, embarking on this next phase of making a home their own can come with some surprises.
For example, doing a gut reno in the basement or tearing down a non-load-bearing wall can unearth unusual relics left from the previous homeowner.
These discoveries can either be treasures, or something very unpleasant.
Curious to hear from new homeonwers, Redditor Oblivious_Dude14 asked:
"People who bought a house. What is the weirdest thing you have found left by the previous owner?"
These will spark curiosity about former occupants.
"First time I took a hot shower in our new home. The steam covered the mirror, only to reveal the phrase 'HELLO, I SEE YOU' in large finger drawn writing."
"It freaked me out for a second, but made me laugh soon after that."
"It was such an inconspicuous yet obvious thing to leave for the new homeowner (me)."
A Special Request
"It's not really weird but I think it's kind of a nice story."
"One of the kids' rooms has a shelf going all around the top edge, and when my kid was putting stuff up there they found a letter from the previous kid. The letter welcomed them to the room etc and asked them to take special care of a rose bush in the front yard that was their special rose bush. My kid thought it was really cool to have that connection with the previous kid."
"Not really weird but they left a typed out and printed note about the house and how to take care of it. Detailing all the plant life in the backyard and how to prep for the winter. Described how to take care of the hot tub and gave random tid bits about the electrical."
"They were good people lol."
Theses secret chambers piqued Redditors' curiosity.
"Not my house, but the school my friend worked at."
"A pipe had leaked and ruined a wall in the building, one of the oldest schools in the city. It was a beautiful property. Anyways the pipe leaked so they pulled down the ruined wall and behind the wall found a door."
"A fully furnished apartment was there. Had a coal burning stove to heat it. Early 1900s appliances and decor. It was for the caretaker of the school."
"My ex-wife's family knocked down a wall in a 400-year-old house in Cornwall, and found a perfectly intact bedroom from the 1800s, still with all the personal effects where they had been left."
"Nobody knows why it was boarded up, or why things weren't taken out of it."
"Oh, and that house always appears in the guides for the most haunted locations in Cornwall, if you believe that kind of stuff."
A Medieval Theme
"A basement room that was fully decked out as a 'dungeon.' Faux stone walls, a stocks (like where you lock your head and hands in ala ye olde England), candle scones on the walls, a metal-barred cage in the corner from floor to ceiling. Oh and the closet had a load of toys, some normal, some....not so typical."
These Redditors got a glimpse into past lives.
"Before I met her, my wife got a call from someone she worked with saying they'd just bought an old house and in the city, and in it was a steamer trunk with her family name (not a common one) carved into the woodwork on one end."
"As it turns out, it was the trunk that her great grandfather used when he came over from Germany, and it made the trip to my wife's hometown when he met her great grandmother on a visit, and subsequently moved to her city to marry her. We now have it and it's full of family portraits and albums."
"My first house purchase in 2005 - bought an old farmhouse that was built in 1923. The basement was FILLED with crap - we told them they needed to clean it all out before closing, but they didn't do it. The realtor asked if we wanted to postpone closing, and we decided no - some of the stuff looked interesting enough. Maybe it will be worthwhile to go through."
"Most of it was just junk. Then, about half way through (we were working our way from one end of the basement to the other, because you could barely walk through), I went to pick up what I thought was a small box, only to quickly realize it weighed at least 75 pounds. Upon further inspection, it wasn't a box, but a wooden square, 4' wide and about 12'x12', with two thin masonite plywood covers on each side. On one edge were two bolts with wires coming off that had been cut."
"Very strange - had no idea what it was, but thought it was interesting. So I put it aside and we kept going. At the very back of the basement once we cleared everything else out, was a rickety gray cabinet, built into the house. Inside, were numerous strange small tools, vials of mercury, vials of a strange powder, and thousands - literally thousands - of dice blanks. Some actual dice, but mostly blanks without the dots. they were all in little boxes labeled 'dice blanks'. Also very strange..."
"Not too long after that, I met a guy and upon learning my address, he said 'can I come over?My best friend grew up in that house'. He came by, and proceeded to tell me stories for an hour and a half about his childhood best friends eccentric father: Someone who was a part of the 'Dixieland Mafia' in the 60s and 70s, and who made a living traveling around the US as a traveling gambler. The enormously heavy box was an electro-magnet. And the dice blanks were for him to make his own loaded dice with a little bit of metal powder under the inlaid dot, so he could set up his own table with the the electromagnet underneath, and turn it on when he wanted to persuade the dice. He told me many other stories, including that there was 'no doubt in his mind that he had killed someone'. Pretty fascinating."
A Soldier's Story
"A diary of an American soldier in WW-II, South Pacific Theater. Found it above a door when remodeling 20+ years ago. My wife and I tried everything we could think of to find a descendant, but to no avail."
"UPDATE: I just posted photos of it with the person's ID info on r/WorldWar2."
"Last Update: Thanks to all the help from this community, and those at r/worldwar2, this diary is now in the hands of its writer's son who came to my office this morning to retrieve it. I am so thrilled to have been able to facilitate this!"
These folks really hit the jackpot.
"$1200 in cash above the door on the inside the closet. I found it while painting."
They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To
"A glass bowl. It was kind of pretty, with horizontal blue stripes."
"We kept fruit in it. We thought about dropping it off at the local charity shop, but never got around to it."
"Then one day I was at an antique fair and I saw for sale glass bowls that looked almost identical to ours. I went home to get my bowl and brought it to be assessed."
"Turns out it was a vintage Orrefors crystal bowl. The assessor valued it at around $800."
"We no longer keep fruit in it."
When my great aunt passed away, our family went over to her and her husband's home in Pomona, CA to clear it out in preparation to sell.
They emigrated from Japan in the late 1930s and brought with them many decorative figurines, sculptures, and wooden carvings from the homeland.
One of the pieces was a kabuki doll on a wooden base. As we were placing the item in a box, a tiny envelope that had been taped underneath the doll's base came loose.
I opened it and found what looked like instructions for something. I kick myself to this day that I didn't keep the letter and never bothered asking my parents what the note said as we were frantically trying to empty the house.
But man, my imagination ran wild. Was it a treasure map? Who knows. I still wonder to this day what the note said and tossing it aside remains one of my life's greatest regrets.
Reddit user californiabred asked: 'Homeowners who bought recently, what’s your biggest regret?'
There are few moments in life more momentous than buying your first home.
Of course, as is the case with any big decision, after going through with it, your mind begins to spiral down into a series of doubts.
Most of the time, once you've moved in and lived there for a while, all these doubts begin to slowly disappear.
In some cases, though, those doubts quickly turn into regrets.
Particularly when you notice more and more elements of what you thought was your "dream" home that is more reminiscent of a nightmare.
Redditor californiabred was curious to hear the biggest regrets from people who recently purchased a home, leading them to ask:
"Homeowners who bought recently, what’s your biggest regret?"
Not The What, But The When
"Not buying 4 years ago."- 3rdPartyArbitor
Location, Location, Location!
"The situation when you bought a house where it was possible and a month later they sell a house in the area where you wanted"- BenefitOk3952
"Not knowing enough about the area/town."
"I hate where we live."
"Hoping we can move by the time my oldest starts kindergarten."- MP1087jason patric fox GIF by Wayward PinesGiphy
Upon Closer Inspection...
"The inspector told us the main drain in the basement was clogged."
"We thought it was clogged with something normal."
"It was, in fact, 'clogged' with cement from when our basement floor was redone."
"So now our basement regularly gets standing water on one side."- doctorpotterhead
"Hiring the wrong home inspector they missed so much, I really have to wonder if all those reviews were bought and paid for."- CaptainQuoth
"Not planting the fruit trees sooner."
"It’s a long wait."- SageLeaf1Plant Hope GIF by The Seed of Life FoundationGiphy
How Long Have You Got...
"Be shameless enough to perform your own base level of inspection of a house so you don’t have to rely on what an inspector finds or get in a situation where you have to make an offer regardless of what the inspection finds."
"Turn all the faucets on and run the dishwasher."
"Start the washer machine for a second."
"Figure out if there is any water pressure issue."
"Bring a multi line laser and a tape measure."
"Check for any significant changes in slope on the foundation for some settling issues."
"Pay attention to the downspouts."
"Do they terminate right at the house or do they have longer pipes that lead the water away?"
"Pay attention to the flooring and create a rough estimate of what it will cost to immediately replace the flooring."
"Way easier to do when you don’t have a house full of furniture and can do it right before you move in."
"On the financial side you need to talk with multiple lenders at all times and make sure they continue to give you the most up to date closing costs."
"There were a lot of sneaky numbers that made there way in that I was unaware of as a first time home buyer."
"Until that mortgage lender gives you the locked in rate don’t trust them as to what number they are currently telling you."
"Discover your maximum mortgage rate + escrow and work backwards as to the maximum house you can afford."
"Don’t buy based on the pipe dream of refinancing."- from_the_LuftGIF by BlindspotGiphy
"Not recent, but I still regret not refinishing the floors before I moved in."
"I'll never do it now."- WinterFilmAwards
"I regret not having the inside painted and the carpet replaced before we moved in."
"Been here two years and it never felt like 'my home' until I got rid of the stains of those who came before."- DaisyRage7
Consider A Test Drive...
"Not particularly recent, but we did not pull out cars in the driveway or attempt to park them."
"So we didn't realize that my car could only enter the driveway from one direction, so I had to turn around half a block up every time I needed to park."
"And we just BARELY got two cars in the driveway."
"So my regret is that I took for granted that the driveway met our needs."- gtizzzhomer simpson episode 24 GIFGiphy
Always Read The Fine Print
"I bought a few years ago."
"So many things have gone sideways."
"One thing I regret is not being educated about permits."
"Contractors/handymen/ anyone who works on your house really, never mentions a permit may be needed."
"Learned that it’s up to me and me alone to do the research and phone calls."
"Currently have a job on hold because they needed a permit."
"The company blamed me and now I’m not sure they’re even going to do the work."
"Watch the movie 'The Money Pit'."
"It’s not that far off."
"Some days I wish I’d just be a renter."- MissPeppingtosh
Simply Not Worth The Effort
"Don't bother childproofing your home."
"They still get in."- Blueblackzincseason 9 friends GIFGiphy
It's easy to question whether or not buying a home was the right decision.
But rather than live a life full of regret, why not make the most out of what you have, and turn your not-quite-dream home into a temporary dream home?
Who knows, it might even increase the resale value.
Making yourself feel at home takes work but not as much as you think.
Homeowners, for example, are apprehensive about renovations because of how much costs.
Even tenants renting a home can feel like they're stuck in a situation where they don't feel comfortable because of minor inconveniences they think requires major solutions to fix.
Cut to this Reddit thread, where the ideas for affordable home improvement options were shared that may make you wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Curious to hear some tips from strangers online, Redditor Super_dupa2 asked:
"What small upgrade made a huge difference at your house?"
We tend to overcomplicate things when solutions can be simplified.
"Methodically buying phone chargers with long enough cables to not have to ever move one again."
"I am a pretty mellow dad (benign neglect parenting style for 5 kids) but I have two rules. Nobody messes with my bedside charger and nobody steals my two pillows."
"So, as such, I make many, long chargers available for everybody. It costs me a fortune:)"
Hello Darkness, My Old Friend
"Blackout curtains for sleeping. Such a game changer."
"And they keeps my bedroom cooler."
"Insulated blackout curtains make a 10f difference in my living room on hot days."
A Cool Idea
"Attic heat exhaust fan. Our attic used to get up to 140F on the hottest days, and on those days our ceilings were hot to the touch. The whole house was consequently uncomfortable. Now the attic fan is thermostatically controlled to 90 degrees, and the whole house is cooler."
"I added a passive whirly bird that does the same thing. Heat rises and escapes before it can accumulate to those extreme levels. It also happens to be clear acrylic so now there's always light up there too which helps keep away any vermin.
No major bathroom renovations are required to make tenants happy.
No More Slamming
"Soft close cabinets and toilet seats."
"We have a soft close toilet seat at our home and every time I'm at a hotel, I completely forget that they aren't usually soft close and the slam startles me 😂"
Nozzle Upgrades Can Do The Trick
"A better shower. If you can't redo the whole bathroom, just replace the head. This also works if you rent, just keep the old one in a box, so you can bring the nice one to your next house."
"I'm a renter and I finally installed a better shower head this year, after just using the default head in all my apartments for almost 20 years. 10/10, highly recommend."
Perfect Welcoming Gesture
"My wife and I own a smallish apartment complex . One of the things we do every time a new tenant arrives is replace the toilet seat. I learned that trick from my parents who had about a dozen single-family rentals. It's amazing the goodwill you receive from a tenant simplify giving them a new toilet seat. We actually put the box behind the toilet so they know it's new."
"Smart outlets for Christmas lights, both inside and outside. I have them scheduled to turn on at sunset and turn off at midnight."
"Smart outlets are one of my favorite purchases. During Halloween and Christmas, we’re using multiple outlets for inflatables, house lights, and tree lights. The smart outlets allow you to have everything synced so they all turn in at the same time."
Things Are Looking Bright
"Replaced dated lighting fixtures - fixtures are now properly grounded, the interior looks more updated, and there is more/better light."
Energy Conservation Option
"Motion activated light switch for the laundry room. Never have to worry about turning off the light when leaving with an arm full of clothing."
Creating an environment can make a huge difference.
Source Lighting For The Win
"Lighting can absolutely make a huge difference in the way you feel in your room. Get some shoulder height (when you are sitting) lamps for your living room. You will notice a shift in how much more relaxed you feel when you use those instead of the overheads."
Home Art Gallery
"Spending a day mounting my artwork. It felt so much more like my home after that."
"Every time I've moved, I put that off for way too long, then finally break down and do it and the house feels so much better to be in."
One major upgrade was our VE hybrid tech water boiler and warmer we got from Japan.
The Zojirushi kitchen appliance uses VE, or vacuum electric, technology for very minimal electricity to maintain the water temperature at a constant 195° so we always have hot water at the touch of a button.
There's no more time wasted boiling hot water over the stove every time we want tea or the occasional instant cup noodles.
Owning your own home is great!
You get the freedom to do whatever you want with your property—unless you're stuck under the tyrannical thumb of a Homeowners' Association—and no sharing walls with neighbors to keep you up at night.
Unfortunately, it also means that you have to deal with all of the problems that come up all by yourself too.
Reddit user winterwolf2010 asked:
"What is one thing about your house that is mildly infuriating?"
Hope You Like Damp
"We are the lowest house in a hilly neighborhood so guess whose yard floods?"
"What's up fellow swamp homie. How many times have you gotten your lawn mower stuck (twice) and have you gotten your truck stuck trying to pull your lawnmower out (once)."
"They wouldn't need to worry about water in the desert if they'd just pipe it straight out of our yards eh?"
Where's The Line?
"In a tightly-packed neighborhood, the property lines for my yard and my neighbors' yards aren't right down the middle between the houses; they're closer to my house than they are to the neighbors' houses."
"I used to find it infuriating when my neighbors would mow part of my lawn while mowing theirs. Then I learned where my property lines actually are. Now I'm just furious at my lawn."
Which Switch Is Which?
"No matter which switch I flip to turn on the kitchen light, it's the wrong one. It seems no matter which one I flip, I get get the dining room light or the laundry room light instead of the kitchen on the first try."
Do-si-do Your Partner
"My entry-way/foyer/whatever that area is called, is too goddamned small. There is enough room for one person to come in, close the door behind them, and take off their shoes and coat."
"Add one other person and it becomes a ballet. Add 2 people or a child and it's Twister but all the colors all the time."
"I have two switches that do nothing. I've plugged lamps into all the nearby outlets then toggled the switches, all the overhead lights are accounted for."
"Both phantom switches are on a plate with three switches. I assume the previous home owner had them running to something but when things got rewired he just didn't bother removing the switch, replacing the plate patching the hole."
"Instead there's just some capped off wiring somewhere in my walls."
"Thing is, I'm almost certainly not going to fix this minor but annoying issue either so it will be up to the next homeowner to fix it. An endless cycle of laziness and incompetence."
Just A Bit Crooked
"Absolutely nothing is squared correctly. The window's off by more than 3 degrees on both sides. Door frame...the same..."
Just A Bad Layout
"My kitchen sink is positioned on an inside corner with a cabinet below at a 45 degree angle to the dishwasher to the left. Whenever I open the dish washer, I can't open the cabinet under the sink to get the dishwasher soap."
"I've lived here for 17 years, and every damned day I open the dishwasher, try to open the cabinet and hit the dishwasher door with it. Have to close the dishwasher door, open the cabinet, get the soap, close the cabinet door, open the dishwasher door, pour the soap, close the dishwasher door, open the cabinet door and put away the soap."
"When I redo the kitchen I'm relocating some things even if it means losing some counter real estate."
Well, That's Just...Unfortunate...
"The only floor in the entire house that creaks? Yup, master bedroom right under the bed......"
It's Haunting Me
"There's this tiny TINY black dot in my bedroom ceiling that I can't unsee."
"It's fine. It can see you."
"We have a tiny spot in our bathroom that wasn't painted when they built our house. I feel your pain…"
That's A House Fire Waiting To Happen
"I have a 14' x 16' room on the back with half a dozen can lights, a ceiling fan with light, and about 10 sets of outlets."
"The entire f*cking room is on a single 15A breaker."
Sometimes it's the littlest things that can really drive you crazy over time.
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