The seller was offering the house for a shockingly low price.
I asked him what the catch was, and he explained that the previous tenant had been a hoarder, and the place was still filled with several tons of junk that had been collected over a series of years.
It was worth him selling the place for a song, just so he didn’t have to clean everything up – that’s how nasty it was inside. I took a look around, but thought that for the cheap price I was getting I could handle the physical labor of cleaning it out. At that point I did not know about the dead animal lodged in the air ducts, but I would find out soon enough. After I unloaded the house itself, I had to dig a little deeper and get into the attic, the basement, and the ductwork. I checked the thermostat, and tested it out by trying the heating and then the air conditioning. Both systems engaged, but no air came out of any of the air vents. I removed the grating from the air vents and saw that the ducts beyond were stuffed full of trash and expired food. Once I started to empty the air ducts, I came across the first of several dead animals, which had been lured in by the spoiled food. Some of these rat and squirrel carcasses were two years old, and totally desiccated, like little animal mummies hidden inside the ductwork. If I had it to do over again, I would skip buying this house, even at such a low cost, and invest the money into my home HVAC system.