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American Ingenuity tries to look out after each perspective client to assure they do not get 'blind sided" or shocked about some issue that could stop them from building their dream dome.  Prior to purchasing land, Ai highly recommends:

  1. Call the government agency over the different pieces of land you are considering buying and ask whether you will be taxed by both the city and the county or is it just one taxing authority.  If there is only one taxing authority who is it?  Each piece of land could be governed by a different entity.  You want to know what your property tax rate will be per each sq.ft. of your house, etc.  Obtain an example of their property tax bill to see what is on it.   Comparing property tax rates from one city to another city or one county to another county may save you a lot of money on your annual property tax bills.
  2. Call the building department that will be issuing the building permit and get a list of what is required to obtain a building permit;
    1. Is an Engineer Seal required on the building plans?  Do they require an energy report? If building in Florida, Ai knows you will need Florida engineer sealed building plans and Florida Energy Report (both are purchased through American Ingenuity)….but what else is required?  Even though the Ai dome went through Hurricane Andrew and a tornado at the same time and had no structural damage, some Florida counties (Dade, Broward, Orange, Seminole) require the dome kit to have Florida Product Approval.  This is not economical for American Ingenuity to do.  As a result the Ai dome kit cannot be built in these counties.
    2. If you purchase land in the Ocala, Florida area, several Ai domes have been built the building department knows about the Ai dome.  However if you are considering land in any other area, show the building department our web site and ask them if they see any reason why you could not build the Ai dome kit if you have engineer sealed plans, energy report and all their required paperwork filled out.
    3. Site plan?  Survey?
    4. Impact fees: If building in Florida, because there is no state income tax, government agencies get revenue by assessing impact fees.  They figure new construction, brings more cars on the road, greater need for fire trucks, schools, etc.  so they assess impact fees based on the square footage of the house.  What are the impact fees on that piece of property?  Due to the recession, some cities and counties are waiving some or all of the impact fees, if the fees are waived when will they be going back into effect?   What date do you have to receive your Certificate of Occupancy (CO) before impact fees will be assessed?
      1. If you purchase land with a mobile home that will get moved or older building that will be torn down, are you still assessed impact fees to build your new home or are you exempt?
    5. Any Building permit application fees?  Once you get a permit, how long is the permit good for, can you get extensions on your building permit?
    6. What are the set back requirements?
    7. If building in Florida, what is the wind borne speed for that area? If you are in 110 mph zone then you do not need impact resistant glass in your windows or shutters...if you are in 120 mph or greater wind zone, impact resistant glass and or shutters are required.
    8. Ask if there is a minimum house square footage requirement.  Plus ask if a garage is required.  If so is there a minimum sq.ft. garage requirement?
  3. Find out who knows about the endangered plant and animal listing for that city and county?  Find out if any endangered species are on your perspective properties?
  4. Are there any running streams on the property? If so, what are the setbacks as to how close you can build to the stream?
  5. Find out who has the flood plan maps, and make sure your property is high and dry.  Are there any wet lands on your property?
  6. Does any fill have to be brought before you can put in your foundation, if so what height will the fill need to be? (foundations usually have to be built so many inches above the crown of the nearest street)
  7. What type soil? Clay soil is the most difficult to build on as it absorbs water and expands.  Generally in the foundation area the clay soil may need to be removed and replaced with a mixture of gravel and soil. Your building department will know what you need to do if you have clay soil. If you are building on a basement and you  have clay soil and your building department requires engineer sealed plans, the engineer may require you to hire a Soils Engineer to obtain a Geotechnical Study before the engineer can design and seal your basement wall plans.
  8. Can you get electric to your property or does a neighbor have to sign an easement so you can get electric?
  9. If you do not have city sewer, will your soil perk for the septic tank drain field?
  10. If you do not have city water, what does it cost to drill a well?
  11. If you have to put in a driveway, how long will the driveway be and how much fill and rock has to be brought in to make it drivable?
  12. If you are considering building a smaller dome first and renting out the smaller dome after you add on a larger dome, please assure the land you purchase will allow a rental unit on your property.
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