The Western Corridor may be home to some of Brisbane’s top cash flow positive suburbs, but that doesn’t mean any less care should be taken prior to purchase. If you’re thinking about property inspections, West Brisbane buyers should consider them a necessity.
Termites damage around 180,000 homes in Queensland each year and the western suburbs, Ipswich, in particular, are not spared thanks to humid weather conditions and being home to some very destructive termite species.
Why you shouldn’t avoid property inspections in the Western Corridor
The flood zones
Unfortunately, a number of suburbs in West Brisbane were badly hit by the floods of 2011. Since then, most properties have been repaired and you would never realise at first glance, but that’s where you don’t want to get caught out. Many repairs have been properly completed by professionals, yet many have cut corners with DIY or cheap and nasty work by tradespeople that doesn’t meet code. Don’t take the risk and try to inspect flood affected properties yourself, have our experienced inspector to inspect the property for any flood related concerns.
The green zones
One of the reasons people buy in the Western Corridor is because of the trees. Suburbs like Forest Lake, Camira, Springfield Lakes and Karalee are heavily wooded, and residents love the greenery, the shade, the parks, the bird life they attract and the ability of the trees to eliminate the ‘urban sprawl’ feel of super-communities. The problem with lots of trees is that they attract termites, particularly if they’re very close to the house. One common species of termite found in Brisbane’s West is the Coptotermes acinaciformis; they like to build their nest out of sight in the base of eucalypt gum trees. If you’re keen to purchase a property with lots of trees and gardens, you must be prepared for the upkeep. Any old tree stumps, piles of branches and other lose timber left around the yard is perfect fodder for termites.
Trees aren’t just a termite problem though, their roots can also cause problems with drainage. Large trees on a property have the potential to grow around underground pipes, blocking and breaking them in the process. This can cause plumbing problems and hidden leaks that can damage foundations and create the perfect moist environment for termites.
The low income rental zones
Next to the Western suburbs with premium properties, big blocks or beautiful heritage homes, you’ll also find plenty of ex-housing commission or low income rental properties. Although there is a stigma around buying these types of properties, they can be a great entry point into the property market if you’re a first time investor or first home buyer but only if you do your homework. Often these types of properties have been repaired or maintained using the cheapest labour and materials; sometimes they haven’t had any maintenance or pest control at all. Contact us for a pre-purchase inspection, and we can tell you what condition they’re really in and if it’s worth your while.
The heritage zones
Take a drive out to the centre of Ipswich and you’ll find plenty of Queenslanders, post-war homes and workers cottages waiting for a new lease on life. Unlike the inner western suburbs, many heritage homes in Ipswich are still relatively untouched and affordable. But, before you go out and buy your dream Queenslander, consider the common issues that come with these timber beauties.
- They may need restumping
- They may need the electricals rewired
- They may need to be replumbed
- They may need updated drainage
- The weatherboards may need replacing
- They may have asbestos which will hinder any renovations and repairs
- They are at higher risk of termites
You may have always dreamed of owning a Queenslander, but a pre-purchase inspection will bring to light the many realities and costs of purchasing an old home.
Found your dream Queenslander but worried about underlying problems? Arrange a pre-purchase building inspection with us.
The premium zones
There are a number of relatively new communities in the Ipswich corridor known for their premium properties and big blocks. These communities are certainly a drawcard for families, but even though the properties in these communities are new or close to new, it doesn’t mean they don’t come with their problems.
For example, this homeowner feared his home in Augustine Heights was going to collapse because the neighbouring vacant block had land slipping after rain. Land movement like this has the potential to cause serious damage to a home’s foundations. If you’re looking to buy a home in a housing estate like Springfield Lakes, Forest Lake, Brookwater or Ripley, particularly if there are neighbouring vacant blocks, have a building inspector check the home for any movement and other defects because it’s too big a financial risk not to.
New homes in these communities can still be prone to termites too, thanks to vegetation and weather. With the majority of new homes in these estates being slab on ground constructions, it’s very easy for termites to go undetected; they can crawl through cracks, joints and any imperfections in the slab. A thorough building and pest inspection will confirm the presence of termites and effectiveness of a termite barrier.
Different properties and suburbs in the Western Corridor will have their share of challenges, but one thing is for certain, the Western Suburbs all experience the same weather patterns. There are often periods of no rain, periods of lots of rain, flooding, humidity and severe storms. All of these weather events affect properties. Dry weather can cause the ground to shrink and crack, causing problems with house foundations. Rain can cause all sorts of problems with drainage, particularly if it’s inadequate, causing water penetration and a moist environment for termites. Termites also love humidity. Lastly, falling trees and branches are the most common result of storms, cracking roof tiles and leaving the home susceptible to water leaks that can go unnoticed.
Lots is happening in the Western Corridor, development and infrastructure wise, and it’s still so close to the city. Yes, just like other areas of Brisbane, property inspections in West Brisbane will uncover challenges, but that does not mean you should avoid moving to Brisbane or Ipswich and enjoying this extremely livable and family-friendly area. Buying property is always risky, but you can significantly reduce this risk with a property inspection carried out by a reputable and experienced building inspector like Action Property Inspections.