I had a boss once who had his “Theory of the Golden Inch.” He would say (knowingly ironical about the dimensions used), “you can run a mile, but that last inch is worth its weight in gold.”
We recently took over a project in San Antonio from another investor. You may remember it as the St. John house. The house had been renovated, but never sold, and the investor had had to focus his attention elsewhere; he simply had no bandwidth to finish this one out. Never mind the failure of the contractor to actually finish the job [pipes leaking, doors missing, paint left in the cans instead of the walls, overgrown yard…], someone had recently stolen the A/C unit outside. And had failed to lock the back door.
Maybe they had an agreement with the squatter that if they left the back door unlocked, he wouldn’t break any windows to get in. Who knows how long he had been camping out in the middle bedroom? The new carpet may have made for a decent bed, but it wasn’t very useful to put out cigarettes, not that that stopped our guest.
Most of what ended up on the walls will come off with cleaning, but the carpet is irreparable. The stains on the bathroom sink ate into the enamel, so that’s going to need to be replaced. All the rest of the bathroom is salvageable.
Out of respect for the arrangement with the previous occupant, we didn’t simply throw all his stuff in the trash; we bundled it up on the back patio so, if the camper revisited his old campsite and found the doors and windows locked, he might be less inclined to break anything out of spite if he at least could get his stuff.
PS from Sue Ann: We will be monitoring this house MUCH more closely, now that we have a San Antonio team member. And there is also a new house going up next door, which is making the whole neighborhood look better—it seems to finally be going back uphill. Watch for the progress as we bring this one back to “ready to sell” status!