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Top Dollar For Poor Quality Housing In Bruce?!

By tylersmayhem - 23 September 2008 24

[First filed: July 21, 2008 @ 12:42]

I’ve always harped on about buying an established property, rather than something brand new.  Something I saw today not only back’s up my belief, but also beckons my belief.

I work in Bruce, and it’s always escaped me why anyone would want to pay top dollar to live in a new development that has a gated compound smack bang in the middle.  My questions have been further added to today after I saw 2 out of 3 apartment buildings with massive zig-zagging cracks in the exterior walls which start from the window edge and work down.  Granted, there is a guy working as quickly as he can, up on a ladder with some cement to “patch” up the damage (probably before too many owners see).

I realise that many houses in Canberra, old and new, are experiencing levels of cracking and movement of bricks due to the drought etc etc.  But 12 months after being built, and only about 3-4 months after being occupied?  My blood runs cold thinking if I had bought one of those properties and this is happening only after less than a year.  I can’t imagine it will take long to see the effects inside.

I anticipate the argument of how expensive established houses are, and this is very true.  But from the information I have been able to find, these 2 bedroom apartments sold off the plan for around 400k.  There are definitely established properties around for that price.  Maybe not as central, but probably many of which didn’t have too much structural movement until the drought started.  I’m all for those who want to experience “inner city living” in Canberra, but it escapes me why the pricing is just so high, other than the fact that people are simply prepared to pay for it.

I hope those who own these properties take firm action against the developers, and that the damage is only limited!


Further to my post back in July, now that the patching up was finally been finished and those who did not see the damage would be none he wiser – yesterday we had some rain again. Yep, you guessed it, more damage – but this time about 5 times worse than back in July. This morning there was a whole team of tradies out on ladders not only re-patching their recent cover-up work, but also attending to about 7-10 more gaping cracks on the side of the building.

This re-raises some huge concerns I have for the owners of these properties. If this type of damage is happening within about 12 months – how will they be in 5 years, if they’re still standing? I also have concerns as to the obligation that the building companies have. So far, they simply “cover-up” the damage. This is not addressing the clear structural problems with the building, and are they continuing with the cover-up of the problem just to get through their period obligation before they cut and run?

Where will this leave the owners of the properties, and how can the builders sleep at night? What can official bodies do to conduct a through investigation?

Are there any RA’ers who live in this complex, as I’d love to hear there thoughts – and make them aware of this massive problem if they were unaware.

What’s Your opinion?

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24 Responses to
Top Dollar For Poor Quality Housing In Bruce?!
tylersmayhem 8:56 am 22 Jul 08

Hax – I can’t agree that “you get what you pay for”. 400k for a lemon is paying a huge price, but very low quality.

hax 10:19 pm 21 Jul 08

Land prices go up, quality goes down.

You get what you pay for.. The impression I get is people are willing to go for these half-quality jobs to save a couple grand, but then they complain when it’s not perfect.

sepi 9:22 pm 21 Jul 08

WE went to look at the display homes in the eco bit of Majura rise watson.

One of those was very dodgy too, with loose doorhandles, flaky paint and scratched windowsills. Nothing serious, but as the display home you’d think they’d put a bit more effort in.

Another one was better, but had no spot for a fridge in the massive kitchen.

ant 8:43 pm 21 Jul 08

I heard those upmarket places on the Kingston foreshaw (Granite Benchtops! Miele Appliances!) having very thin walls/floors so noise is a real issue. They use all these expensive decorative items but skimp on the really important stuff.

I remember years ago soem friends bought an investment unit in a new development in Jindabyne, it was so new the carpet smelled very new, yet the banister rails rattled, there were cracks in the brickwork, the windows didn’t fit in their holes properly and they’d put dowls on all the windows as a security measure!

c` 4:00 pm 21 Jul 08

Burying waste isn’t too out of the ordinary – this was also the case at the townhouse I bought back last century (1999).

Duke 3:09 pm 21 Jul 08

I think you’re probably right on the money there tyler. Once the gloss rubs off these new dwellings they can be quite shabby underneath. I know one couple who became instantly smitten with the marble floors and european fittings in their Deakin townhouse but a year later and turns out the place is a lemon – and Deakin ain’t cheap either!

Leaking ceilings, bad electrics, freezing in winter, stifling in summer. The most dodgy bit of all was when doing their garden they discovered the builders had buried all their waste just inches below the topsoil. They have spent thousands more removing buried rubbish and bringing in new soil. I’ll take my chances with an older established house thanks.

cmdwedge 3:06 pm 21 Jul 08

tylersmayhem said :

Thanks Woody Mann-Caruso – I thought I got that saying wrong somehow, point taken.

I’m not sure if it’s called Proximity, but I think the apartments are at 20 Battye Street, near the AIS.

That’s Proximity. Next door to my fiance’s workplace.

This is a weird aside, and I’m sure most RA’ers will just stare at me blankly, but the name of that place (with the subtitle ‘X marks the spot’) really annoys me. It’s just stupid. Actually a lot of the new apartments in Canberra have retarded names, like Proximity and Space2Reside. They’re just.. farking stupid. I don’t know why.

fnaah 2:57 pm 21 Jul 08

Oh, and there’s another one from G-Fresh: “get’s”.

A world gone mad!

fnaah 2:56 pm 21 Jul 08

tylersmayhem, I believe WMC was also having a hard time believing your use of an apostrophe in “back’s”.

G-Fresh 2:39 pm 21 Jul 08

Developers hire shoddy builders at their peril. Unfortunately, even the best builders can stuff things up. The buyer get’s the house as is, and once title has passed so does liability for repairs and/or damages, providing the building met all approval requirements.

tylersmayhem 2:37 pm 21 Jul 08

Thanks Woody Mann-Caruso – I thought I got that saying wrong somehow, point taken.

I’m not sure if it’s called Proximity, but I think the apartments are at 20 Battye Street, near the AIS.

lemaChet 2:15 pm 21 Jul 08

are you talkin about Proximity…. ?

Holden Caulfield 2:13 pm 21 Jul 08

For close to 10 years I’ve been amazed at the pricing apartments/medium density dwellings have been selling for in Canberra.

I think it’s about time I got the message. 😉

Woody Mann-Caruso 2:03 pm 21 Jul 08

back’s up my belief, but also beckons my belief.

Now that beggars belief.

cmdwedge 1:07 pm 21 Jul 08

Just need a good earthquake in Bruce and we can sort the wheat from the chaff.

Too soon?

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