These Realtors Thought They’d Seen Everything Until They Saw This Old Woman’s Home

Published on 10/20/2019
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Carla and Gladys Spizzirri are sisters and business partners. They had been waiting for the moment that they could inspect one particular property located on 148 Jane Street. This was an ordinary part of their job, but neither of them had any inkling about what was waiting for them. What was it that they found in this house?

You'll Never Guess What This 96-Year-Old Woman Was Hiding Inside Her House

Realtors Thought They Already Saw Everything In The Business Until Old Lady’s House Took Them By Complete Surprise

A Regular Home

It is easy to assume that there was nothing special about 148 Jane Street. After all, it looked like a regular Toronto house. The general area was simple and plain without remarkable landmarks in sight. Considering the way that it looked from the outside, they assumed the inside would be the same.

A Totally Ordinary Home

A Regular Home

Looking To Sell

Not a lot of people have ventured inside the house in question. The people in the neighborhood only knew that it was occupied by the same people for the longest time. Even they did not have any clue about its secrets. It all began when the sisters got a call from the owner who was thinking of selling it.

Exceeded Expectations

Looking To Sell

Just A Regular Day

It was a fairly typical day at the real estate office for them. All of the employees went about their routine like they would on any other day at the job. They answered calls, showed houses, and talked to their clients. The agency was operated by Gladys and Carla Spizzirri. They did not work together until they figured out that they made a great team! Their great teamwork always proved effective in this line of work.

Just A Regular Day

Just A Regular Day

Surprising Event

They had a lot of experience already, so they assumed that they knew the ins and outs of this industry. It goes without saying that Carla and Gladys were good at their jobs. The real estate industry does not have a lot of surprises, to tell you the truth. It was actually the reason why they were so surprised by what they saw!

The Phone Rings

Surprising Event

The Phone Rings

Who would have thought that pros like them could still get shocked after all that time in the industry? They did not it yet, but they were actually onto a big thing here. The truth is that not one of us has any clue what fate will bring. The office became ominously silent right before the phone started to ring…

Screenshot 2

The Phone Rings

A Call From A Stranger

At the office, the phone was always ringing. There was no reason for them to think that it was going to be an unusual job at hand. However, they reconsidered when they started to talk to the caller. She introduced herself as Joyce. This older woman was thinking of selling but still had her doubts about it.

A Call From A Stranger

A Call From A Stranger

A Secret

They could tell how hesitant she was from the tone of her voice alone. Clearly, she was not looking forward to letting go of the house. Despite this, they figured out that she was a persistent woman too! They knew that she would likely agree in the end. However, they paused after she told them one thing.

Preservation of History

A Secret

A Different Kind Of Emotion

Many people who end up selling their homes are very excited about this prospect. For them, it was going to be the beginning of something new. Most people called and sounded thrilled over the phone.

Hiding Something

A Different Kind Of Emotion

Hiding Something

The realtors have developed a sixth sense after working in this industry. They could tell that Joyce was hiding something about the house. What could it possibly be? They were worried that it was going to be something that would make it challenging to sell. The sisters knew all too well about stuff like that.

Success With Negotiations

Hiding Something

Challenge Accepted

However, they would later find out that her secret was not the usual secret. For one thing, she didn’t lie about any hidden defects such as black mold or broken water heater. It was even bigger than those! In the end, they decided to stick to their guns and face it head-on no matter what waited for them.

Challenge Accepted

Challenge Accepted

No Way To Prepare

They were confident in their ability to sell just about anything. They always did a good job in their line of work and felt eager about new opportunities. Even though they had a lot of experience already, this case was not anything like they have ever seen before. Are you ready to learn more about it?

A Secret No More

No Way To Prepare

Something New

We cannot blame them for feeling like they knew everything about the business already. These two already dealt with lots of things that would make others give up! This was the reason they thought nothing would surprise them anymore. They had theories about the house, but they did not get it right.

Something New

Something New

Low Expectations

They were 3 years into the real estate industry, so they knew more about Toronto than most people did. They bought and sold real estate in the popular parts of the city. They were experts with the experience to back it up. Of course, they were excited when they got a property that needed nothing more than basic work. They hoped this would be the case, but they were skeptical since Joyce sounded so hesitant.

Low Expectations

Low Expectations

Moving On

When Joyce contacted them about her house, she said something about the house that took them by surprise. This was a big thing that would affect the sale of this property. She already gave them a hint about what they were going to find inside, but they still did not know the details. What did she say?

Moving On

Moving On

A Living Legend

They learned that Joyce was an elderly woman. If you wanted specificity, you should know that she was already 96 years old! It was surprising to hear this since she sounded so lucid. She was not like their own grandmother who had poor hearing. It was great to hear this, but the revelation surprised them more.

Seven Decades’ Worth of Memories

A Living Legend

Their Expectations

When they dropped by to inspect the property, they did not know what was waiting for them inside. The outside did not clue them into what they should expect. After all, it looked a lot like the other houses in the area. What exactly did they see after walking through the front door of this house?

Their Expectations

Their Expectations

A Looming Disaster

Joyce informed them that she had been living there for around seventy years already! Moreover, she did not give it a makeover since she bought it. The only exception to the rule would be the kitchen, which she remodeled and upgraded at some point in the past. There was a good chance it was neglected.

Much Better Than Expected

A Looming Disaster

Worst-Case Scenario

As the sisters drove to the house on 148 Jane Street, they were already feeling skeptical about its sale. After all, there was no way that an elderly woman could take good care of a house on her own. This was what they thought, at the very least. They prepared themselves for the worst possible scenario.

Worst-Case Scenario

Worst-Case Scenario

A Hoarder

The closer they got to the day of the visit, the more worried they got. Among others, they already felt worried that it was going to take a lot of time and effort to fix it up. Aside from this, they also worried that she was a hoarder. She lived there for 70 years, so she might have filled it with all kinds of junk!

Messy And Uninhabitable?

A Hoarder

Not All Bad

However, they were interested in the house for its location. This made them feel a little better since it was located in a place with climbing house prices. They knew that they could get a lot of money for it. They started to compute the market price for the house and came up with a high figure!

Not All Bad

Not All Bad

So Far So Good

It was located in a Toronto neighborhood called Old Mill. Many locals thought it was a desirable place to live in. They already sold some houses there and always got good prices for the properties. Their estimate was $968,000, but they had no clue if their numbers were right. They had to see it first.

So Far So Good

So Far So Good

Still So Hesitant

It was hard to say that this was going to be the case without seeing the condition of the interiors. They needed to see just how much work is needed before they could put it in the market. There was another problem as well. They heard how hesitant Joyce felt about the house. Did she change her mind yet?

A Prime Location

Still So Hesitant

Making Up Her Mind

When Joyce got in touch the first time, she did not sound pleased about what she was doing. Carla and Gladys worried about what this meant. The older lady informed them that she was planning on selling it after living there for 72 years. However, was sentimental value the only reason for her hesitation?

Making Up Her Mind

Making Up Her Mind

Hold It

The sisters considered the way she spoke about the house. It must be hard to leave a place after living there all your life, but it was also possible that she had other reasons to sound like that. If it meant that she was nervous about how it would fare on the market, it was another story altogether…

Hold It

Hold It

Maintenance Issues

Carla and Gladys knew that there was nothing to do but to pay a visit. This was the reason they made their way to 148 Jane Street. They had to figure out how much money they needed to spend on repairs before they could offer it up to interested parties. What was the maintenance of the house like?

A Brick House

Maintenance Issues

Complete Surprise

The real estate sisters picked a time and date to pay a visit to the property. By doing this, they could conduct an inspection and figure out what needed to be done before they offered it to their other clients. They were very much surprised when they stumbled upon the secret Joyce was hiding.

Complete Surprise

Complete Surprise

Final Answer

Before they could see it, they did not have much to base the worth of the house on. They only relied on a photo of the exterior and the location of the house. Of course, the number could change depending on what the inside looked like. Was their estimate even close? Let us first find out if Joyce made up her mind.

Final Answer

Final Answer

A Decision At Last

The good news was that Joyce reached a decision at last. She was going to push through with the sale! The only thing the sisters had to do was to take a look at the interiors. The day of the inspection arrived at long last. Carla and Gladys arrived, and Joyce greeted them. They were stunned by what they saw.

A Change in Plans

A Decision At Last

Amazing Interiors

They did not know what they were going to see. This did not even cross their minds at all! After they went through the door, they could do nothing but stare at the interior of the house. They were in awe. One thing was for certain. Joyce was clearly not a hoarder!

Amazing Interiors

Amazing Interiors

Essentially Perfect

In fact, Joyce was an elderly woman who had traditional values when it came to her house. The house was gorgeous and well-maintained! As a matter of fact, we would even go as far as to call it in perfect shape. The décor, the furniture, the accents… They looked stunning and were impeccable!

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Essentially Perfect

Time Capsule

This was far from what Gladys and Carla had in mind. When you work in real estate, something like this would make you feel like winning the lottery. They were very surprised by the sight that greeted them. On top of this, they were pleased because it meant that it was worth more than they initially thought.

Time Capsule

Time Capsule

The Designer Herself

The story does not end there either. It was pretty much a giant time capsule! Go through the front door, and it will feel like you just returned to the ‘40s. To be fair, this was the time Joyce started living there and decorating it. Yep, she was to one to pick the curtains, wallpaper, flooring, furniture, and more.

Surprisingly Lucid

The Designer Herself

Something Special

As Gladys and Carla toured the house, they noticed how every room in the house was cleaner and nicer than the last. In fact, this was the nicest house they have ever encountered thus far. This was not only a house but a tribute to the past as well. Joyce clearly worked hard to turn it into something special.

Something Special

Something Special

Huge Problem

However, they did feel worried because it was a rather feminine house. While it was beautiful and well-kept, they knew that male buyers might not like it. Not all women would like it either. There were far too many soft colors and florals, after all. For buyers, it was important to consider stuff like these. This is because they would have to spend a lot of money, time, and effort if they wanted to redecorate it.

Huge Problem

Huge Problem

Very Unique

Perhaps the most unique place in the house was the basement. It was the only room in the house that had a wet bar and wooden paneling. This was clearly made to be a man cave! It already looks great, even though it looked nothing like the rest of the house. Her previous husband spent a lot of time here.

Very Unique

Very Unique

Apart From That

The place was absolutely stunning, but the backyard did not get the same TLC the other parts of the house did. While there was AstroTurf there, this seemed to be the only effort that went into the landscaping. Even though it was lackluster, they knew that it was not going to affect the sale much.

Apart From That

Apart From That

The Inspectors

Of course, Carla and Gladys also knew that it could come with certain problems that they could not see. This was the reason they had to bring some inspectors in. They were meant to check the foundation for any errors. If they found anything, it was going to need structural repairs. Did they find anything there?

The Inspectors

The Inspectors

Beneath It All

The inspectors got there and started to work right away. They looked for any structural errors that might be there. After looking through every nook and cranny, they discovered something shocking. They found out that it was literally in perfect condition. How was this possible when it had not undergone any major renovations since the family moved in back in the ‘40s? It meant they could put it up for sale right away!

Beneath It All

Beneath It All

It Is On

They returned to the office and immediately put the house up for sale with a $699k starting price. While this was on the high end, an exciting happened. A bidding war happened when people saw how lovely it was. The buyers must have been impressed with the house for a thing like this to have happened!

It Is On

It Is On

Blast To The Past

As one might expect, this gorgeous house with the lovely interiors went viral in no time. The news even ran a story about it! People were intrigued and fascinated by this house and the 96-year-old lady who maintained it all this time. The price went up some more after people got wind of this ode to the past.

Blast To The Past

Blast To The Past

Modern Kitchen

It was true that the house does not look very different from what it was like in the past. However, the kitchen was an exception. In the ‘60s, Joyce modernized it for the sake of convenience and efficiency. It was a long time to go as well, but all the appliances continue to work just fine in this day and age!

Modern Kitchen

Modern Kitchen

Where She Went

Despite her lack of training, she was great at interior design. She was actually a seamstress instead. She said, “I’ve always tried to be individual, and follow my own styles.” What was next for this talented lady? Well, she actually sold the house because she wanted to have enough money for a retirement home!

Where She Went

Where She Went

A History Lesson

They started living there in 1942. This was the time of the Second World War. People were distracted by world events when they moved into the two-story brick house and started decorating it. We sure hope that the people who moved in would not change it up since it is already gorgeous the way it is now.

A History Lesson

A History Lesson

Not The Furniture

However, there was one catch about the sale. The person who won the auction would not get the furniture! Without a doubt, the furniture had a big role in the atmosphere and look of the house. We hope they at least got notified about this bit before they paid all that money for this place. If you wanted to know, Joyce’s daughter inherited the furniture instead. She did grow up with those pieces!

Not The Furniture

Not The Furniture

After Seven Decades

Joyce was just 24 years old when she and her husband moved into this house. She spent seven decades there before deciding she did not want to look after it anymore. We are glad that she never neglected the brick house. The master bedroom was where she spent the most time, but it is still immaculate!

After Seven Decades

After Seven Decades

Pastel Colors

Joyce explained how she designed the place. She was a big fan of soft colors, tone on tone pieces, and matching designs. She especially liked pastel aqua, pink, purple, and blue. It was hard to use these, but they ended up looking perfect! She also chose toilets, photo frames, and everything else with care.

Pastel Colors

Pastel Colors

The Intricate Details

The three-bedroom house has two baths that had wall to wall carpeting and post-war era wallpapers. There were also gold touches, metallic wallpaper, floral sweeps, and baroque patterns all over the house. It was also attractive that it had a fireplace, which is a must in Toronto. The rooms were all designed with lots of care and consideration. This was why we say that it could be a museum on its own.

The Intricate Details

The Intricate Details

The Best Part

Without a doubt, the main floors of this house are gorgeous. However, the basement should get some attention as well. The laundry room had wooden cabinets that went well with the look of the laundry machines. They likely hailed from a different time period, but Joyce still managed to pull it off.

Follow In Her Footsteps

The Best Part

Follow In Her Footsteps

She had a great time decorating and looking after the house. As you can see, this is not something that most people can do. Let us now look at the story of a different homeowner. What happened when John Sims bought this house and learned about its shocking secret? Keep reading to find out!

An Outlet For Her Creativity

Follow In Her Footsteps

New Beginning

John just bought a new house in Tucson, Arizona. He bought it from a friend, so he did not worry about the state of the house. However, he found out something just as his friend passed on the keys. John learned that this house came with a mystery, although it still had to be solved at that point.

A New Beginning

A New Beginning

So I’ve Heard

His friend let him know that the property had a mystery. In particular, it had something to do with the backyard. The rumors say that there was something buried down there. He now owned the house, so he could do anything that he wanted. There was no way he was going to rest without figuring it out!

So I've Heard

So I’ve Heard

Wild Curiosity

We understand why this man was so bothered after learning about such a thing. As soon as he heard what his friend said, he was intrigued. He was joking when he asked the previous owner for a shovel, but he half-meant it. They laughed it off, but he was already trying to come up with a plan to solve it!

Wild Curiosity

Wild Curiosity

A New Project

He had a newfound determination to find out the truth. He started to work on solving this mystery. What could possibly be hiding down there? There were many theories on the back of his mind. He knew that it meant messing up the yard, but he did not mind if it meant getting the answers to his questions.

A New Project

A New Project

Arizona Heat

John began to dig up his yard, but the Arizona heat made things harder than it had to be. The temperature would go up to three digits as he worked on his yard! Despite this, he kept going and hoped that he was going to find something of value. He was determined but found nothing there.

Arizona Heat

Arizona Heat

Adjustment

He already had four different holes but came up empty. John knew that it was possible that whatever had been buried there was long gone. Perhaps it collapsed or got destroyed in the past. Even though he was disappointed, he was not planning to give up just yet. It was time for him to take another route.

Adjustment

Adjustment

The Blueprints

One thing that gave him hope was seeing the municipal records of the neighborhood. He went through documents and found something curious. He saw the record that stated when the house was built. What made him light up was seeing that Whitaker Pools worked on it in 1961! What did it mean?

The Blueprints

The Blueprints

Taking It To Another Level

John knew that it was time to take a different approach. Before he found these records, he only had his hunch to go on. He decided to do it more scientifically and hired consultants. He wanted them to go through the yard with metal detectors. They started searching, and the detectors then went off!

Taking It To Another Level

Taking It To Another Level

X Marks The Spot

He was thrilled upon hearing the metal detectors go off a total of two times. He marked the spots by putting down X’s on them. The search would not be blind anymore. The professionals narrowed things down for him, so it was going to be easier after this. He started digging in those spots. What did he see?

X Marks The Spot

X Marks The Spot

Lucky Strike

The shovel struck something metal! He was thrilled, but he still paused. In the beginning, he wondered if this was just a septic tank. He dug around it more carefully to prevent any damage. We are sure that John felt relieved when he realized that he was not right. What was it if it was not a septic tank?

Lucky Strike

Lucky Strike

The Discovery

It looked like he found an entrance of some sort right in the backyard of his new house. He started to clear the area around it and pried this hatch open. He avoided inhaling too much because there might be mold or toxic fumes there. He looked in with caution. What he saw blew him away.

The Discovery

The Discovery

Stairs Below

Beneath the hatch, he saw that there were sharp blades that led beyond the ground. A closer look let him figure out that it was a spiral staircase instead. Many people would have jumped right in as soon as possible, but he knew that this would not be a good idea. What was the reason he hesitated?

Stairs Below

Stairs Below

Safety First

John was aware that it would not be smart to dive right in without making serious preparations. Just so you know, he was a captain at the fire department. Of course, he knew that it would be dangerous to just climb down into an unknown place. Among others, the structure might collapse at any moment!

Safety First

Safety First

The Team

He had a plan in mind, but he needed help to execute it. He wanted to ensure that there was always backup in case things went awry. He knew how to rescue people, so he did not want to risk it. If the structure collapsed, it might spell the end for him or anyone else who went down there.

The Team

The Team

The Master Plan

Even though he was thrilled to see what the yard had in store, he always prioritized safety above everything else. He did not know what might be down there, after all. He and his pals talked about what they should do next. They even created a blueprint and specified a method of what they must do.

The Master Plan

The Master Plan

First

The first thing on the list was to reinforce the structure and fix any damage from up high. They could see that the stairs were not safe since it was rusted all over. This was the reason they refrained from just jumping down there. It was very important for them to handle this in a smart manner.

First

First

Reinforcements

The group had been relentless when it came to working on this plan of theirs. They were all invested in the mission! They made sure that the structure was going to hold their weight when they finally checked out the underground area. They used concrete to stabilize the structure. But what was down there?

Reinforcements

Reinforcements

Summer Stench

They would have finished it more quickly if it were not for the heat. Aside from feeling uncomfortable, it was also possible that the heat was going to affect the underground space. They had to protect not only themselves but also the hole! These were the reasons they set up a tent over the digging site.

Summer Stench

Summer Stench

Preparation

Of course, they also wanted to be able to see down there. For this reason, Sims and his friends added an electrical line to the area. On top of this, they created a black pipe to let fresh air go in. At last, it was time for them to put the final plan into motion. They were now a step closer to solving this mystery!

Preparation

Preparation

Ready To Go

When they were done widening it, the place looked better than it used to. Even though it was hot as heck, they kept working and working. They were finally getting to the bit they always looked forward to. It was time to see what had been hiding down there all this time. Everyone could not wait to find out.

Ready To Go

Ready To Go

Last Touches

Even though they were done reinforcing the exterior, the stairs remained unstable. It was rusted over, but there was no way for them to make it stronger from up above. The team had to do something else if they wanted to get down there. It was the reason he started looking for new ways to enter the space.

Last Touches

Last Touches

Another Way In

What could they do if they were not going to use the stairs? The entrance was both narrow and deep, so he would likely have gotten hurt if he used them. This was why he went down with the help of a ladder instead. The moment of truth was now upon him. He was excited as he finally descended…

Another Way In

Another Way In

John The Explorer

As he climbed down, he could tell that it had been a long time since the underground room got any visitors. Who would have thought that there was a complex lying down there all this time? It was not full of soil either. In fact, it was just empty. He crossed the floor and entered an arched doorway…

John The Explorer

John The Explorer

A Bit Of The Past

Inside, he saw that the old fiberglass in the ceiling had been coming apart. He knew that this was not a good thing whatsoever. The team had some more work to do. The structure was not secure at all! If it fell down, anyone standing below it would get wounded and injured. What was he going to do about it?

A Bit Of The Past

A Bit Of The Past

Long Buried

Below his new backyard, he found a structure that had not been in use for the longest time. It was not surprising to see wear and tear, but do not forget that it went through fifty years of neglect. All things considered, the structure was in pretty good condition! What was the reason it was added anyway?

Long Buried

Long-Buried

A Historical Find

The truth was that he found a nuclear fallout shelter. Created during the Cold War, mass paranoia was going on back then. This was why people paid to have bomb shelters installed on their properties. Whitaker Pools decided to try their hand at this business. They made bomb shelters and not pools!

A Historical Find

A Historical Find

Tucson

John later found out that this was not really uncommon in this part of Tucson. At the time, people admired those who paid for such a thing. After all, it was a signal that he was a family man. Even so, the threat of nuclear war was very high. What else did this city in Arizona have in store for him?

Tucson

Tucson

Missile Town

At one point, Tucson had been the home of 18 ballistic missiles. Each of those could travel across entire continents, measured 110 feet by 10 feet, and could destroy 900 sq. miles. Moreover, they could be deployed in only 58 seconds. The tip came with a 9-megaton nuclear warhead! Where were they now?

Missile Town

Missile Town

Disabled

After the Cold War dissipated, the rockets in question got disabled. Nearly all the nuclear shelters in the area got either sealed or destroyed during the ‘80s. The shelter in question was made in 1961, about the same time that the Cuban Missile Crisis took place. As you can see, the structure was a historical site!

Disabled

Disabled

Cold War

It was on Reddit where he talked about the incredible find. The story went viral and even reached a few other people in the city who also found bomb shelters on the properties! His friends said that it would be a great cigar bar or wine cellar, but he wanted to start collecting Cold War memorabilia and furniture.

Cold War

Cold War

Raising Funds

It was his goal to bring the shelter to life once again. This was why he decided to make a GoFundMe account to explain his story. He wrote, “Hi, I’m John and I need some help restoring a vintage Fallout Shelter that I have uncovered in my backyard.” The interior was not in the worst shape ever, but he did want to rebuild the upper entryway as much as possible. He also wanted to replace its staircase…

Raising Funds

Raising Funds

Civil Defense Museum

John was not going to blow such an amazing opportunity by ignoring it. When he found out that this was a bomb shelter, he started to look into the creation of a man cave that also functioned as a HAM shack and Civil Defense Museum. He started to read about what was happening in Tucson back then as well. To him, it seemed like the right to do was to restore the shelter and turn it into a memorial of that time.

Civil Defense Museum

Civil Defense Museum

New Stairs

The story behind this went viral online. It enjoyed 430 shares and let him raise money to begin the renovation he was thinking of. The goal for him was $2,000. At this point, he already made $350! That is not bad at all! This was great since it meant people truly believed in the importance of the project. With it, he was able to make the staircase safe. It was now easy to climb in there without any worries. Whew!

New Stairs

New Stairs

Restored

It took a fair amount of time to rebuild these steps, but he wanted to ensure that he was doing everything he could to make it safe. He worked to ensure that the top step was 2.5 times wider than the others. Now that the stairs were done, the restoration of the interior can now proceed more smoothly.

Restored

Restored

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