A snake in the bath: The strangest finds in newly-bought houses

When you buy a house from someone, you probably expect to find it spick and span, ready to live in and completely free from mess and clutter. However, sometimes the old owners might not have emptied the place as well as they could have.

While its most likely that you won’t find anything more exciting than an old shopping list, or a few of those pesky odd socks that seem to go missing in the wash, there are some occasions when a house can throw up something really out of the ordinary. Be it a gem or something altogether more mind boggling, we look at a few of the more interesting things that have been discovered in properties by new owners.

A snake in the bath

When we at Quick Move Now purchased a house in Gateshead, we were quite surprised to find that not all the living residents had made their way to their new home. When the cleaners went in to make sure the house was up to shape, they were shocked to find that a neighbour had found the former owners’ pet snake – a one-metre long royal python – in his bath!

The snake had slithered its way through the plumbing and made its way next door, and although it was in a poor state of health after its big adventure, vets were able to patch it up and eventually return it to the owners.

It was certainly a unique find for us, however, and one that ranks up there in terms of the strangest things to ever be unearthed in a property. But who else has found something out of the ordinary in a new home?

A piece of history

We’ve all seen films where a family moves into a house and finds a real gem of historical importance hidden away, but it seems this can happen in real life too. One user on Houzz reported that when she bought her new home, she found 31 love letters dating back to the first World War hidden behind the wall.

Some of these letters were actually written in the trenches in France and sent back to a sweetheart at home. Thankfully the letters have now been passed on for preservation as historically fascinating items.

Other little pieces of history found in houses include a literal treasure chest, discovered by one buyer who opened the bottom of a dresser that had been left behind, only to find it filled with hundreds of pieces of Mexican jewellery.

Another new owner in the US was understandably overjoyed when she discovered a piece of paper in her basement that she thought was the deeds to a vineyard in Italy! Sadly it was just an old receipt for a wine purchase.

Off the wall

While historical items may be something of a dream to find when you buy an older house, sometimes the most exciting left behind items just happen to be those that are totally off the wall. And according to an infographic produced by Leeds Building Society, Brits really are the leaders when it comes to leaving bizarre objects behind.

Perhaps the weirdest find of all came in Edinburgh, where one lucky new homeowner discovered the mummified remains of an iguana. This can surely only be rivalled by new buyers in Liverpool who arrived at their brand new home, only to be greeted by the previous owners’ abandoned donkey!

Animals – living or otherwise – are not the only truly bizarre items found, though. People across the UK have also left behind (in no particular order); a Mexican wrestling mask, a voodoo doll, a unicycle and two separate occasions where a coffin was found in a bedroom!

And then there’s the unexpected. The buyer in Glasgow who walked into their new home and saw a Betty Boop clock was probably quite pleasantly surprised – probably less so when they continued walking around the home and found 30 of them on the walls.

So, what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever found in a new home?

A snake in the bath- The strangest finds in newly-bought houses.jpg
This content was written by Quick Move Now
Published on 3rd September 2014
Last updated on 19th April 2017

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