I put down a 25k earnest deposit in August 2007 for a new house here in Bay Area. The house was schedule to be completed in April 2008. It looks like the housing market in the area is down over 50k since I put down the deposit. Reading the contract, I think I'm screwed. They had me sign a page that waived all contingencies. My real estate agent says I should just go and ask for it back since it's still early from completion. 1. Is there any way I can get my earnest deposit back or is it gone? I noticed they haven't sold any homes in the last 2 months in the previous phase and framing has just begun for my phase. 2. Is it possible to write off this loss against my work income or trading income? Please help with any ideas or suggestions. Thank you.