What would you do if you found $10,000 in cash that didn’t belong to you and no one was around?
For one Chicago house flipper, the answer was obvious: return the money.
When real estate investor Jim Dow bought a new home to renovate, he was prepared for oddities and strange finds; it comes with the territory. But in his five years of flipping more than 50 homes, Dow says he’d never found anything quite like this. Literally envelopes full of cash.
Dow says he was “shocked” to find five envelopes full of money stashed throughout the Calumet Heights home.
HomeVestors told The Epoch Times that the previous homeowner, Bobbie, “put the money there because she doesn’t ‘trust’ banks,” and that it had been there “probably as long as she’s been there.”
“Behind the couch, there were two banker’s withdrawal envelopes,” Dow said. “I think she felt that her safest place for her money was kind of hidden throughout the house.”
He even found cash hidden behind a picture frame on the wall.
“It was kind of surreal,” he added. “I thought it might be like being on some kind of reality TV show.”
Dow realized there were thousands of dollars inside each envelope, totaling $9,758.
As soon as he finished processing what just happened, Dow said he knew exactly what he needed to do next. Without hesitation, he decided to return the money to the former homeowner.
Bobbie’s nephew, Anthony, was shopping at Home Depot when Jim called. He asked Anthony to come by the house, saying he had something the family might want.
When Anthony and Bobbie arrived, they thought perhaps Jim had bad news. They were completely unprepared for the surprise that awaited them.
Dow greeted them and explained, “I’m a Christian,” before returning the cash.
As it turns out, the family had found other envelopes stashed around the house when they were cleaning prior to selling.
But they had no idea that any additional money was still hidden all over the living room. If Dow hadn’t returned it, they might never have realized the money was missing.
Though the family wasn’t in financial hardship at the time, they said that it “felt good to know that there are still people who have standards that we are trying to live by. It was remarkable that there are still people out there like that.”
Bobbie, who had lived in the house for 50 years prior to selling, offered him a reward for his kindness.
But Dow refused, saying, “I didn’t want the reward she was going to give.”
The only thing Dow asked was for the Carters to pay it forward and pass on the good to someone else.
And they wasted no time paying it forward to Dow in the only way they could. Anthony posted a glowing online review for Dow’s home-flipping business, expressing his thanks.
“Jim was both responsive and professional, while being extraordinarily trustworthy,” Anthony wrote. “He helped my family avoid a significant financial loss by calling us after our business dealings had officially been completed, to return 5 envelopes he had found all around the house, containing [roughly] $10,000.”
Anthony went on to thank Dow for his “Christian love in action” and “professional and personal integrity.”
But Dow, who has been working with the family since they decided to sell before the pandemic, doesn’t think he did anything extraordinary.
“I think there are good people in the world, and I’m not the only one who would’ve done this same thing,” Dow said.
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