By Ashleigh / Jan 10, 2023
A Surprising Find
These real estate agents were shocked by what they saw after being given a new property to list for sale by an older woman.
It was their first time entering the house, and the sight was shocking. Even the most seasoned real estate agent wouldn’t have been able to hold back their surprise by this home and its unusual features.
She almost collapsed with shock as she stepped into the house. Despite the warm greeting from the elderly woman, she struggled to keep her composure. She was overwhelmed by the surprise she was feeling.
She had done her best to mentally prepare herself for the visit as she knew this house was unlike any other she had seen. But she hadn’t expected to see what she did that day and knew that even the most experienced professional wouldn’t have expected this.
148 Jane Street – this one
148 Jane Street seemed like nothing more than a mundane street name to Gladys Spizzirri and her sister Carla. This realtor pair had seen many homes in their day. But none quite like this one.
One day, they got a call from an elderly lady, claiming she was ready to sell her house. But Joyce dropped a bombshell on them which they were not prepared for. Something that one would only believe once they had seen it for themselves.
Real Estate Stars
And it’s not like Gladys Spizzirri was an amateur. She’d been working in the real estate business for almost three decades and had seen pretty much everything. She was an experienced broker and worked with a team of experts who knew the Greater Toronto Area like the back of their hands.
Then, in 2009, a new addition to the team made their enterprise even stronger. Gladys’ sister, Carla, joined as a sales representative — and business took off.
A Successful Team
The Spizzirri team now had both Gladys and Carla and worked well together to achieve much success in the real estate industry. Carla knew how to make potential buyers fall in love with properties, while Gladys was skilled at closing deals and obtaining the best offers for their clients.
One day, they answered a call from an elderly woman named Joyce, who wanted to sell her house. But Carla couldn’t help feeling that something about Joyce seemed odd.
Carla noticed that Joyce seemed unsure about hiring a real estate agent to sell her house. This was unusual because most people decide to use an agent when they are sure about their decision and are keen to sell their property.
Henrietta Hudson Official Site
Carla told her that she and her sister were highly experienced and that they would do an excellent job for her, hoping it would ease her mind. But Carla never expected what Joyce told her next.
Unlike Other Old Women
Carla could tell the woman she spoke to on the phone was elderly but couldn’t determine her exact age until Joyce said she was 96. Carla then realized why the woman seemed hesitant about hiring a real estate agent.
Karl-Josef Hildenbrand – picture alliance via Getty Images
She reasoned with herself that Joyce might be anxious about the next chapter of her life or the possibility of moving into assisted living. But Joyce sounded very alert for her age, unlike others in their 90s that Carla knew. And more surprises were coming her way.
Not An Easy Sell
When Joyce told her that her house was 72 years old, Carla was surprised. This was when Carla realized that the task would be challenging. It wasn’t easy to sell old houses, especially if they weren’t well-maintained.
She wondered how the 96-year-old had kept up with the house over the years. Carla debated with herself and was close to refusing to take on Joyce’s listing as a client. But her mind changed when Joyce gave her the house address.
Joyce’s house was situated on Jane Street in an upscale neighborhood called Old Mill in Toronto. Carla knew this area was home to wealthy residents and exclusive businesses like luxury hotels.
Old Mill Toronto Hotel
It dawned on her that there was potential for this property to go for a high price. After getting off the phone with Joyce, she did some calculations and discovered that the property’s value was surprisingly high.
An Estimated Value
The home was located in a desirable area, and other properties in the same area had been sold quickly. When similar listings were taken into consideration, the estimated value of the property was found to be approximately $968,000.
But the buyers were concerned that the house was left untouched for 72 years and that it meant it was in bad condition. Would it need any renovations? And how much would that cost? It wasn’t long before another issue arose.
Hemming And Hawing
It turned out that Joyce wasn’t actually sure she wanted to sell her house. Next time Carla called her, she vacillated, saying she had a lot of memories in that house and didn’t know if she’d be able to live anywhere else.
That was understandable — after all, she had lived in that place practically her whole life. But as experienced realtors, Carla and Gladys started suspecting something else was going on.
Was Joyce Hiding Something?
The pair of realtors grew suspicious at the hesitancy. An unwillingness to let go is a common trait in hoarders, who also tend to be elderly people.
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Though the condition starts manifesting in childhood, the symptoms significantly worsen when they reach old age, because they’ve had a whole lifetime to collect items and they become isolated from family members who could otherwise monitor the situation. It was a phenomenon the sisters were no strangers to.
A Little Comfort Goes A Long Way
Carla and Gladys had dealt with compulsive hoarders many times before. They shuddered to think what was on the opposite side of the door.
Jane Street Ontario
However, the fact still remained that the home was in a prime area. This spurred the ladies to seal the deal with the hesitant owner. Together Gladys and Carla managed to comfort Joyce. And then they asked Joyce to do the unthinkable.
Time To See It
Carla and Gladys had only seen the house from outside using Google street view. But they had to know what the condition was inside. They asked Joyce if they could visit, something that made the old lady nervous at first.
Eventually, they convinced her, and the sisters got to work. But none of their experience prepared them for what they were about to find.
Luckily, Joyce finally decided to go ahead with the sale. She agreed to let the pair come in and assess her home. Thrilled at the prospect, Gladys and Carla quickly set to work.
YouTube/ STR Noticia
They arrange all they needed for the home assessment. The ladies were all set and finally off to view the house! But when they arrived, everything changed. Nothing could’ve made them ready for what was inside.
A Doorway To Another World
The sisters stepped inside, and couldn’t believe what they were seeing. The house was nothing like what they had expected. It was like they had traveled back in time seventy years. The style, furniture, and decorations were straight from the 1940s.
Not only that, it was all immaculately kept. The realtors had to keep their awe in check as Joyce walked them from room to room. And then they started realizing something.
Not For Everyone
It was clear to Gladys and Carla that Joyce had worked hard to imprint her style all throughout the house. It was a very distinctive style, though, and something of an acquired taste.
The thing that most stood out was the home’s unapologetic femininity, with soft pastels and embellished furniture in every room. A few rooms, such as the guest bedroom, were intensely colored, with vibrant pinks and splashes of gold everywhere.
Pink And Gold
There was one downside to the house’s amazing interior. Pink and gold were recurrent motifs in the rooms, as were the dated flower-patterned wallpapers of the time.
That said, there was still no turning back for the sisters. There was only one place in the house that indicated the presence of a masculine inhabitant.
The Man Cave
The den’s decoration was much less girly, with wood paneling all over the walls, ornamental swords, and a wet bar. This is probably where Joyce’s husband spent most of his time.
The backyard, in contrast, didn’t seem to have seen much action, as the AstroTurf that covered it was spotless and pristine. Carla and Gladys knew they had stepped into a keeper. But there was still one thing left to do. An inspection was needed. So, the pair set to work.
Though at first glance the home looked impeccably maintained, Carla and Gladys knew a house as old as this needed to be thoroughly inspected. So they called in their team of experts to take a look at every nook and cranny.
Carla and Gladys were reasonably confident that Joyce’s house was in excellent condition. However, it could have a litany of problems lurking under the surface – from small issues to serious structural damage. They had to wait for the team of inspectors’ findings.
To the sisters’ amazement, the thorough inspection revealed that everything was in perfect shape. There were no unpleasant surprises that could make or break the sale of the home.
They were dumbfounded at how well Joyce was able to preserve her home as a perfect time capsule from the 1940s. But the old woman did have one thing to confess.
Some Minor Renovations
Joyce told the sisters that the kitchen was actually refurbished in the mid-1960s. But, though it was a decade and a half newer than the rest of the house, it didn’t look out of place and was just as well-kept as everything else.
Even the oven, which by now was around 50 years old, worked like a charm according to Joyce. Satisfied, Carla and Gladys posted the listing. And they were not expecting what happened next.
When Carla and Gladys had done a full inspection of the little house, the report didn’t just reveal that it was in good condition – it was as good as when Joyce had moved in seventy-two years ago!
Not only had Joyce kept her home spic and span, but she had also maintained all parts of it immaculately. A fault could not be found in the idyllic little home. Gladys and Carla were thrilled! But when they posted the listing, the house went viral.
After the inspection, Gladys and Carla were eager to get the incredible home on the market as soon as they could. They created the listing for it on the very same day. Their asking price? – a mindblowing $699,000!
A fierce bidding war started almost immediately – people were clamoring to purchase the time capsule from the 1940s! But the interest wasn’t just from people who wanted the house for themselves.
As the word started to spread about the 1940s home, the listing started to attract a massive amount of attention. The listing was even picked up by local news outlets and shown on TV.
Many of the people who saw Joyce’s home didn’t want anyone to live in it – they wanted it to be preserved as a ‘slice of life’ installation in a 1940s museum.
Charming The Internet
When people saw the little home, they absolutely flipped. The quaint interior and well-kept home touched many people’s hearts. The house was endearing. And when people heard the full story of the history behind the home, it was even more touching.
This wasn’t just someone obsessed with the ’40s. This was actually a real historical representation of the seventy-two-year-old house saved from time. But potential buyers and admirers alike were concerned about one thing.
Some potential buyers and historians were disappointed that Joyce had made one change in the last 70 years – upgrading the kitchen.
They felt that the renovation made the home lose some of its authenticity. But Joyce had a perfectly reasonable explanation for that. At the time, she’d just wanted to get some of the more modern appliances that became available in the 60s.
Joyce loved interior decor and design and she’d decorated and furnished her 1940s home exactly as she had wanted it – and she’d also managed to keep it pristine.
But, after all she’d invested in the house on Jane Street for more than 70 years, why was she willing to move out now? Well, the answer is simple.
Ready To Retire
Joyce was finally ready to retire and spend her golden years in relaxation. She wanted to move into a retirement community where she’d be taken care of.
Keeping on top of the house maintenance and cleaning must have been extremely challenging for the elderly lady on her own. But people still had one more question.
A Different Time
When Joyce had moved into 148 Jane Street with her husband all those years ago, the world had been very different.
So, one big question on everybody’s lips is whether the new owner of the house will keep it as it is, or renovate it to modern decor standards. Unfortunately, only time will tell.
A Piece Of History
The home was a piece of history that touched millions of hearts around the world. Joyce had only been 24 years old when she moved into that house.
It was incredible to see how one woman lived her dream for so many years. Now the only thing to wonder is whether the new owners will uphold the tradition!
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.