From climate and weather to urban sprawl and lifestyle, if you’re moving to Brisbane, you’ll find these factors tend to have a huge impact on buying a home.
Each area of Brisbane has its unique qualities, some very similar to that of Melbourne and Sydney. There are differences however, from a building and pest point of view – differences that are very unique to Brisbane and which people moving here need to know.
Considering a move to Brisbane? Keep an eye on these suburbs
West End has come a long way over the years. Previously a somewhat rough area, it is now a multicultural café mecca with a trendy vibe. If we were to compare it with anything, it’s much like Melbourne’s Fitzroy; a hub for organic produce, an alternative vibe, it’s a bit grungy and full of arts culture.
West End boasts an array of different housing, a mix of old and modern apartments, traditional Queenslander homes, simple cottages and other heritage homes.
But with West End’s changing look and feel, it has had its fair share of issues thanks to Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate and mean summer weather systems. West End was one of Brisbane’s worst affected suburbs in the 2011 floods with many properties inundated.
Although time has passed since this flood event and no obvious damage may remain, it’s essential to speak to a building and pest inspector experienced with these Brisbane flood events. Things like swollen doors, bent windows, paint damage and mould may be obvious, but an experienced inspector will be able to see tell-tale signs that you can’t, particularly if repair work isn’t done to code.
Touted as Brisbane’s trendiest suburb, New Farm is just 2km from the city and is popular with professionals and singles; you’ll find very few families here. It’s all about shopping and coffee in New Farm. Bordering the Brisbane River, New Farm is home to a mixture of Queenslanders, art deco flats and modern apartments.
Any suburb in Brisbane that is bordered by the Brisbane River should raise a red flag. Although not hit as badly as West End, New Farm did have properties that suffered flood damage. As mentioned above, always engage an experienced building and pest inspector to check previously flooded properties in Brisbane. Also, consider the risk involved in purchasing a property in an area with high flood risk and do your insurance homework. The Brisbane City Council has many valuable resources including this flood map.
New Farm boasts many picturesque heritage homes, particularly the traditional Queenslander. If you’re considering moving to Brisbane because you’ve fallen in love with a grand old lady like this, consider the ongoing maintenance requirements.
A Queenslander is unlike the brick and slab heritage homes you’d find in Melbourne and Sydney. Queenslanders are predominantly timber and on stumps, requiring much ongoing maintenance as they age.
In an area which has had a lot of water and heavy rain, these old homes can be prone to subsidence and increased risk of termites. If an old Brisbane home needs restumping, this can also be a huge cost you’d want to know about first. For peace of mind and to give yourself room for negotiation opportunities, have a building inspector check the heritage home for any problems.
There’s nothing quite like living near the water and experiencing the amazing sea breezes, particularly during Brisbane’s summer. However, with an ideal bayside location comes potential storm damage. In 2016-2017, south-east Brisbane suburbs including Capalaba, Cleveland and Belmont, accounted for 24 per cent of all NRMA storm claims. Storms are one of the biggest risks to properties in Brisbane.
If you are viewing properties in Brisbane’s bayside, it’s a smart move to have a building inspector carry out a pre-purchase inspection to identify unrepaired storm damage like cracked roof tiles and to inspect the adequacy of drainage. When a cracked roof tile goes unnoticed, the heaviness of the regular downpours in Brisbane could cause internal inundation and damage. Also, if drains and pipes overflow, the ground can become overly wet and water unable to escape. This can cause the house to move and cracks in the foundation and walls to appear. It is also a huge termite risk because wherever moisture is, termites love to go.
One of the huge draw cards to The Gap is the trees. The Gap, surrounded by Mount Cootha, Mount Glorious and Mount Neebo, is a tranquil bush getaway yet it’s so close to Brisbane City. Colonial and modern homes, many wooden, are nicely snug amongst the trees here; it’s the closest you’ll get to the Blue Mountains but with a much warmer climate.
Unfortunately, with lots of trees comes different problems you need to know about if you’re looking to buy here. Firstly, there’s the issue of storms. The year 2008 saw The Gap severely affected by an enormous and rare micro blast where trees became missiles. This type of storm is not common, but with any storm, trees in this suburb do pose a risk.
Not only do trees pose a risk in storm, but their roots can also make their way under a house or in pipes and drainage systems causing blockages and underground leakage, leading to subsidence and termite risk.
The Gap is too beautiful a neighbourhood to ignore just because of trees and storms. You can still experience the beauty of the bush by engaging a building and pest inspector to carry out a pre-purchase inspection.
Other things you should know when moving to Brisbane
If you’ve got your heart set on buying an old home in Brisbane, you must not forget about asbestos. There are still many old homes hiding this nasty material, and without the expertise, you will be none the wiser. If you were to purchase a home not knowing it has asbestos, particularly if you’re looking to do renovations or DIY, you can put yourself and others at risk. In addition, it will cost you extra money to have the asbestos safely removed. Do your homework first and have a building inspector thoroughly check the property.
Moving to Brisbane has been a move made by thousands of happy residents. Protect your investment and make the move seamless by having a pre-purchase inspection carried out by an experienced building and pest inspector first!