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Building & Renovating, Purchasing a House

Buying to Renovate? Here’s Our Take On Brisbane’s TOP Growth Suburbs

Buying To Renovate? Here’s Our Take On Buying In Brisbane’s TOP Growth Suburbs

Buying to renovate is big business in Brisbane with everyone from property developers to your average Joe keen to have a piece of the property pie.

According to a late 2016 property report from researcher CoreLogic, it appears all eyes are on Brisbane’s top growth suburbs East Brisbane, Highgate Hill, Seven Hills and Darra for buying and renovating right now.

While these suburbs are topping the list for sales, just how wise a choice are they if you’re buying to renovate? Let’s take a look.

Buying to renovate in East Brisbane

Just 2.5 km south east of the Brisbane CBD (10 minutes by car), East Brisbane is a favourite among young professionals and singles. The proximity to the city is a perk, of course, while the suburb’s restaurants, cafes and heritage-listed Mowbray Park along the Brisbane River add to the appeal.

East Brisbane’s housing boom dates to the 1880s, meaning you’ll find loads of Queenslander homes and character gems dotted throughout the suburb. There’s no doubt these properties can come up a stunner when renovated, but it’s vital you go into any investment home fully informed.

Character homes can fall victim to termites and structural issues caused from wear and tear over the years. When buying a character home in East Brisbane, be certain that the structure is sound, but also that the plumbing and wiring is up to scratch.

When buying to renovate in East Brisbane, you should also take into consideration that areas of the suburb were affected during the 2011 floods.

Expect to outlay more than $800,000 for a house in East Brisbane. If you add in renovation costs, that’s a pricey investment. Make sure you do your research! A thorough building inspection can save you time and money down the track, give you buyer confidence, and add to your bargaining power.

Highgate Hill house renovations

Infamous for its character homes set on rolling hills leading to the Brisbane River, Highgate Hill is popular among trendy professionals and singles.

You’ll find character homes aplenty in inner Brisbane Highgate Hill, ranging from the traditional timber and tin workers’ cottages to Queenslanders – many of which boast stunning city views. Highgate Hill is a stone’s throw from popular precincts West End, South Bank and the Brisbane CBD, making it a prime residence for city workers and young families.

he character homes and cottages in Highgate Hill boast high ceilings, original flooring and sweeping verandas. With these beautiful features, however, come risks. Renovation of these historic homes can lead to the discovery of lead paint, asbestos and timber stumps resembling straws thanks to termites.

You can expect to pay upwards of $1.1 million for a home in this extremely high demand market. If you plan to renovate in Highgate Hill, be sure to book a building inspector to ensure your potential buy is in the best possible condition for renovation and doesn’t run you into unnecessary and unexpected costs.

Renovate and sell in Seven Hills

There’s no doubt the eastern suburb of Seven Hills is booming, with property visits surging above the Queensland average. Located just 5 km east of the Brisbane CBD, Seven Hills borders family-friendly suburbs Camp Hill, Carina, Morningside and Norman Park.

The median price for homes in Seven Hills is $765,000, considerably less than East Brisbane and Highgate Hill.

In Seven Hills, you’ll benefit from big leafy blocks and family homes, with Queenslanders dating back to the 1900s. Seven Hills is the perfect location for growing families thanks to the local primary school and its proximity to Cannon Hill Shopping Centre and another major shopping centre at Carindale.

If you’re buying to renovate in Seven Hills to accommodate your growing family, you might consider raising the property and building underneath. The only way you can ensure your property is structurally sound and fit for raising is with a thorough building and pest inspection.

You should also keep in mind that Seven Hills was affected during the 2011 Brisbane floods. Securing a qualified building inspector is the only way you can be certain there isn’t any hidden damage to your Seven Hills home.

Dream home in Darra

A little further out from the Brisbane CBD, you’ll find south west suburb, Darra.

Darra is a family-friendly suburb with two primary schools and reliable public transport. It is just a hop, skip and jump from factory outlet DFO and popular shopping centre, Mt Ommaney.

You can score yourself a Queenslander or post-war home on a big block in Darra. You’ll notice a growing trend in Darra of subdividing these blocks to relocate and renovate one home and sell-off the remaining land or build a new home on it.

Buyers should be warned the 2011 Brisbane floods devastated much of Darra. Engaging an expert building inspector is the only way you can ensure there is no damage to your potential buy from the floods, which could cause problems down the track.

Renovate without the risk

While East Brisbane, Highgate Hill, Seven Hills and Darra are currently in high demand, buying to renovate in these areas does come with risks. When you’re buying to renovate, you want to keep risks to a minimum.

When you take the plunge in the renovation game, you want to be confident of a great return on investment. The best way to give you confidence in your return on investment is with a thorough building inspection before you buy.

Only a detailed building and pest inspection can assure you that the property you intend to buy is structurally sound and free of termites and pests.

When you’re buying to renovate, search for houses that need cosmetic changes only – a lick of paint and a bit of TLC. Avoid properties that need major structural changes.

When you’re dealing with character homes, you could be faced with hidden costs resulting from structural damage caused by termites and pests, repair and replacement of floorboards and external stair treads, faulty wiring, plumbing and more. Not to mention the costs and risks associated with lead paint and the removal of asbestos.

Project delays and cost blow outs are a major risk in the renovation game and are often the result of things you don’t plan for. Termite and structural damage is not always visible to the naked eye.

Whether you’re flipping a house in these growth suburbs for a fast profit, or buying to renovate and create a dream home for your growing family, a building inspection is a must.

If you’re buying to renovate in Brisbane, contact Action Property Inspections today to ensure your potential buy is a smart investment.


About Andrew Mackintosh

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.

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