Anyone have previous owners of your house take odd things with them when they sold it to you?

Two Peas is Closing
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Posted 7/7/2010 by SabrinaP in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 250,729
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Posted: 7/7/2010 5:54:14 PM
When we bought our house, we requested that all of the curtains and shower curtains be left because they matched the decor (log cabin), but when we moved in, they were gone. I didnt even notice it the day we were moving in, it was or realtor and she was ticked off about that. She called the lady but she didnt seem to care. Another divorce situation. So we just left it alone. She did leave the frig that we asked for and a wooden cross underneath the bathroom sink

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PeaNut 239,162
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Posted: 7/7/2010 6:19:42 PM
We had the problem with them leaving things. It was an estate and one of the sons had a heart attack in the midst of the process of the sale. They left their dad's huge indoor collection of potted geraniums, some he had apparently cultivated since the 1940's. All of his gardening supplies, a Hoosier cabinet, another antique cabinet, a motley collection of yard furniture and beach chairs, a fire extinguisher from the 1940's, an antique bowl and pestle, numerous bird houses, a huge bag of organic lawn treatment stuff, hideous drapery rods and drapes, a set of encyclopedias (also from the 1940's) and a massive safe. DH made them pay someone to come and get the safe out.

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PeaNut 269,939
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Posted: 7/7/2010 6:26:14 PM

i wouldn't expect the sellers to leave behind their mirrors, draperies, curtain rods, etc-- unless these items were specified as being part of the sale in the contract. these seem like decorative, personal items that would be chosen by the new owner.
Every place I've lived (which is, to be sure not everywhere) operates under the legal presumption that if it is attached to the wall in a permanent or semi-permanent manner, it is 'part' of the house and therefore part of the property sale. For example, a mirror attached to the wall with screws or glue in a bathroom is part of the sale, while a mirror hung on a hook is not.

When we sold our house in RI, I did not want to sell my curtains with the house and our seller's info had to include a special codicil notifying buyers that the curtains were not included because the legal presumption was that they were. I distinctly remember that because the buyer wanted to buy them separately and when I did agree to that, the lawyer than had to write a line about it in the agreement.

Living here, we were told by a realtor that if we wanted to take our display cases with us when we moved, we had to remove them before the house was shown. Since they are attached to the wall with screws, they are therefore considered 'part of the property' and a 'reasonable buyer' would have the right to assume they were included in the sale. If we took them with us without notifying the buyers of our intent, we would be liable for the value of those cases at closing.

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PeaNut 19,985
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Posted: 7/7/2010 6:43:35 PM
I saw on House Hunters on HGTV, someone took the ceiling fan blades. Not the whole fan, just the blades. It was a foreclosure.

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PeaNut 220,508
August 2005
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Posted: 7/7/2010 6:56:35 PM
We bought my FIL and wife's home that my DH had grown up in. There was the usually stuff in the basement that they didn't want and I really didn't mind.

What totally pissed me off was that FIL's wife's daughter lived around the block and unbeknownst to me or DH had keys to the house. She came over at some point and took a couple of shelves, a mirror out of a room, stuff like that. They weren't things I particularly wanted but the fact that she was in our house without permission is what peeved me.

I know it was her because FIL and wife had moved their stuff and themselves to the Ozarks while selling house to us. We were waiting to sell our house to close on new house. Me (9 mo. pregnant BTW), DH and DD would drive clear across town to mow, check house, etc. during this time and I knew what was in the house.

It was 14 years ago and it still pisses me off.


PeaNut 289,965
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Posted: 7/7/2010 7:15:37 PM
We bought our house in the middle of summer. I say this because the previous owners stored all of their christmas decorations in the attic. An attic they did not clean out. However, the took all the outlet covers, phone jack covers, the covering and filter for the a/c vent in the hallway (the metal cover that you see on the outside is not expensive, but the a/c guy that came out to replace it said they are hard to remove), the curtain rod for the shower and the toilet seat covers (which I planned to replace anyway) and every light bulb in the house. Things that just made us wonder. All of it irritated my hubby because he just thought the whole thing was stupid.

Most of the stuff I gave to Goodwill a few weeks later. The tree they had stored was from Hobby Lobby and had a reciept taped to it still. They had bought it the year before on sale. Did they come ask for them? No, two days after we moved in, he came by and wanted to know if we found an unmarked box in the master bedroom hidden at the very top of the closet. No, but by all means, get it out of my house. We offered him the Christmas stuff but he was embarrassed and said keep them. We still use the tree.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 127,404
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Posted: 7/7/2010 7:33:41 PM

but it was quite bizarre to find an empty Jack Daniels bottle next to an old and rusty Hershey's Chocolate Syrup can hidden above the heating ducts in the basement.

Awww, the couple must have shared the same hiding place for their stash! I can just see Dad nipping at the Jack while Mom chugs some Hershey's.

Seriously? Why would you want to transplant a bunch of flowers, instead of just starting fresh with whatever works in your new yard?

Seriously, if ya have to ask . . . plants have MEANING. Plants represent memories, etc. I have Peonies from my grandparents graves. Gardeners just get attached.


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PeaNut 331,732
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Posted: 7/7/2010 7:37:51 PM
The previous owners of our current house took the guest bathroom mirror. They had asked us to pay for it and we didn't so they took it.....


PeaNut 331,732
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Posted: 7/7/2010 7:37:54 PM
The previous owners of our current house took the guest bathroom mirror. They had asked us to pay for it and we didn't so they took it.....


PeaNut 331,732
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Posted: 7/7/2010 7:37:58 PM
The previous owners of our current house took the guest bathroom mirror. They had asked us to pay for it and we didn't so they took it.....

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PeaNut 224,352
September 2005
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Posted: 7/7/2010 7:47:08 PM
The house we bought now we walked through at 2p and closed at 6 that night. In that time they returned and took every towel bar, toilet paper holder and towel ring in the house.

We complained to our Realtor who said they would require them to be returned as that is the law in our state, but we'd planned to replace the ugly things anyway so it just forced our hand. But I wish we'd demanded a 300 check from them since that is what it came to for all the pieces in every bathroom.

The stories we've heard about these people make me understand they were quite strange and so I figure it was just par for the course.

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PeaNut 77,792
March 2003
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Posted: 7/7/2010 7:47:12 PM
Years ago, when I was house hunting, we went to see one house that was absolutely covered in yellow sticky notes. Everything from "Please don't leave fingerprints on the sliding glass door!" to "This is mine and goes with me" on darned near everything in the house, light bulbs, switchplate covers, etc. Of course, you assume their furniture goes, right? But she put stickies on that too!

Every available surface had a note. It was so annoying I didn't even get to all the rooms. I told our realtor that the seller looked like they were going to be too picky and too much trouble to deal with; that I didn't even want to consider the house.


PeaNut 211,963
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Posted: 7/7/2010 7:55:02 PM
My sister moved into a house where they had left their CAT!! She didn't figure out what it was for a few days. She could hear something in the walls and was pretty terrified. Finally she saw it's foot sticking out from around the dryer vent! She had to cut a hole in the wall of the mud room and put food out before the cat would come out. She called the realtor who called the owners and they said he got scared and went into the wall and they didn't have time to look for him!

My sister ended up keeping the cat!


PeaNut 190,378
February 2005
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Posted: 7/7/2010 7:59:12 PM
The previous owner worked at the courthouse in a neighboring county. When she moved out, there were still about 50 file boxes stacked in one of the upstairs bedrooms. We were working on the downstairs first, so it was a couple of weeks before I finally decided to take a peek in the boxes and see what was in them.

The first one I opened had a PISTOL in a plastic evidence bag!

We locked that bedroom door, got on the phone, and told her that she had to come get the stuff, as we had three children, ages 6, 4, and 2. We didn't want the children to have access to anything that might be in there.

Several days later, she sent a deputy and 2 prison inmates to haul the stuff to a storage unit.

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PeaNut 142,266
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Posted: 7/7/2010 8:06:11 PM

In our lake house, someone left a couple of bags of pot hidden behind the bathroom vanity!


Our handyman was the one that found them. We weren't there at the time. He claims he flushed them down the toilet.



PeaNut 289,617
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Posted: 7/7/2010 8:11:05 PM
Never had a problem with previous owners taking stuff, but had some that left weird stuff behind.

Previous house: we found porn movies and a brochure from planned parenthood up in the ceiling tiles in the basement

This house: previous owner said he thinks he hid a gun somewhere and he can't remember where, so it's somewhere in the house. We ripped the house up looking for it because it scared me with kids. Never found it.

Ever get the feeling your stuff strutted off without you?


PeaNut 122,227
January 2004
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Posted: 7/7/2010 8:16:58 PM
Not us but our neighbors. Their house was newly built and when they went to move in their stuff, they found some guy's dirty underwear hanging in their laundry room!!


PeaNut 228,402
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Posted: 7/7/2010 8:36:28 PM

Oh, I also left a small plant and note for the new owner welcoming her to the house and telling her that I hoped she enjoyed it as much as we had.

I did the exact same thing 2 years ago when we sold our home. We left the house in pristine condition, the "welcome" card on the kitchen windowsill, all the manuals for the furnace, water heater, washer, etc. left neatly in a folder on the kitchen counter, etc., etc., etc.

I guess I was probably in the back of my mind hoping that our new home would be left in a similar way. Nope. Just lots of dirt and about 30 cans of old unusable paint (no exageration). Grrrrr.

Oh well, I still feel good about how we left our old house.

Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone. Kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own. -Adam Lindsay Gordon

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 26,836
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Posted: 7/7/2010 9:13:25 PM
When my parents moved, the woman took the cental vac system with her!

The realtor called her and told her "no way!", and it was returned.

And she left behind 3 caution cones and a golf ball cleaning machine in the basement!


PeaNut 23,080
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Posted: 7/7/2010 10:14:43 PM


Seriously? Why would you want to transplant a bunch of flowers, instead of just starting fresh with whatever works in your new yard?

I have some "fancy" varieties of plants in my yard that I paid way more than I should have for a plant and I'd take them with me too. This next person could probably give a crap about "variety" of a plant and why should I respend money on something I've already bought? I would specify that those were not included with the sale though.

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PeaNut 161,924
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Posted: 7/7/2010 10:23:55 PM
In our last house, the previous tenants (it had been rented out for a while) left cookie sheets and cake pans. It seemed like they just forgot to clean out one of the cupboards in the kitchen. We still have them, because the previous owners couldn't track them down.

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PeaNut 43,514
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Posted: 7/7/2010 10:27:48 PM

Our handyman was the one that found them. We weren't there at the time. He claims he flushed them down the toilet.

Lol, sure he did.


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PeaNut 399,898
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Posted: 7/8/2010 3:34:51 AM
Not when we bought the house, but the one we lived in before is owned by my parents in law, and my SIL and BIL lived there before us.
They took the skirting board and an hot hot water boiler with them to put in their new house, never saw either of them though...
They also took all the curtains without using them in the new house, took the bathroom furniture, all the light fixtures they could get of the ceilings...

Thinking outside the bucket

PeaNut 80,947
April 2003
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Posted: 7/8/2010 3:44:47 AM
Not very odd, just random and sentimental.
We had these gaimungus stepping stones in our yard for over 20 years or so
that belonged to the former owners back in the early 60s since the house was bought in the 70s (my grandparent's house)
And the stepping stones had handprints and their names engraved in each one.
Well one day the kids, now all grown up stopped by to pick them up.
Most have meant a lot to them after not having them for over 20 years.


PeaNut 459,323
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Posted: 7/8/2010 9:11:36 AM
A friend of mine bought a home and the previous owners took all the light bulbs in the house and toilet paper off the rolls. (from all 3 bathrooms). Say what?

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PeaNut 183,632
January 2005
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Posted: 7/8/2010 9:19:33 AM

A friend of mine bought a home and the previous owners took all the light bulbs in the house

That would be me! We took the light bulbs in our last house and replaced them with cheaper ones. We had bought the expensive energy efficient ones and didn't want to have to replace them all at the new house. They are not as expensive now but when we bought them all the first time they were about 7 dollars a bulb...not cheap!


PeaNut 59,460
December 2002
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Posted: 7/8/2010 10:21:14 AM
The mailbox! It really wasn't a huge deal but they could have told us. We found it very odd. It wasn't even a handmade or super special one.
It seemed a bit tacky to me.

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PeaNut 92,987
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Posted: 7/8/2010 10:45:09 AM
No, they left stuff instead.

This is where COMMUNICATION is important--Heirloom brushes/plantings (i.e. from Grandma's garden or planted for a specific sentimental reason) dig up or take cuttings. Not a problem.

Actual portions of the house (attached to walls like rods and cabinets) unless noted before hand that they will be removed, would wonder but not a BFD.

Remove appliances that were noted as conveying with the house - another matter

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PeaNut 274,788
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Posted: 7/8/2010 10:50:38 AM
My state is like what Camicar said. If it is attached to the walls or unless it is specified in the agreement, it stays.

At our first house, we moved it and saw where there were some mollies in the wall but nothing attached to them. We finally figured out that they had a key holder there and took it with them. Technically, they weren't supposed to since it was attached but we let it go. Well, I let it go. Dh is still ticked even though I bought him a new key holder.

The previous owners left a ton of stuff at our house. Their realtor was a real tool. We showed up for closing and did our part with the loan and the sellers still weren't there. We thought he wisely told them to show up a half hour later since we had to go through all our loan stuff first. No, he just stood in the hallway and looked nervous and finally our realtor spoke to him. He told the sellers that closing was the next day. My realtor told him you better call and get them here now. He wasted about an hour of just being panicked when he could have called them.

Then, they thought they had longer to move out than they did. I had a moving truck coming on Friday to pack up my house and then take it to the new house. They thought they had all weekend. We cleared that up at closing and gave them Friday morning since we were with the truck at our old house anyway. While cleaning cabinets, I found lots of stuff that I didn't want so I boxed it up, set it on the porch and called them. They came and got it all. One thing they left was a set of about 10-12 stacking glass bowls - they went from mixing bowl size down to one that would hold only an egg yolk. Kinda cool. I kept that. Punishment for causing us such headaches with moving.

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PeaNut 279,995
October 2006
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Posted: 7/8/2010 10:52:09 AM
In MD all that stuff is assumed to stay. You have to state that you will be removing it (like mirrors and draperies). Simple, state they do not convey. When we moved I took a japanese maple that I had cultivated and wanted to keep. Dh broke a really good shovel getting that sucker out of the ground and it made a huge hole but we filled the hole and put sod down over it. We stated in the contract that we were taking it with us.

Taking things like mirrors and bathroom cabinets is cheap in my opinion, if you don't say that you are taking them ahead of time. If they mean something to you, take them out before you list the house and that way, there is no miscommunication.

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