Ouch! Three Times You Can Kiss Your Earnest Money Goodbye

burning-money-7e20e8ce927df410VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____One Hundred Dollar Bills in fire((c) Steven Puetzer)

The earnest money deposit -- the cash you offer to essentially call dibs on a house -- is one of the most important and misunderstood parts of the home-buying process.

Depending on where you live, you can expect to put down anywhere from 1% to even 10% of the home's purchase price as earnest money. (In some highly competitive markets, buyers are making even larger deposi