pre-purchase inspections Brisbane derelict property
Purchasing a House

Getting a Pre-Purchase Inspection on a Derelict Brisbane Property – What You Need to Know!

Are you considering buying a derelict property? There are a number of reasons why this can be a great choice but if the dwelling is completely run down, potential buyers can forget about the importance of pre-purchase inspections. Brisbane has plenty of opportunities for savvy investors to snap up a derelict property but it’s still incredibly important that you protect yourself with a pre-purchase inspection.

But what, if any, differences are there between a pre-purchase inspection on a regular property and a pre-purchase inspection on a derelict property? And, why on earth would you want to purchase a derelict property in the first place? Read on to find out what you need to know about getting a pre-purchase inspection on a derelict property in Brisbane!

What is a derelict property and why would you consider buying one?

A derelict property is a property on the verge of being condemned. It might be full of rising damp or be stuffed to the gills with termite damage or have some form of structural damage that might make it unsafe to live in. So why would anyone in their right mind consider buying one?

There are a few excellent answers to that question. In Brisbane, we’re lucky enough to have hundreds of old Queenslander-type houses still on the market. There are also many heritage-listed buildings and dwellings that might just need a bit of extra love and care to be restored to their former glory. These buildings aren’t just beautiful – they’re specifically designed to withstand the often harsh Queensland environment – particularly our brutal summers. They could potentially save you on things like electricity and upkeep in the long run, after the initial repairs and renovations have been carried out. What’s more, heritage buildings are often worth millions of dollars. What looks derelict and unsafe at the moment could be, with a bit of renovation, a goldmine in the future.

The other reason to look into buying a derelict property is street appeal. A property might consist of a derelict house or dwelling but the location could make you look past all that. Certain suburbs such as Aspley, Everton Park and Ashgrove are on the rise at the moment and have a high number of beautiful old Queenslanders. If you were to look into buying a derelict property in one of these up-and-coming suburbs, which will certainly be selling for a much more reasonable price than other properties on the same street, you could potentially stand to make a substantial profit when selling it in the future. It’s definitely something to consider.

But how do you know which derelict property to buy? What should you look out for and what would make a derelict property unsalvageable? This is where the pre-purchase inspection comes in.

Should I still undergo a pre-purchase inspection for a derelict property?

While obviously in a poorer condition than other properties, you definitely still need to undergo a pre-purchase inspection for a derelict property. Even with a property that’s in an obvious state of disrepair, you still won’t know what might lie beneath the surface. It’s always a good idea to get an expert opinion on what might be the biggest issue you could face with a derelict house – and whether or not it’s worth taking a gamble on something as big as a heritage home. There are a range of issues that you need to be aware of that might affect the property or impose obligations or restrictions on you if you buy it. For example, councils and the state government have certain laws on what you can and cannot do with a heritage listed property so your big dreams might not be possible. There might be termite damage that you can’t see from the street or there might be some form of hidden damage that makes the structure unsalvageable. There could be something severely wrong with the decades or even centuries old plumbing or the building could contain asbestos. There are a range of issues with very old houses – especially derelict houses – that are only visible to a trained eye. Your Action Property pre-purchase inspection will look into all these things and more.

What should I be on the lookout for during a pre-purchase inspection on a derelict property?

Pre-purchase inspections can be stressful enough – pre-purchase inspections on derelict properties are a whole other story!

Before you get started on the inspection, there are definitely a few key things you need to be mindful of. Certain aspects of a derelict property might make it impossible to complete a full inspection. Examples of these aspects might be structural damage, no water or power connections, long grass from an overgrown garden that can impede movement during the inspection and even a lack of access to various rooms or other parts of the house. All these things could add up to your inspector not being able to fully complete their report.

You also need to be aware of how well the current owners have cared for the derelict property. Many local councils impose rules and regulations on what a derelict property owner needs to do to ensure that their property remains as safe as it can possibly be until such time as repairs can be made to the house or the house can be demolished. Some of these rules and regulations can include:
• Shutting off gas, water, and electricity to the property
• Removing doors and windows
• Boarding up entryways such as windows and doorways with plywood or corrugated iron to prevent further damage or access to the house from unwanted visitors
• Removing and storing all combustibles from inside and outside the building
• Removing any rubbish and graffiti

These regulations will ensure that the property is adequately maintained and give you the best chance of a full pre-purchase inspection being carried out. Know that while a derelict property is different in many ways to any other type of property, your inspector will still be on the lookout for signs of termites and any other major issues that might affect future renovations, repairs or development.

Need more information about pre-purchase inspections? Brisbane specialists Action Property Inspections can help. Call us on (07) 3201 2666 and make an appointment today!


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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