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House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 15, 2018 07:23PM
Sorry for typos. I was a very long day. 2 house inspections and some work in between and after. I am having a beer as I type this.


We put an offer on a house. general house inspection found some minor issues, not a deal breaker. All can be fixed. The stucco inspection was a different story. The house is 3000 sq ft, but only the facade is stucco, sides and back are vinyl.

It was hard to find a stucco inspector, I had 5 names.

First one quote $1750. He send a form to sign, and they explained how the test is done. 2 holes on the corner of each window/door, and put moisture probe, then patch.

The second one quote $780.

The third one called back, he said he is licensed in many states but in NJ the requirements are different and he cannot do this test. Still he was nice to explain to me how the test should be done properly and I asked what he would charge. he said between 700-900. When I told him I got a $1750 he said that does seem high, but he was professional, he did not say I am getting ripped off or taken advantage off. He just said this seems high based on his experience and I should call around.

The 4th guy never called back.

The 5th guy eventually wrote back with a quote, $2500. the realtor said this is way too high.

I went back and forth with the second guy, we went into details about the test, he knew what he was doing. he even said this

Quote
inspector
There is a National protocol for these inspections, it is not optional. (two per window /door left and right side.

If anyone states less, you will not know what you are buying!

Anyway, after much thought I decided to let his guy do the test. he seemed to know what he was doing.

Today he came, he explained again how he does the test. I watched him drill the holes and take the readings. he said normal levels should be below 12-14%, anything above that indicated problems. Half of the houses fail the test, but 70% of those that fail can be fixed fairly easy.

he went ahead and everything went smooth on the first level. All readings were 7-11%.

Second level started well, but when he got to the right side window (see blue square), he found 22% humidity, and even more important, the probe went in like in butter. he said the wood is rotted in that area.

Then the last test he did was the main window above the door. There he found one spot with 27%. but the probe did not go in like the other window.

then he went to the basement to look for moisture around the front side, he saw some older water leaks that were now dry, probably older condensation. No evidence of mold, moisture, ongoing leaks.

Here is the image with the 2 blue spots. The one on the right: 22%, rotted wood. The one in the middle: 27%.

What would you do? I need to think this weekend before I get back to attorney on Monday. I see 3 options.

1) Cancel the sale.

2) Ask the seller to fix it. They will probably use the lowest bid and who knows how the quality of the repair is. I may have doubts about the quality of repair, or I may not like how the house looks after repair.

3) Ask for a credit. The problem is that I may get a price reduction, and when I do the repair myself, I would find a much bigger problem on my hands.

I think I would prefer option 1, even though that means we missed the house buying season this year and we will probably wait another year. By that time we should have more cash, but also interest rates might go up.

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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: June 15, 2018 07:50PM
1) Cancel the sale.

I owned a stucco house for 11 years, one of the best days of my life was the day I got rid of it. Stucco is a PITA, never again for me.



Once we place nonhuman animals outside our sphere of moral consideration
and treat them as things we use to satisfy our own desires,
the outcome is predictable.
- Peter Singer
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 15, 2018 07:53PM
did you sell the house, or you replaced the stucco?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2018 07:59PM by space-time.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: DavidS
Date: June 15, 2018 07:54PM
We had this issue with our first house. It was not a deal-killer. If you really like the house, there were only these two areas of concern, and the rest of the inspection was fine, then I would not walk away.

Ask the seller to do the repair by a reputable, insured/bonded company you both agree upon. Ask the inspector who he recommends. Also, get the seller to pay for the first year of an ongoing stucco warranty. It's best if the repair company also provides this, since they are backing up their own work. This typically covers an inspection and ongoing protection/coverage for future damage found and is similar to a termite warranty. We had this and renewed it ourselves annually. It was not that big a deal and providing that info helped when we turned around to sell the house.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 15, 2018 07:58PM
DavidS, when they repaired the stucco, how did the new stucco match the old stucco? did you see the color difference, texture, etc?
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: June 15, 2018 08:01PM
Quote
space-time
How did you get rid of it? what did you replace it with?

Erm, I sold it. It’s in an exclusive neighborhood so it wasn’t difficult to unload.

And I replaced it with a spiffy new apartment in an even better location.



Once we place nonhuman animals outside our sphere of moral consideration
and treat them as things we use to satisfy our own desires,
the outcome is predictable.
- Peter Singer
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: DavidS
Date: June 15, 2018 08:05PM
Quote
space-time
DavidS, when they repaired the stucco, how did the new stucco match the old stucco? did you see the color difference, texture, etc?

I don't totally recall, but I don't think they replaced the actual stucco. The problem was some damp wood underneath. They cut out the stucco, replaced the wood underneath, then put the stucco back in and sealed it up.

Once was when we initially bought the house and another was about 3 years later when we had a rotted window sill that caused an increase in moisture. The warranty covered that problem (including the rotted
windowsill).
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: jdc
Date: June 15, 2018 08:16PM
Seems pretty minor to cancel the entire sale over something thats fixable.

Put up some nice window boxes under the windows. Would help with the look of the house anyway. its blah at best.



Or maybe a nice awning.



[designyourawning.com]

If its not your dream home, or just a "meh" home, then sure.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: June 15, 2018 08:26PM
The past is prelude. The existing stucco problems are just a preview of other problems you can expect down the road. Caveat emptor.



Once we place nonhuman animals outside our sphere of moral consideration
and treat them as things we use to satisfy our own desires,
the outcome is predictable.
- Peter Singer
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: June 15, 2018 08:37PM
What is most telling to me is that you are immediately thinking of walking away, and waiting until next year. It doesn't sound like you are that excited by the house. Is it a house you want, or a house you settled on?

Answer that question and you have the answer to your other question.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 15, 2018 08:46PM
Ombligo,

it's a long story. We saw the house maybe 6 weeks ago. When we called back 2 weeks later, we learned they had accepted an offer already.

A week or so later we learned the buyers got cold feet and backed out. They were new immigrants, and probably got scared about house prices in US. They also they heard about potential issues with stucco.

Then we put an offer. But the sellers had a better offer, and a backup "much higher" offer.

3 more weeks later we learned the offer never made it out of attorney review and they had to upgrade something in basement to bring it up to code. Not sure what happened to the backup offer. We were told that if we increased the offer by 10k it would be accepted.

Wife LOVES the house.
I think the house meets our needs. I like the house, I am not IN LOVE with the house.

So this is where we are.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: June 15, 2018 08:54PM
Quote
space-time
Ombligo,

it's a long story. We saw the house maybe 6 weeks ago. When we called back 2 weeks later, we learned they had accepted an offer already.

A week or so later we learned the buyers got cold feet and backed out. They were new immigrants, and probably got scared about house prices in US. They also they heard about potential issues with stucco.

Then we put an offer. But the sellers had a better offer, and a backup "much higher" offer.

3 more weeks later we learned the offer never made it out of attorney review and they had to upgrade something in basement to bring it up to code. Not sure what happened to the backup offer. We were told that if we increased the offer by 10k it would be accepted.

Wife LOVES the house.
I think the house meets our needs. I like the house, I am not IN LOVE with the house.

So this is where we are.

To summarize, the seller has been feeding you a load of BS about other offers. You wanna buy a house from a proven BS artist?



Once we place nonhuman animals outside our sphere of moral consideration
and treat them as things we use to satisfy our own desires,
the outcome is predictable.
- Peter Singer
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: DavidS
Date: June 15, 2018 09:02PM
Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Quote
space-time
Ombligo,

it's a long story. We saw the house maybe 6 weeks ago. When we called back 2 weeks later, we learned they had accepted an offer already.

A week or so later we learned the buyers got cold feet and backed out. They were new immigrants, and probably got scared about house prices in US. They also they heard about potential issues with stucco.

Then we put an offer. But the sellers had a better offer, and a backup "much higher" offer.

3 more weeks later we learned the offer never made it out of attorney review and they had to upgrade something in basement to bring it up to code. Not sure what happened to the backup offer. We were told that if we increased the offer by 10k it would be accepted.

Wife LOVES the house.
I think the house meets our needs. I like the house, I am not IN LOVE with the house.

So this is where we are.

To summarize, the seller has been feeding you a load of BS about other offers. You wanna buy a house from a proven BS artist?

The seller is obligated to disclose what the other potential buyers found out in their inspection. I'd start there and would probably not upgrade your offer. They've already had a few contracts fall through, so they should realize they are not going to do any better.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 15, 2018 09:13PM
as far as I know:

buyer 1 got cold feet in about a week, not sure if the got that far as attorney review or inspection

buyer 2 never made it through attorney review, so they never had an inspection (in NJ, inspection happen only after attorney review)
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: Michael
Date: June 15, 2018 10:24PM
I wouldn't buy a stucco house even if it passed inspection. There's just too much potential for significant and hidden water damage.

Consider that he said that 50% of the houses fail the test (and I did see that 70% of those can be repaired fairly easily). And the test is looking at the common places that stucco fails. What number of stucco houses have damage in less-common places that aren't tested? I don't know the answer to that but I just wouldn't want to own something that is subject to that level of damage. It would be the same as buying a house that had substantial water drainage aimed at it from a hillside. I think it's asking for trouble.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 15, 2018 10:31PM
......moist......



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: btfc
Date: June 15, 2018 11:55PM
Older stucco installations almost always have issues due to condensation and poor drainage. Newer methods are much better if installed properly. The moisture the inspector found seems to indicate poor window installation, a real red flag. The 10% also sounds dubious. I'd probably walk.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: Carm
Date: June 16, 2018 12:19AM
Interesting take on stucco on other parts of the country. Here in So Cal we have little rain and most of the houses are stucco. The issue here is wood drying out from excess heat (not dry rot) and termites from people planting to close to their house causing moist soil around the poured concrete slab providing moisture for subterranean termites to build mud tubes to the house frame.

My house has a moisture barrier paper over the frame construction and 1/2 foam over that with wire lathe and stucco. My previous house didn’t have the 1/2 inch foam for insulation.

My 2 cents, if you and your wife like the house, ask the seller to get it fixed or reduce the price for you to get it fixed.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2018 03:47PM by Carm.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: June 16, 2018 04:11AM
Existing stucco issues aside, my big concern would be the lack of proper sills on the window reveal moldings that has been causing the bottom part of the moldings to trap and funnel rainwater as evidenced by the staining at their lower corners, the one second to the left of the big window over the front door in particular but noticeable on others in the posted photo as well.

The gutter drain from a large portion of the main roof not continuing all the way to the ground and instead emptying on to a portion of the first floor roof over the garage looks like a problem waiting to happen as well.



Lie to me if you must, but don't lie to me and insult my intelligence in the same sentence.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: Mr645
Date: June 16, 2018 06:59AM
How is the house built? I am in South Florida where 90% of homes are concrete and block construction, but some, like mine are wood frame. My home has a brick front and vinyl siding but some home owners have used stucco and on a wood framed house the stucco always cracks. The wood frame house will flex a little and stucco does not so it cracks.
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: rgG
Date: June 16, 2018 07:30AM
Is this real concrete stucco or that fake Dryvit stuff?
Real stucco should not have the same issues as the fake lightweight stuff.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: billb
Date: June 16, 2018 07:38AM
Quote
Mr645
How is the house built? I am in South Florida where 90% of homes are concrete and block construction, but some, like mine are wood frame. My home has a brick front and vinyl siding but some home owners have used stucco and on a wood framed house the stucco always cracks. The wood frame house will flex a little and stucco does not so it cracks.


^^^^this.
Stucco might be great in other parts of the country but in the NE where the humidity swings can destroy a piano and stick a wood entrance door in the Summer wood structures just aren't stable enough for it.
AS much as my disdain for vinyl siding, installed correctly it can flex, contract and expand with the weather changes.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
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Re: House Purcahse. Stucco Inspection. Moisture issue. (long?)
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 16, 2018 09:19AM
What billb said, the NE doesn't have the climate for it. Many of the houses built with stucco are meant to evoke Fla or CA climates in an attempt to convince people that's where they are living
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