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Saving a Buck: What’s in your attic?

Just thinking about cleaning out the attic or garage can be a nightmare.

Whether it’s your home or a family member’s, those boxes could be full of treasure.

Matt McNeil, with OKCEstateSales.com, said before you throw everything away, consider having it appraised.

Items that may seem like junk could be worth quite a bit.

McNeil said, “A lot of time laymen get overzealous and they tend to want to pitch everything in the dumpster.”

McNeil said things don’t need to be more than 100 years old in order to have value.

One of the hot items to look for is old furniture.

McNeil said, “Forty years ago no one wanted mid-century modern furniture; today it’s one of the hottest commodities out there.”

Another hot item, old toys.

McNeil said, “Baby boomers are buying back their toys.”

They are paying a pretty penny.

Even those 19th century family photos of people you never knew could be worth something to the right buyer.

Specifically McNeil said those photos showing a confederate soldier or kids and dogs.

McNeil said there are also strange items you should look for when cleaning out.

“I know lots of people who throw away dental gold,” he said. “Remember dental gold is 16k gold and with gold as high as it is, it’s got value.”

Though not everything has a price tag.

“It’s a common misperception that there are always going to be treasures in the attic,” McNeil said. “My grandmother, for instance, had daisy churns missing their lids and melted Christmas ornaments and 50-year-old canceled checks and lots of brown recluse spiders.”

Old kitchenware and clothing from your grandmother may hold sentimental value but chances are it was mass-produced making it worth very little at a sale.

With changing technology, those old cell phones and VHS players you’ve held on to are likely better recycled.

“Some obsolete technology does have value, like an antique Victrola for example, but for the most part, obsolete technology is just that, obsolete technology,” he said. “My crew and I tend to call them boat anchors.”

When it comes to those sentimental items, Matt said there’s nothing wrong with holding on to them.

He said the best way to know what you have is to have an expert go through your old stuff.

After all, you may think some things are worthless, but to the right collector, they could be worth a lot of money.


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