Surprising Things Found by U.S. Property Owners in their Homes


It can be an overwhelming and complicated process to search and find your dream home, but the journey can also lead you to exciting and fun discoveries. You can find your ideal neighborhood, perfect kitchen, dream backyard, or even a house with snakes.

We aren’t joking. A lot of homeowners have discovered unexpected and strange things in their houses. In this article, we’ve detailed a few surprising findings of property owners. These aspects make real estate more interesting and fun, and also provide useful lessons to homeowners.

Love Letters from World War II

Love letters have become passé in today’s digital age. When the Carters purchased a refurbished 1970s residence in 2016 in Pensacola, FL, they found a bunch of old letters that were from World War II.

When the Carters read the letters, they found that they had been written by a World War II veteran named William Middleton who had been the former homeowner. He had addressed the letters to a lady named Doreen who lived in Canada. After doing some research, the Carters found that the couple had gotten married. They traced their children and gave the letters to them so that they could read their parents’ interesting story.

Bunch of Cash

An artist named Josh Ferrin found $45,000 in coins and cash in his attic at his Bountiful, UT, home. He informed his family about it and they had a discussion on whether to keep the money or give it back to the original homeowners.

Ferrin decided the right thing to do was to teach the importance of honesty to his two children. He returned the funds to the original owners without falling for the temptation of using it for house payments or to buy a car. Ferrin’s sincere (and cool) act is definitely a great example for all parents.

Mammoth Bones

When Oskaloosa, IA, property owner John went searching for blackberries with his two sons near a stream, he found an object that looked like a ball. John did some research and found that the “ball” was actually the thigh bone from an ancient mammoth that had lived about 100,000 years ago.

Archaeologists descended on John’s property and did extensive searching. They also found the mammoth’s thoracic ribs and feet bones. Though mammoth fossils are not rare in Iowa, it was indeed surprising for experts to find so many bones of one animal in one place.

An Ancient Cemetery

This story is great for horror lovers. Property owner Helen Weisensel had bought an ancient home in Wisconsin’s Jefferson County. While her family was repairing the home’s foundation, they found a child’s skull. A bit of research told them that an old cemetery lay beneath their house.

Weisensel uncovered more remains on her property. Not surprisingly, she received a lot of questions from neighbors about whether she had seen any ghosts in her house. The discovery of the burial ground also put an end to her plans of remodeling her home.

Toxic Mold in a Concealed Room

The Browns found a good deal in Greenville, SC and bought a five-bedroom home. While doing renovations, they discovered a concealed room and were shocked when they found poisonous black mold in the hidden room.

The former owner of the home had left a warning note in that room which stated that the mold problem in the residence had made his kids very sick. Because of this concern, he had to vacate the property. The Browns subsequently got an environmental engineer to perform testing. He confirmed that the house had high toxicity levels, so the Browns filed a lawsuit and canceled their plans to live in and renovate the home.

Snake-Infested House

The Sessionses were happy when they got a dream five-bedroom residence in Rexburg, ID, for just a little more than 100,000. However, there was a bitter fact behind the low cost: the property was infested with snakes. The owners even found slithering snakes in the walls. In fact, the locals had named it “the snake house”.

Another danger was that the home’s tap water was contaminated with snake feces and musk, which created the danger of catching salmonella and other ailments. This serpent’s lair had been abandoned in haste by many former owners. The reason for the numerous snakes was the presence of a serpent den below the property.

The cost of fixing this problem was much more than the property’s price and the Sessionses didn’t have the money for it. The couple had to abandon the house and file for bankruptcy. This story warns all property buyers that they should perform due diligence carefully before investing in a new home.

Faberge Figurine

The owners of one home got lucky when they found a vintage Faberge figurine in their attic. The small statute was studded with diamonds and other precious jewels, and sold for an amazing $5.2 million at auction. Just 50 pieces of this artwork had been created which was the reason for its high price. The figurine dated back to 1912 and depicts the bodyguard of a royal family. It was gifted by the Russian ruler Nicholas II to his dear wife.

A Live Mortar

The DeForests moved into their new residence in Goshen, IN, in 2010. While exploring, they found a military weapon on the property. They consulted a family friend who had worked in the Army and the latter identified the object as an anti-tank weapon or mortar.

The family informed the local police and bomb experts came and removed the dangerous device. The police officers informed the DeForests that the mortar could possibly date back to the Vietnam or Korean Wars. Thus, the family got a rather shocking introduction to their new home and neighborhood.

Wrap Up

These examples convey the lesson that prospective property buyers should perform thorough research and get to know all the important details of a home before they invest their hard-earned money in it. You should perform a home inspection, hire an expert local property agent, and ask relevant questions to learn as much detail as possible about the property you’re interested in. This methodical homework can help you avoid nasty surprises.

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