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The Insider Guide to Buying the Great Australian Queenslander

Written by Ben Saravia,  
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With ongoing lockdowns and border uncertainty, there is a well-publicised increase in the number of Aussies looking to relocate to the great Sunshine State. And who can blame them? Glorious weather, easy-going people and vast tracks of space, Queensland is increasingly the place to be! And what could be more ‘Queensland’ than the Iconic ‘Queenslander’ property itself?

The Queenslander first emerged around the 1840s, as European immigrants increasingly sought out designs that better suited the warm and changeable weather. Raised on stilts, this feature meant that it was better suited to catch the breeze, as well as protected against floods and pest infestations. Constructed primarily out of wood, these colonial-style homes often have large windows and covered verandas allowing one to sit out and cool off whilst also protecting them from the sun or occasional downpour!

Queenslanders can be immaculately designed with many unique features, and for many the history of the home is part of the joy of owning the property. Whilst many are still built to this day, most Queenslanders have a long history, and with this history comes a lot of ‘need to knows’ that you definitely need to know!

Required Maintenance – Paint, roof, guttering, and wooden structures

All houses require some maintenance. As mentioned, many Queenslanders can be very old, and it is therefore essential that they are and have been consistently maintained. Even before pre-purchase inspections, make sure that you check the condition of existing paintwork, the roofing, guttering and any visible wooden structures of the home to ensure that they are in good condition.

Look out for well-known Major Defects

This is essential in any house you buy, but it is especially important for older Queenslanders. As original Queenslanders are raised on stumps, it is vital that these are inspected by a qualified and experienced Building Inspector (although some of these defects you may even see for yourself). Look out for stumps that appear to be damaged, leaning, or cracked. Whilst looking at the stumps, take the opportunity to look up to check the condition of the underflooring and veranda, and its supporting beams. Check for mould, rot, damp and any signs of damage.

Pest Infestation and Damage

Being older and made primarily of timber, Queenslanders are especially prone to termite and wood borer activity. Left untreated over time, these pests can compromise the entire structural integrity of your home. They can be incredibly expensive to remedy and, in some cases, your home may even be deemed uninhabitable! Just as with the building inspector, be sure to hire a pest inspector that has experience with inspecting and treating older Queenslanders.

Poor Renovations and additions

Being raised off the ground and with large verandas, many a DIY enthusiast has been tempted to add additional storage and extra bedrooms both under the property and where existing veranda space once was. Often, these works are not professionally executed and would not satisfy building regulations. Not only does this means that you could be left with dodgy building works, but you may even have to pay for them to be rectified.

Don’t be put off, be informed!

Queenslanders can be majestic, proud, and truly historic homes to live in, and their popularity is only increasing all time. The key to buying the dream Queenslander is to know exactly what to look out for. When arranging for pest or building inspections, ensure that you ask if the inspector has much experience specifically with regards to Queenslanders. Alternatively, you could even ask them what they look out for when they inspect Queenslanders, and that will give you insight into their knowledge in this area. We believe in always getting the best team behind you when buying your home, and this is truer than ever when considering this classic piece of architectural Australian history.

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