Architecture and Renovation, Brisbane's sales market, trends in Brisbane property

Renovating the block not so easy Scottie!

Guess which TV show is part of the Saturday open home chatter right now? Brisbane’s inner city has a lot of great value apartments that can be transformed with a bit of clever renovating, and a handy decorating budget at [insert Channel 9 sponsor here]. Many of these “not-new” apartments are in smaller buildings with minimal amenities so their body corp fees can be low. Rooms are often good sizes and locations can be terrific.

Those contestants on “The Block” have one huge advantage though, and it’s not the design experience of that Victorian real estate agent (by the way she’s not doing much for our profession’s reputation is she?!) They have all the apartments in the building going through the transformation at once, the full building receiving a make-over. The exterior is being done for them with no committee meetings, no budget discussions/all-out brawls, and no need for encouraging or nudging of reluctant co-owners. It’s not reality TV. We’ve written before about the challenge of getting agreement to renovate common property and right now we’d suggest a number of inner Brisbane apartments sell below where they really should, simply because their building is holding them back.

When you think about it the TV producers should really film a real-life body corp meeting. Australia’s nicest tradie Scott Cam could referee. Just wind up one or two youngsters with some fresh ideas and pit them against a couple of long-term residents who won’t pay a cent more in body corp fees. It’d make The Block look like Play School.

Out of interest the latest Queensland government re-write of the body corp laws will likely bring in new disclosure rules for when you’re selling your apartment. It’s likely you’ll have to provide a buyer with a full copy of the CMS including by-laws and lots more info – before they sign a contract. This will no doubt encourage more questions from apartment buyers, and hopefully a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges bodies corporate can bring.

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