Sales tactics gone wild | Aug. 16
Attacks based purely on politics
Dan DeWitt wrote an inflammatory column about me and my companies and accused me of questionable sales tactics. One must note that this article was written by a columnist, not a reporter, which means it was his opinion and not a news story. It seems to me it's only purpose was to smear me, a Republican chairperson.
The column stated that I should have disclosed to the buyer that the lot was on a lime rock road. My company had nothing to do with the sale of the lot. The buyer used her own independent real estate agent to locate and contract for the purchase of the lot. (Check MLS No. 2074988). My company had nothing to do with that lot nor did we refer the buyer to the real estate agent. We never owned the lot, so we could have never sold her the lot. Our responsibility was to make sure the lot was buildable.
We never made claims of guaranteed profit. Our contract specifically states that we do not make "any warranty, expressed or implied to the re-sale value or marketability of the home." In the seminars, we also stressed the importance of real estate investors doing research and due diligence.
The column also claimed that the appraisal was inflated. The appraisal was done by an independently licensed appraiser and was underwritten per Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines and was accepted and approved by an independent bank underwriter in Birmingham, Ala. We never supplied the appraiser with any comparable sales. We have never influenced or attempted to influence the outcome of any appraisal. The building company and the mortgage company are separate entities and are kept separate as part of our quality control procedures.
In Royal Highlands, multiple builders, banks, mortgage companies, real estate companies, title companies and appraisers were all involved in transactions involving real estate investors. I believe the only possible reason to single me out is purely for political reasons, nothing more, and nothing less.
My business reputation speaks for itself. Hartland Homes and its affiliated companies have clean records with both the state and federal regulatory bodies. Furthermore, our policy is to do business ethically and to deliver a superior product at an affordable price.
What is more believable? That I would risk the integrity of my businesses, my standing in the community and my reputation to be a part of a vast real estate conspiracy traveling the country selling homes with artificially inflated appraisals or that the real estate investor quoted did not pay attention in the seminar, did not read the contract and did not do her due diligence and now has buyers' remorse?
I think the public may be getting tired of Dan DeWitt's unsubstantiated attacks on business people and Republicans in this county. Next, he will probably accuse me of global warming and the extinction of the Dodo bird.
Chief executive officer
Political smears will end careers
There was no reason to bring the state representative into this article since he had nothing to do with this and the real estate company referred to in the column was not even in existence at this time! Additionally, Art and I at the time were also with a different real estate company.
If any Realtor or appraiser goes back to that time period, they will see properties built by Hartland Homes listed much higher than ours did. We do not have a crystal ball and to try to give an answer in hindsight is rather poor advice. Art and I base our listed prices on what has recently sold, no one had any idea the market would continue to decline to the degree it actually did and has.
This is nothing more than a political smear piece and I just cannot wait until this edition of the Times goes by way of Citrus Times. No longer there!
Ana Trinque, Brooksville
Support for Pasco students was right
Throughout my 37 years in Hernando County, I have only written four letters to the editor. I write when it is absolutely necessary or urgent. I now feel it is necessary to respond to the Nature Coast situation because it has developed into a very controversial issue.
I have not wavered on the stance I took involving the Nature Coast students because of what I consider to be right but not the politically popular thing to do. I have to do what I think is right, although there are times I could be wrong. My choices thus far as a school board member have been those I can live with after my term has expired.
I voted to allow the out-of-county students the option of attending Nature Coast Technical High because of documents I witnessed that suggested the Pasco parents did not try to deceive or falsify applications. If there were applications with deceptive information, I did not witness them.
There are many persons who live in Pasco County with a Spring Hill mailing address. The distinction between the two counties is the ZIP code. Pasco lists a ZIP code of 34610 and Brooksville lists a zip code of 34601. I have witnessed documents that listed Pasco as the county in which the student lived, but with a Spring Hill mailing address and a ZIP code of 34610.
The residents of Hernando County should wait to get all of the fact about the case. This school board did not make legal decisions without the advice of legal counsel. I urge those who are interested to search the public records and get all of the information. After facts are made public, I would ask each of you, "What would you have done?"
If anyone remembers my campaign promises, I only promised two things: Not to lie to anyone and if I make a mistake, I am willing to correct it. These two promises will stand even if I do not hold a political office.
James C. Yant, Hernando County School board member