Home Buying in 30319>Question Details

Andy, Renter in Alpharetta, GA

Should I pass on Stucco Homes?

Asked by Andy, Alpharetta, GA Sat Sep 20, 2008

Our Realtor says we aren't allowed to look at Stucco homes. She says they are hard to resell and relocation companies refuse to deal with them. I'm familiar with good and bad stucco, but should I be passing on them as a potential new home?

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16
Andy -

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 -

Hank
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 21, 2008
As a stucco specialist, I suggest that buying a stucco home is certainly wise. They are great, efficient building envelopes, that have a longevity beyond most options as long as they are installed properly.

A proper, specialized Stucco Inspection will tell you whether or not the home you are interested in is a good to go or not.

http://www.stuccowettest.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 10, 2013
The problem is, some insurance companies won't accept these homes as a risk, so you may want to research the insurance factor before you buy.
Flag Fri Dec 13, 2013
If you must purchase a synthetic stucco residence, then make sure that you obtain the certifcations necessary to have a Moisture Free warranty in place at the time of purchase, that you mainatin the warranty standards throughout the life of your ownership and that you have the warranty fully transferrable at the time of your resale. For more information go to this website - http://moisturefreewarranty.com/ .

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.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 20, 2008
Inform your realtor that first of all he/she works for you not vice versa. Then do your due research and know all the advantages and disadvantages of stucco over brick or wood and other types of siding. Take into account the climate you are buying in and the effort to maintain each one. Make an informed choice that you feel is the best then TELL YOUR AGENT THAT HE/SHE WILL SHOW YOU THESE TYPES OF HOUSES OR YOU WILL SIMPLY FIND ANOTHER AGENT THAT KNOWS THAT THEY ARE WORKING FOR YOU. If they still refuse to show you your choice of home types call another agent and fire the one that will not cooperate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 24, 2016
I want to purchase a stucco home in northwest Ohio and was told that it's not a good investment. What are your thoughts???
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 15, 2016
I'd fire his butt
Go lool
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 27, 2015
I'm surprised no one here has talked about the era of the house(s) being considered. I live in Minneapolis and would feel no hesitation at all in recommending a home from the Nineteen teens or twenties. I would definitely look at anything from the 70s-90s with great caution. As an architect, I am very open to - in fact would be excited to - use real stucco in new construction. It is a wonderful no/low maintenance option. What is critical is getting the detailing right, especially an appropriate drainage plane.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 28, 2014
There is nothing wrong with stucco homes unless the stucco was done incorrectly. I would not stay away from them, but make sure that you have an inspection contingency in the contract and have the inspector check it thoroughly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2014
It is up to you. Do you plan on reselling, or staying in the house for a while? You seem to have a good amount of experience with stucco homes and that is the hardest part about purchasing a stucco home. You're already ahead of the game.

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.

http://www.thestuccoguy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 13, 2013
I typically have clients stay away from Stucco homes especially if it is not hardcoat stucco. It is not that I think they are bad I just think that there is a certain stygma that goes with them to buyers. So while you are considering a stucco home there are many, many buyers who would not touch a stucco house. That then would be YOUR problem when you went to sell the house in a few years...ouch!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
No, in fact there are many fabulous homes that are stucco. Why pass on any of them? Just be sure to have an Independent inspector do a very thorough inspection. An inspector with no conflict of interest, meaning the inspector is not in the business of repairing or replacing stucco.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 1, 2013
I've been in the stucco / masonry business for 35 plus years starting off in Tampa where I was born and I was introduced to the EIFS stucco "foam back" soft system 25 years ago here in the metro Atlanta area. The system is a great energy efficent cladding however it does need to be properly sealed around any penetrations in the system and the most important part of keeping moisture out is roof flashings or kick-out diverters. The problem is not only with stucco homes it's with any home that's not properly flashed, caulked or painted. EIFS stucco was the one that came into the large metro areas and really hurt the pockets of other exterior claddings product sales and also in turn stucco receive even more bad publicity because of dollars pushed into bad advertisement against stucco to seek to help revive the market of other exterior claddings. Stucco homes that have been properly maintain have no problems and the ones that are not properly maintained will have problems like any exterior cladding or any type of situation. If you don't change oil in a car it's going to breakdown, if you don't take care of your health your going to breakdown. Just keep anything you own in good shape and you won't have to worry.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
Andy,

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?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 21, 2008
Andy,

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.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 20, 2008
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
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I would say, that is completely your decision. As long as you are educated about the pros and cons of stucco I dont understand why you wouldnt be looking at them if you dont personally have a problem with them. You can always have a stucco inspection and other things done before closing to make sure there is no water damage or other issues. As a realtor you can never say what your client can and cannot look at. We are here to inform you and you are the one that makes the decision. Hope this helps. Stephanie Still
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 20, 2008
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