What to consider before buying property in a Brisbane flood zone

It’s been more than a decade since heavy floods ravaged through parts of Brisbane, leaving many of its residents devastated with substantial flood damage to their homes.

In 2011, it was predicted that property prices in the Brisbane flood zones would take a nosedive as a result of the catastrophic event. However, the outlook is a bit different 10 years on — the riverside properties and communities of Brisbane continue to thrive. In this article we provide some useful tips if you consider buying a house in a flood zone.

Should you buy a property if it’s in one of Brisbane’s flood zones?

Brisbane, Queensland, including its many towns along the river, is a vibrant place to live. One of the reasons why the affected areas didn’t suffer much of a downturn is because it was eventually determined that the sudden flooding was a result of the Wivenhoe Dam gates being opened and water being released faster than they should have, which makes the tragedy preventable to some extent.

That said, if you find a home that suits your budget and lifestyle in one of the flood prone areas, there are a few things that you must seriously consider before signing on the dotted line.

Also read: When To Walk Away From A Property

Flood risk

Since 2011, the Brisbane City Council has invested heavily in raising awareness about floods and developing tools to predict them. The first thing to do when researching a property in a Brisbane flood zone is to consult the Council’s Flood Awareness Map. Based on the studies and flood modeling supported by the Council, the Brisbane flood map provides an overview of the city’s vulnerable areas, risk levels (from very low likelihood to high likelihood), as well as comparisons between the 1974 and 2011 flooding.

When using this map, you can check the exact address of the property that you are considering and see how it was affected by floods in the past, and the likelihood of it getting flooded again in the future. In addition to consulting the map, you should also ask the current owner or the agent how the flood has impacted the area and the property itself, and what repairs were done in the aftermath.

Submerged car in Brisbane

Renovation guidelines

Many homeowners have a plan to renovate their newly-acquired property. Like in any city or state, there are a set of guidelines to adhere to when renovating a building or property in a Brisbane flood zone. These restrictions are put in place to reduce the potential damage that flooding can cause. While the guidelines vary from one area to another depending on its Flood Planning Area rating, expect the use of waterproofing, water-resistant materials, and implementation of minimum floor height especially if the property is close to the waterway.

Consequences of flood

Before deciding to move to a flood zone, you must also be fully aware of the various consequences of minor and severe flood events. On top of property damage and loss, natural disasters can also impact one’s psychological well-being. The event itself and recovery that follows can be extremely stressful for some people. And if you are planning to run a business in a flood-prone area, it’s also important to understand that floods have an economical impact on the local market that you are serving.

It’s imperative to have a recovery plan in place to help you weather the worst of it which brings us to our next point…

Insurance premiums

One way to help you recover losses from a flood is through insurance. Understandably, insurance companies place a higher premium on properties that have been flooded in the past. There are also areas that insurance providers will refuse so you need to find out ahead of time. Expect to pay more for insurance however, we strongly advise that you do your homework first before you completely buy into a contract. Research insurance premiums in flood zones and clearly put into writing any quote that is offered to you.

Condition of the property

Last but definitely not least, you have to be certain about the current condition of the property before deciding to buy it. Make sure that the property and structure on it are safe. During the inspection, take note of the following things:

  • A list of all the damages, big and small
  • The condition of the foundation
  • Past repairs and renovations
  • The condition of the soil at the property

Can I inspect the property on my own?

Unless you have prior experience in professional property inspection, it is not recommended to inspect a building or property on your own. It’s too easy to miss important details that are crucial in assessing the safety of the property so the inspection is best left in the hands of a professional.

Inspect My Home is one of Australia’s largest and most trusted building and pest inspection companies. Our team of professional property inspectors are trained to carry out thorough and objective pre-purchase property inspections, followed by an informative and easy-to-understand report that you will find in your inbox as soon as 24 hours after the inspection. Call today on 1300 337 447 or conveniently book online.

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