15 answers

What Does a "Partial" Basement Mean? the Realator Says It's Unusable??

Our real estate agent says that the house we're looking out has a partial basement with access from outside, although we didn't see anything that looked like a cellar?? She says it is unusable. I'm confused. We're just looking for something incase of a tornado, we live in missouri..

Also, the house was built in 1939 so does that mean that it's probably a dirt floor?
We saw something under the deck that looked like a concrete slab that was there but the deck is over it. Maybe that was access to the basement and they built the deck on it? I'm just confused why it's unusable!

How many of you live in missouri/kansas/tornado areas that don't have a basement? what do you do in that situation?


For those of you that have a partial basement that isn't finished, especially with dirt floors- do you have mold problems, leaking, or see a lot of bugs in your house? IM NOT A BUG PERSON!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

You need to see it. I would assume it's not fit for living space, but maybe storage or shelter. Ask to see the area.

3 moms found this helpful

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I would ask your agent but it is probably a cellar or something like it. When they say unusable they tend to mean you cannot finish it into living areas. You can still hide there if a tornado is coming. :)

Okay so my cube neighbor is an agent and I asked her. She said it is not a common term and could mean anything so you need to ask your agent to clarify. He first reaction is it is a cellar that access has been closed off so it cannot be used. But she also added it could be filled with dead bodies....yeah she has the same sense of humor I do.

4 moms found this helpful

We had a partial basement in our old home, and although you could use part of it, the rest was more of a crawl space, with it's own enterance from the garage.. it was prob only 3ft tall, because it was built above ground when the house had an addition added to it. Also my current home was built in 1928 and I have a stone foundation but full concrete basement. Your going to have to go and look at the house.
*** Oh and just an fyi sometimes "wording" in the paperwork can be technical, but not mean as we would assume. For instance my house now says it's a 1 3/4 bathroom home. Well there is one full bathroom, but in the basement a toilet in like a closet and a shower head tapped into a water pipe with a curved rod hanging from a bar around it, right s you get into the basement... out in the open!! Needless to say we ripped the curtain down and the toilet in the closet is only used in emergencies, lol!!

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I don't know, but reading your responses it doesn't sound very good. The realtor didn't show it to you? You need to see every part of the house you are considering.

3 moms found this helpful

I live in Missouri and all we have is a crawl space under the house. If we have a tornado, we plan on getting every body together in the center of the house away from windows, and holding on tight! Luckily, I have lived in this town for 30 years, and we haven't had a tornado yet. As for the house you are looking into buying, I would ask to see the basement before you go any further. If there is only an outside entrance, I wouldn't be that thrilled, because that means you have to go out into the nasty weather to get to safety, and that doesn't seem very safe to me.

3 moms found this helpful

I would go and take a look at the house and then determine if it's the right house for you. Also try and talk to some of the neighbor's in the area, thats what we did when we purchased our home, they will fill you in on the tornado's. We get tornado's here too and the kid's and I will all go into our basement, so I guess having a basement is something you would want. It's also nice for storage too! Good Luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Its probably considered a crawl space, meaning its 4ft or under. You can use it in case of a tornado. She didnt show you how to access it?

If you dont have a basement in that situation, you go to the middle part of the house in a doorway, but if it were me, I would go somewhere else, that had a basement.

Personally, living in MO, I would never buy a house without a basement, for safety and resale.

3 moms found this helpful

You need to see it. I would assume it's not fit for living space, but maybe storage or shelter. Ask to see the area.

3 moms found this helpful

We have a partial basement. It's a crawl space, dirt floor under our house. You can walk mostly upright down there, but about 25% of the crawl space is filled in, so you can only walk in 75% of it. It's a little scary down there, but we store lawn junk in it.

Added: We don't have any mold problems or leaking. Our house was built in 1915. There are some spiders down there, but we don't see any more in our house than we've seen in any other place we've ever lived. There are companies that will cover the walls and floors with tarps and insulate, etc. But we haven't looked into it yet.

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