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

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

South Carolina's Military Bases

The Miltary has a very strong & beneficial presence in South Carolina...

The State of South Carolina has a long and significant military tradition from the Revolutinary War to the present war on terror. Our state also has a signifcant presence of military bases which provides a strong economic impact for the state and local communities. Many military retirees also choose to live in South Carolina for retirement. In fact, per capita, South Carolina has more military retirees living in our state than any other state in the United States!

In South Carolina, we have the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and a Joint National Guard Base. Did you know?
  • A total of $7.3 billion in sales accrues annually to South Carolina businesses because of the military’s overall presence in the state
  • Across South Carolina, a total of nearly 142,000 jobs are directly or indirectly supported by the presence of the military (or, approximately 8% of total employment in SC)

I have created a "Military Bases in South Carolina" web page at my Columbia "A to Z" website. CLICK HERE to visit this webpage and to learn about each military base/depot in South Carolina.

Also on this web page are summaries and links for several excellent miliatry museums in South Carolina including: Patriot's Point in Charleston, Medal of Honor Museum at Patriot's Point and the South Carolina Relic Room and Military Museum in Columbia. I highly recommend all of these fine museums!

Mel Coker's "Military Bases in South Carolina" website

Ready to BUY or SELL a home in the Columbia area? Contact Mel Coker at RE/MAX Metro. Call (803) 749-5800 and ask for Mel Coker.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

School Bells Ring!

Columbia, SC schools start this week...
Schools have started in the Greater Columbia area this week. Please be sure to drive carefully in the vicinity of schools and school buses. Slow down and observe lower speed limits near schools (the cops are watching) and remember to NOT pass a stopped school bus.

I have a "School Districts Links" page at my Columbia "A to Z" website with Columbia area school district links and much more. Click Here to visit.

On this web page you will find the following informational links:
  • Columbia area public school districts
  • Columbia area private schools
  • S.C. Department of Education links
  • "Cool" Homework assistance/Other educational links
  • Links to "529 Plan" info, including the S.C. Future Scholar
    College Savings Plan, and South Carolian LIFE and HOPE scholarship programs


If you're a parent of a child (especially very young child), you SHOULD investigate UPROMISE. Very simply, this FREE program turns your everyday spending into college savings for your child or children. Hundreds of companies (Amazon, Sears, Best Buy, Exxon, CVS, Publix, Piggly Wiggly and many more) will contribute to your FREE account when you make a purchase (some only with online purchases). Earn by registering your credit cards and grocery cards in your free online account or by shopping online. You can also get others registered in your account (like grandparents or others without their own children using Upromise) to help accumulate money for your child's college account. NOW is a great time to sign-up as UPROMISE has a $100,000 College Dream Sweepstakes effective through September 30, 2008. Visit my schools web page and click on UPROMISE to get started.

Ready to BUY or SELL a home in Columbia, SC?
Call (803) 749-5800 or email Mel Coker
Visit Mel Coker's Columbia Real Estate website

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Community Spotlight - Wellesley

Your next home... Wellesley in Lexington , SC

I recently visited Wellesley in the Lexington area. This is a NEW home community with homes currently being built by Shumaker Homes. Homes (spec or build your home) are currently in the price range of about $170,000 to $225,000. Plans are for 1 and 2 story homes with 3-4 bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms.

The homes...
Quaility built by Shumaker Homes, a quality Columbia builder since 1965. Various architectural styles and floorplans are available. Standard features are extensive and there are a wide array of optional features available for upgrade. What's really different here?? ALL homes are certifed green homes! GREEN standard features include: high efficiency HVAC systems, framing efficiencies, EnergyStar appliances, low-e windows, 3rd party performance inspections and much more. Each home is enrolled in the "Environments for Living Certified Green" program.
Click here for examples of current inventory - available for quick move-in

The community... a really convenient location near the intersection of U.S. Highway 378 and I-20. Located just minutes from I-26, U.S. Highway 1, and downtown Columbia or Lexington. Your children will attend Lexington School District One schools. This district is in the top 3 school districts in all of South Carolina. Designed with the family in mind, Wellesley will feature a large multi-purpose swimming pool, a summer kitchen, an Adventure PlayLand and an activity field.
Click for Community website

Mel Coker, your Columbia Realtor, knows Wellesley and about any and all specials available (such as all allowable closing costs paid by builder if using approved lender and closing attorney). Call Mel Coker NOW for a free and no-obligation tour of Wellesley . You'll be impressed! If you decide to BUY a home in Wellesley with Mel Coker as your buyer's representative (free representation), I will provide a $250 Lowe's shopping certificate at closing. Call Mel Coker at (803) 318-2007, or if you stop by Wellesley , please be sure to tell Jimmy Maddaloni or the on-site agent that Realtor Mel Coker sent you out.
Mel's Columbia, SC real estate website
Call (803) 318-2007

Monday, August 11, 2008

10 Tips to Sell Your Home in a Buyer's Market

Selling in a buyer's market, with an oversupply of homes and/or falling home values, does not occur often, but certainly presents challenges. My top ten tips listed here should help you and most tips are applicable in any home selling environment.
  1. Prepare Yourself for Market Conditions
  2. Make a Good First Impression
  3. Prepare Your Home for Showing
  4. Hire an inspector
  5. Make repairs
  6. Special touches inside the home
  7. Select the Best Selling Agent
  8. Set a Competitive Price
  9. Offer a Home Warranty
  10. Be Flexible and patient
Click Here for my Home Selling Tips webpage with all of the tips above more fully explained. I also have a link (with my membership in the Lowe's Realtors Benefits group) to allow you to receive a 10% off coupon at Lowe's.

Ready to discuss selling your home? Call Mel Coker at (803) 749-5800. I will be happy to discuss my marketing plan and very competitive commission structure. Mel Coker is the exclusive CyberStars Realtor for Columbia, South Carolina real estate.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lake Murray... Fishing and Living

Lake Murray is happening! I have lived on Lake Murray the past 5 years. It's a great place to live, fish and have fun.
The BIGGEST fishing event in the WORLD is on Lake Murray from August 14-17, 2008... the Forrest Wood Cup Championship. You can participate by attending one of the following: daily weigh-ins, family fun zone, concerts and an outdoor show.
“The Forrest Wood Cup is the crown jewel of professional fishing and the biggest sporting event of any kind held in South Carolina this year,” said FLW Outdoors President and CEO Charlie Evans.
The top 77 professionals and 77 co-anglers in the world will compete for a $1 million top award in the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol. This is bass fishing's world championship!
The “Best Damn Sports Show Period” will tape a show Aug. 16 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Colonial Center, and country music fans will be treated to a free Tracy Byrd concert hosted by WCOS-97.5 FM at the Colonial Center Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. Admission to all activities is free, and participants in the Ranger boat drawing must be present during the Aug. 17 weigh-in at 5 p.m. to win. Forrest Wood Cup contenders will launch at 7 each morning from Lake Murray Marina and Yacht Club located at 1600 Marina Rd., in Irmo, S.C. Additionally, Fox Sports Net will film the fishing event for broadcast in late September.

Want to live at Lake Murray? I've got two homes in a very nice Lake Murray community, Night Harbor, for sale. Both homes have a boat slip that comes with the home. These homes have been drastically reduced in price (as of August 6th) for a quick sale. Both homes are all brick and quality built by a long time Columbia builder. These hoomes feature other amenities such as hardwood floors, granite counters in kitchen, quality kitchen appliances and a screened porch.
Click for more information:
221 Daymark Drive -- reduced $17,000 to $351,850
309 Lighthouse Lane -- reduced $20,000 to $356,450

Ready to view or buy? When you're ready to buy or sell at Lake Murray, call Mel Coker at (803) 749-5800. I'll also be very happy to provide a Lake Murray tour by pontoon boat!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ready to Blog Again!

I got busy and a little lazy since my last blog on April 30th. Now, I'm back and ready to blog. New blogs coming soon will include:
  • An update on my "schools" webpage with some really cool links
  • A new webpage discussing the significant military presence in South Carolina
  • An update on real estate activity in the Columbia area
  • A brand new and really significant new tax law break for first time homebuyers
  • A return of my "Featured Home Community"
Real estate activity was very good for me in May and June and this resulted in 8 closings in July (my best single month since July 2006).

Ready to buy or sell in Columbia, South Carolina? Call Mel Coker at (803) 749-5800. Visit my website at .

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