We used to have out furnace vented out the fireplace chimney, but when we replaced the furnace we had to have it direct vented outside per new codes in Ma.
I don't understand why more people don't do research themselves before they buy a home along with a home inspection. You really should learn some major and some not so major things to look for. I had a friend buy a home and she was shocked when she got water in her basement after the first year, one look and I could have told her not to buy that house. If you looked close at the basement walls, you could see water marks. When we were looking at houses, that was a major no go for me. I wanted a dry basement at all times.