What is included in the scope of the inspection?
The state law governing home inspectors is outlined in Nevada Administrative Code 645D.NAC 645D.450 Conduct of inspection, partial inspection or reinspection; preparation of inspection report. (NRS 645D.120)
1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a certified inspector shall conduct each inspection and prepare a complete inspection report of each inspection in accordance with NAC 645D.460 to 645D.580, inclusive.
2. A certified inspector may exceed the requirements set forth in NAC 645D.460 to 645D.580, inclusive, when conducting an inspection.
These are the MINIMUM STANDARDS allowed by law. Our firm has developed an “Advanced Scope Inspection ™” where our scope exceeds the requirement delineated by law. We could provide you with a long list of items that you would spend a lot of time reviewing to ensure everthing that is import to you is covered or we could just tell you that if it is an accessible fixture associated with the home- we review it. No legal mumbo jumbo. No limiting disclaimers.
If we can get to it, we review it.
There are two caveats to our scope.
• NAC 645D.060 “Readily accessible” defined. (NRS 645D.120) “Readily accessible” means that the item being inspected is accessible without the certified inspector having to:
1. Move furniture or stored items;
2. Damage paint finishes;
3. Fit into an area or opening less than 18 inches by 24 inches; or
4. Use a ladder that extends to more than 12 feet tall to reach the item.
(All of our inspectors carry 18’ ladders)
• This is a real property inspection, real property being defined as fixtures physically attached to or permanently appended to the property. Personal property items or items that can be removed are not reviewed. This includes window coverings, clothes washers and dryers, and refrigerators (except built-in refrigerators).
What is your relationship with my Real Estate Agent?
Many prospective homebuyers are concerned about issues of objectivity and impartiality when their real estate agent refers them to a specific home inspection firm. Rightly so. This is Las Vegas and anyone who doesn’t believe that collusion between some agents and the inspectors they recommend doesn’t exist is deluded.
The truly professional real estate agents are called Realtors® and they have a code of ethics they adhere to and abide by. The home inspection industry is unique where we have both customers and clients. The home buyer is our client but the Realtors® are our customers. We are unwavering in our commitment to protect our clients. If an agent were to even suggest that we alter or minimize the findings in our report we would blacklist that agent and never perform another inspection on behalf of any client the agent referred to our organization.
Most agents have experience with home inspections conducted and the agents who are truly interested in protecting their client’s interests are the agents who emphatically refer their clients to our company. It is an old custom for an agent to refer no less than three inspectors when queried by their clients. Experienced agents have seen what the other inspection companies do and refer us because they are genuinely concerned about protecting their clients and they know that no other inspection company provides the depth and service that our company provides.
Our favorite adage is; “We don’t write the music, we just play in the band”. We don’t create the issues, we just identify them. But because we have a greater depth of inspection, we often cause the agents more work in addressing the issues than they would experience with a standard home inspection. We work with the agents providing them guidance and direction to address or resolve the issues. We believe that by offering the agents (our customers) with outstanding customer service and support it greatly benefits our mutual clients. We reduce the agents’ liability and protect the client from unexpected surprises.
Spectrum Inspection Group has been in business for more than 13 years and we have a reputation for high ethical standards and fiercely protecting our clients’ interests. You can rest assured that if we even perceive that an agent is not working in the best interests of our mutual clients we will refuse to associate with that agent- regardless of the impact it has on our firm.
How do you inspect the roof?
Nevada state law does not require an inspector to physically traverse a concrete tile roof. State law only requires the inspector describe the method of roof review in the report. Nevada State law defines a roof as “readily accessible” only if it can be reached with a 12 foot ladder. Many inspectors refuse to traverse a concrete tile roof even if it is readily accessible because they fear damaging the roof. They will often review the roof from the eaves or from the ground using binoculars. These types of reviews have reports that are generally worded in such a manner as to relieve the inspector from liability for existing roofing issues. To the prospective homebuyer the information provide is essentially useless.
Spectrum Inspection Group inspectors physically traverse all accessible concrete tile roofing. Our definition of “readily accessible” has been modified and includes anything we can reach with a 18 foot ladder. All of our inspectors carry 18 foot ladders. On two story homes where the upper level can be reached by safely erecting on an outside deck or lower roof surface our inspector will fully traverse the upper level as well.
Please be advised that we regard the review of the roof as a very important and essential component of the inspection. There are homes in the Las Vegas Valley whose design prevents us from physically traversing the roofing. When this situation arises we do not review the roof from the eaves or from the ground. (It is against company policy to even carry binoculars). In this situation we will advise the client in the report that the inspector’s access was impaired and will recommend the roof be further reviewed by a licensed and qualified Roofing Contractor.
Conversely, if we review the roof and no adverse conditions are observed the inspector will still provide photographs of the roofing in the report as a benchmark of the roofing condition at the time of the inspection.
Should I accompany the inspector during the inspection?
Some home buyers and real estate agents believe it is important for the client to accompany the inspector during the course of the inspection. We have a different take on the subject.
Our inspectors have a daunting task before them when they inspect a property. They are keenly cognizant that the client has hired them to provide a thorough and detailed review of the home. The client has entrusted the inspector with protecting their interests. We are aware of our responsibility to our clients.
All of our inspectors have a uniform and specific routine they follow to ensure nothing is missed. But more importantly the inspector is not just noting individual issues; he is also trying to determine if any issues are interrelated and possibly indicators of a larger more significant issue. To provide this advanced level of inspection requires the inspector to focus and remain cognizant of many, many issues at one time. Any interruption to the inspectors thought process during the course of the inspection could result in an omission.
We recommend clients and agents meet the inspector at the commencement of the inspection to outline any specific concerns they want the inspector to know of prior to the inspection. Generally, these would be issues observed during a showing of the home or issues contained in the SRPD.
Then, if the client or agent feels it necessary, they can return at the conclusion of the inspection where the inspector can review his findings and review the photographs taken during the course of the inspection. Allowing the inspector to be uninterrupted during the course of the inspection will inevitably result in a more thorough inspection and reduces the chance of an omission. At the conclusion of the inspection the inspector will be delighted to answer any questions and, if desired, provide an orientation of the home.
How do I retrieve my report?
Once your inspector has completed your report, it will be uploaded to our Report Retrieval System. The report access is password protected and access is initially only granted to the client (the homebuyer) and the agent representing the client. It is customary for the client to provide access to the Listing Agent in the transaction but this access will only be provided if permission is provided to our office. (Our Scheduling Coordinator will ask if access to the Listing Agent is desired when scheduling the appointment.)
It is important to understand we do not email our reports. Our reports are available online anywhere where you can gain internet access. Our reports contain too many megabytes of photographs to email and most email servers reject the files.
Once your inspector has published the report our system will automatically send the Buyer and the Buyer’s Agent an email notification that the report is available for review and download. The email notification will provide the recipient with the Login Name and Entry Code needed to access the report. Some people have spam blockers and firewall features that may prevent this notification from going through. If you did not receive an email notification from us within 24 hours of your inspections please call our office to obtain your Login Name and Entry Code.
It is important to remember that we only maintain the reports on our server for 180 days (6 months). After 6 months the reports are archived and kept in archives for three years. You should download a copy of the report to your primary computer to retain your personal copy.
We will retain a copy of your report on our server for up to 6 months.
Do you do new home inspections and how are they different?
New home inspections are quite different from our Residential Resale inspections. Our Residential Resale inspections are focused on condition and functionality. In a new home inspection we not only review the property for condition and functionality but we also review the home for conformance to the minimum standards for workmanship and craftsmanship that are required to be provided by any Nevada State licensed contractor. These standards are “performance standards” and Spectrum Inspection Group provides the very best Performance Standards Review (PSR) inspection in the valley.
The standards any state licensed contractor is required to observe are promulgated by industry standards where we utilize the RS Means Residential and Light Construction Performance Manual for reference. We also utilize the Nevada State Contractors Board Residential Constructions Performance Guideline manual as a reference for assessing conformity to the applicable minimum standards.
Many consumers mistakenly believe that because the home is new and has been reviewed by a municipal inspector nothing of any significance could be awry with the home. This is generally a costly assumption. “Skilled labor” is a very loosely used term in Las Vegas Valley construction and, with many home builders, supervisory oversight is often lacking. Many times our inspections will reveal the installed attic insulation to be less than the minimum required R-30 value. Many times air conditioner refrigerant levels are found to be low. Just these two issues alone can equate to thousands of dollars in higher energy costs for the homeowner in just one year. (We have inspected many new homes where the attic area was found to be devoid of insulation)
Finding damaged roof trusses is also a very common issue in Las Vegas Valley homes. Improperly installed carpet seams, warped cabinet doors, improperly spaced grout lines, improper painting, visible wall and ceiling joints, reversed or missing Low-E windows are but a few of the issues typically found in the course of our PSR inspections. An average PSR inspection will reveal between 60 and 120 builder responsibility issues.
A PSR inspection costs a few cents more per foot but the level of the review that is provided is nearly twice the depth as a Residential Resale inspection. If you desire this type of inspection you must call our office for a price quote and scheduling. Generally we prefer to perform the inspection when it is in the condition the builder intends to convey the property to the Buyer. Some people know this inspection as a “Fit and Finish” inspection.
Be advised: Some builders do not allow an independent inspector to be on the property as long as the builder owns the property and will not allow us access until title transfer occurs. You should be wary of these builders but also know that you do not lose any rights to have performance standards issues corrected in a timely manner if the builder conveyed a home with substandard workmanship issues or materials existing in the home.
Do you have any testimonials regarding your service?
Spectrum Inspection Group has literally thousands of satisfied customers. Here are a couple of letters we received from customers who’ve given us permission to post their comments. Feel free to enter your own comments on your experience with Spectrum.
My wife and I were shopping for a move from the California central valley. New or used didn’t matter but we preferred not to have to deal with a new home again. But we found a new one that met most of our criteria. It is a semi-custom, in a cul-de-sac. It was nice but not perfect. We thought it prudent to have an independent inspection company check for flaws at our expense. They did a fair job of finding a few things, gave us a binder for our records, we paid them $300 and went forward with the purchase. We must have been sleeping when we signed on the dotted line because our dream became a nightmare that lasted nearly two years! Calling it a nightmare is an understatement. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel due to the unequaled help of Spectrum Inspection Group. One of my coworkers knew of our mounting problems and told me, “You gotta see how thorough Spectrum Inspection Group is! Calling Spectrum has turned into a story for the grandchildren. See if this list is what you would expect from a service company and at a price that gives VALUE a whole new meaning:
Nearly a year later we were still at odds with the builder and took our case to the Nevada State Contractors Board. The Spectrum staff has been at our side each step of the way in support. They even showed up at the contractors board hearing! Spectrum gave us most of the ammo we needed to get the repairs and changes done and because of Spectrum it was done at little or no cost to us. They never charged us a dime more than the fee they charged for the original inspection. In our wildest dreams we could never have expected such a high level of service. Thanks for the great job and you have our continued support- Forever Gratefully Yours, Carl and Andrea Falchetta =========================================================
- They returned our initial call promptly.
- They made a prompt appointment that fit our schedule.
- The inspector assigned to us called, asked relative pre-appointment questions and prepared us for what he would do.
- The inspector called again thirty minutes before the appointment to say he was on his way.
- The inspector was on-time, friendly, clean cut, and professional.
- The inspector explained the process to our understanding.
- The inspector inspected nearly every inch of the house taking pictures and notes.
- Among other things (like hot water going to the toilets) the inspector found a gas leak at the kitchen stove and got Southwest Gas out to the property within 15 minutes where they corrected the leak.
- Six hours later (on a 2258 square foot home) the inspector concluded his inspection and apologized that he would not have the report finished until the following evening.
- The inspector was punctual for the meeting the following evening.
- The report had all the pictures of everything found with data prepared, printed, and it was presented with support documentation in an easy to understand way.
- The report was explained, in a comprehensive manner, they made sure we understood what we were looking at.
- The inspector told us that Spectrum would support us through the entire repair process in any capacity they could; Forever.
- The meeting concluded in the same friendly manner he arrived.
- The inspector called back a couple of days later to see if we had any questions.
I owe you an apology. Although I refer my clients to your company all the time I had a client who was buying a bank owned property that was in deplorable condition and had a lot of questionable structural additions. Don’t ask me why but I thought this one might be over your head so we contracted a Professional Engineer to come out and do the inspection. Don’t get me wrong, his inspection was okay, but it was nothing better than what you normally do and it cost more than twice as much as you would have charged for the same home. Plus it took five days to get the report. I will never leave again.
Why get an inspection on a bank owned property that is being sold “AS-IS”?
Believe it or not this is not really a question that is often asked. But it should be. You may be getting a great deal on the property but truly, how do you know unless you know what is wrong with the property? A $150,000 three thousand square foot home may seem like a great deal until you learn that it has $75,000 worth of repairs that need to be accomplished.
You should also be aware that many times the lender who is providing the new buyer with a loan will want to ensure the home that is being used as collateral against the loan is habitable. This is especially true on loans that are government backed such as VA and FHA. No bank wants to lend anyone money on a home that is uninhabitable and often the new lender will require documentation of the property condition before the new loan will fund. In California the lender is required to receive a Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS). This document is similar to the Sellers Real Property Disclosure Statement (SRPD) that Nevada uses. In Nevada an SRPD is not required to be filled out by the seller is the seller has not personally occupied the property and has no knowledge of the property condition. California lenders will often accept a home inspection in lieu of a TDS. Our office often receives frantic calls from agents asking for an “emergency inspection” because everyone was at escrow ready to sign but the new lender placed a condition on the loan that a property condition report be provided.
You should also be aware that in many instances we have been successful in identifying issues that are deemed to be “habitability” issues that the new lender requires to be corrected before the new loan will be provided. We know of several instances where air conditioners were replaced by the seller / bank in order to satisfy this requirement even though no repair allowance was provided to the new buyer and the contract was “AS-IS”.
There are few consumers in the market place today who would buy a bank owned property with cash (or otherwise) and not get an after-market home warranty to protect them from unexpected equipment failures. Purchasing a home warranty is essential and the smart thing to do. We recommend anyone purchasing a resale home to get a home warranty.
But understand that although home warranty companies are very eager to accept your money and provide you with a home warranty policy they are often very “resistant” to pay out for repairs. This is especially true when they believe the issue you wish to have repaired existed prior to the policy being activated. Many times the issue may not have existed prior to the buyer taking title to the home but the home warranty company will deny the repair because they assert it is a pre-existing issue. If you have nothing to demonstrate the prior condition of the property then you have very little recourse in the matter. In this situation you can generally count on paying for the repair yourself. The law in Nevada is “Caveat Emptor” or “Buyer protect thyself”.
It needs to be said that there are some real estate agents who will tell their buyers not to worry about a particular issue found during the course of the inspection because the home warranty company will take care of it after they close on the home. This advice is not only unethical but illegal and is one of the reasons that the cost of home warranties have climbed over the years. It is also one of the reasons that home warranty companies are resistant to correcting legitimate issues. A home warranty is a very beneficial service available to consumers but they should be used, not abused.
Can you recommend a good contractor to make repairs?
No. Spectrum Inspection Group does not provide references to any specific contractors to address issues disclosed in our reports.
One of the ways that we make your home inspection more valuable is by remaining objective. We do not have any “arrangements” or “understandings” with any contractors. This allows our inspectors to remain focused on the best interests of you, our client. We view the appearance or possible perception of an impropriety to be an impropriety.
If you need a contractor to perform a further review or address issues in conjunction with a report we have published we recommend the following:
- Contact your agent for a reference. Generally many real estate agents have a list of contractors and vendors with whom that have used in the past and who they know to be reliable and cost effective.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau of Southern Nevada. The Better Business Bureau is a “by invitation only” organization. Although they will keep records of non-member companies it is best to find a BBB accredited business.
We always recommend that, no matter where you receive the reference from, you use only licensed and qualified contractors. The licensing status of any company you are considering should always be verified by contacting the Nevada State Contractors Board.
Do you have a specific home warranty company you recommend?
No. We wish we could because we are aware of some significant and substantial differences between the coverage and service the various companies provide. But it would be a potential conflict of interest for us to recommend any specific company. What we do recommend is that you do your research. Ask you agent for brochures from several companies so that you can compare the coverage, costs, deductibles, and service they offer.
It is important for you to understand that our commitment to you does not end when you receive our inspection report. If a home warranty company refuses to repair something that is covered by the policy because they asset a pre-existing issue nullifies your claim, we want to know about it. In addition to the information contained in your inspection report, the inspector has field notes regarding the property condition that can support your claim.
Understand that a home warranty is a type of insurance policy; and if the home warranty company continues to deny a legitimate claim, you do have recourse. The State of Nevada Department of Insurance takes a very dim view of insurance carriers who fail to honor their policies. You can submit a complaint against the insurance carrier by going to the Nevada Department of Insurance web site.
While these are some of the most common questions asked we realize that you may have other questions you need answered. If so please call our office at: