Greater Columbia, Chapin, Irmo, Lexington and Lake Murray.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Top 10 Things To Do in Columbia

I've lived in Columbia all of my life and I enjoy getting around Columbia to see the interesting places in our beautiful city. So, I've developed my own Top TEN Things to Do in Columbia list. If you are new to the Columbia area or if you have lived here for many years, you may want to check out my list. Maybe you'll want to print the list and get out soon to check out my top ten. Have comments on my list or wish to share thoughts and experiences on your visits to the places on my list? Share them with a comment on my blog!

Mel's TOP TEN Things to Do in Columbia, South Carolina:
  1. Visit Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
  2. Visit South Carolina State House
  3. Learn about the Palmetto State at the South Carolina State Museum
  4. Visit Another Interesting Museum - choices here or visit them all, including Museum of Art, EdVenture, and more
  5. Visit Historic Homes - more choices... Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, South Carolina Governor's Mansion and more
  6. Experience Lake Murray
  7. Visit a National Park just outside of Columbia - Congaree National Park
  8. Attend a Sports Event - more choices!
  9. Visit a Local Park - many great choices here including: Three Rivers Greenway, Finaly Park, Riverfront Park, Saluda Shoals Park and many more
  10. Day Trip! we're in the geographic center of the state so it's easy to get off for a day or two to another interesting place
Just recently, my wife and I visited (after joining) the historic homes of Historic Columbia Foundation (#5). We had a wonderful tour. Now is a great time to visit the historic Columbia homes with the Christmas decorations. Our pictures: #1 #2 #3 #4

Get out soon and get to know Columbia better with visits to some or all of the places and attractions on my list above. Please let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chapin Girls Basketball Tournament

The CLAW CLASSIC basketball tournament will be held November 19th-21st at Chapin High School. Some games will be played at Chapin Middle School. There will be eight area girls varsity teams competing.

High schools included in the tournament are:Batesburg-Leesville * Chapin * Hammond * Heathwood Hall * Irmo * Lugoff-Elgin * Newberry * White Knoll
The Chapin Lady Eagles is the host team and Mel Coker, your RE/MAX Realtor, is the tournament Platinum Sponsor. Other sponsors include: Brandi Companies (Pitt Stop & Burger King); Moore Orthopaedic; Wallick Construction Southeast; State Representative Nathan Ballentine; Crosby Livingston, DMD; Custom Pizza; Flight Deck Restaurant; and, Mid State Roofing.

I'm excited to be the Title Sponsor! Please come out and enjoy a few games and support these girls. They have really worked hard in all of their practices! You'll enjoy the games!
Games start on Monday and Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. and on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. For a complete schedule with locations and times, please visit the tournament website:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Community Spotlight - SpringHaven

My community spotlight this time is SpringHaven in the St. Andrews area of Columbia, SC. Springhaven is a gated garden home (patio home) community in a great location near Irmo, Interstates 26 and 20, Lake Murray and downtown Columbia.

New homes feature open floor plans, most with downstairs master bedroom suites, garages, backyard privacy fencing, and a host of available update options. The reasonable monthly HOA fee ($93) covers security monitoring, front yard maintenance, annual power washing and entrance and common area maintenance. These homes are built by Mungo Homes, a Columbia builder since 1954. Mungo Homes holds the Master Builder Certification. Homes are low maintenance vinyl construction with brick fronts available. Homes sites may be chosen to build from a choice of available plans or choose an existing "spec" home.

This community has been very popular with retirees. The community is quiet and peaceful with the entire front area of the community walled. It's convenient to great shopping, Columbiana Centre Mall, dining, hospitals and medical offices.

Closed home sales in this community have ranged in price from $125,095 to $160,000. Current homes for sale range in price from $119,900 to $139,990. The average home price is approximately $139,600. Home sizes range from about 1100 square feet to 1657 square feet (2-3 bedrooms).

For more information or for emailed home listings from this community or to set an appointment to see SpringHaven garden homes, please contact your Columbia Realtor, Mel Coker. Call Mel toll-free at 888-528-2258. Click here to visit Mel's Columbia Real Estate website.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is coming... November 11th. This federal holiday was initially known as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I on November 11, 1917. The holiday officially began in 1926 and in 1954 the holiday name was changed to Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to United States national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty. PLEASE BE SURE TO THANK A VETERAN FOR THEIR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY!

The City of Columbia will observe the annual Veterans Day Parade on November 12th in downtown Columbia (moved to the 12th since the 11th is on a Sunday). This parade is one of the largest Veterans Day parades in the United States.

I've created a webpage with information for the Veterans Day parade and to honor our veterans. Please check the page out as it contains other information such as: Veterans Day links, pictures from our Memorial Park in Columbia, SC and the name of America's most decorated soldier from ANY international/foreign war (HINT: it's not Alvin York or Audie Murphy and he WAS born in South Carolina!).

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Home of Tomorrow

The home of the future, at least looking out to 2015, will be somewhat different than new homes being built today according to research by the National Association of Home Builders. While overall home size has been increasing over the years, from about 1500 square feet in 1973 to 2459 square feet in 2006, the home of 2015 will probably average about 2400 square feet.

A summary of other home changes for new homes: higher ceilings, popular now in new homes, are here to stay; upscale amenities will become more common; formal living rooms will shrink or disapper, while family rooms will get larger; recessed lighting and bold colors will be more common; demand for energy-efficient appliances, HVAC equipment and windows will increase and structured wiring and multi-line phone systems will be standard in most homes.

Outdoor kitchens and second master bedroom suites will become more common in luxury homes.

What will an average new home cost in 2015? I did an analysis of current homes for sale in the Columbia area (as of November 4, 2007): The average home size is 2459 s.f. for 242 new homes for sale in my analysis (all with min. 2 1/2 baths and 2 car garage minimum). The prices ranged from $151,990 to $725,000. The average price is $260,541 with an average price per square foot of $105.95 (this includes the lot). Construction costs can vary greatly depending on construction quality, materials and amenities (and the lot price too). So, going forward, if Columbia new home prices appreciate over the next 8 years at 3.5% per year, the average home of the future will cost about $334,848 (in 2015).

For your home of TODAY, please be sure to contact your Columbia Realtor, Mel Coker. I can show you ANY home, new or resale, for sale in the Greater Columbia area. Call Mel Coker at (803) 318-2007 or visit Mel's website: