Purchase house with musty smell

We just looked at a bunch of houses for sale in western North Carolina. One of the houses was very nice on very nice property. One problem, there was a musty smell in the area of the 2 bedrooms. On further checking, the basement under the bedrooms also had the same smell. The house did not have central heat or AC. The heat was provided by electric baseboard units and fireplaces. If we were to bid on this property and subsequently buy it, we would add central heat and AC. My question, how does one proceed with the musty smell problem. Do I hire a home inspector to check it out? Or do I hire a water sealing company to check it? Or what? Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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On Mon, 21 May 2007 02:53:16 +0000, Art Todesco wrote:

I would call one of those companies that specialize in cleaning and restoration like http://www.servpro.com/ and ask them what they charge.
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If you are serious about buy this house, or any house for that matter, by all means hire an inspector. A hired inspector's judgment won't be impaired by emotional attachment.
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J.A. Michel wrote:

Actually, I've never been impressed by home inspectors, but I must admit, I've only had one or two experiences as I have owned one home for 35 years. But, getting the "emotional" attachment out of the decision process, is important. Also, getting a "restoration" company is also a good plan. Thanks for the info.
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alt.home.repair:

I've always gotten my money's worth from inspectors. Every time I hired one, he found things that I didn't. I then negotiated with the seller to repair the problem or adjust the sales price. The value has always been multiples of the inspector's fee.
I ask the inspector to be very picky, then present the official report to the seller listing the 100 or so things that are wrong with the house. I ignore the piddly things to show what a nice guy I am, and ask the seller to replace things that are important, don't meet code, or are just expensive. The seller has always been accomodating.
You can also rely on the inspector's insurance in case he misses something major.
--
Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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One other thing I'd be concerned about is damage from long-term excessive moisture, which would be a major contributor to the fragrance you describe. Could be from above, from below, all of the above, but I'd seek the source(s) and assess structural damage first.
One thing more ... the home inspectors I've seen are well-intentioned hacks, missing obvious probs I pointed out. Conflict of interest thing: they don't want to disturb brokers who might give future referrals. Meaning: find inspector on your own, or ask broker for referrals (to NOT call.)
HTH, J
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