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Rental Property Series: Finding Hidden Treasures

We are getting very close to being finished with our rental property, at least for the time being. This week we found some hidden treasure. If you are new, you might want to start by reading the previous posts in this series.

Rental Property Series: Buying Our First Rental Property

Rental Property Series: Renovating Our Rental Property

Rental Property Series: Overcoming Setbacks

If you don’t feel like reading my amazing real estate posts, as a brief recap:

  • We purchased this property on August 24, 2012 for $63,000, with 25% down.
  • We plan on spending $3000-$5000 on renovations.
  • We hope to be done and have a renter by October 1.
  • We are using a property management company and are asking $750/mo for rent.

This property has a pretty large fenced yard. There are two sheds in the yard that have been locked. We didn’t have the keys to open them when we originally viewed the property, but the realtor said they had been full of afgans (the knitted ones, not people from Afganistan). Apparently, theprevious owner enjoyed knitting in addition to her other hobbies like cooking bacon, smoking, and collecting dryer lint. The sheds were supposed to have been cleaned out, so we didn’t put too much thought into it.

Since we were having a yard sale last weekend, my husband and I thought it would be a good idea to take a peak into the sheds. If there was some yard left, sewing goods tend to move well at yard sales, and we needed to make sure there would be no surprises for the tenant. We had a ring of keys from the closing that was bound to open something, so we went over the night before the yard sale to take a look.

All it needed was an “X” marks the spot

With all the setbacks from last week, imagine our surprise and delight when we opened the first shed to find it stocked full of tools and garden equipment. There was a relatively new push mower, two weed eaters, an electric hedge trimmer, three shovels, two rakes, four garden hoses, many lawn sprinklers, a barbeque grill, a Hibachi grill,  a power jigsaw, a wheelbarrow, about 20 flower pots, tons of hand tools, a garden bench, a rock fountain, and my two personal favorites: a handicapped portable toilet and a bowling ball, complete with shoes and a hard case! I felt like those people on the Storage Wars show. We sold about half of it at the yard sale (including the potty) and will keep the rest for our own use. We plan on having several rental properties eventually. Although we are using a property manager on this one, we hope to manage them on our own someday. Having an almost new push mower and all those tools is a great score.

The second shed had been set up as a workshop with vinyl flooring, a workbench, and shelving. It is in much nicer condition than the house! This gives us another positve when marketing to potential renters. I can’t believe we waited so long to open the sheds, but we honestly thought all we’d find was yarn, spiders and maybe a mouse.

I wondered at first if we got to keep all this stuff, but our offer on the property included all contents. We were mainly concerned about the appliances. The seller only wanted a freezer that was in the bedroom (why didn’t I think of that, ice cream in bed!). Everything else is all ours.

The past couple of weeks have been a bit discouraging as far as being over budget and not getting things done as fast as we’d like. It was really great to find some hidden treasure this week. We should be done with all the renovations by the end of the week, and are still hoping for a renter by the first. Neil at First Rental Property tells us not to rush in real estate, but, dang,  it’s hard to be patient!

Have you ever found hidden treasure? Would you buy a used potty chair at a yard sale?

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Nice! One of the coolest things we found in our duplex was a steel penny. Approximate value 2.5 cents =) But still pretty cool to find.
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..An Open Letter To Susan Cain, Author of QuietMy Profile

  2. how exciting! I love free stuff!
    L Bee and the Money Tree recently posted..Buy This Not That: SeptemberMy Profile

  3. Awesome on the finds! I’d think I’d spring for a new potty training chair. ?
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..7 Frugal Ways To Save Money While Eating OutMy Profile

  4. There is no chance I’d buy a used potty chair but I’m sure there are people that would! To each their own, right?

    Finding hidden treasures is always a great thing; I think that’s what makes shows like Storage Wars so popular!
    Jason recently posted..3 Easy Tips to Protect Yourself and Your Privacy OnlineMy Profile

  5. I agree- I’d buy a new potty chair! =)

    We have a few rental properties. I have never found anything cool but occasionally renters will leave something cool behind.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Should We Try to Leave Something Behind?My Profile

  6. What an awesome find! Glad some good luck went your way!
    Savvy Scot recently posted..Starting a Blog in the UK - Pt. 2 Domain Names, Hosting and MoreMy Profile

  7. I’m disappointed. I thought finally someone had found Jimmy Hoffa.

    Maybe next blog post….
    AverageJoe recently posted..How to Fix Your Rotten “Get Out of Debt” PlanMy Profile

  8. Storage wars is such a great show! I would have loved to open up those sheds and see what’s in them. It’s exciting going through stuff like that.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..No Job Is SafeMy Profile

  9. You crack me up! Ice cream in bed indeed!
    Marie at Family Money Values recently posted..Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!My Profile

  10. That was awesome. It was like winning a lottery. Too bad you missed the freezer! ?
    Sudip Adhikari recently posted..Do banks match price (rate)?My Profile

  11. What a goldmine you stumbled upon! Cool. And I love the idea of ice cream in bed ? Best of luck on getting it all done. It is very exciting!
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..Internet Savings Account - How to Choose the Right OneMy Profile

    • It sounds really great, but then I wouldn’t fit in my clothes, and it would cost lots to replace them and deal with my emotional problems from weight gain. Better just keep the ice cream in the kitchen.

  12. Nice Find Kim! - That is great to find so much loot. I’m interested in owning rental real-estate in the future, so I’d love to hear how this works out for you. Best of luck, and look forward to your future articles on the subject.
    Jason Clayton | frugal habits recently posted..Don’t Neglect what is Truly Important in LifeMy Profile

  13. That is a great find! Nice work. PS - love reading your blog. Buying rental property is high on our list of things we’d like to do, so it’s great to read about your experiences.
    Hawaii Planner recently posted..For a limited time, pictures!My Profile

  14. Congratulations! Indeed in rental properties can provide you sustainable income that someday can help you to leave your present job.
    My Wealth Desire recently posted..Top 20 Best Personal Finance Websites for 2013My Profile

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