Hi Shrinn, loads of good advice so far - I would amplify the suggestion to be sure you understand the payment schedule for new construction. Generally, a builder will have a specific formula, earnest money upfront is customary for new construction and resales and as others have said, it confirms your "earnest" and serious intent. Then with new construction there will usually be infusions of cash along the way as the project progresses, framing, and as choices are made. And there likely is a point that your deposit monies may be at risk, in part or in whole, so be sure you are working with resources - agent and attorney - that can clarify the specific process for the home you are considering/buying/building for you.
Good luck and best,
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