When Maggie, 27, and Matt McGaugh, 31, bought a house in Caddo Lake, Texas, they had no idea they’d end up with two homes and an estimated $25,000 in “valuable collectibles and stunning pieces of furniture” that the previous owners of one of the properties had left behind.
The McGaughs first bought a three bedroom, two bathroom house for $350,000 in April, with plans to convert it into an Airbnb. They then learned the property next door was on the market.
“The house’s front door faces our Airbnb, and we didn’t want strangers moving in, so we decided to take a tour,” Maggie tells CNBC Make It.
The two-bed, two-bath house, which comes with a shed, had been abandoned for over 20 years, she heard from a neighbor. And it was being sold fully-furnished, which Maggie, a furniture-flipping, DIY influencer, felt was a sign.
The couple purchased the property for a little under $200,000 from the nonprofit organization the previous owner donated it to.
“I couldn’t believe that the house was still in such great shape. The original owner left the electricity running. Everything was in pristine condition,” Maggie said. “I felt like I stepped back in time and like I was walking around a museum.”
As they’re renovating and decorating, Maggie is sharing details on TikTok and giving her followers a peek at some of the random finds in the house.
In July, she shared a clip that went viral in which she and Matt found a boat and a lawnmower inside the shed.
Some of the valuable items the couple found in the house include a $1,600 painting and a dining table that retails for at least $10,000.
There were two couches they plan on keeping and a full-size bed set made from solid Tiger oak wood, which Maggie said is valued at over $15,000.
“We’re trying to keep as much as possible, so we can have the house still be homey and beautiful for our guests,” she said. “I’m most excited to keep these pieces because what makes the house so cool is the story behind it.”
The couple got the house deep cleaned and plan to finish renovating by this fall.
Future guests will have the option to stay in either the main house next door or to reserve both. The previously abandoned home will rent at a discount.
Between the two homes, they will be able to host about 20 people in total, she estimates.
“I think it’s going to be a great combo deal for those who want both, especially because there’s waterfront access,” she adds. “We will also use it as our vacation home.”
Buying the abandoned property has made her want to purchase more properties, though she and Matt can’t afford it right now. “It’s been an indescribable feeling not just to buy an abandoned home but to get to see what it used to be and who used to live there and the kind of the history it has,” she says.