Homebuyers wonder what happened to their dream home

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PHOENIX -- With today's real estate market in the tank, you would think home builders would do anything to get rid of their inventory.

But wait until you find out what happened to one Valley couple.

Buying your first home is always very exciting and Melissa Primero and her husband were excited.

They went to a homebuilder and say they were pre-approved for a certain model and construction began.

But then, well, something happened.

"I'm stressed, I can't sleep, I cry," Primero said.

The couple are an emotional wreck.

"Me and my husband's dream home, it's gone from the most beautiful thing in the world to the most horrible thing in the world," Primero said.

Primero said she and her husband were excited back in June when they found a home they wanted to buy in Maricopa.

"We just found the home that was ours," she said.

The house was in a community developed by D.R. Horton, a big-name homebuilder across the nation.

As part of the purchasing process, Primero said she and her husband used D.R. Horton's lender to get pre-approved.

"A couple days later we got pre-approved, so we went back to the model home and put our $500 earnest money down," she said.

For the couple, getting pre-approved was great news and putting down that $500 earnest deposit put them one step closer to sealing the deal.

The couple signed a purchase contract and with that, they say construction began.

The pair were even allowed to pick out all the upgrades for their soon-to-be home.

"Then the kibosh came down!" Primero said.

That's because Primero says two months after signing for the home, a home that was well on its way to becoming a reality, they got bad news.

"She stated to me that she didn't have any of my paperwork on file, that she never approved us, that she never pre-approved us," Primero said.

Yep, after signing that purchase contract, after handing over $500, after choosing all the upgrades, their home was not going to be their home after all.

And D.R. Horton told Primero they were going to keep that $500 she gave them.

"D.R Horton advised me that it is not refundable," Primero said. "Nobody wants to help me."

3 On Your Side contacted D.R. Horton to find out why the homebuilder ripped the rug out from underneath the couple, but D.R. Horton said it was prevented from talking about a customer's loan process.

However, Primero says after 3 On Your Side got involved she did receive a phone call from D.R. Horton, saying it would return the $500 earnest money to her and her husband.

However, she still doesn't understand why she and her husband were kicked to the curb for no apparent reason.

Primero and her husband have now started their house hunting all over and they have their $500 back in their pocket -- something they credit to 3 On Your Side.