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Property Overlays

What’s Your Bushfire Protection Plan?

By Property OverlaysNo Comments

Here in Queensland, we are lucky to be surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens filled with exotic flowers and trees, and World Heritage-listed rainforests. Parks and green spaces are carefully planned by the council to provide places for the community to enjoy the summer sunshine – however, the potential for a bushfire to impact people and their homes poses a big threat to all of this. Through proper planning, reduction of risks on direct flame attack, radiant and convective heat exposure and ember attack on residential areas can be achieved.

The recent fires which destroyed parts of the Scenic Rim (including the Binna Burra Lodge) and Peregean Beach in the Sunshine Coast are a reminder that fire can get out of control quickly. And with summer around the corner, the potential for further disasters intensifies.

Whether you currently own a home or are looking to buy a home, it is imperative that you know this information about your property in order to be prepared. Councils offer mapping which clearly identifies those in high and medium risk areas, where Brisbane homes found to be in risk areas are then assessed, and plans to manage the property are identified.

The Australian Standard for the Construction of Building in Bushfire Prone Areas AS3959 states there requirements which need to be followed when constructing buildings in areas at risk of bushfire. Materials that are resistant to burning debris, flame or radiant heat will need to be used when building or renovating a home such as concrete and metal, and constructing barriers around the property is also encouraged.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to manage any hazards which may be present around the home, where things which can intensify a fire (such as leaf litter, twigs and debris, as well as flammable liquids and gases) should be removed. Ensuring that lawns are cut often, and shrubs and trees are also maintained will are some basic tips to make sure you’re prepared for bushfire season.

The level of risk your home is to bushfire will also influence your decision to leave, or stay with your property in the event of a bushfire. Make sure your have long hoses which reach to all corners of your property and ensure you are covered by home insurance. Should you need to evacuate, you have to be aware of alternate routes you can take to get you and your family (and pet!) off your property and onto safe roads and have back up plans to stay with family or friends.

September 30, 2021

How Does Noise Impact My Property?

By Property OverlaysNo Comments

Noise pollution can be a silent killer on the value of property. It is often hard to determine if your property is going to be affected by noise – that is, until you move in. Proximity to main roads, public transport, industrial and commercially zoned areas, construction areas as well as noisy neighbours are generally not consistent – therefore it can be hard to tell if your sweet dreams will be disturbed by loud noises during an open house inspection.

Whether you’re looking to buy, or just invest in property, one of the biggest mistakes you could do is to ignore the importance of noise. Whilst you can’t control who lives next to you, you can choose the best possible property for you to purchase. By choosing a house further away from busy, main roads and shopping centres, hotels and restaurants, you’ll find that that property will more likely hold it’s value over time, and be much easier to sell when the time comes.

One of the big red flags in purchasing property will be when you come across a house too good to be true. We mentioned in our previous post that purchasing a home at a bargain price could cost you a lot more than you anticipated. Whilst there are many reasons why the seller is looking to sell cheaply, you need to do some research on your prospective property after speaking to your real estate agent. Noise is reported to be one of the biggest issues for people after they have purchased property, where many have expressed that they would not have signed the contracts if they were aware. Just remember – it is not easy (or cheap) to reverse this decision!

One way which you can find out is by looking at Noise Maps, which clearly show which areas are affected by high levels of noise through the use of colour, and often also show contour lines to discern the boundaries. These are created through calculations made over time – however these can fluctuate with time of day, and seasons.

If you do find yourself in this situation, there are some design considerations you could implement if you are set on a particular property impact day noise. Barriers such as fences, trees and bushes can significantly reduce noise, and choice of glass (double glazed over single) used for windows can also shield your home from from such issues. Materials used in the construction of your home can also dramatically impact how sound penetrates the home, where dense material such as brick or masonry can assist with deflecting noise, and insulation can also be used to absorb it. Also, careful planning of spaces can make a big difference in the comfort of your home, where bedrooms should be aligned furthest away from the source of noise (such as main roads), with living areas in the front.

Your Noise Pollution Checklist –

Is my property in close proximity to….

  • Main roads or highways?
  • Airports/Flight Paths?
  • Railway Stations/Lines?
  • Shopping Centres?
  • Hotels?
  • Restaurants and Cafe’s?
  • Petrol Stations?
  • Parks?
  • Schools?
  • Hospitals?
  • Gyms?
September 30, 2021

Are You Ready For Storm Season

By Property OverlaysNo Comments

December marks the start of the wet season in Queensland, where the state will see the highest amount of rainfall for the year during this period. Our subtropical climate means that we are no stranger to thunderstorms, hail and even cyclones, and flash flooding in geomorphic low-lying areas can close off roads for days.

Home owners need to be aware of flood risks on their property in order to minimise the effect of flooding and be prepared for storm season. Councils have developed flood maps which identify the high risk areas and calculate the probability of flooding occurring based on studies and modelling the run-off of rainfall that will be collected at catchments. Changing landscape and infrastructure in a city can also change flood zones, where properties that are on the border of flood zones can still be at risk. An example of this is the Brisbane flood in January 2011, where suburbs that had never experienced flooding before were affected, and those that were flooded in 1974 had minimal damage in 2011. This has resulted in the Brisbane City Council updating their Flood Maps in 2011.

Considerations to flood data is crucial when buying a new home, where knowing these facts will minimise hidden surprises in the future. Knowing the history of the property, and being able to predict whether it will be affected by climate change in the future can often influence purchase decision and whether you are willing to take that chance. You may also have difficulty securing a home loan and can also affect the value of the property, so you should always be aware of these restrictions even before you inspect a home.

When renovating or building a house on property in a flood affected area, there will need to be considerations towards the height and the layout of the house. The bottom part of the home should be easily cleaned and renovated, or be raised in order to prevent water damage by flooding. This is exemplified through the vernacular design of Queenslanders, which have been praised for its ability to cope with the impact of floods, where their design sees living areas raised above ground level and allows for water to pass underneath. Materials used to construct homes should also be able to withstand water immersion and should be considered when building in areas with high risk of floods, and opt for tile over carpet for flooring.

There are many other considerations which you need to be aware of when looking at real estate – so don’t risk buying or renovating without knowing the facts! Our Develo property reports make this process easy by providing you with the information you need before you sign..

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