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96-Year-Old Woman Sells Home, Opens Door And Reveals Masterpiece Lost In Time

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HGTV 96-year-old sells home

They had been preparing themselves for this moment for some time now and the hour had finally come. Realtors and sisters Gladys and Carla Spizzirri were about to enter the home for the very first time. Already prepared for the very worst outcome that they could imagine, the pair would have never believed what they were about to see had they not been there in person. Rumors had been swirling about the contents of the property for some time now and finally, with the residence being put on the market for sale, people would finally find out about the mysterious interior of the structure at 148 Jane Street.

1. Nothing Odd About 148 Jane Street

Situated on a rather average street in Toronto, Ontario, the home that sat at 148 Jane Street was by all means rather unremarkable from the outside. The street was actually quite mundane with nothing of particular mention surrounding it, apart from more average similar-looking structures to its left and right.

House Sale

Not many people had ever seen the inside of 148 Jane Street, but what they did know was that the people who lived at the address had lived there as far back as they can remember. But one day that would all change when a pair of realtors received a mysterious phone call about the property.

2. The Real Estate Agency

It was just a normal day at the real estate agency, everyone was going about their daily tasks as usual and no one thought that day would be any different from the last. Answering calls. Showing listings. Trying to close deals.

Gladys Spizzirri

The real estate agency was owned by two sisters, Gladys and Carla Spizzirri. The two didn’t start out working together, but in 2009 they eventually teamed up, finding that they worked very well together. While one sister worked on finding listings, the other was busy closing on listings with potential clients. The two worked like a well-oiled clock, with all their gears moving in unison.

3. For Whom The Bell Tolls

Both Gladys and Carla were seasoned real estate agents. They knew what they were doing and how to do it correctly. But there are certain things that come up in the real estate profession that no one expects. Things that will dumbfound even the most seasoned professional into a stupor.

Carla Spizzirri


This was exactly that type of day. Something was brewing over the horizon and it was going to be a big one. There was an ominous silence in the air, then, suddenly a piercing ring stuck through the silence like a knife. It was the phone… a phone call that would change everything.

4. Musings Of A Perfect Stranger

The phone started ringing. Nothing unusual for an office, but it was the person on the other end of the line who would make the call so memorable. Her name was Joyce. And as she explained to Gladys and Carla, she was interested in selling her home…. possibly.

Joyce Owner of the House


As she spoke, there was something that was less than enthusiastic in her voice. An air of unwillingness and hesitation. Despite the truth that was revealed in her tone, she was persistent. She indeed intended on selling her home. But this was all before Joyce dropped a bombshell on both Gladys and Carla, something that they never expected in a million years.

5. Something Hidden

Generally, when people call the real estate office to sell their homes they are a bit more optimistic and excited about the change in their life that they will be going through ever so shortly. But not Joyce, she didn’t seem to be any of those things.

House in Toronto

Gladys and Carla both felt like the homeowner, Joyce, was hiding something from them. It could possibly be something that would make the place impossible to sell. After all, if there is a reason for people to not want to buy a property, you generally either try to fix it as soon as possible or you hide it as best you can and hope that no one notices.

6. The Good Fight

While that may have been the case with Joyce, her situation was actually very different than your average Joe trying to hide mold or fix the broken water heater at the very last minute. She was hiding something of far larger proportions.

96-Year-Old Woman


There was rarely a listing that Gladys and Carla couldn’t sell, and this time would be no exception. They were up for a good challenge and weren’t backing down, no matter the circumstances. But this would be the very first time that they would encounter anything like the home at 148 Jane Street and they had encountered tons of bizarre things in their line of work.

7. Seen It All?

Gladys and Carla Spizzirri were certainly not amateurs in the real estate business. They had been through it all, or so they thought. The savvy sisters had seen things that would send most people running for the hills. But not these two, they could handle almost anything.

Spizzirri realtors - 96-year-old woman house

Even still, thoughts were likely racing through their heads about what they would find once they arrived at Joyce’s place. Despite their wildest guesses, there was nothing they could do to prepare themselves for the shock that would greet them when they finally opened the door. But the first challenge would be actually getting into Joyce’s place in the first place.

8. Behind The Door

The two sisters were the ultimate team, having been in the industry for almost three decades, they knew the greater Toronto area like the back of their hands. The two were experts in buying and selling, especially in highly-sough-after neighborhoods in Canada’s biggest city.

96-Year-Old Woman

Occasionally the real estate duo would come across a residence that would practically sell itself, but would that be the case with this one? Only time would tell. They were already skeptical after speaking to Joyce on the phone about her property and now the time had come to finally go in the residence and do an inspection.

9. Ready To Part?

During Joyce’s phone call with the real estate agents, they learned something very interesting that would be telling as to what the surprise within the property would be. As it turned out, the woman selling the home in question was 96-years-old.

96-Year-Old Woman

YouTube (Illustration)

Even more impressive than that was the fact that Joyce was incredibly lucid and had great hearing. Carla Spizzirri, thinking back to her conversations with her own grandmother, had to yell at her to even be understood. Therefore, she was highly impressed with this potential client. But her amazement wouldn’t stop there once she saw the place where Joyce lived.

10. Untouched Secrets

The bomb hadn’t yet dropped as to the reason why the place was so special. From the outside, the property looked normal, like all the other residences surrounding it. But it held a very special secret that would shock everyone when they entered the premises.

96-Year-Old Woman

YouTube (Illustration)

Joyce had lived in the quaint abode for the past 70 years. And the real estate agents learned that the home itself hadn’t been touched once in those past 70 years, apart from a remodeling of the kitchen to bring it up to modern standards. Both of the real estate sisters feared the worst, that the property would be in such a bad state of disarray that it would be impossible to sell.

11. The Shape Of It All

Both Gladys and Carla were terrified by what they might find behind the front door at 148 Jane Street. Surely, they thought, a 96-year-old woman wouldn’t have been able to keep the place in very good shape alone without help.

96-Year-Old Woman home


As the deadlines started to creep up, both Gladys and Carla became more and more weary. They were very concerned about the cleanliness of the building and what they would find inside. At worst they feared that they would be stepping into the home of a massive hoarder – that the home would be full from floor to ceiling with junk that Joyce had collected over the decades.

12. The Big Upside

But there was still one big upside to Joyce’s residence, no matter what the inside looked like: and that was the property’s location. Gladys and Carla knew the area well and knew that it was a very well-to-do neighborhood where real estate prices had been soaring over the past decade.

96-Year-Old Woman sells home

Toronto Life

The second the real estate agents got off the phone with Joyce they ran to start crunching the numbers on the property, trying to find out just how much it might be able to go for. And the number they came to was astronomical, so it was finally time to get inside and find out what they were dealing with.

13. Record Highs

Joyce’s place was located in the Old Mill neighborhood of Toronto. Other properties that Gladys and Carla Spizzirri had sold in the neighborhood had all gone for very high prices. But none of them were expecting just how much Joyce’s home could go for on the market.

96-Year-Old Woman

Toronto Maps

Based on their calculations, the home’s estimated value came to a mind blowing $968,000, but that number could easily drop based on the condition of the inside of the home and how many repairs it would need to get it back into tip top shape. Yet, there was another stumbling block in the way, the possibility that Joyce would change her mind about putting the listing on the market.

14. Fleeting Uncertainty

The uncertainty in Joyce’s voice about selling her home was the main reason for Gladys’ and Carla’s concern. But Joyce assured them that she indeed whanted to sell the home, even though she had been living there for an astounding 72 years! After such a long time there, it would certainly be difficult to finally say goodbye to all the precious memories experienced in the home.

96-Year-Old Woman


The hesitancy in Joyce’s voice gave both of the real estate agents cause for concern. They couldn’t tell whether Joyce was concerned about giving up a home that she had lived in for so long and had so many memories attached to, or if she was trying to hide something. The something that was wrong with the home.

15. A Shocking Scene

Still, Gladys and Carla had not seen the inside of Joyce’s home at 148 Jane Street, a critical part of trying to sell a home of course. The duo would have to visit the home and do a number of inspections before the home would be ready for any potential buyers.

96-Year-Old Woman sells home


So, with that in mind, Carla and Gladys setup a time with Joyce to come by and verify the property and see exactly what they are dealing with. But they never expected what they were about to find inside of the old home. It was a scene that would shock and awe just about anyone who would walk through the front doors.

16. Final Decisions

All Gladys and Carla had to go on so far was an address of where the Joyce’s place was located and a picture of the outside of the structure, which in of itself was in no way remarkable. Especially not when compared to other similar homes in the neighborhood.

96-Year-Old Woman sells home

Joyce had finally made her final decision, she wanted to sell the home that she had lived in for so long. She had also agreed to have real estate duo Carla and Gladys over to the home to see it for themselves in person. So, the day finally came and Carla and Gladys pulled up to the home. When the front door opened, their jaws hit the floor with a resounding thud.

17. Beyond Spectacular

Nothing could have prepared them for the site that lay just beyond the wooden exterior of the front doors. The home was anything but ordinary, and it was also anything but in disrepair. As it turned out, Joyce was a very traditional woman and a very proud homeowner.

96-Year-Old Woman home sale


On the inside, her residence was beyond astonishing. But what was even more breathtaking, was how her place had been kept. The furniture and decorations that adorned the inside of the fantastic home were something rarely seen in those days. She took such great pride in her abode that it was impeccably clean, not a speck of dirt or dust in sight. But that wasn’t all.

18. The Time Capsule

Real estate agents Gladys and Carla felt like they had just won the lottery. The amount of money that they would be able to get for Joyce’s gem of a place would be much more than the two had ever guessed for such a home, but that wasn’t all.

96-Year-Old Woman

The place was so well preserved that it felt like everyone who walked through the door just walked into a time-capsule from the 1940s, the period when Joyce first moved in, and when she started decorating the interior. It was the impeccable combination of decorations, furniture and wall paper that made the home so unique and wanted.

19. More Than Four Walls

Each and every room was more magnificent than the last one that the crew visited. This was the most immaculate home that Carla or Gladys had ever seen. The place was much more than just a residence, it was a monument to a time in history long past. And Joyce now that the immaculate condition inside along with the decades Joyce had lived there was the reason behind her hesitation to sell the home.

96-Year-Old Woman

But as far as Gladys and Carla could see, there was only one major downfall to the condition of the inside of the home. One that hopefully wouldn’t affect any potential buyers, but only time would tell if it was truly a deal-breaker.

20. The Interior Design

The one potential obstacle that could be found within the walls of the magnificent time capsule at 148 Jane Street was that the entire place was decorated in a traditionally feminine fashion. Something that would be sure the push back potential male buys, that is, unless they were planning on redoing the entire decor.

96-Year-Old Woman home sale


And redecorating the entire place would be a huge undertaking, not to mention the financial cost involved with such a painstaking task. The majority of the walls were very elegantly decorated in vibrant pinks, purples and golds. But there was one room that was unlike any other.

21. An Acquired Taste

And that one singular room was located in the basement. Complete with a wet bar, and fantastic wood paneling, the room looked like it literally just jumped out of the set of Mad Men and was ready to be anyone’s man-cave. We can only guess who spent most of their time in the basement.

96-year-old-woman sells house


Surely it must have been Joyce’s husband’s favorite space to hang out and enjoy some time with his friends or just some down time alone. For this was the only place in the entire home that didn’t have unique splashes of baroque prints, floral patters and pastels with tone-on-tone accents – certainly a particular taste.

22. The Backyard

In comparison, the backyard of the the 96-year-old Joyce’s residence left much to be desired. It was plain and ordinary. The ground was green from the AstroTurf that had been laid, but it was obvious that very little thought had gone into this part of the property.

96-Year-Old Woman sells home


Both Gladys and Clarla were feeling confident that they would be able to sell the property for a very high price. Yet, as impressive as the place  had been so far, the inspectors needed to come in and look everything over for the smallest of flaws, or the flaws that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

23. The Inspection

Even the best looking home can be deeply flawed, all the way down to its foundation. Or the walls can be full of dangerous and deadly mold that could be almost impossible to remove from the premises. But the real estate agents, Clara and Gladys, had confidence that their new property would pass with flying colors.

96-Year-Old Woman sells home

Even though the two agents and the homeowner had confidence that everything would be up to code with the home, there was always room for doubt. There could always be something hidden under the surface, and everyone was in for a big surprise when the inspectors finally showed up.

24. Beneath The Surface

The home inspectors arrived at Joyce’s place and inspected every last inch of the property. They were as thorough as possible, checking every last detail, making sure that there were no surprises hidden deep beneath the home’s surface or within its decades old walls.  Still, their conclusions would astonish everyone.

96-Year-Old Woman sells home


To everyone’s surprise, the property was in perfect condition. The inspectors incredibly found that the home’s condition was the same as the day that the current owners had moved in, and possibly even in better shape actually. Joyce and her husband had taken such good care of their living space that it was in pristine condition and available to be put on the market immediately.

25. The War

Gladys and Clara raced back to their office on the very same day and listed Joyce’s home at 148 Jane Street for a whopping $699,000 and pretty soon something amazing happened. There was an all out bidding war over the property. Once people got a look at what was inside, they went crazy. It seemed that everyone wanted it.

96-Year-Old Woman sells home


Everyone looking to buy a home in the neighborhood was interested in buying Joyce’s home. But not only were people who were actively home searching interested in the extraordinary property – even those who weren’t looking to buy real estate were drawn by the unique listing.

26. A Museum Or A Home?

The story of Joyce’s home and the interior of the building quickly hit the news waves and went viral. Everyone was astounded. Not only was the home going to sell for a very hefty price, but it had also become an internet and news sensation due to Joyce’s meticulous care of the interior.

96-Year-Old Woman sells house

To many, the home seemed more like a museum rather than a place to live. The interior perfectly embodied a throwback to the 1940s and according to the owners, not much at all had changed in the residence since that era. However, Joyce did admit that one significant change had actually be made.

27. The Renovation

According to the owner of the home, Joyce, the only thing in the place that had changed significantly was the kitchen. The room was renovated in the 1960s to update the design and upgrade the appliances. Which is understandable considering a kitchen with 1940s appliances would not be very practical in a modern world.

96-Year-Old Woman


Joyce said that even though the appliances in the kitchen were from the 1960s they all still worked and were in fine order at the time that she wanted to sell the time-capsule home. That prospect probably wasn’t so surprising considering how well she took care of everything else in the home.

28. Retirement

Joyce, according to the Daily Mail, considered herself something of an interior designer. And we would have to say that we agree with her, what she did to the inside of her residence at 148 Jane Street was simply awe inspiring. So where was she going to go if she was selling the place she had lived in for decades?

96-Year-Old Woman

It turned out that the Joyce wanted to sell her home to move into a retirement community and take a well deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Prior to retirement, Joyce had worked as a seamstress. And despite her masterful work on her home, she had never done any interior designing professionally. “I’ve always tried to be individual, and follow my own styles,” HGTV quoted her as saying.

29. Lingering Questions

Joyce and her husband had moved into the place back in 1942, a period of time that was defined by war and all of the aftermath and destruction caused by it. The residence was a two-story brick building with bedrooms. One big question that lingered on everyone’s mind when she listed the property was whether the new owners would keep the interior aesthetic of the home in place, or do the unthinkable and completely renovate everything into something more modern.

96-Year-Old Woman


The original listing for the property is currently not on the market and any further details about potential buyers and Joyce have not been reported. Seeing as how the property isn’t a museum, any new owners have the right to do whatever they would like to do with it. Let’s all cross our fingers that this gem stays intact.

30. The Big Downside

There is, however, one big downside to purchasing Joyce’s home at 148 Jane Street. While the interior is exquisite and reminiscent of interior design styles dating back to the 1940s, the furniture won’t be coming with the place. What a let down!

96-Year-Old Woman


Joyce’s daughter apparently has full dibs on all of the furniture in the home. Which makes sense considering that most of the pieces are priceless antiques and in pristine condition. But no matter what happened to the place after Joyce sold it, it will always have a special place in our hearts as a vintage piece of history.

31. Seven Decades In The Making

Joyce, the fashionable owner of this uber fashionable abode, has been living in 148 Jane Street since she was 24-years old, and it looks like she moved in yesterday! While the modest home is built from stone and brick, the interior design morphs what would have been a humble dwelling into palatial living quarters.

Fashionable Woman House Sale


The master bedroom, where Joyce spent most of her time, looks as if no one even sat on the chairs or the slept on the bed for that matter. The surfaces look sparkling clean and brand new. It just shows you can never judge a book by its cover.

32. Soft Colors

“I like soft colors, and I like things to match and flow well together. I prefer tone-to-tone to bright colors,” Joyce told Daily Mail when describing her color and palette interior design choices. Judging by all Joyce’s furniture, wallpaper, paint, and home accessories, she likes by soft pastels in hues like aqua, sea-foam, pink, and purple.

Fashionable Bathroom

Daily Mail

Joyce even paid attention to small details like towels, picture frames, and the toilet sea lid cover when it came to matching the hues and tones of her pastel home. It’s no wonder that the house was so well maintained for 72 long years. Most homes and dwelling would be falling apart after seven decades, but Joyce’s looks like it was just built a few days ago because of the pristine condition of every little detail. The homeowner’s daughter told Daily Mail that her mother’s style wasn’t complete without pink, so it was only natural that the pink rooms were her favorite.

33. Wall-To-Wall

This three-bedroom two-bathroom masterpiece of a home is decorated wall-to-wall with hints towards the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, with metallic wallpaper, floral prints, baroque patters, and gold furnishings. Let’s not forget the fireplaces that feature throughout the house, essential to combat the harsh Canadian winters.

Fashionable Room

Daily Mail

From the custom built-in cupboards and cabinet hardware in all the rooms, to the light fixtures and wrought-iron elements, this house is truly something out a museum catalog.  Gladys Spizzirri joked that the design details are as old as The Brady Bunch. This bold gemstone purple and lilac themed master bedroom with a fuchsia and aqua velour settee and chair add something special. Every room seems to have a running color scheme and theme.

34. What Lies Beneath

Joyce’s house even contains a fully-equipped basement laundry suite. You cannot get better than this with all the attention to detail and decked out equipment. The cabinets boast shiny wood that look as if they were polished and fitted only yesterday by a carpenter.

Basement Laundry

Little Things

It seems like Joyce took care of the maintenance and cleaning of her house as well to keep it tidy and in perfect condition. It’s natural for things to experience some wear and tear, so Joyce and her husband definitely took care of this house as it it was a museum. The images speak for themselves.

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Copyright © 2019 Novelty Magazines Ltd. All rights reserved