What to look for when buying a Brisbane property

Date:
02-11-15

How to assess a property from a Building Inspectors perspective.

Less is best in most cases when viewing a property.
The more cluttered the property appears, the higher the level of maintenance, especially where mature trees or gardens appear to be encroaching onto the dwelling and limits access for the Brisbane building and pest inspectors. 
Developments in leafy green areas tend to require a higher, more constant level of maintenance than bare bones blocks of land.
Its easier to locate ticks on a short haired dog than his hairy cousin in detailed inspections.

Developments on sloping blocks need to have the retaining walls checked where they exist. The initial viewing should establish that they are of sound condition with a 10 degree batter into the retained section of earth.
Older timber sleeper retaining walls that show visible decay or pest damage, or have failed to remain structurally adequate, can place the purchaser under financial pressure to have major repairs or upgrades undertaken after purchase.
Small blocks with large multi storey dwellings may be more costly to maintain where the restrictive access prevents machines to be used around the building for upgrades or breakdowns.
The tight access also may prevent scaffolding being erected for external painting or routine maintenance, as it may require the neighbours permission to use their land for this purpose.

Site drainage is one of the most important factors in how a dwelling interacts with the current site conditions. The block shall be free draining, without water ponding around the building.
Poor drainage is often the catalyst for other moisture management issues, such as providing conducive conditions for termites and structural damage, which are mostly concealed from view.

Once the site conditions have all the boxes ticked, then it is appropriate to check out the building and surrounds. 
Always begin on the outside, as often of the conducive conditions identified on the outside lead to some other concealed issue on the inside.
Any water leaks around the building are a big no no. These may stem from leaky downpipes, A/C condensate overflow pipes, hot water system overflows, or broken stormwater pipes.
These leaks are one of the major influences to termite attack to a residential dwelling.

The walk through should include checking the function of doors and windows where accessible, to assess them for suitability of purpose. Windows and doors sticking, or out of parallel, may be an indicator of property movement, which requires further investigation in many cases.
The wet areas require special attention, and the initial view would be looking for mouldy plasterboard behind showers and other wet areas. Mouldy ceilings are often indicators of roof leaks which require a more detailed inspection by a professional.

When all these planets line up, then you can start on picking the kids rooms and colour changes to the interior.
Now that all the pre-lims have proven satisfactory, it is time to book the build and pest inspections, for a professional overview of the property.
Call us for a building inspection in the Greater Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Redland Bay and Moreton Bay areas.