I have also noticed a lot of problems occurring with the absence of certain flashing.
The weep screed at the bottom of the wall can be an issue if it does not hang below the wooden substrate at least an inch. If flush with the wood, it will absorb any water from rain, sprinklers, etc. and allow the wood behind to act as a sponge would, soaking up as much water as it can.
Also, "L shaped" flashing that usually ties the wall into the roof is missing or installed incorrectly. A lot of water runs down the roof and if it penetrate the wall from the roof somewhere, then all that water will work its way down the wall, making a huge problem that will cost a homeowner a ton of money in damages.
Be sure to address larger cracks in the stucco. If you can fit a quarter in the crack, then it needs to be addressed. Filling the crack with and acrylic first, then caulking and painting it will alleviate the problem. There are a couple of different methods that will solve this problem, but that is the easiest for homeowners to do themselves.
Hope this info helps out. --Ryan - Twenty-plus years of stucco experience