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

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Columbia, SC - A Great Place to Live

Best Cities for Jobs!
Forbes Magazine recently posted information on their website related to Best Cities for Jobs in 2008. Columbia, South Carolina has ranked very well in this study. The top 100 cities are listed and Columbia ranks at #31 (the highest ranked South Carolina city). Other ranked cities in North Carolina and South Carolina: Raleigh, NC #7; Greenville, SC #37; Charlotte, NC #50; Greensboro, NC #66. Rankings for the TOP 100 cities for job growth are based on the following factors: unemployment rates, job growth, income growth, median household income and cost of living for full-year 2006.
Most Affordable Places to Live!
There is great news for the Irmo area also (my office is located in the Irmo area)! ranks Irmo #12 in their study of Best Places to Live / Where Homes are Most Affordable. The really cool fact is that Irmo is the #1 ranked Southern city! The top 11 positions are dominated by cities in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. Irmo is located just minutes from downtown Columbia and only minutes from beautiful Lake Murray.

Read to move to Columbia? Ready to buy a home in the Greater Columbia area? To buy or sell, talk to Mel (Coker).

More Columbia area information:

Monday, January 21, 2008

State of the Real Estate - Columbia, SC

Mel Coker's Report on Columbia, SC Real Estate for 2007...

Personally, I’d term 2007 a moderately successful year. I closed 43 transactions in 2007 for a sales volume of $8.39 million. I met many new clients last year and 19 came to me through my Internet presence. My 2007 closed transactions covered the following areas: Irmo/Chapin 37%; West Columbia/Lexington 30%; Northeast Columbia/Blythewood 14%; Lake Murray 7%; Downtown Columbia 7%; Other areas 5%. In other words, I cover ALL of the Greater Columbia area.

For ALL Greater Columbia residential sales in 2007, the results were mixed with the nationwide slump finally hitting Columbia especially during the last quarter of 2007. For the year, the number of residential sales was down approximately 4.4% compared to 2006. The median sales price in 2007
($144,000) was up approximately 3.5% compared to 2006. The average sales price in 2007 ($174,139) was up approximately 2.4% compared to 2006. Other market measures showed somewhat negative results. Average “days on market” (DOM) in 2007 was up approximately 9.0% in 2007 and inventory accumulation was up 23.9% in 2007.

For a few popular areas of Columbia:
  • Irmo/Dutch Fork areas: Closings UP 1.6%; Avg. price UP 4.1%; Avg. DOM UP 13.5%; Inventory Accumlation UP 35.1%
  • Lexington areas: Closings UP 7.4%; Avg. price UP 4.7%; Avg. DOM UP 19.4%; Inventory Accumlation UP 10.6%
  • Northeast Columbia areas: Closings DOWN 12.8%; Avg. price up 5.1%; Avg. DOM UP 7.8%; Inventory Accumlation UP 60.5%
Another interesting statistic that I examined was new home sales in 2007. For the year, new home sales were essentially the same as in 2006 (up less than 1.0%). During the first nine months in 2007, new home sales were running 4.2% ahead of 2006. However, during the last 3 months of 2007, new home sales were down 9.3% compared to the same period in 2006. NOW is the time to buy a new home with good inventory and special pricing incentives from a number of builders. Call Mel Coker.

The “average” real estate sales agent (I can’t call them Realtors, because not all sales agents are actually Realtors), sold about 6 homes in 2007. So, the “average” real estate sales agent doesn’t sell too many homes. If an agent is in the top 5% of Columbia area sales agents, this equals at least 37 (app.) closed transactions during 2007.
CLICK HERE to read the full report on a web page.

My cool accomplishments last year included:
1) induction into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame (January 2007), 2) membership in the CyberStars group, and, 3) the start of my Blog (September 2007). I’m looking forward to a great year in real estate for 2008! Please keep reading my blog.

My website Subscribe to my blog (free by email) Read the full report

Mel Coker
Columbia, SC Realtor

Sunday, January 13, 2008

District 5 Schools Named Palmetto Gold and Silver Program Winners!

Congratulations to six schools in Lexington/Richland School District Five for being named Palmetto Gold or Silver schools for 2007-2008! These schools have earned cash awards and recognition for high levels of academic achievement. Only 235 schools in South Carolina received awards. School District 5 of Richland and Lexington Counties consistently ranks among the top school districts in the State of South Carolina.

The winning schools are: Ballentine Elementary, Lake Murray Elementary, Oak Pointe Elementary, CrossRoads Middle, Dutch Fork High and Chapin High. Cash award amounts ranged from $7,483 to $43,555.

The awards program was created by the Education Accountability Act of 1998. Award criteria were developed by the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee (EOC). The EOC's award criteria were based on the absolute and improvement ratings assigned to each school on the 2006 report cards.

Another great news story: Check out Lt. A.J. Bormann, a 1999 graduate of Irmo High School, serving in Iraq.

Ready to buy a home in the School District 5 area? Click here to Contact Mel Coker.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Community Spotlight - Orchard Pointe

Orchard Pointe is a new residential development in a great Lexington location. It's on the Columbia side of Lexington on Mineral Springs Road between U.S. Highway 378 and I-20. The builders in Orchard Pointe are some of Columbia's best homebuilders. Nearby: great Lexington District 1 schools, new Target and Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Lowe's, many nice restaurants, downtown Lexington and downtown Columbia, and Lake Murray.

There will be 18 executive Courtyard homes. These homes will typically be priced from the mid 250's to the low 300's. The minimum square footage is 1800. Only 41 single family homes will be available. These will typically range from the low 300's to $400,000. These custom homes will be at least 2300 square feet (most 2500-3000 square feet).

There are great community amenities in this intimate and tree friendly neighborhood. You will enjoy sidewalks throughout the community, a large swimming pool and cabana with a covered patio area.

I would be pleased to assist you with buying a home in Orchard Pointe (marketed by Ridgeway Marketing Group). When you use Mel Coker as your Realtor for free buyer representation, I will provide a $300 Lowe's shopping certificate at closing. Ready to visit? Call Mel Coker (803) 318-2007 or be sure to mention to the on-site agents (John or Sam) that Mel Coker sent you out through the "Blog".
NOW is the time to buy in Greater Columbia, SC!

7 Tips for Home Trends to Watch

Fads come and go, but, trends may last for years. Check out my 7 tips to make your remodeling projects pay back over time. The tips also apply to buying a new home. When you're ready to sell or buy your new home, call Mel Coker.

7 Home Trends Summary (click here for the full article)

  1. Take a cure from high-end homes - living spaces like mud rooms and home offices are "in"; formal living rooms are not.
  2. Stick with your style. Experts agree that your remodeling projects should reflect
    the style of your home.
  3. Kitchen updates - The kitchen is the heart of the home!
  4. Go green - bamboo floors, Energy Star appliances and lighting products, etc.
  5. Go outside - Outdoor living spaces, outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, etc.
  6. Technology in the home - smart homes, smart thermostats, etc.
  7. Artisan color trends - natural, homespun, restful colors

CLICK > The complete Article: Home Trends To Watch * Free Kitchen Planner * Artisan color trends

Click for Mel's 10% Off Coupon from Lowe's (complete the online form to request your free coupon to be sent by mail)