High-End Hoarding - From Hoarder House to Auction House
Have you viewed hoarder show episodes on cable television, featuring houses packed-to-the-gills with uncountable and indiscernible things, floor to ceiling piles of stuff? Rooms so jam-packed with things from furniture to trash, that the owners must climb above the debris to get to the next room and sleep on weeks-old food covering their beds. These are the homes that horror stories are written about.
The BRG acquisitions team recently received an estate call regarding a hoarder house. Intrigued and completely uncertain about what they might find in the home (the good, bad, and ugly), they approached the project carefully, but head-on. What our team did discover was indeed a hoarder house — only it was filled with thousands of pieces of art and boxes upon boxes of stamps (too many to count, potentially millions of stamps), and three additional storage units filled with more works of art. We were able to get our hands on some pretty incredible treasures (yet to be cataloged and photographed). This got us thinking ... what do we really know about something we dub “high-end hoarding?”
The Super Collector vs. Hoarder (and the Fine Line Between the Two)
There is a very fine line between being a super collector and being a hoarder. Normally hearing the word hoarder evokes thoughts of homes filled with rubbish, grime, and many tons of irrecoverable items damaged from improper care and storage, perhaps even a rodent or two. However, there is an alternate universe to this unique lifestyle, and that's being a super collector.
Super collectors compile massive amounts of objects that they hold at high value (sometimes these items do indeed have high market values). The real difference here is that super collectors tend to be more organized and some even proudly show off their possessions. In fact, showing off their collections is a source of delight for some.
Hoarders, on the other hand, are much more reserved about letting people know about, let alone see, their acquisitions. Not all hoarders are dirty! Hoarding doesn't necessarily mean that people are climbing over rubbish just to find some old books and smudged up magazines. Some hoarders are merely so consumed in what they purchase and hold such value to their items that they cannot let go. Sometimes they’re too focused on a new purchase they forget about the previous until everything just begins to accumulate on tops of everything else, but they maintain a (relatively) clean home environment.
Some hoarders are actually very organized and know exactly where each item is located. Others, not so much. Organized hoarders may actually leave little pathways throughout their home while walls of labeled boxes and stacks of books or magazine line the room. Many high-end hoarders dedicate rooms, such as their basements or guests rooms, to hold all of their 'collectibles'.
In the end, no matter the price or value of of the item, having an over-abundance of stuff is overwhelming. Often clean up crews and family members are needed to help sort through the extensive inventory when the hoarder house becomes an estate.
High-End Hoarding — THE Fine Line
But what do you call someone who walks the fine line between super collector and hoarder? An organized person who collects sophisticated, luxury items as a passion, but has a hard time letting go of their prized possessions or maintaining a reasonable view of how much is too much? We call this gray-area “high-end hoarding.”
High-end hoarding is a very particular style of hoarding that boarders super collecting and ordinary hoarding. (And let us tell you it can be just as intriguing as it sounds!) High-end hoarders dig deeper into their wallets than the average super collector when purchasing their much-valued possessions. The rush of buying a new outfit, high-quality speaker system or even a new car excites the average super collector. For the high-end-hoarder, the feeling is only heightened. Instead of coming home with one new purse, a high-end hoarder will come home with five, all costing more than a few pretty pennies. Plus, they rarely (if ever) let the items they acquire leave their possession.
Antique artwork, couture purses, or simply quirky childhood collections they’ve never outgrown, high-end hoarders have an eye for expensive and sophisticated items. They do not hold back when they see something of value that they want. Unlike the typical hoarder who, over time either loses track of their purchases or cannot manage to go through all of their stuff anymore, the high-end hoarder’s house is organized (although over-crowded).
Hoarders, Buy, Buy, Buy and ... Hold, Hold, Hold
High-end hoarders perceive more prestige towards their objects, while other hoarders find intrinsic value in everything their eyes behold (including old candy wrappers and pizza boxes). Of course with any hoarder, there are deep-seated emotions that come with their cherished belongings, but it seems that high-end hoarders have it down pat when it comes to differentiating between trash and treasure. Emotional value trumps mostly anything when it comes to ordinary hoarders - but in the case of high-end hoarders that means that there is an abundance of valuable, attractive, and in many cases unusual finds that are eye-catching, one of a kind pieces with marketable interest.
A Treasure Hunter's Quest
Here are a few high-end hoarder house treasure hunting photos from this recent estate...
A high-end hoarder’s house can be a veritable treasure trove of interesting and valuable items all in an arm’s reach. For treasure hunters and antique seekers alike, high-end hoarding properties are akin to finding gold at the end of the rainbow. Whether it's finding decade old paintings by some old master, or a collection of special childhood edition baseball cards, the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can find in these high-end hoarder homes. Similar to when the BRG acquisition team found truckloads of stamps, paintings, and other artwork after their treasure hunt was through.
So take a risk and don't be afraid to get digging, you never know what you might find.
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