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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Default Should we walk away from this stucco home?

    My husband and I are first time home-buyers and we recently put an offer on a home. The offer was accepted, but the inspection report revealed a lot of issues we did not expect.

    To put it in perspective, the home has the layout we want in the neighborhood we want. The home appraised for approximately 180k in 2015 and our offer was 166k. Other homes in the neighborhood that are much smaller are selling for 200k. This house is one of the only houses in the neighborhood with a pool.

    We were worried about the foundation, but the inspection revealed no problems with the foundation.

    However, the inspector was concerned about a crack running through the stucco exterior. He felt the stucco may need to be removed and replaced with something else.

    I have tried to get a stucco inspector out to the home, but everyone I have called has been booked. One inspector even advised me to walk away from the home due to the humidity here in Houston. However, a contractor said he thought the stucco on this home was largely cosmetic and in good working order. He felt that a simple sealant would correct any issues and prevent moisture intrusion.

    The inspection report is available if anyone is willing to review it.

    If the home is basically secure, and the cracked stucco is mostly cosmetic in nature, then we would proceed with the purchase of the home. However, we are concerned about unseen moisture intrusion behind the stucco. Worth noting that infrared light did not show any signs of moisture intrusion on the wall with the crack, only in areas where flashing had not been done correctly near the chimney and skylights.

    I would appreciate any comments and assistance because we do not want to get stuck with a lemon, however, we also do not want to walk away from a home we really like at a great price just because of a stucco crack.

    There is an old article about the home here:

    It was purchased as a foreclosure in 2012 and remodeled and is now back on the market.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Chicago IL

    Default Re: Should we walk away from this stucco home?

    Hi Katherine, I looked at the pictures in the link you have in your post. The house looks like a typical flipper rehab. These tend to have a lot of lurking issues that flippers like to gloss over with nice looking finishes; at least around here. I don't know your market.
    In terms of the 'stucco', we don't really consider that stucco, that product is more like a Dryvit or EIFS type product, essentially modern stucco.
    Given that it is probably a frame house the stucco cracks are unlikely to be structural to the home. The cracks could be from poor panel installation, water or age. I can't see much specific on the pictures. As you alluded to, moisture issues are the real concern. Stucco cracks can be repaired and the cost is generally not that bad. However, in a home that hasn't been maintained costs can really add up. A crack here, another one there, another 5 over there and now you have to repaint the exterior so it all matches.
    On a foreclosure thats been sitting for awhile one has to wonder how much water has gotten into the wall cavities and created wood rot or mold growth. Open caulk joints around doors, windows, penetrations, valleys etc. are the big problem areas for this type of wall. Having stucco finished columns right next to the pool isn't exactly the smartest idea. This type of exterior wall needs periodic maintenance to keep water from getting behind the stucco.
    I can't tell you whether you should or shouldn't buy the house.
    Based on many years of experience, I would suggest you look at this from a money perspective. If you have the willingness and budget to provide post purchase repairs then maybe its a feasible deal. You love the house and location, you have some money, and the numbers work. On the other hand if you don't have a decent post purchase contingency budget, don't have the time or patience to deal with contractors and repairs, and the numbers are too tight then maybe this isn't the best option for you.
    Anytime you buy any home a buyer should have some post purchase funds lying around, especially if its a flipper rehab.
    Hope that helps.
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Garland, TX

    Default Re: Should we walk away from this stucco home?

    hi Katherine
    surely someone from this list can perform a competent stucco inspection

    feel free to send the home inspection report to the address on my website toward bottom of any page

    seriously doubt 1978 build would be eifs
    & it appears that proper elevation may have been maintained at some wall 2" above pavement & 4" above earth terminations

    Last edited by BARRY ADAIR; 06-29-2016 at 03:24 AM.
    badair Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    rockport texas

    Default Re: Should we walk away from this stucco home?

    It appears to be barrier EIFS. cracks can ban a concern. It also looks like there may be some kickout flashing missing. Do not proceed without moisture probing of the substrate. You should be able to find an inspector on EDI website

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN

    Default Re: Should we walk away from this stucco home?

    If that home was built in 1978, it is not EIFS… Houston has some areas that have real stucco. I grew up in Houston and recall seeing it from time to time. I would wait and get an inspector that knows about stucco/EIFS… Now, if that is not the original cladding (which I doubt), you could have EIFS… We can't tell anything from the photos.

    Keep in mind that you will have the same difficulty selling this home when you are ready to sell it as folks are having now trying to sell it.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN

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