Bright Side

22 People Talk About the Secrets They Discovered After Buying a House

Aside from the bureaucracy, loan problems, and all the other issues, people often make other discoveries after they buy a house or an apartment. The previous owners often leave some kind of Easter Eggs. So, if the place you are buying is pretty old, there is a chance you might find some secret rooms or maybe a safe full of cash.

The Bright Side team was excited to read these stories from internet users who found some secret stashes in their new houses. And at the end of the article, there is a bonus: sometimes when you buy a house, you not only find a secret, but a very insolent relative or neighbor right on your doorstep.

  • My upstairs neighbor in my apartment complex was a pretty large lady. I could handle the heavy footsteps at all times of the day and during the night, but when it began to rain from my bathroom ceiling every time she ran a bath, I gave up and called the complex. The problem was that they couldn’t find a problem without her in the bathtub and, of course, she wouldn’t allow them inside during her bath time. Turns out she ran an illegal daycare during the day and ‘bath time’ consisted of loading all 6 children under the age of 5 into the bath at the same time! This would cause the bathtub emergency overflow to kick in and drain into my place, rather than where it was supposed to go. Maintenance came into my place, after issuing her a fine and an eviction notice for an illegal business, and tore apart my ceiling to find out why the overflow came right out into my bath. I will never forget the look on the maintenance guy’s face when he called me into the bathroom to show me that he had found... a coffee pot. Apparently, this leak had been a problem for a previous tenant and instead of fixing said leak, he installed his coffee pot to catch the excess water and hoped it would dry between overflowings. © Kimber Shannon / Quora
  • A USB drive belonging to the previous owner. It held thirty photos of his car and one of his wife and baby. © I_throw_socks_at_cat / Reddit
  • I renovated the basement and tore down the drop ceiling. An envelope fell out in the process. I was hoping for money, but I got something better. In the envelope was a bunch of evidence collected by an ex-husband that his wife was cheating on him. Credit card receipts, hotel receipts, and other stuff. It was gross, but awesome at the same time. © hanginonwith2fingers / Reddit

“Just bought my first house and found a hidden safe when I was ripping out the old carpet! I opened it. It was filled with water. Even though I didn’t find anything interesting, it was a really fascinating find.”

  • After moving into our new house, we found around $14,000 behind the toilet. Apparently, the person who lived in the house before us did not believe in banks. © Grahamtg21 / Reddit
  • My uncle bought a house from people whose mother had passed away. They left a good amount of stuff in the house, mostly worthless. Christmas decorations, cutlery, etc. In the back of one closet, we found a trash bag full of lottery scratch-offs. We started going through them and they were all winners. It turned out to be about $12,000 in winning tickets. We took a few to the convenience store to check them and they were all past the expiration date, so the state lottery would no longer pay them out. © Impulse618 / Reddit
  • A colorized (colors filled in by hand), very large, black and white photograph in an ornate gilded frame, found in the attic. The photo showed a young child in a white lacy dress wearing a cowboy hat and boots, standing on the steps of a city building, (think brownstone) with a pony. The house was in the Midwest, and not near a city where buildings like this might be found. It was an old photo, and you could not tell if it was a girl or a boy, since boys used to wear dresses. We hung the photo in a prominent spot, and would take turns making up stories about the person/pony/photo. We left the thing in the attic when we sold the house. It didn’t seem right to take it. © 4rsmit / Reddit

  • I had less than $2,000 in my account after buying my home. They didn’t tell me I had to pay closing costs that were more than my down payment. My wife and I were working like dogs to try and catch up. But the money just wasn’t enough. We constantly had to keep going into the $2,000 to pay bills. And with 3 very young daughters, it was scary and stressful. The previous homeowners left a lot of stuff in the house. They made it seem like they were being generous when, in actuality, they just didn’t want to pay for bulk garbage pick-up for their junk. Well, I’m extremely glad they didn’t. One day I went up in the attic to sort through all the garbage they left for us. I was on my knees crawling into an access door for the storage area behind the wall. I turned on my flashlight and saw money! More than $3,000. We were in desperate need of this money. I didn’t report it, I didn’t contact the old homeowners, I paid my bills, and relieved a lot of financial stress on me and my family. © Gerry Sankara / Quora

“A deer skull was lodged in a tree when we first bought our house. I brought it inside and I still keep it on my dresser.”

  • Crammed under a built-in drawer below a bedroom closet was a police report from the late ’60s delineating a missing person/kidnapping case involving the prior, now deceased owner, who at the time was a teenager. It also mentions my next-door neighbor, who was a person of interest in the case. Haven’t talked to him about it, and not sure I want to bring it up... © alisleaves / Reddit

  • I had purchased 2 very old houses in Pennsylvania. In one, I found a door to a part of the attic and inside were several pictures that had been made from human hair from the 1800s. In another house about 3 miles away, there was a hole in the basement wall behind a sheet of plywood. Looking into the hole was a huge room that extended out under the sidewalk. The room was about 8 feet high and had a tunnel at the one end. The tunnel went under the basement and beyond. I never investigated how far it went, but I was told it went several blocks. It was an illegal bar. © Andy Eaton / Quora

  • My family and I all moved into the house I’m currently living in about a year and a half ago. Everything was fine until a couple of months in, when we had to take out an electrical outlet in my room to fix it, thinking it was broken. Inside the wall, I found a note, and obviously got curious. When I looked at it, it wasn’t the typical couple of words you’d normally find, it was a depiction of a skeleton with completely accurate labeling on most of the more prominent bones. I’m sure it was something innocent, like a kid trying to remember his bones, but it still gives me chills from time to time. © King-K-Roolio / Reddit

  • This is a story about an antique dealer that was a friend and has since died. One day she got a call from a neighbor who was wallpapering her kitchen. The house was one of the oldest in the town, built around 1780. What she discovered was that there was a hidden compartment, where there was a blanket, and inside the blanket, there was a full set of pewter plates, cups, and utensils, which were sold at auction and made a profit of around $3,000. © Egide Beaudoin / Quora

“7 years ago we bought an old house that was built before 1917. We lived there for 2 years and then we decided to tear it down to build a new one. During the tearing down process, my son came up to me with a smile, saying, ‘I found a treasure. With cash.’ He gave me a box with a lot of cash inside.”

  • The previous owner’s wife had passed away not long before we purchased the house. About a week after we took possession, the realtor called us and asked if we’d found the owner’s wife’s wedding ring in the master bedroom closet. We had not. A few years later, we were cleaning the top of the kitchen cabinets and found the ring. Why it was on top of the kitchen cabinets we will never know. But we were able to track down the owner and return it. © sentientmeatpopsicle / Reddit
  • Earlier this year I moved into a new apartment and found 4 unopened cans of 7 Up Gold in a gap between my kitchen cabinets and the wall. 7 Up Gold was discontinued in 1988. The seals on the cans had obviously failed long ago and all the liquid had evaporated/leaked out. There was about a quarter of a can left in one but again, the seal was compromised and it was probably so full of bacteria that it wouldn’t have been even remotely safe to drink. © RathrDash1ng / Reddit

  • Razor blades... The double-edged ones from old razors. They were in the wall when we opened it up to repair a busted pipe. I noticed a pile of debris in the wall and luckily happened to be wearing gloves. I reached in to grab the debris and throw it away, and pulled out a handful of blades... There were several handfuls. I later learned that a feature of most mid-century modern bathrooms was a blade disposal slot in the back of the medicine cabinet. Super gross and creepy. © Bellapace / Reddit

  • I found a hidden room. It was a big room that had been fully finished, except for central heating. When I say big, it was easily 15 ft x 30 ft.
    Here is what was in the room:
    A boxing speed bag in the corner, with a pair of boxing gloves hanging nearby.
    Over 2 dozen women’s wigs on fake heads.
    2 mannequins. Both of them were naked, but neither seemed to mind.
    About 20 garbage bags full of stuff.
    A pile of women’s panties. At least 30 pairs.
    About 20 hat boxes. © DisastrousContact / Reddit

“Found a hidden shower during a renovation.”

  • Found a box full of random stuff in the basement of our apartment. Inside there was an Alcoholics Anonymous book filled with handwritten notes that progressively got less and less legible. Phone numbers, names, stories... We tried calling a few numbers and no one answered. I think the woman died from her struggles. © Endura_GW2 / Reddit

  • I am the first occupant in my current apartment, but I did find the lid of a paint bucket with a message on it, on top of the closet that said: “Hope you like your new apartment //The painter” © Croesus90 / Reddit

  • A basement. I seriously bought a house and didn’t know it had a basement. In my defense, the entry was through a long narrow laundry room that was away from the back of the house, where the sellers kept their dogs. They asked us to not open the door and let the dogs out, and I just never saw the other door. I discovered it when we were moving in... I felt really stupid. © enkibean / Reddit

Bonus: Stories about weird neighbors and insolent relatives

  • I just bought a house. It has 5 bedrooms, an office, a large basement, and an indoor pool. Apart from the usual, “Why do you need such a big house if you don’t have children???” I’ve also gotten this, “Oh, you bought the big house with the indoor pool? Great! Now we can bring our kids over for a swim.” Most of my neighbors have kids and many of them assumed that I was going to let their gremlins in so they could swim in my pool. And they have the gall to look offended when I tell them, “No, the pool is for me, my boyfriend, my friends, and my dogs.” It also seems to bother them that I keep my gate locked at all times when I’m home because, “Our kids would love to play in your front yard, you have so much space!” © shygirlturnedsassy / Reddit

  • 5 years ago, my husband and I bought a house. Turns out his brother-in-law had looked at the same house when it was listed as well. They decided it was too much work to fix up and not worth it. We met up with the family recently and his brother-in-law was talking about how cramped their condo had become with 2 kids now. And then his brother-in-law decided that this was the perfect time to tell us that we should trade houses. Then he proceeded to get MAD at me for not even considering it, and began justifying all the reasons that his family needed our house more. Then he informed me that if we were to trade houses, that we would need to make some major upgrades first, because he wouldn’t have time to be able to do any renovations. And now my brother-in-law isn’t talking to me because I laughed through the whole thing and wouldn’t take him seriously. © NegativeBarracuda / Reddit

  • We wondered why a couple was selling after having only lived in their new house for 2 years and during that time had put a lot of money and work into landscaping and great decorating touches. The house was a prize in a retirement community in Florida, but the houses were fairly close together. The day we looked at the place, bells should have gone off when “the neighbor” stood around watching us curiously. We made the deal and later came to check on things, while this neighbor stared at us as we came and went. This creep stood on the very edge of his property line openly staring at us and apparently he could hear us open the front door in the morning to get our paper at the end of the drive because suddenly he’d be out on his lawn drinking coffee turning slowly like a lighthouse, surveying the street. There was zero privacy. I began to sneak out the back door and the other side of the house to run like crazy in an attempt to outsmart him and I did but my shoes would get wet from the dew! Deep down, I know he was the reason the sellers took off while claiming that they simply wanted another house. When they introduced us to Mr. Weird he immediately told a dirty and unfunny joke. We lived there one year and sold. I was never so glad to get away from a house in my whole life. © JanBob Marshall / Quora

Have you ever found anything interesting from the previous owners in your new house?

Preview photo credit hanginonwith2fingers / reddit