Scavenger hunt help needed
May 8, 2021 1:13 PM   Subscribe

Looking at house listings across the US on has been pandemic entertainment for my sister and me. We want to make a game of it with a scavenger hunt and need help coming up with things to find in real estate pictures. There's a preference for items that aren't necessarily found only in high-end homes but otherwise anything goes. So far, we've got things on our list like dishes in the sink, a corded wall phone, bunk beds, a cat tree, a room painted purple, etc. Please suggest some others!
posted by DrGail to Grab Bag (60 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Gym equipment! I often see weights or treadmills in real estate photos.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:28 PM on May 8, 2021

Guitar, grand piano, Jesus portrait.
posted by backwards guitar at 1:34 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

- carpet in the bathroom
- octagonal window
- outdoor shower
- mirrored wall
posted by jessamyn at 1:36 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

wall-to-wall carpet in kitchen or bathroom
pool table or foosball table
sunken livingroom
sunken bathtub
american flag
pride flag
posted by QuakerMel at 1:37 PM on May 8, 2021

Sports pennants
Furniture with cup-holders
Fridges with actual magnets holding stuff on them
posted by armeowda at 1:40 PM on May 8, 2021

An object that appears in multiple rooms (like a bouquet that appears on a kitchen table and on the coffee table of the living room.)

Something that was in your childhood home would be fun; keeping it vague would allow for interpretation.

Above ground pool, Below ground pool, hot tub, swing set, pictures taken on a snowy day, indoor cactus, outdoor cactus, giant stuffed animal, painted picket fence (non-white), deer head or other taxidermy, any of the much-derided features on McMansion Hell, religious paintings/altar/etc, pink or sea foam green bathroom tile, mermaid stuff, military stuff, sports stuff, seasonally-appropriate banner on front porch.
posted by tchemgrrl at 1:40 PM on May 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

A man holding a fish. Wait, that's Tinder. Check anyway.

A leg lamp.

Basement pool, professional theatre, or bowling alley. Aquarium wall. Hidden room or study.

Obvious oil painting of esteemed relative.
posted by firstdaffodils at 1:41 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

crt computer monitor
hot tub/jacuzzi
pool with a slide
bonus points if jessamyn's mirrored wall is also smoky
Live Love Laugh on living room wall
posted by QuakerMel at 1:42 PM on May 8, 2021

Live Laugh Love sign
Taxidermied animal
Stained glass
Orange cat
Person in reflection on something that isn’t a mirror
Bowl of fruit that does not include apples
Toilet visible to the exterior of the home
posted by Night_owl at 1:43 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Given recent trends, a fun easter egg would be the open concept bathroom. Or at least toilets where you don't expect them.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 1:46 PM on May 8, 2021

A fish tank
Schlitz poster or advertisement
Child size rocking chair
Bathroom without a mirror
Impressive cookbook collection
posted by paradeofblimps at 1:48 PM on May 8, 2021

Animal print anything
Toilet in any color other than white
Pond in backyard
Something made of velvet
posted by wasabifooting at 1:50 PM on May 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

bird cage
braided rug
paved/cement/gravel front or back yard
dead houseplant
shag carpet
tarp-covered woodpile
posted by QuakerMel at 1:50 PM on May 8, 2021

neon wall sign
photorealistic wall mural
yellow (or whatever) color front door
room with black wall paint
mirror on ceiling
disco ball
two reclining chairs in tv room
trophy shelf/wall
posted by QuakerMel at 1:53 PM on May 8, 2021

Lot of good answers here already, but I wanted to give you a house with a quest
Can you find the bathtub without checking the map view?
posted by gzimmer at 1:55 PM on May 8, 2021 [6 favorites]

I always notice the houses that have clearly been flipped. Telltale signs are fancy new front doors in quirky colors, faux wood vinyl planking, gray walls, a kitchen full of magnolia-style white cabinetry, sparse but modern decor, things like barn doors etc that are on their way out. Often pristine wood chips in the yard instead of actual landscaping. Everything looks new and bland.

Usually easy to confirm bc there’s about six months and a huge price per sqft hike since the most recent sale. Pops up a ton.
posted by mochapickle at 1:56 PM on May 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

Mochapickle mentioning price history makes me think of another that’s not picture-based: house on the market for more than a year.
posted by tchemgrrl at 2:03 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Giant clock on the wall, bonus points if it’s above a fireplace.
I was thinking Live, Laugh,Love signs too. How about a sign that reads “Eat” in the kitchen? Or one of those “In this family we believe...” signs. (I have a dream to make those with dysfunctional family rules in it... in this family we hold grudges and enable alcoholism!) I digress.
How about a waterfall marble countertop?
Pot filler by the stove top
Carpet in the bathroom
Flag that’s not American flag
Wreath on front door
Decorative gourds
This is a fun hobby! I’m going to do it too!
posted by areaperson at 2:09 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

It’s also rewarding to find houses that have had only one owner. Like, if it was built in 1970 or so, there’s often details like wallpaper or furniture or cabinetry that has never been updated. Often these houses have comfy recliners among the original furniture.

It’s also fun to guess the original construction year without looking.
posted by mochapickle at 2:10 PM on May 8, 2021

Antlers in all of their decorating.
Walk in gun room/panic room.
posted by Comrade_robot at 2:11 PM on May 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

something unusual outside a window.
posted by theora55 at 2:11 PM on May 8, 2021

A sink with a massive bowl but where the faucet length is so short that you can't wash your hands without bonking your hands into the back of the bowl.

Word art on the walls that does NOT contain the words "live," "laugh," "love," or "family."

+1 to obvious sex mirror
posted by phunniemee at 2:17 PM on May 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

Number of aerial drone shots of the house’s exterior.
posted by cheapskatebay at 2:23 PM on May 8, 2021

A house that doesn't have HDR photography in every room. A house that does, and appears to glow with its own inner light.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 2:33 PM on May 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

Children's toys
Listings with external photos but no interior ones
Listings with internal photos but no exterior ones
A room staged like a srs bsns office, but has obvious "child's room" decor/paint/wallpaper/curtains

I've seen all of those more than once.
posted by ctmf at 2:35 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Person in the photograph
Holiday decor
Mural on the wall
Theme bedrooms (I saw a Star Wars bedroom recently that I found terrifying)

You may get some other ideas from Terrible Real Estate Photos.
posted by FencingGal at 2:37 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

TVs with local scenery shopped onto their screens.
Two wine glasses and a bottle, inviting you to envision yourself chillaxing with a significant other.
Striped wallpaper.
A solarium.
Closeup photography of household mechanical infrastructure, like water filtration, solar panel system, radon mitigation, etc.
Multiple generations of satellite dishes.
An above ground pool.
A backyard trampoline.
A wet bar.
Massive birdcage.
Built-in cat tree/perches.
Elaborate vaulted/chandeliered/marble entryway in an otherwise run-of-the-mill suburban ranch.
Harvest gold kitchen sink.
posted by mumkin at 2:38 PM on May 8, 2021

bunk beds
cat furniture (scratching post/tower)
posted by ctmf at 2:41 PM on May 8, 2021

Shiplap paneling
Pink/blue sink (bonus for matching toilet)
posted by Lycaste at 2:41 PM on May 8, 2021

Also look for some silly adjectives in the descriptions.

Contest for most ridiculous "tells you what to do" description. ("Relax with your friends in..." "Watch the game in style...")
posted by ctmf at 2:45 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Sunken living room
Old fashioned butcher block island
Putting green
Bathroom vanity made out of old chest of drawers
posted by cda at 2:57 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Egregious fish-eye lens work: a bathtub that appears to be 15 feet long, a front door large enough for ten men to enter marching abreast

City skyline artwork

Fire in the fireplace
posted by Gray Duck at 3:09 PM on May 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

That house with an addition built onto the back, causing the middle rooms to lose nearly all their natural light. Converted garages (ie "four bedrooms!"). Extra buildings of uncertain purpose (ie "guest house!"). Mysterious holes in the walls. Wasp nests. Formica countertops. That one dark stain or mark on said formica countertop. Lavender sink/tub/toilet combo. Wood paneling. White shag carpet. White shag carpet with dark flecks that, upon inspection, prove to be dead wasps. Houses in peach, turquoise and that one particularly garish shade of green, olive, if you will (although I quite like the color olive, in other contexts).

All features I have personally seen in homes.
posted by Armed Only With Hubris at 3:24 PM on May 8, 2021

Dog that appears in photos of several rooms as they follow the photographer around and stand in the way of the shot.
posted by soy bean at 3:26 PM on May 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

Green tub, pink tub, creepy shed, those white ikea kitchen cabinets that are in many condos.
posted by at 3:53 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Incongruous graffiti, i.e. not on abandoned property but not particularly decorative either. (TRUE STORY.)
Also listed in part or whole on Airbnb
posted by teremala at 3:57 PM on May 8, 2021

Adult toys, or better yet, kinky furniture
posted by Jacen at 3:59 PM on May 8, 2021

Dogs in a kennel
Cat not in a kennel
Dog wash station (I've seen two, and one was NOT in a high end home)
Dog door

(I KNOW there are more - we've been amusing ourselves in this way, too. I just discovered the "home" of a purple sports car I've seen around a lot, in a house with an entire indoor aquatic center.)
posted by stormyteal at 4:05 PM on May 8, 2021

Art of extinct or mythological animal
Alice in Wonderland art or objects
pinball machine
arcade machine (Asteroids, Galaga, Pacman)
teapot collection
Hummel or Precious Moments figurines
pineapple lamp
posted by Glinn at 4:12 PM on May 8, 2021

Photoshopped image on TV in living room (sometimes realtors will photoshop an image on the TV and it's super weird)
posted by blnkfrnk at 4:44 PM on May 8, 2021 [2 favorites]


(this is hard because the house will have sold already)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:05 PM on May 8, 2021 [4 favorites]

Painting of a clown.
posted by SandiBeech at 5:08 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Bedroom with matching drapes, bedspread and tablecloth (bonus if there's a valence!)
posted by vespabelle at 5:37 PM on May 8, 2021

Bicycle stored inside
Ceiling fan that isn’t white or wood colored
Clothes on wire hangers
posted by advicepig at 5:51 PM on May 8, 2021

Farmhouse sink in kitchen
Mismatched washer and dryer
Big clock on wall
Guitar mounted on wall
Photoshopped sunset in sky
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:06 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Glass block window
Terra cotta tiles
Evidence that the previous occupant was probably elderly and has probably died.
Wood paneling.
A birdbath or birdhouse in the yard.
A Virgin Mary statue in the yard.
A half bath in the basement.
The room completely full of drug-related paraphernalia that clearly belongs to the 28 year old stoner son who hasn’t moved out.
A spice rack over the stove, so that all the spices go bad from the heat.
A bare mattress.
An attic full of books. (Those are good houses.)
A cedar closet.
An enormous couch that only fits in the living room because it covers half a doorway.
A chenille bedspread.
A close-up of a dog crate full of live chickens in the kitchen. (I believe this was in Pittsburgh.)
A toilet someplace other than a bathroom.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:03 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Artificial grass inside or on patio
Badly photoshopped grass around new build
Tarp covered Something in the yard (is it a body?!)
Beer cans or energy drink cans collected in a pyramid as decor
Giant old TV screens
Arcade/pinball machines
Kayak hanging in the garage
Colour-coded bookshelf
Outside washing line with washing on it
Too many stools or chairs at breakfast bar
posted by slightlybewildered at 10:27 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Tub, toilet, and sink that are all the same unusual color.
Bookcases with books organized by color.
Hidden/secret doors (even if it's just to storage).
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:47 PM on May 8, 2021

One of those rooms that’s completely decorated in one non-neutral color, like the rooms in “The Masque of the Red Death.” (Usually happens in bathrooms.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:25 PM on May 8, 2021

Granite countertops awkwardly crammed into a kitchen that doesn’t suit them.
White plastic stacking chair indoors
Photographer’s reflection in a window/door/mirror
Bar with a cross hanging on the wall behind it
Child’s bedroom staged in pristine “Li’l Slugger” sports drag
House painted dark hipster/primer gray
Pink carpet
Curtains that are clearly the wrong size
Doll collection
posted by corey flood at 11:41 PM on May 8, 2021

I love the game by gzimmer. That. House. Is. Incredible.

If you find the 4 bathrooms too easily then I challenge you to go back and find the black & white cat.
posted by McNulty at 1:31 AM on May 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Enough sports equipment for an entire team (I just saw a listing with 14 pairs of skis).
posted by Sukey Says at 3:56 AM on May 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Things hanging on the wall:
  • A bicycle
  • A fan
  • A fly swat (inspired by gzimmer's challenge house)
  • A calendar
  • A print or poster of a famous artwork
  • A world map
  • A local map
  • A chalkboard or whiteboard
Outdoor things brought indoors as decor:
  • Seashells
  • Beach or river pebbles
  • Sea glass
  • Fir cones or pine cones
  • Feathers
  • A bird or animal skull
Other things:
  • Floor to ceiling bookshelves, filled with books
  • Floor to ceiling bookshelves, NOT filled with books (this house is clearly cursed)
  • An internal window
  • A globe of any size
  • An apothecary cabinet
  • A fridge somewhere other than the kitchen.

posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:06 AM on May 9, 2021

Addendum, with apologies: gzimmer, that house is... I found the bath, and wonder how many people find it by falling into it. I found unacceptably open-plan toilets. I found beds in places beds should not have been. I found a library with the books shelved in alphabetical order BY TITLE. I could not for the life of me find my way back up to the living room and kitchen in which I had started. Eventually I had to close the tab to escape... I hope someone gave the photographer a ball of string or a bag of breadcrumbs or something, because if not, they're probably still there, wandering eternally. Also, never mind a black and white cat, there has got to be a minotaur in there somewhere.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:27 AM on May 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

Someone in one of those giant inflatable costumes (T-Rex, unicorn, etc.)
posted by miratime at 5:35 AM on May 9, 2021

posted by The corpse in the library at 1:49 PM on May 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Grey, pink, or aqua bathroom tile.
Curtains on a garage window.
Shutters not on hinges, so can't shut (like on my house).
Kitchens with no available counter space
Queen Anne front, Mary Ann back, i.e. brick on the front, clapboards on the sides and back.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:06 PM on May 9, 2021

Velvet paining
Wire art
Woo crystals
Faux stained glass thing hanging in a window
Something all memeno mori (goth) like a skull on a bookshelf
Creepy doll
Paisley or Tie-Dye
Swords or some sort of heraldic crest
Random snowglobe
posted by zengargoyle at 5:03 PM on May 9, 2021

gratuitous rainbow
gratuitous double rainbow
posted by cda at 10:04 PM on May 10, 2021

posted by DarlingBri at 11:48 AM on July 30, 2021

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