Have You Ever Purchased a Hoarder House?

Have You Ever Purchased a Hoarder House?

When I first saw the TV show ‘Hoarders’, I wondered how they found all those houses.

After buying houses for years, I realize that hoarder houses are everywhere. Shocking!

The above photo is from one of the hoarder houses we purchased. Hundreds (thousands?) of dolls. They were in EVERY room on both floors with only a path to walk through. And boxes. And all of the accessories. I never walked through that house alone. Chucky?

But so many people have houses stuffed with things. Sometimes they’re forced out – this woman was moved into a retirement community by her children. Sometimes I guess they’re just done? We’ve had multiple houses where it looks like the sellers have just gone out to run an errand – all their furniture and clothes still there – dresser, kitchen and bathroom cabinets full – closets full – refrigerator full – personal items still left lying around. Perhaps they just packed a suitcase and left? I guess when you’re done, you’re done.

How do you, the buyer, get rid of all the stuff? That can end up being a huge expense.

One house we purchased had 62 tires inside. What?!?

I’ve tried lots of things to avoid hauling it all to the dump (think expense). I’ve tried “moving” sales, selling to vendors at flea markets (“for only $X amount you can have everything”), salvation army, any donation pick-up sources, Craigslist.

One time, I had a house with a number of larger items left. Lots of old, worn furniture but certainly still usable. I put photos on Craigslist and said, “FREE. House open from 12 noon to 12:30pm. Come with a truck.” I left the house open and went back by after 1pm. Nothing left but crumbs. It was fabulous.

Naturally, we have also spent $thousands at the dump emptying houses. We ask sellers what they plan to leave (and hope they’re honest) then reduce our offer by approximate costs to clean out the house.

Real estate investing is interesting on so many levels. We’ve also kept some amazing finds left behind – I have a wonderful and beautiful piano. One seller texted after move-out that he’d left his motorcycle in the garage and the signed title on the kitchen counter. After my husband had some fun on it… we sold it for thousands. Again, shocking. Why didn’t the owner sell it instead of leaving it for us? Who knows – I gave up thinking for the sellers years ago.

So many stories and so much fun.

What hoarder houses have you gone into? What fabulous finds have you gotten with purchase?

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