Here's the starting point:
When we ripped out the carpet, I was disappointed in the shape of the floors. Beyond the obvious paint spatters, they were discolored, water damaged, warped, and generally horrible. I priced out carpet, and was thinking about trying to lay new hardwood in the living room.
But then I mopped the floor and saw the lovely wood grain come through, and thought maybe it was worth a shot. Sander rental is a lot cheaper than carpet, and it would be delightful to have the original floors.
So I go to Home Depot and tell them I need a drum sander. The for real kind, because I'm trying to make warped floor boards appear flat again. The rental guy tells me it's a bad idea--he says 90% of people who rent this sander end up destroying their floors. I tell him that I can't possibly make them any worse.
This is the benefit of buying such a messed-up house. I am doing my utmost to do a beautiful job. But it's a rental, not my forever house. And it was such a disaster that there's basically nothing I can do that would make it worse than it was. It's a good practice house; I'm learning lots of things that I will do better on the next house. And there's always a next house!