One of the them appeared to be undergoing some remodeling...um, what?
Let's get a close up of that corner there where the wall and roof meet, shall we?
Jesus, Mary, and Mario Botta help us: that's brick veneer. It's what we call "lick-and-stick", when a 3/4" or so thick slice of brick is stuck to a grouted surface, the way you might do ceramic tile on a bathroom wall. The surface now has the look of real, 3"+ thick brick in your wall, but it isn't. It's a cheap imitation. Now, to be fair, the lick-and-stick veneer is budget-friendly and also puts less weight (and therefore structural strain) on a building's exterior, and it's not a bad idea if you're doing a brick-looking wall indoors, but don't need the weight and structural heft of a brick, but I still find thin brick veneer to be craptastic.
John Ruskin-ish of me or not, it's dishonest in the most ethical sense. People have a sense of what brick costs, in that it probably costs more than stucco (and it does), and when they see brick, they have an expectation of how nice, how expensive, and how high-quality the building is upon which they gaze. Thin brick is the egg tempera mask that an aging Queen Elizabeth I wore in her dotage in an attempt to look young and vibrant. Thin brick is two pairs of Spanx on your blind date, a borrowed Canali suit on a pizza delivery guy out in a nightclub posing as a playa. It's a dishonest and inaccurate expression on the cost and craftsmanship of a building. Someone spent the bare minimum to build it and charged the maximum they could for this cheaptastic building, and they walked off with mad cash.
And the architect, by the way, got none of that mad cash. The architect was paid for work done, maybe even revamped to be cheaper ("We can't afford brick, so let's use stucco...no, EIFS! That's perfect! Come on, stop crying, it'll look fine."). The architect downed some cheap scotch, finished the drawings, stamped them, and then walked away. The contractor slapped it together (and also might have been cheated out of the chance to build something really cool, by the way, because contractors do like a challenge now and again), and the developer made a handy profit, selling a thin-brick veneer to unwary yuppies who think they live in a castle when it's really a 2x4 box. (The developer also probably spent most of the money on finishes inside the building, which means that the owners look at polished granite counters and stainless steel appliances while the rest of the world has to look at a barely-mediocre exterior, which is a disservice to culture and humanity, but that's a rant for a different post.)
So, yes, thin-brick veneer on a building--any building--irritates me because it's dishonest to so many people: the architect, the homeowners, and the public.