We were introduced to Dream Finders through our realtor. After being sold on the idea of building a new home in Fernandina Beach, with the seller paying all of the closing costs and prepaids if we used their preffered lender, we picked out the lot and paid a deposit of $6,600. That amount is extremely high considering other developments require a deposit of 2% of the base price. The base price of the model we chose was $219,000 and by my calculations the deposit amount should have been $4380. This is the first time I have ever entered into a contract to build or even buy a house, so I relied on what the sales Lady (Melanie Simpson) was telling me was truthful. Boy was I wrong. | I was not allowed to preview any of the “options” Dream Finders offered at the design center prior to signing the contract nor was I given a limit on the price of home I could build in their development. They keep everything hidden, especially the design part, only allowing 2 hours to pick out cabinets, fixtures, and flooring. I was directed to their preferred lender to prequalify for the mortgage. All documents were submitted and was pre-qualified for $272,000.00 before we went to the design center. Keep in mind 30 days had past since entering into the agreement and this was just a pre-qual, not an underwritten loan with their preferred lender. | The lender called me just before my appointment at the design center to tell me that he had a problem with getting an approval from underwriting. He suggested that I apply for FHA financing, as it would be easier to qualify and my down payment would only be 3.5%. On May 27th the lender sent a new pre-qualification/FHA. I explained to him that I was concerned because the price for the home with the structural changes was already at $272,000 and I had not been to design. | At the end of May, we travelled to Jacksonville for our scheduled appointment at he design center. Every option there has a price tag. I asked the question several times “What is my limit in this development”? and “Am I over improving”? I had intentions of adding a swimming pool to the new house with a conservative quote of $40,000. Eveyone from the design team and the Lender and the sales team only said, “It’s going to be beautiful”. | The following week I got an email from Melanie Simpson at the sales center in Heron Isles. She informed me that The price of the home was now $340,000. She also said that they would need an additional $59,000 before construction and that she didnt believe that the house would appraise for that amount in this development. I then found out that Dream Finders has listings for the exact same floor plan, directly across the street from mine, for $259,000. After I put in the pool my house would be nearly $400,000 or $140,00 more than anything in the development. She then told me I could scale back the home or pay the $59,000 non refundable deposit. | I immediatley contacted my agent and the lender and explained that they required an additional $59,000 and that the home would not appraise at the amount it cost to build. The lender told me that at this price point I would not be approved for FHA financing. The entire sales agreement is contingent upon being approved for financing. | When I told Dream Finders that we would not be able to build on their site due to denial of financing, they have refused to refund my deposit. Stating that I could agree to build somewhere else and they would hold my deposit for 6 months until I found a lot and then I would have to pay another non-refundable deposit. | When I requested that my deposit be refunded, they told me that I was in default and that I was required to have a fully underwritten loan approval within 45 days. May 15th, 2016 would have been 45 days. My appointment at their design center was scheduled by Dream Finders on May 25th. 10 days past this deadline before we even had any idea what the final price of the home or the loan amount had been determined. | These are unscrupulous sales tactics. They should have disclosed the price limitations in their development, they kept all the costs of the options to build their “Dream” house a secret until I found out I could only build one of their spec homes. After informing them of the financing disqualification they refused to refund my deposit and said that is between me and my lender, who by the way is their preferred lender. | What a nightmare. If you are considering building with these people, I suggest you hire a real estate attorney before you sign anything.