Dirty Dave was worried.


“Look,” he said, pointing at the house. “The curtains are drawn. The windows on the garage door are painted over. This could be a tough job.”


It was my first day as part of DuAll’s property preservation team. I didn’t know what an REO property was, let alone signs of what a difficult job might be. I just knew that I’d be removing debris from a foreclosed home.


“Well, how bad can it be?” I asked. “I mean, I’ve moved out of lots of apartments and a couple of houses, and I take everything with me.”


Dirty Dave replied, “there’s probably a reason that the previous homeowner didn’t want anyone to see inside. Then he bellowed his trademark laugh and turned the key to the front door.


He was right. Boxes were piled nearly to the ceiling. Old pots and pans piled up on the stove and sink, encrusted with dinners from days past. I saw a newspaper that was dated nearly ten years earlier. And this was just the first room.


To anyone entering a house like this, the first thought must be “we should just tear this place down.” But Dave saw it as a challenge. “This is what it’s all about, boss,” he said. “This is the foreclosure field services industry.”


We took stock of what was in the house, and Dave came up with a plan. “Looks like we’ll need six guys here for at least one full day, maybe two.” He started doing numbers in his head, and we returned to the shop. “Be ready tomorrow,” he said. “It’s go time.”


The assembled crew arrived early the next morning. They were an impressive bunch, part roughnecks and part artists, and they looked forward to tackling this massive job.


“Where do we start?” I asked. The entire scene was overwhelming.


“Start at the entrance, and we’ll make our way back. We work until it’s done,” Dave said. And with that, just like a choreographed ballet, the crew set upon the packed home. Outside were dump trucks, dumpsters, and a trailer for any recyclable materials. Steadily we eat into the hoard like a backhoe moving a pile of earth. By noon we had cleared out the first three rooms.


After lunch, we tackled the living room and the basement. I was impressed by the burly crew’s sensitivity: there were no wisecracks about the previous occupant; all electronic waste was separated and disposed of responsibly; and one fellow set aside an American flag. “We take those back to the shop,” Dave said.


By early evening, the house was completely cleaned out. I was exhausted and exhilarated at the same time: the transformation was truly incredible. I never would have thought that anyone could have cleared that place out, much less in a day.


“Welcome to the REO property preservation biz,” said Dave.


“What do we have for tomorrow?”


“More houses, man. You ready to work?”


I was. And I look forward to transforming each new home.

If you need your REO property cleaned call DuAll Services today.

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