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Tidelands Condo Owners Seeking Support for Lawsuit against Centex

Contend they were misled by false promises.

By Toby Tobin
Comments (14)   |    Add a Comment

November 30, 2007 – Palm Coast, FL – Two parties who jointly own one of the condominiums in the Centex developed Tidelands are pursuing legal options. After receiving advice from two attorneys, they contacted other Tidelands property owners by letter to gain additional support. They hope to assemble a group to share expected legal costs.

 

Early this week, I was contacted by one of the individuals. He explained that their attorneys are optimistic that their claim has validity. Letters were sent to other Tidelands property owners to gain participation and financial support for their effort. If enough parties join them, they gain strength in numbers as well as spread the attorney’s retainer and future fees among participants. I was provided with a copy of the letter.

 

Tidelands sold out at pre-construction prices before commencement of construction. By the time buildings approached completion, the bottom had started to fall out of the market. Some buyers under contract contacted Centex with the hope of reducing the price of their contract while, at the same time, considering the option of simply walking away from their contracts and deposits. The potential plaintiffs contend that when they met with Centex, a bright picture was painted, including custom manufactured water taxis which would ferry property owners between the several Centex projects and amenities under development. These included the Palm Harbor Resort Marina and refurbished Palm Harbor Golf Course, Bulow Shores and a condominium project at Marineland.

 

Things did not turn out that way. The Tidelands project is on hold with some buildings not built. Only one condo tower is completed at the resort location. The resort condo/hotel wasn’t built and the golf course was closed and allowed to deteriorate. It has since been donated to the City of Palm Coast to be used as a municipal golf course. The Marineland condominiums, Bulow Shores and the custom water taxis never materialized. Bulow Shores was purchased by the Ginn Company. The Centex property at Marineland is for sale. The letter contends that the unfulfilled promises combined with the aggressively low prices Centex’s adopted in order to sell the remaining units damaged owners who purchased at original prices.

 

December 1, 2007 update - A Centex representative has informed me that my statement that Tidelands is "on hold" is incorrect. He writes, "That is not true, we are sold out of built product and are taking reservations on future buildout of the next 38 units."

reader comments
False misrepresenting
Posted by concerned
Nov 09, 2013, 10:36 am
As a former Realtor, real estate consultant and CPA. False misrepresentation does not have to be in writing just verified and witnessed. A Realtor has a code of ethics that is governed by FREC. As being an employee of a company puts that company in liability. If so many people have voiced discrepancies in what they were presented with that is a breach of contract with the developer. Also the sales people are trained by the developer and if one person was not representing the truth it is the developers liability. That is why most Realtor are 1099 due to liability.
Looking into potential issues with Centex
Posted by David Jones
Feb 18, 2009, 9:36 am
I am the President of an HOA just turned over by Centex homes in Virginia.

We are finding things that made us ask questions about our community and I would like to hear more about issues you're experiencing.

I would prefer to email as I am very busy and often have to address communications late at night or very early morning.

Thanks
Appriasal FRAUD???
Posted by n.
Jan 17, 2008, 4:18 pm
I find it interesting that Centex was able to get the properties to appraise to sell them in the first place. There is no question these properties were hugely inflated in value and hyped to inexperienced real estate investors. They never were worth what the original contracts were sold for. Funny now Centex can build & sell the same homes for 1/2 the price and make a profit.

Centex has hurt many people by this ivestment scheme. It might as well have been swamp land they were selling, since there really never was full true value to these properties.

I wonder when the one of the last full price units closed & when Centex sold their first agressively discounted unit. Would it not be funny if a 3 bedroom closed for $600K one day and the same size unit closed a week b4 for $450K. How would the seller keep this from the appraiser?? I do not know if this happened because I have not done a full deed search but I find it interesting how quickly the values fell!!

have any units foreclosed and gone back to the bank??
It's to bad
Posted by Brian Dickson
Dec 08, 2007, 3:59 pm
Without getting into micro analyzing who is buying these homes. There seems to be two basic and distinct groups, those who were in it for the profit and those who were buying homes for relocation or retirement.

The profit takers, many of whom have successfully invested it growing real-estate markets around this nation for many years, would be in my estimation the gamblers you are alluding to. I have no empathy for this group. In part "Investors" share their part of the blame for rampant speculative overbuilding of this, "the fastest growing community (of empty homes) in the nation. Yes I agree these are the gamblers.

My heart goes out to the other folks many of who have worked hard all their lives to achieve their dream of retiring to a quality project where all their dreams would be realized. Yes they are living in the homes and their loss is only on paper and many will enjoy their retirement no matter what.

Back to this discussion, the developer has failed to deliver infrastructure, and whether folks are investors or homesteaders their legitimate beef is not the loss of value but the failure of the developer to deliver their promises.

Merry Christmas to all,
Brian.
It's to bad that these two distinct groups (and boy they couldn't more different) are sadly lumped into one judgment.
Good Luck
Posted by Sky Bennett
Dec 06, 2007, 2:51 pm
Although I emphathize with anyone who feels they were deceived, you've got to read your contract. After working in corporate america and the Centex corporation for a few years I came to understand one thing, it's not on the developer. Buyers need to rely squarely on the contract and its disclosures. Views, future plans, etc. are not guaranteed and everyone who bought one of those units signed a contract and closed, with a witness present, in agreement with those disclosures. It clearly stated that proposed plans may not come to fruition and they aren't liable if they don't. Although it's not what anyone hoped for, it's a reality and it was disclosed to everyone that it was a possibility.
broken promises.
Posted by Mike Jabroney IV
Dec 04, 2007, 4:08 pm
I agree with the people wanting to file suite against Centex....

one rep even told me in 2006 that there would be dolphins, sting ray\'s, and manatees manning a radar system underwater to control the flow of water taxi traffic between resorts?!!

This is absolute proof that
its not the worst real estate market in 20 years fault.

it\'s definiltey the developer\'s evil master plan at work.

lets sue everyone. who\'s with me?

Mike.
Fair trade off...
Posted by Mike
Dec 01, 2007, 7:34 pm
One thing that Tideland owners do have going for them is that they now access to the ammenities at Hammock Beach, which far surpass the promises made by Centex. Do they have water taxis? No. Do they have access to the premire resort community on the east coast? With a pool complex and two championship golf course with tournaments? Yes. Sounds like a fair trade to me. Quit crying.
Support for the lawsuit against Centex
Posted by Kathy
Dec 01, 2007, 7:34 pm
My husband and I also bought at a pre-construction rate. Centex's salespeople promised that future releases would be much higher and that this was an excellent investment opportunity. We fortunately did not close when the unit was completed and we requested our deposit back due to all the promises that were not realized. After having discussions with Centex regarding all the broken promises to increase the value of our investment, Centex refused to return our deposit. We have information today that our $400,000 unit is now being sold for under $200,000. We would like who ever is organizing this lawsuit to please contact us. We are extremely motivated and willing to fight and do what ever it takes. Kathy
Satisfied Tidelands Resident
Posted by Ron Echols
Dec 01, 2007, 7:34 pm
The owner of this condo should contact Centex and inquire as to what they is doing to make a very bad situation (the market) much better. The amenities in our community are almost complete and it appears that Centex will continue to build out the community, that seemed to be uncertain for a while. We don\\\\\\\'t have a water taxi, or Plam Harbor golf course, but I do have a membership to the Hammock Beach Club that I paid absolutely nothing for. They even picked up my dues for a while, at leat one full year. When I bought my condo they certainally didn\\\\\\\'t offer that to me.

Has my property value decreased? Unfortunately the answer to that question is absolutely!!!

Why blame or sue Centex though? Was this their master plan? I doubt it.

I agree with the gambler. I was in Vegas a few months back playing blackjack. This one hand I had 2 10\\\\\\\'s and the dealer had a six showing. Things looked great! 5 cards later the dealer has 21 and I cringed as she, while smiling, swiped my stack of chips from me. I thought about sueing the casino but didn\\\\\\\'t figure I would get very far.

Relax and enjoy the community, this palce is beautiful.
2000-2005
Posted by Robert Bithlow III
Dec 01, 2007, 7:34 pm
As a direct correlation to see who is right here, Brian can you tell me how many owners and or investors doubled thier income in any one of these 5 years before the downturn..... at cinnamon beach, hammock beach villas or any other CDP or Ginn related community in Palm Coast?

I bet I could put a large list together of significant names of owners who bought at the right time.

Looks like their gamble payed off then.
Why hasn\'t it paid off for the owners who purchased in 2005?
Verbal Promise
Posted by Rob Bithlow.
Dec 01, 2007, 7:34 pm
As a tidelands owner I actually read my contract before I signed it.

Page 18 of 19.
If purchaser is relying on any oral statements not included in this contract, purchaser must provide such statements below. For any oral statements, purchaser should identify the person or persons making such statements and the approximate dates on which such statements were made.

If purchaser is satisfied with all statements, purchaser shall initial to confirm purchasers unqualified affirmation that purchaser is NOT relying on any statements of fact or opinion that are not embodied in the written tex of this contract and its addenda.

Sorry brian but even in the real estate world, all verbal statements are superceeded by a written contract signed by two parties.

Im sure if the buyers in 2005 new that the worst real estate market to hit in 20 years was only a year away, they would not have purchased.

thus making thier particular purchase very similar to a "gamble".

Rob Bithlow.
yes, we were all misled
Posted by Joe
Dec 01, 2007, 7:34 pm
We were all sold a bill of promises at the huge Centex party to launch Palm Coast Resort in March of 06. Yes, the water taxi, the hotel, the golf...the infrastructure that was coming, was not presented as speculation, but as fact. After the sales launch of PCR, we were told it was "90 percent sold out" the first day. And now in the past few months, Centex sold their remaining Tidelands units for less that the original buyers paid. The huge intracoastal pool that was supposed to be similar to the one at Cinnamon beach, is nearly a year behind schedule and looks nothing like the rendering that was on the sign that sat on the property for 6 months.
Not the same
Posted by Brian Dickson
Dec 01, 2007, 7:39 am
Ken,
I totally disagree, these people enter into legal contracts with the developer. Promises were made, and inter structure was promised and whether in writing or verbal are a condition of sale. People enter into purchase agreements in good faith that those said facilities would be completed, how you can compare this to gambling I have no idea.

Whether in writing or by handshake a commitment was made and is binding.

Remember this is not about loss of value but failure to honor promise.

It\\\'s far to easy for these development companies to declare bankruptcy in one division while the company principals continue to prosper in other divisions....and yes since it worked so well in Tidelands, they are probably misleading buyers there also......but that\\\'s OK with you right....buying an upscale home is a gamble.....get real.
The Gambler
Posted by Ken
Dec 01, 2007, 12:41 am
Who would sue the dealer when the cards don\'t fall your way?
This is similar. You bet. . you lost. Move on to the next table and try your luck again in the markets. Maybe you should have bought stocks? Oil wells? Is the developer to blame that the market went South? No. You must take responsibility for investing in the dream. Time - Share week for you may have been a better investment. Or maybe a CD. Sometimes when you gamble on the high side of the market. . you may actually loose. Snap out of it! Get over it ! Move on.
Ken

 
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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.