Building inspection tips for buying real estate in Wynnum

4 min readWynnum and the Brisbane bayside suburbs have evolved to become a trendy seaside location with a variety of housing styles to suit all tastes and life stages. As a resident of the area, I honestly couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in Brisbane thanks to the lifestyle.

The Wynnum and bayside community is thriving and friendly with a true passion for the area and all that it has to offer. Wynnum boasts beaches, amazing views, walking tracks, cafes, pet-friendly facilities, easy access to Brisbane trains, and close proximity to the city while still having that small-town feel.

tips buying real estate wynnum bayside brisbane

When it comes to buying a home on Brisbane’s bayside, be it a modern home, a classic Queenslander or a 1960s high-set, all houses will age and deteriorate over time. This is why a handover or pre-purchase inspection is a critical part of buying real estate in bayside Brisbane or anywhere really.

As a building inspector living in the bayside area, I’m familiar with the housing styles and the issues they often have. If you’re looking to buy real estate in Wynnum, Manly or Wynnum West, here are some tips to consider.

Modern homes in and around Wynnum

Modern homes in the Wynnum area are generally comprised of a Colourbond steel roof and a cladding or render exterior on a concrete slab.

tips buying real estate wynnum new build
67 Ryder Street, Wynnum, QLD

Tip #1

Generally, modern homes are considered to be a safe bet; however, best practice is not to assume that the build is a quality one. Get the house thoroughly checked over. You never know what’s lurking out of sight.

Tip #2

A common issue to check for is poor drainage, particularly around the slab. Even garden beds set directly against the slab can hold in moisture. Poor drainage can result in subsidence, which can cause movement in the slab, damaging the home’s structure and causing cracks throughout your home.

Tip #3

Check what type of cladding has been used and what condition it is in. Cladding can be made from a variety of materials such as wood, metal, plastic, masonry or composite materials. Each will require a different type of maintenance over its lifetime and should be monitored for damage as it ages.

Tip #4

Check whether the house has been adequately maintained. Even in modern homes, deterioration through ageing is unavoidable and the neglect of a previous owner can prematurely age a home. Check for indicators of poor maintenance practices such as water stains, cracks, and even telltale signs of a pest infestation. There’s likely to be a more significant issue behind them.

The classic bayside Queenslander

The classic Queenslander, built between the late-1800s to mid-1900s, is a treasured and highly sought-after favourite. These homes are generally clad with timber, have a tin roof, and are raised on stumps or stilts.

tips buying real estate wynnum queenslander
117 Walnut Street, Wynnum, QLD

Tip #1

Check all over for pests, particularly termites. Queenslander homes are quite often built with wood, both inside and out, including floors and stumps. Failure to check for pests could result in further structural damage to your home, which is costly to repair.

Tip #2

Check the electrics and the plumbing. Have they been updated in recent years to meet Australian standards? Are they in good condition and safe? Old electrics and plumbing can cause additional damage to your home and put your family in danger.

Tip #3

Old houses are often accompanied by old sheds that may have been neglected for some time. Don’t limit your checks to the house, check other structures on the property to reduce the chance of harm.

Tip#4

Check what the roof is made from. If it’s the original tin, it may require maintenance to prevent rusting and leakage.

The Brisbane bayside 1960s high-set home

These homes are simple in design, inexpensive, and popular with renovators. Their exteriors are usually clad, with interior walls either painted gyprock or interior sheet cladding. As they are high-set, the floors are generally wood or composite, and they are raised on wooden pillars.

tips buying real estate wynnum high set home
36 Bird Street, Manly, QLD

Tip #1

Check what the cladding is and what insulation is used. Older cladding referred to as ‘fibro’, commonly contains asbestos, as did insulation. If the home requires asbestos removal, that’s an additional cost you’ll need to factor into your purchase if you plan on renovating.

Tip #2

With wooden pillars, stairs, and flooring, there is a risk of termite invasion. Get a pest inspection before purchasing to ensure the home is safe to live in. The costs of any structural repairs required will affect how much you’re willing to spend.

Tip #3

As with the Queenslander, this home is getting on a bit. Check electrics and plumbing to ensure that they are in a good state of repair and safe for your family.

Whether or not a property is old or modern, take a moment to study the flood maps in the area. Properties closer to Wynnum Creek and the foreshore are at higher risk and may have previous flood damage from the 2011 floods.

tips buying real estate wynnum jetty

Ultimately, the best tip anyone can give is to get an independent, professional building inspection done before purchasing any Brisbane bayside real estate. They will catch the things you miss, offer advice, and give you peace of mind as you move into your new home.

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Ben Paterson
Ben Paterson is the Director of Safeguard Inspections located in Brisbane’s Manly West. He has 25 years in the building and construction industry and is dedicated to performing thorough building and pest inspections, providing superior customer service and a quick report turnaround.

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