Moving to the Midwest and shopping for a house gives people a variety of types of houses with a mix of old, new, rural, and urban. It should not be difficult for a buyer to find plenty of houses that meet their particular wants and needs.
The homebuying process is not that different from anywhere else. Buyers may be surprised, however, to discover some of the concerns that face houses in the region that they may not have thought of depending on where they are from.
Basements are common in most parts of the Midwest. They were a way to add functional living space to older homes on small city lots. On larger suburban properties, “walkout” basements incorporate a lower floor into a downhill landscape while adding additional family rooms or utility space. Basements also come in handy as shelter from Midwest tornadoes which may be a new and frightening phenomenon to people from some parts of the country.
For all of their usefulness, basements can also be problematic. Cracked foundations and leaks can be expensive to repair. Homebuyers will want to make sure to learn about any issues through a home inspection.
Historic homes are prevalent in many of the communities in and around St. Louis. Some neighborhoods have restrictions about what can be done to modify houses based on their history. It is important to find out exactly what buying one of these homes entails.
Occupancy permits are required in some, but not all, towns in the Midwest. Each municipality can have different rules and fees regarding inspections, codes, and paperwork necessary before completing a home purchase. An experienced Midwest real estate agent will be well versed in all of the current requirements from town to town.
Radon is a potentially dangerous radioactive gas that is common in certain parts of the Midwest. Disclosing and mitigation of the problem is handled differently by each state. This is something that might not be well known to people from states outside the Midwest.
Mine subsidence is another concern that might be unfamiliar to a newcomer. Mining was once a widespread industry all over the Midwest and St. Louis region. Even though the mines were closed long ago, there are sometimes issues with houses built on the land. In the worst cases, foundations can shift and crack, leaving a home uninhabitable. There is a fund to cover damages in Illinois where the problem is more widespread. For residents of other states, mine subsidence can be added to most insurance policies. This is an issue and an expense that someone new to the Midwest might not have thought about.