Brisbane is known for its warm, sunny weather as well as its relaxed lifestyle. It is the “little sister” city to the larger capitals of Sydney and Melbourne. But in terms of its homes, our City is quite unique. Let’s explore what is so special about Brisbane homes.

Brisbane suburbs are often distinguished by the architectural form of the typical Queenslander-style residence. Typically, the Queenslander style of home is a single detached house made of timber with a corrugated iron roof. In their original form, a typical Queenslander was a high set, single storey dwelling with large characteristic verandas. The homes were built up off the ground on stumps to counteract the more extreme climatic conditions. The underfloor area served the purpose to cool the building through increased air flow and ventilation as also protected the timber building above from termite attack and other pests. Additionally, it allowed homes to be constructed without the requirement for earthworks to flatten the site for construction and during heavy storms, it also allowed water to flow freely underneath the home.

The benefit today for many Brisbane property owners, is that the buildings are quite versatile. They can be raised, lowered or moved around on a site. A Queenslander home can even be transported to another location relatively easily.

Due to their unique character, many of these homes are now protected to maintain the unique architectural heritage of Brisbane’s past. Council have placed a higher level of control over what you can and cannot do with these properties and therefore, as a property buyer, it is important to understand what this means.

There are certain things you can do to a character house without approval from council including raising the property and building in under the existing footprint as well as renovating the internal areas of a home. However, there is a growing list of building works that require a development approval from council when it comes to changing character homes, and therefore property owners must understand what additional costs may apply to a property purchase if future works are proposed.

So how do you know if the house you are looking to buy is a “Character” home? Well that’s where we can help. There are certain rules that apply to properties before they are classified as a Character home and you can either check with a Town Planner before you buy, or use the services of a specialised Brisbane Buyer’s Agent who should be able to provide this information for you. It is better to understand the potential costs up front, and getting a clear understanding of what can and cannot be achieved when it comes to improving a property, rather than being surprised down the track.