Bushfires are an unfortunate reality of Australian life and for many homeowners, especially those in bushfire prone areas, the potential damage or complete loss of their home due to bushfires is something which weighs heavily on the mind.

Many homeowners are taking precautionary measures to protect their homes against future bushfires.

Tony Maddox Real Estate Principal Tony Maddox, who has been selling homes in the Toodyay area for more than 30 years, said buyers were not asking questions on whether the home they were considering buying was prepared for a potential bushfire.

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“Until we mention this aspect of a property, most buyers are not aware of the fire issues,” he said.

“It is a bonus if there is a fire protection system in place but I haven’t seen this as a value-adding feature as yet.

“I think most buyers haven’t thought of this aspect of a property even after the eastern states’ fires, this seems to be a low priority with buyers. Most are looking at the building and surrounds to establish value.”

However, the opposite is true for Ray White Nannup Principal and Licensee Mike Tucker, who noticed an increase in buyers asking about a home’s fire-preparedness.

“It is something no one even knew about 10 years ago, and now it is something which is being requested,” he said.

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“In a place like Nannup, from March onwards you don’t hear about it again until the following bushfire season. It is not a year-round discussion, but what is happening is it is coming up during bushfire season and people are more educated now than they used to be. It is on the list of things people ask for.”

For Mr Tucker, he has noticed an increase in homes prepping for the worst.

“What we found, especially in Nannup, is the level of property preparation people are doing these days and what I used to do is really amped up,” he said.

“Every property has a fire break, most properties have fire repellent systems installed, multiple sources of water, mini fire plans for getting in and out – making it generally a lot safer.”

Mr Maddox hasn’t noticed the same drastic ramp up, but has seen an interest in buyers for different products.

“It is not a common feature as a hard-fitted system however I have noticed most homeowners are now opting for a portable unit for protection,” he said.

“Normally these would be filled and on a trailer in the shed if needed. It is certainly something we suggest to buyers to purchase with the property if possible.

“I feel this is part of our duty as a salesperson in the area to inform buyers of the potential for fires, and to make sure they are aware of it in selecting a property to suit them.”


Rhys Prka

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