I'll pile on the previous answers. Even the EFIS synthetic stucco is a decent product; the problem was in the application. If moisture isn't allowed to escape via proper application, then it builds up, causes rot from the inside out and forces its way out any openings. Typically those openings are around doors and windows which is why stucco homes often have rot at the bottom of door and window frames. All that said:
1. Make certain you know if it's hard coat or synthetic. If you lean toward a stucco home have it inspected by a firm specializing in that field. They will probe the home in multiple areas to test for moisture retention. This is well beyond the scope of a home inspection. If work needs to be done, have it done BEFORE you close because tearing into a stucco home can open up a whole can of worms.
2. Get a stucco bond on the home.
3. Some relo firms will all but mandate that their transferees not buy stucco homes. Typically if they do they lose some/all benefits when they transfer out.
4. In my experience both appraising and selling, stucco homes will have an extended marketing time and the stucco will have an impact on value. There's no set rule as other factors naturally play into the equation.
5. If you see synthetic stucco, you often see "blue pipe (polybutylene pipe) and LP/GP siding. These three products "ran together" for several years and all are considered defective items that you need to know about. Nothing that is a deal killer, but each requires increased attentiion at best and at worst, replacement.
6. I've had a few buyers grab stucco clad homes at a nice discount, live in them for a bit, then strip the stucco and replace it with either brick, cement siding or wood. If you buy it right you can make it work.
7. Get an insurance estimate before you buy. I've seen insurance companies (especially now) jack rates for stucco homes.
Josh is correct in noting that you can often nab a larger home or get one below market, but as he said the "hunter becomes the hunted" when it's time to sell. Your agent is correct when she says that your market will be dimishished when it's time to sell. And Lee, well Lee is always right!
Hope this helps -
A proper, specialized Stucco Inspection will tell you whether or not the home you are interested in is a good to go or not.
I've been to Florence, Italy and all of that 2000 year old stucco still looks pretty good. It ain't synthetic.
Thank your Realtor for their insight into a real world resale problem, but you can mitigate your risk and add value if you know what you are doing with the right repairs and the right maintenance under warranty.
It sounds like the agent has some (personal) bad experience's with stucco previously and I wouldn't take their advice, after all it is your money and your choice. Don't rule stucco out based on one person's opinion, how much knowledge does a real estate agent have about the inner workings of stucco, next to none. Not trying to sound negative, but think about it.
Take a look at the other homes in the area to get an idea of potential problems, issues, etc. Homes built in an area usually are stuccoed by a handful of, or the same contractor, so you can get a good idea of how well the houses were constructed.
Another thing to look at is the prior values of the homes that have sold in the area over the past few years. Take into account the economy and try to get figures before and after the economic problems, this will give you a much better idea of the value of stucco homes in that particular area.
Hope this helps.
Ryan - Stucco contractor for two decades.
You are free to choose and make your own decision.
I guess I would side with your Realtor. I usually reccomend avoiding these homes. As you can tell by the comments below sooner or later there will be some kind of issue or added expense to owning a stucco home. Why take the risk?
It's true, relocation companies will not typically take/help with Stucco homes. Just the word sends shivers down their spine.
However, for your agent to tell you not to look at them, she should better have a good reason other than what you posted here.
Stucco homes comes down to personal preference. If you were looking in Alpharetta under $500K, then you'd be missing out on some of the best deals and homes that are stucco. In some cases you can get into a neighborhood or get a larger floor plan simply because of the "stigma."
It's true resale value is down, but the actual "value" is usually big for a stucco home. Be sure to pass the discount on to the next buyer, but enjoy the benefits, especially in this market.
As a side note, if you ARE using a relocation company to help you AND you think you will move again in under 2 years, then yes, maybe you should avoid them.