Found: A Stash of Cash!

Family GeekMom

Maybe it’s the fact I have house buying (and selling) on the brain, but this story really caught my eye. A guy in Utah bought his family a new home, then found a wad of cash in the attic. Serious cash. Like, ‘buy a couple of new cars’ cash. But instead of booking a fun family vacation, he counted it all out, then called the sellers and returned it.

It made me stop to think about all the crazy things we’ve found in houses we’ve bought over the years. It made me wonder what I’d do, if I found that much cash. And where the line is between feeling ownership (it’s in MY house, for heaven’s sake!) and feeling a sense of obligation.

The most exciting thing we’ve ever found in a new house is a mini fridge. Oh, and a couple of beaded lamp shades that I never could match to any lamp. But who knows? We’re due to buy a house in Colorado this summer. Maybe we’ll hit the jackpot and get an attic full of cash. We could go on a video game/Lego/electronics buying spree!

Or we could track down the owners and return the dough. I have a feeling that’s what would really transpire.

But if you take the idea one step further, it makes you wonder what item you might find in a new home that  you’d immediately get rid of. Obviously dead bodies and stray animals would make the list. But when you take on someone else’s former home, you never know what you’ll find. Fingernail collections? Twenty years of Soap Opera Digest?

What’s the coolest, creepiest, or geekiest thing you’ve ever found when moving into a new place? Did you return it to the previous owners, or claim it as your own? I’m sure there are some unbelievable stories out there, just waiting to be told. What’s yours?

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11 thoughts on “Found: A Stash of Cash!

  1. We found an old yardstick that had a (defunct) local hardware store advertised on it – with their two-digit phone number.

    We kept it, as we found it when we tore into a wall, and it long predated the previous owners.

  2. When we moved back after I finished the 2nd grade, we moved to a pretty neat house — we found a bendy guy in a tree in the backyard, a micro machine car that you squeezed for lights and sirens, I think another matchbox car (no one gave me cars as a little girl, so these were extra awesome), and a mystery in the garage — someone wrote directions on the wall that we believed led to treasure, which we investigated with some friends for I think 4 summers…

  3. About 4 months after we move in, I found an ancient cookbook with lots of handwriting in it. The handwriting was old and European looking. It was wedged way back behind the oven vent in a cupboard. I called the sellers and asked how to return it. She started crying. It was her grandmothers. Felt like I got good karma points for a few weeks on that one.

  4. It’s what buyers of our home might find!

    I snapped a picture of my husband sitting on the toilet reading a magazine, while across from him our son sat on a potty seat reading a book. The finished photo created the kind of active humor we’re known for—-all three of us chased around the house for possession of the incriminating photo. After much tussling we let the toddler win. He promptly stuck it in the paper thin space between the staircase and railing. If someone reworks that house they’ll find it.

  5. As for GEEKY, I DID inherit small plastic figurines of Chewbacca and a Rebel Alliance Soldier from the boy who lived in my childhood home before I moved in at age five. I wouldn’t know who those figures were supposed to be for another year though. (At the same time, whoever moved into our old house must have found the Oscar the Grouch Fisher-Price figure we left behind. I was always sad about him).

    When we bought this house, all we found was a small wooden half-crate thing. But the lady who SOLD it to us has asked us, every time we’ve seen her since, if we’d found any money! We still haven’t. It’s been 8 years. I don’t think there is any!

  6. Since you asked…

    We bought our house new. In the attic I found a small carboard box. In the box there was a small package wrapped in brown paper. In the paper there was a wrapped up pair of underwear, and only judging from the seepage, in the underwear was a liquified pile of poo.

    Really? This guy spent so much time and effort hiding his crap (literally), and the walls weren’t even completely painted, and the roof was shingled incorrectly.

  7. Since you asked…and ONLY because you asked.

    We bought our house new. In the attic I found a small carboard box. In the box there was a small package wrapped in brown paper. In the paper there was a wrapped up pair of underwear, and only judging from the seepage, in the underwear was a liquified pile of poo.

    Really? This guy spent so much time and effort hiding his crap (literally), and the walls weren’t even completely painted, and the roof was shingled incorrectly.

  8. Since my family lives in our house since five generations, it is a bit creepy when we find something we don’t know how it got there or how put it there.

  9. I removed ceiling tiles in the basement bathroom to access the water shutoff valves.
    A couple (presumed used) hypodermic needles and a tarnished spoon fell out onto the floor. Creeptastic.

    I tore out the old shower/tub in the upstairs bathroom. In the floor under the tub were a number of old beer cans – the kind that had pull-tabs even. Redneck-tastic.

    Both scenes were in the same house.

    I swear I’m going to stash something cool in the house when I move out – just because it’s cool – and for karmic balance.

  10. When we toured the Victorian that we eventually bought, hanging on the wall above the staircase was a life-size painting of the owner in a white John Travolta-type disco suit. The weirder part was that he was painted in a sitting position, except the chair wasn’t painted in–he was sitting on air! When we eventually bought the house, the owner was slow to move his final things out, including this portrait. We eventually had to tell him it was getting tossed unless he came and got it pretty quick. He did.

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