We then went through the process of arranging a formal home inspection at which point the inspector turned up evidence of mold in the attic. The mold appears as small spots on the attic rafters and appears to be fairly uniformly spread from two feet up from the attic floor to the roof. The contamination appears to be surface only and has not penetrated deeply. In other words, it's not a carpet but spots here and there.
The attic used to be sealed but uninsulated and as part of the renovations the sellers added insulation and proper venting to the attic. My inspector felt they did a great job up there and that the mold pre-dates the renovations and that the conditions for the mold have been removed.
The mold is being inspected by a certified mold specialist tomorrow. Assuming the specialist indicates that it is surface only, it is rectifiable and conditions for mold growth have been removed along with a condition added that the seller gets the mold cleaned up and certified clean, would you buy the house or not?
Part of me is "150 year old house, there's bound to be an issue or two" and the other part is saying "Mold is a big issue in real estate today, do I want to take the chance it is in fact permanently cleaned since there won't be a proven track record of mold-free conditions"?
On every other front the inspector loved the house calling it a stellar example of renovating a century home. The seller is visibly upset that the home inspection he had done previously didn't catch the mold otherwise he would have corrected it when doing the renovation and have a mold-free track record established so I don't believe there is any duplicity on his part.