Hi again! Thank you so much for voting my answer to your other question as the best answer. I don't take that lightly.
To your two questions, first - west-backing houses won't require any more maintenance than another home, but there are many things to consider when buying a west-facing home: 1) will you be entertaining or using the back yard? If so, remember, it will be warm. Many of my clients who were looking for a home with a pool or a home with a place for a pool REQUESTED a west-backing home so that they could enjoy the warmth. 2) where is the sun in relation to the room you will be sleeping? If you are an early-riser, you might want your master bedroom to have a window facing east so as to help with getting up in the morning. Remember a master that faces west will be very warm in the evening and cooler in the morning. 3) do you like to see the sun rise or the sun set off your deck? I sell many homes in Branson, Missouri as well and this is one of the most common differences between buyers. Some like to watch the sunset off their deck. Some would rather take in a cup of coffee and read the paper as the sun is coming up.
On your second question, once again, it depends on usage. If you are in Cedar Creek, there are homes that are built on the side of a hill and the yard is rendered pretty useless, but the trees and view are outstanding. If you have children, you'll need a place for them to play. Pets? Same thing. With proper drainage and landscaping, any yard can be beautiful and any basement can be protected. When I have seen issues with basements, it has been a backyard with a slope at the home. Even if it started with proper drainage, the flow got blocked in one way or another and the water went back to flowing at the home. It would have to be a really special home for me to consider it and have the backyard sloping at the home. These are things we review with you when you buy a home.
Hope this helps!
Regarding the sloped backyard, it is much better to have slopes extending away from your home than towards it. I assume, as have those responding before me, that the slope is fairly rapid and downhill from the house to the back of the lot. One of the largest disadvantage is that it limits placement of items you may want to include in your yard. This would include children's play equipment, a pool and even garden areas. The sloped lot does provide for either a walk-out basement or one with daylight windows. A steeply sloped lot can also create a much more difficult task when it is time to mow the grass. On the positive side, some of the most beautifly backyards I've witnesses were sloped or otherwise difficult to maintain. The homeowners had terraced portions of the lot with rock or timber retaining walls and working their preferences of plantings and landscape into them.
Depending upon how severe the exposure to the western sun or how steep the backyard is, either issue can make it more difficult to resale your home when and if that time comes. Remember, what is an issue to one prospective buyer is a benefir or joy to another. Best of luck.
The only issues I would watch out for with the steepness of the yard would be related to drainage. If the yard is steep and drains water towards your home, you might have issues if the drainage isn't good. Other than this potential issue, I can't think of anything else that would be bad about a steep yard. But that's just my personal opinion of course.