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Building Inspections Gold Coast: Palm Beach shacks signal rising trend

An original Palm Beach shack that sold within a day of hitting the market for the first time, is evident of a building and renovation boom in the highly-sought Gold Coast suburb.

Co-Spec Building and Pest Inspections Managing Director Robert Mudge said the sale of Twenty Seventh Ave property for $1.2 million was one of several original homes sold in recent months to buyers either looking to renovate or knock-down and rebuild.

At the end of last year, Mr Mudge said a similar shack on Thirteenth Ave sold for $1.6 million.

“Palm Beach is a sought-after area between the two beautiful creeks, Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek,” Mr Mudge said.

“There’s beautiful surf beaches and it’s a sought after place for young families to bring their children up in an amazing part of the world.

“There’s a lot of places around here, a lot of original shacks and old brick and mortar places that people are renovating or knocking down.”

Mr Mudge said irrespective of which avenue buyers went down it was essential to get a building and pest inspection on the Gold Coast.

He said some problems in original homes were simple fixes but others, such as subsidence, could easily blow out the cost of a renovation.

“If the property has good foundations, but is still a little bit run down, there are a few things you can do to make an older place shine again,” Mr Mudge said.

“Externally, a roof restoration, repainting, rendering or re-cladding the walls can make the home a lot more modern.

“Internally, repainting and reflooring are standout items that can make an old house pop once more.”

Mr Mudge said it was often relatively simple to create more space in fixer-upper homes with the removal of non load-bearing walls or to turn an attached garage into another bedroom.

But he said there were some problems building inspections on the Gold Coast may identify that could be deal breakers for buyers.

Subsidence

Subsidence is sinking of the ground due to underground material movement, which Mr Mudge said was commonly detected during Gold Coast building and pest inspections due to many waterways being man made.

“A lot of the soil wasn’t filled and compacted how it should have been compared to today’s standards,” he said.

“If the building is subsiding a lot and you’ve got a lot of settlement movement, cracked foundations and sinking in corners, it’s definitely going to cost a lot to fix.”

Mr Mudge said a structural engineer would need to assess a property with subsidence if the buyers wanted to fix the home, to work out whether it needed to be underpinned or have a resin injection.

He said he had a list of experienced experts and trades he trusted that could work with buyers on such issues.

Termites

Mr Mudge said termite damage was a major issue that could go unnoticed without a proper building and pest inspection.

He said a recent home he had inspected had extensive termite issues and was unable to be knocked down as it was an adjoining property.

“They’d renovated the inside, but they’d just covered up the problem,” Mr Mudge said.

“I found a lot of damage in the wall cavities and when I jumped into the roof void, all of the trusses were completely eaten away.

“Active or pre-existing, extensive termite damage can be an absolute deal breaker when looking to buy a renovator.”

Mr Mudge said it was possible to fix termite damage but buyers and renovators would need to weigh up the costs and whether spending that money was viable.

Asbestos

Mr Mudge said many of the old shacks in Palm Beach contained asbestos in varying amounts and it could be expensive to remove.

He said a licensed builder could only remove 10sq m of asbestos, before a specialist asbestos removalist had to be called in.

“So when your wall cladding, your roofing cladding and everything is made of asbestos, it can definitely make it a deal breaker,” Mr Mudge said.

Mr Mudge said in Queensland and NSW he was a licensed builder, building inspector, pool safety inspector and licensed in termite management.

He started Co-spec in 2018 but has been in the building industry since 2007 and a licensed builder since 2013.

Pre-sale inspections

Mr Mudge said one area where his business has gained a lot of traction is in pre-sale inspections with real estate agents and vendors calling him in to inspect a property before it hits the market.

He said this gave agents and sellers peace of mind, as well as the opportunity to fix any issues or adjust a property’s price before officially coming to market.

“A lot of agents want to get this done so that they’re not stuck in the middle of mediations between buyers and sellers,” Mr Mudge said.

“It’s definitely a smart option.”

For more information on Gold Coast building and pest inspections visit co-spec.com.au

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.

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