This Man’s Simple Basement Renovation Turned Into A Life-Changing Treasure Find

Reddit user Branik12 is passionate about remodeling and renovating homes. So, when he and his wife bought a fixer-upper home in the greater Cleveland area, he couldn’t have been more thrilled.

He was ready to get to work! The thing with projects such as this is that you need to expect the unexpected. And for Branik12, the unexpected came stashed away in the ceiling of his new basement. You’ll never believe the treasure he uncovered, something that’s been hidden away for over half a century.

Branik12 And His Wife Bought A 1940s House

Branik12 And His Wife Bought A 1940s House
BuildPix/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
BuildPix/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Thirty-five-year-old Reddit user Branik12 is a self-proclaimed “do-it-yourself home remodeler.” So, when he and his wife bought a fixer-upper in the greater Cleveland area, they were very excited.

The home dated back to the 1940s, and there were more than a handful of renovations that needed to happen. But the couple was up for the task, even though they’re the first to admit the project was going to take a good amount of time to complete.

It Was Time To Start On The Basement

It Was Time To Start On The Basement
DIY Photolibrary/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
DIY Photolibrary/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Getting straight to work, Branik12 and his wife were able to completely redo most of the first and second floor of their new house. They were very excited about what they accomplished, and who wouldn’t be? But they still had one more level that needed their attention.

The couple made their way down to the basement, ready to get to work on renovating the space to their specifications. Little did they know that they were about to come across a life-changing treasure.

The Basement Was A Creepy Blank Canvas

The Basement Was A Creepy Blank Canvas
Daniel Thistlethwaite/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Daniel Thistlethwaite/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

To put it mildly, the basement was creepy. The area had cold concrete floors, barely-there windows that gave off the only light, and walls that needed more than a few fresh coats of paint. Thankfully, Branik12 is an optimist and didn’t see his horror movie-inspired basement.

Rather, the Reddit user saw a blank canvas. He was beyond excited to get started in the basement, never knowing that he was about to stumble upon something unexpected.

Branik12 Was On The Brink Of A Strange Discovery

Branik12 Was On The Brink Of A Strange Discovery
DIY Photolibrary/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
DIY Photolibrary/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

One of the “creepy” features in the basement was the aged peeling plaster walls. Branik12 was smart, though, and decided it was a good a place as any to start his project. So, he tore the walls down to expose the cinder block stone behind it.

Once he started, the Reddit user soon discovered that there was more than one secret stashed away in the basement. He quickly made a strange discovery within the basement walls.

There Was Writing On The Wall

There Was Writing On The Wall
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

As Branik12 began tearing away the old plaster and chipping at stubborn pieces, cinder block stone began to appear. But it wasn’t the stone that surprised Branik12. As he peeled more and more of the plaster away, he began to notice something on the stone: writing.

Of course, it could have been the construction workers who wrote instructions on the stone at the time. But Branik12 didn’t believe that, so he peeled the plaster further back, exposing something else entirely.

They Didn’t Think Too Much Of The Writing

They Didn't Think Too Much Of The Writing
DIY Photolibrary/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
DIY Photolibrary/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

On Reddit, Branik12 wrote, “We peeled back the walls and revealed some random writing and drawings.” The writing wasn’t organized, but rather a mix of names and random doodles. The couple wasn’t entirely sure what to make of the strange etchings.

All they knew was that something felt very off. But Branik12 wasn’t going to let the graffitied wall stall his project. So, he got right back to renovating the basement, despite feeling a bit uneasy.

Now, It Was Time To Gut The Ceiling

Now, It Was Time To Gut The Ceiling
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

With the walls removed, Branik12 stepped back to admire his work. Of course, when he imagined looking at his basement after finishing up the walls, he never expected to be surrounded by strange writing and doodles.

They were everywhere! Still, he kept the graffiti in the back of his mind and started on the next phase of the basement renovation. It was time for him to begin gutting the ceiling. Of course, what he hoped to be a quick part of the project didn’t exactly go as planned.

This Phase Was Going To Take Longer Than They Expected

This Phase Was Going To Take Longer Than They Expected
Sally-Ann Norman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images
Sally-Ann Norman/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

On his Reddit account, Branik12 said, “There [is] a good quarter-inch of dust on the ceiling. We put up plastic to keep the dust out of the rest of the house and exposed then patched the air returns first.”

Honestly, the couple thought they knew what they were doing with this next stage of the renovation. But something very messy that was going to take more time than they initially expected was about to come up. They had no idea what they were about to find.

Branik12 Spotted Something Between The Pipes

Branik12 Spotted Something Between The Pipes
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

Ironically, Branik12 and his wife thought this remodel was a bit easier than the ones they had done in the past, regardless of the heavy dust and strange etchings. Because the basement was empty and there wasn’t much to move, other than two heavy foot-traffic floors, they didn’t have much to worry about.

But what they didn’t expect was finding something hidden away between the pipes in the ceiling. It was this discovery that had Branik12 stop dead in his tracks.

It Was A Green Metallic Box

It Was A Green Metallic Box
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

While Branik12 was gutting the ceiling, exposing pipes and wooden beams, he noticed something tucked away between the pipes. But the basement was very poorly lit, and he couldn’t identify the green object.

So, he hopped off his ladder and grabbed a flashlight to get a better look. When he finally got a good look at the object, he was finally able to place it. Tucked between the pipes in the ceiling was a green metallic box!

He Found Some Sort Of Treasure!

He Found Some Sort Of Treasure!
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

On his Reddit account, Branik12 sarcastically told his followers, “cool; I found treasure!” He’d read so many internet articles about people finding “long-lost treasure” in their homes or even in their backyards that it was hard for him not to joke about the prospect of him stumbling across something amazing.

Even though he was making fun of the situation, Branik12 was overly curious about what was inside the metal container. It must have been stashed up in the ceiling for a reason.

The Box Had Some Weight To It

The Box Had Some Weight To It
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

Without waiting another moment, Branik12 carefully removed the dust-covered box from the ceiling. The dimly-lit basement was no place to open the “treasure,” though. So, the Reddit user grabbed his wife and they made their way outside to make sure they had ample light.

Branik12 had no clue what they were about to find in the metallic box, but he was sure there was something inside. The box had a slight weight to it.

They Started Guessing The Contents Of The Box

They Started Guessing The Contents Of The Box
Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images
Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

Unfortunately, Branik12 concluded that the box didn’t contain coins or gold bars of any kind because nothing was rattling around inside. But what did that leave? A bunch of letters from way back when? The weight was right for a bunch of letters.

Still having no clue the contents of the box, the couple eagerly began to lift the lid. Of course, Branik12 documented the entire thing, making sure to capture the moment frame by frame.

They Thought Ball Cards Or Recipes Could Be Inside

They Thought Ball Cards Or Recipes Could Be Inside
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The couple was having fun guessing what could be inside the old container. While Branik12 believed it to contain old baseball cards, his wife thought it might be a bunch of old family recipes. One thing they seemed to agree on was that it was filled with paper of some kind.

Boy, were they in for a surprise! The couple never would never have guessed what they were about to find stashed away in the old box.

There Were Three Separate Packages In Old Wax Paper

There Were Three Separate Packages In Old Wax Paper
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

As it turned out, there were three separately wrapped packages inside the box. Each was bundled in old wax paper, so the elements couldn’t get to whatever was inside. But before they went to unwrap the three packages, they noticed something else.

There was an old piece of newspaper tucked away in the box from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, dated Sunday, March 25, 1951. Well, one thing was for certain, whatever is in the box has been there since the ’50s and most likely hasn’t been touched since.

Money, Money, And Some More Money

Money, Money, And Some More Money
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

The couple was growing more and more excited. So, when Branik12 finally unwrapped the first package, he couldn’t help but stare at what was in his hands. There, right in front of him, was a stack of dollar bills.

And the stack wasn’t just a bunch of one and five dollar bills. The couple really did find a long-lost treasure! Now it was time to unwrap the other two packages to see what else they had discovered.

They Found Thousands Of Dollars In Cash

They Found Thousands Of Dollars In Cash
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On his Reddit account, Branik12 said, “These are all twenties! We are freaking out at this point.” He and his wife believed that the first package contained at least a few thousand dollars in cash. Unbelievable!

By this point, the couple couldn’t believe their eyes, and they still had another two packages to open! Thinking they couldn’t possibly be surprised by the contents of the other two bundles after this one, they dove in. And, boy, were they wrong.

The Second Package Contained Another Stack Of Money

The Second Package Contained Another Stack Of Money
Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images
Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images

The two were already a few thousand dollars richer than they were a few minutes ago, so they didn’t expect to find yet another large stack of cash in the second package. Yet, that’s exactly what they found after unwrapping the second bundle of old wax paper.

It was ridiculous! Never in their wildest dreams did they ever imagine coming into this type of money. And they did nothing but find it in a ceiling!

Second Package = A Stack Of $50 Bills

Second Package = A Stack Of $50
Blick/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Blick/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images

On his Reddit account, Branik12 wrote, “The second package did not have any twenties.” Instead, the second package held something worth even more. Instead of twenty-dollar bills, the second stack held all fifty dollar bills!

Oh, and get this, the second stack of cash was just as large as the first. Branik12 and his wife stumbled upon a gold mine, and they hadn’t even broken into the third and final package yet!

$100 Bills Were Found In The Third Package

$100 Bills Were Found In The Third Package
Carol Smiljan/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Carol Smiljan/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Since the first and second packages were filled with cash, Branik12 and his wife thought the third was going to be filled with more of the same. But they never expected to find what they did.

In the third wax-covered package was another stack of cash. But this one was different; it was filled with 100 dollar bills! Branik12 wrote on his Reddit page, “this is out of control!” You could say that again, friend!

Branik12 Thought They Were Game Show Contestants

Branik12 Thought They Were Game Show Contestants
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

Branik12 and his wife were in shock. They stood there staring at the unbelievable fortune they found stashed away in the basement ceiling of their new home. It didn’t feel real. Things like this didn’t happen to people like them.

Branik12 even considered that they might be the un-knowing guests of some weird game show. Little did they know that the third package was just the tip of the iceberg. They were about to learn a lot more about their treasure.

Some Of The Bills Were Rare

Some Of The Bills Were Rare
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

Gazing down at his newly-found fortune, Branik12 noticed something. There were some bills that were very rare and probably worth more than what the note actually said. On his Reddit account, Branik12 wrote, “some brown notes, a gold certificate, and some star notes nearly uncirculated.”

So, the question now was how much money was the couple looking at here? Originally they thought it was a few thousand, but it seems like they underestimated the bills’ actual worth.

They Needed To Find Out If The Money Was Legally Theirs

They Needed To Find Out If The Money Was Legally Theirs
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

As it turned out, the bills were all printed between 1928 and 1934, so they were most likely worth way more than what Branik12 expected. The thing was, he’d heard and read about people finding treasure such as this in their homes, but they never explain what they do after they find it.

Was the money legally theirs, or did they need to give it to someone? So, he went to Reddit in search of some answers.

They Contacted A Real Estate Lawyer

They Contacted A Real Estate Lawyer
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

With their home renovations put on hold, Branik12 called up one of his friends who just so happened to specialize in real estate. They wanted to know what to do with the money so they didn’t get in trouble with the law for some reason.

To their astonishment, their friend said they had nothing to worry about because the money was legally theirs! Now, it was time to find an appraiser, so they could find out how much money they were sitting on.

The Total Came Out To $23,000

The Total Came Out To $23,000
Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images
Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

After finding someone to take a look at their findings, the couple learned a few things. First, 20 of the bills were above their face value, and ten were worth more than four times their original value! In total, the couple found a small fortune of $23,000 in their ceiling basement.

Someone, their story didn’t end there. The couple was only scratching the surface of mysteries their new house had to offer.

It Was Time To Get Back To Work

It Was Time To Get Back To Work
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

After about a week, Branik12 said their adrenaline was wearing off, and they had to come back down to reality. And the reality was that their basement was still unfinished and in complete disarray. So, he got back to work.

Starting off right where he finished, Branik12 began peeling away more of the ceiling. And after finally coming back down to Earth, imagine his surprise when he saw yet another box stashed away in the ceiling.

He Had To Make Sure There Were No More Boxes

He Had To Make Sure There Were No More Boxes
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

He couldn’t believe his eyes; there was another box in the ceiling! Just to be sure there weren’t more treasures hidden up there, Branik12 made quick work gutting the rest of the ceiling. Satisfied that the second box was the last one, he made his way back upstairs.

Now, it was a waiting game because he wasn’t going to open the box without his wife, and she so happened to be at work. Finally, she got home, and they were like little kids on Christmas, yet again.

There Was $10,000 In The Second Box!

There Was $10,000 In The Second Box!
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

Inside the heavier second box was yet another stack of old bills. Like the first box, a newspaper clipping from 1951 was neatly tucked inside. But when they peeled the paper away, they noticed something different.

This box didn’t have individually stacked packages. Rather, the old bills were vertically placed in the box, an assortment of $20s, $50s, and $100s. The couple counted $10,000 in total. But that wasn’t including the rare bills that were in the mix! It was time to get their find appraised.

The Total Amount They Found Was $45,000

The Total Amount They Found Was $45,000
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

As they did the week before with their first finding, the couple went to Google to research some of the rare bills. Then, they made their way back to the appraiser to see how much money they were actually dealing with.

As it turned out, the first and second treasure combined was worth $45,000! The couple couldn’t believe they found such a treasure stashed away in their old home’s basement ceiling.

They’re Saving The Money For Their Mortgage

They're Saving The Money For Their Mortgage
Branik12/Imgur
Branik12/Imgur

In a follow-up Reddit post, Branik12 explained that their findings are safe in the bank and that they plan to use the funds to pay off their mortgage. With the amount they found, the two believe they’ll be able to pay it off fairly quickly.

They plan to relocate to the country. Here’s to hoping the two decide to renovate their new countryside home. As they very well know, who knows what they might find hidden away!