If not, Californians RE Pros, any good recommendations for Ck? We're talking $30K here!
I have dealt with several situations as yours. In most cases, the builder does not want your money, they really just want to unload their inventory. The were counting on the sale of your home so as to meet their "Numbers!" If you know someone who you can put in place to possibly purchase the home, I have seen the builders refund the money. For instance, I once was buying an investment property from a builder and and I had put down 20K which went hard, I was in the middle of a 1031 and there were some complications, I did not close on time and they basically took my earnest money. Luckily this was a great deal and I was able to find someone to purchase the builders home, cash within 10 days, I used this person as leverage to get my 20K back. I would look at how much money went possibly towards custom options and how much was just a plain earnest deposit, many times when you put in custom options, it may be more difficult to sell the property thus making it more difficult to get your money back. In some cases I have had clients purchase another home from the same builder at another location and or another time frame, in some of those cases, the builder has given my clients a credit for the earnest money towards their purchase. Do consult with an attorney, however trying to negotiate on your own may be the first step.
Century 21 Infinity
The contract was only to purchase a piece of land as an investment and no construction was to take place; I was only buying a piece of empty land that I may have sold in years to come. I felt that putting money into land would yield much more money than just sitting it in the bank.
Carlotta M Brown
Carlotta M Brown
The first step is to be very vocal. Check the Better Business Bureau, State Contractors License Board, Chamber of Commerce. See if there is anything negative in their records. You might also check with the appropriate building department to make sure that all the appropriate permits are current and accurate. Then send a strongly worded letter (or have your attorney do so) referencing all these sites as where you will be registering your complaint.
That's an awful lot of money to forfeit. It's hard to say without knowing the specifics of the contract you signed, nor the specifics of your situation. In most cases builder contracts heavily heavily favor and protect the builder (which I always advise clients to read with a fine-tooth comb and to have an attorney review before signing), but depending upon what happened, it may or may not be possible to get your deposit back.
Sorry, it does sound like you need legal advice.
Best of luck to you!