Nick, Home Buyer in Arizona

Can I get the deposit back from the builder (Miami Condo) if I cancel the contract?

Asked by Nick, Arizona Wed Oct 31, 2007

The contract was signed back in 2005 (more than 2.5 years ago) with a builder in Miami (condo complex with around 50 units). I heard that there is a law that I can use to get the refund back. The condo will not be ready until mid-2008. Please let me know what my options and chances are. Thanks.

Help the community by answering this question:


It all depends. Was this a Florida real estate contract or THE builder's contract? I would have a very knowledgeable attorney look at the contract. Realtors should NOT be advising one on how to "break" a contract but simply your obligations therein. If the contract was written for this time frame then I'm sure there are some "benchmarks" which the builder must adhere to. Also, the pricing for the unit might be such where it's cheaper than just to "walk", give up the deposit, than be on the hook for an overpriced condo!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 31, 2007
Nick... You are not alone. Things are getting tough down here for builders as many contract holders are looking to GET OUT NOW!

Click on the link below... to read an article that I find to be the most informative article regarding buyers demanding deposits back. It's a long article but I highly suggest you read it. Let me know what you think.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2007
what happened with your lawsuit Nick?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 22, 2008
Maybe. ILSA may not apply with less than 100 units. But there may be a time-frame completion provision or a materially adverse construction allowing refund. call 305 373-9999.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 22, 2008
This is Nick who posted this question. I filed a law suit against the builder. No response as yet. Shall keep you posted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Read your contract that you signed when you gave your builder the deposit. It should have verbage about this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 24, 2008
Usually not. There are many reasons that you may be eligible to have your deposit returned by the developer. If YOU decide to cancel for a specific reason- one that is valid, verifiable and most importantly, a stipulated contingency in YOUR contract, you may get the refund.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 19, 2007
Nick - There is alot of truth to what is said in the article. At the end of the day, a good attorney will find a loophole or clause in the contract which will allow one to get out. Let's hope this is true in your case.
Remember you are not alone... there are tons of people trying to get out of their contracts here in Miami.

Good luck and keep us posted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 14, 2007
Jose- Thanks for the article. I read it. It sounds VERY negative. Not sure if it is all true. If it is, then it is time to RUN!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 8, 2007
It depends how your contract reads. Do NOT get into a contract with a builder without a real estate attorney. Have him review the contract and advise you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 1, 2007
Michael- This is a builder's contract. Not a FL Real Estate contract. The contract says that I can get my money back if the condo is not delivered within 2 years from the date of agreement.

However, there are some exceptions: Delays caused by unavailability of material at reasonable costs, strikes and other labor problems, governmental orders or other events which would support a defense based upon impossiblity of performance for reason beyond the control of the Seller.

When I asked the builder to return the deposit money, they refused the request.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 31, 2007
Hi Nick:

Builder contracts heavily favor the builder. Honestly, without knowing the specific terms of your contract, it is impossible to answer your question.

You may or may not be out of luck. Your best bet is to consult with a real estate attorney who will review your contract with a fine-tooth comb (not to lecture, but it is something you should have had done prior to signing the contract so that you knew exactly what you were getting yourself into). Once he is familiar with the terms, you will have a much better idea as to where you stand.

Best of luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 31, 2007
Hello Nick,

I would take your original purchase contract and meet with a Real Estate as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to best guide you. Whether or not you are entitled to get the money may be based on the contract.

Good Luck,

Ken Herrera
Century 21 Infinity
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 31, 2007
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