Old houses sometimes harbor hidden treasures — buried in basements, concealed behind walls or floorboards, stored in attics — until their discovery many years later by family members or new homeowners renovating the place.
Who gets to keep these newfound valuables? Does the childhood chant, “Finders keepers,” apply?
Laws about who owns the bounty are complex, prompting some finders to keep their good fortune to themselves. In general, though, U.S. courts tend to presume that if you buy a house, you own whatever is in it. Although there are sometimes exceptions, homeowner-finders usually do get to be keepers.
Read on to learn of some astonishing finds in recent years — some worth millions, others whose value is historic or nostalgic.
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