Don, if you follow the thread, I never suggested throwing expensive fixes at minor problems. I suggested that he get a chimney inspector over to do an inspection on a 50 year old chimney, with unkown history, that is showing signs of problems. A chimney inspection isn't expensive. Sure, it could very well just be leaking flashing. Or it could be that and/or a deteriorated chimney, which he'll never know without having it inspected. Based on what might be found, I then gave some alternatives, as did Hallerb.
So don't go making assumptions about my background and experience and I won't make any about your experience or qualifications. I'd like to see one reference from any credible source that says having an inspection done on a 50 year old chimney with totally unknown history that is showing signs of problems is a bad idea. What exactly is wrong with that? Quite the contrary, you'll find that the available info would encourage having an inspection done. I already provided a link that shows alleged expert Moe is clueless about chimneys when he claimed I was wrong and steel chimney liners are never used in HVAC applications. So, maybe I know a bit more than you think.
If I bought this house 2 years ago I would have an inspection done without any signs of problems because I believe in knowing what I have and fixing things before they become major problems, especially where safety is a factor. Suppose the 50 year old chimney has a nest or debris blocking most of the opening? You'd prefer not to know?