Couple not prepared for what they find after buying hoarder home—”Treasure”


A woman who bought an abandoned home that was previously owned by a hoarder has shocked the internet after revealing all the vintage coins she discovered in the property.

As soon as Rebecca Bidlen, 28, saw the four-bed house in Indianapolis, Indiana, she was struck by its character and knew it could be the one. But she only saw the outside of the property, and little did she and her husband Drew know that they would uncover unique treasures inside.

They were certainly shocked when they went to see the house for themselves, as Bidlen told Newsweek that she’s “never seen anything like it.” The flooring wasn’t even visible in some rooms and the smell of the house was overpowering. But still, they purchased it and spent months clearing through the clutter before finally starting the renovation.

Bidlen said: “It looks like a dollhouse, so Drew and I both had a vision for this house right away. We bought it with everything in it after it was abandoned for two years.

“I was so curious about what we’d find, but also frightened. The most overwhelming thing about the house wasn’t all the stuff, but the smell. We were wearing N95s [masks] the first day to just walk through it, but even that couldn’t protect you from the stench that was a mixture of dead animals, feces, rotting wood and mold.”

Becky and Drew Bidlen from Indiana in front of the house they bought in December 2023. The house has uncovered plenty of treasures, including a vintage coin collection that could be worth thousands.

@beckybidlen / TikTok

Bidlen learned that the previous owner was a single woman who lived there for around 30 years and didn’t have any descendants.

While going through everything, Bidlen was astonished to find lots of vintage money. She uncovered a 19th-century coin collection and archaic $2 bills. She hasn’t counted through all of it yet, but she could have a small fortune on her hands.

“The money was hidden throughout the house in different offices, nightstands, the sock drawer in the primary bedroom, the library, some of the closets, or just scattered around the floor in each room,” she continued.

“We haven’t counted all of it because so many of them are rare or old coins. I’ve started using an app to catalog and identify some of the coins, and based on that, the value ranges from $11K-$50K.”

Going through the items inside the home has been a daunting task for the couple, however finding these tiny treasures has been rather interesting too.

Along with the coin collections, Bidlen told Newsweek that she’s also uncovered antique china sets, a record collection, vintage toys, a stamp collection, and a lot of Coca-Cola memorabilia.

“We didn’t know what we’d find, but we were prepared for biohazard, needles, rodents, bedbugs,” Bidlen continued. “The scariest part was finding out about the raccoons. My sister-in-law heard of this parasite in their feces that can become airborne while you clean. There were countless raccoons in the home and their waste was everywhere, so we had to be strict about contaminated areas.

“The most shocking discovery has actually been the number of reasons to be scared of the house. The toxic mold, the raccoon parasite, the risk of asbestos, the page in a book of haunted houses that includes our home.”

In the months since December, the couple have made progress with the cleanup, but they think it will be another two months before they’re able to move in.

Bidlen has been documenting the experience on TikTok (@beckybidlen) and she’s gained thousands of fascinated followers who can’t wait to see the home’s transformation. One video of her “treasure hunting” for vintage coins around the house has gained over 3.1 million views and 249,100 likes on TikTok.

She’s loved the positive response they’ve gained online, as so many TikTok users are cheering them on and are excited to see this hoarder house become their dream home.

“When I posted the first video, I didn’t expect that many people to watch it. After that, I kept a treasure hunting series going, and the number of people interested in the coin collection was so cool. My dad collected coins as a kid, and I thought it was an uncommon hobby nowadays, but I was very wrong.

“Our friends and family have also shown up for us big time. They haven’t been afraid to suit up and help us. When we move in, one of the best things will be thinking about everyone who played a part in making this house our home.”

The viral TikTok video has gained over 4,200 comments so far, as one person responded: “Something about this makes me so happy… like the house is paying you back for taking care of it.”

Another person joked: “You’re about to pay off your mortgage.”

While another comment reads: “You hit the jackpot for real!”

Do you have any home renovation stories that you want to share? We want to see the best ones! Send them in to life@newsweek.com and they could appear on our site.