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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year - 2009! Get out your new calendars, remember to write 2009 for all dates AND be sure to make some new year's resolutions! Enjoy your black-eyed peas, hog jowls, hoppin' john and ham and collard greens on New Year's Day.

I've compiled Mel Coker's TOP 10 NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS based on my extensive research (not necessarily my personal resolutions):
  1. Lose weight
  2. Get in better physical shape
  3. Spend more quality time with family and friends
  4. Reduce or eliminate debt
  5. Set a budget and/or reduce expenses
  6. Quit smoking
  7. Learn something new / develop a new talent or skill
  8. Drink less alcohol / quit drinking
  9. Find a better job (or, in these times, find a job)
  10. Get better organized

Tips for making (and completing) effective New Year's Resolutions: set only 1-3 realistic goals; write down your goals; take baby steps (break goals into tasks with deadlines); go public (tell others about your goals); track your progress; reward yourself; if you slip up, recommit!

Great links:

Tips for Making New Year's Resolutions: * * For Kids & Teenagers

Please keep reading my blog in 2009... I'll have interesting blogs on Columbia real estate, Columbia stuff, cool vacations, prize give-aways and much more.

Click here for a FREE subscription to immediate blog updates thru my FeedBurner.

Mel Coker

Saturday, December 27, 2008

How to Buy Your First Columbia Home

Ready to Buy Your First Home in Columbia, South Carolina? Your first step should be to contact Mel Coker.

Mel is a life-long Columbia area resident and really enjoys working with first time homebuyers and relocation clients. NOW is a great time to buy a home with moderating prices, excellent inventory of homes and mortgage interest rates at record low levels. Mortgage rates have recently been below 5% for a 30-year fixed rate!

In addition to lower mortgage interest rates (and lower house payments), federal tax legislation has been enacted that allows for up to a $7500 tax credit for first time homebuyers. This credit expires June 30, 2009.

If you are paying rent now (in other words, buying an investment property for your landlord), you should make a New Year's resolution to buy your OWN home prior to June 30, 2009. Financially successful people BUY their homes (rather than pay rent).

Contact Mel Coker when you are ready to buy your home in Columbia, SC.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Coker family

Merry Christmas from the Coker family in Columbia, South Carolina! We have had a very nice holiday season and the past 4 days have been spent in Myrtle Beach with our daughter Kelly's basketball tournament in North Myrtle Beach.

I personally feel blessed to have been raised by a family that allowed me to know the real meaning of Christmas - the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

The other celebrations of the Christmas season are also special... time with family and friends, church celebrations, Christmas trees, Santa Claus and gift giving.

Speaking of Christmas season gift giving, I have chosen a special Columbia area charity for my personal special Christmas giving gift this year. I have sent a $100 donation to the Oliver Gospel Mission in Columbia.

Oliver Gospel Mission seeks to rescue broken men from those things that hold them in bondage and to rebuild them so that they can live fulfilled (Christ-centered), functioning (responsible), and fruitful (influential) lives. This vision is a reality through our two distinct ministries – the first being our ministry to the Community Homeless of Columbia, South Carolina and the second being our Christian Life Development addiction recovery program.

I encourage you to read about the Oliver Gospel Mission and make a Christmas season gift donation or to pick another worthwhile charity to make a donation in this Christmas season. I especially like the Oliver Gospel Mission's purpose in transforming broken men's lives through the gospel message of Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fort Jackson / Fort Jackson PCS

I've created a new Fort Jackson PCS (relocation) website and my first Issuu ebook guide. Check out the Fort Jackson webpage at:
Fort Jackson PCS/Relocation

My Fort Jackson eGuide was created using . It's new technology that I find very interesting. Try it for your own personal or business use. It's free!

Mel Coker

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lake Murray living

Want to live at Lake Murray and enjoy this beautiful lake without having to pay the high prices for waterfront homes? I've got a great solution... Check out my TWO new home listings with Lake Murray access for sale in Night Harbor subdivision near Chapin, South Carolina. The big benefit to each of these home is that you will get a personal boat slip in the community marina. The initial fee has been paid for by the builder.

These two homes are built by Tim Broome of Lexington Development & Builders. I've sold 3 of his all brick homes in this same community. Now he has two more for sale that are close to completion. They can be finished quickly for your quick closing and move-in. NOW is an especially great time to buy a home with really LOW mortgage rates (around 5%).
First some background on current pricing at Lake Murray (as of December 15, 2008)...

For a waterfront home ON Lake Murray (avg. size 3574 s.f.), the average price is $784,276 (median price $649,000). For a waterfront lot (min. 75 feet water frontage and less than 5 acres), the average price is $326,308 (median price $250,000). The average price of a Lake Murray access home (2861 s.f.) is $355,632 (median price $354,950). Keep in mind that these comparatives prices are for homes currently for sale of all age ranges and from all around Lake Murray including Richland, Lexington, Newberry and Saluda counties.

My two NEW homes for sale in Night Harbor include these benefits and features: Night Harbor is convenient located near Chapin and Irmo with great restaurants and shopping. Also, the Chapin schools are excellent and are in the highly rated Lexington Richland School District 5.

NEW, app. 2800 s.f.
4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths
screened porch
all brick construction
Boat Slip included
Price $351,850

The Night Harbor community has a clubhouse, boat ramp and tennis courts. It's a really friendly neighborhood!

NEW, app. 2857 s.f.
4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths
screened porch
all brick construction
Boat Slip included
Price $356,450

These homes are built right and priced right! When you're ready to live at and enjoy Lake Murray, call Mel Coker, your Lake Murray Realtor (that lives on Lake Murray!).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hilton Head Condo rental / Mel's Vacation Store

Many of you know that Barbara and I own a condo rental at Hilton Head Island. We're ready to take reservations on our one bedroom condo rental for 2009 at Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort. As an Internet/Blog special, we will offer you a 5% discount for any 2009 reservation IF you mention "Blog Special" when you contact us to make the reservation. This special discount is available only for OUR condo rental at Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort and expires on January 31, 2009.
I have also created a NEW Online Vacation Store. It's filled with the best offers from the best names in the travel industry - Marriott, Carnival Cruises, Best Western, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Barcelo Resorts, Sandals Resorts, BlueBay Resorts, Hotwire, Priceline and CheapOair. Recently, we used Hotwire to book a short-notice vacation in the Charleston Historic District. I booked two rooms for one night at an unbelievably LOW rate. The booking experience was excellent.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kelly Coker - Chapin High School Basketball

Chapin High School Girl's Basketball is underway! I'm proud of my daughter, Kelly Coker, and her teammates this year with the Chapin High School girl's basketball team. They are off to a 6-1 record in play in a really tough region with a big upcoming game against defending state champion Lower Richland. Last year, the Chapin girl's team were region champs! This Friday night, Chapin plays against Mid-Carolina on the road.

With my help, Kelly has created her own blog. CLICK HERE to view Kelly's blog. For the game this past Tuesday night against Brookland-Cayce, THE STATE newspaper covered the game and has posted a really nice article and video on their website. Kelly, #22 in the white jersey, is shown in 3 Chapin plays... she is caught on video with a behind the back pass to Layla Neal that results in a layup; a 3 point shot directly in front of the camera; and , a driving layup that results in a basket in spite of a foul on the play.

You're invited to come out and watch exciting Chapin girl's and boy's high school basketball. A link to game results and the schedule is posted on Kelly's blog.

Columbia MLS Search - Update

NEW website from Mel Coker! As an update to my previous blog, I've created a new website focusing on providing MLS search capability to my clients and prospects through my Internet presence.

CLICK HERE to view the new website -

NOW is a great time to buy a home! First-time homebuyer tax credit, LOW mortgage rates, great selection of home inventory. Call Mel Coker (803) 749-5800

LATE BREAKING NEWS (11:15 a.m.)... Now really is the time to buy a home! Just heard from Nathan Ballentine that rates TODAY are at 5% or lower! While rates DO change daily, that is the rate today. Rates should stay very low for the short term at least. Call Nathan Ballentine to get mortgage and rates information at: (803) 343-3234 or 206-4199. Then, call Mel Coker to start looking at homes!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

NEW Columbia MLS Search Feature from Mel Coker

Ready to buy a home in Columbia, SC?
NOW is a great time to buy a home! There is lots of inventory, prices are reasonable and mortgage interest rates are near record lows. This past week, 30-year fixed rates were under 5.5%. For first-time home buyers, you can take advantage of the new Federal Tax Law Benefit for first-time homebuyers. Click here for more first-time homebuyer information.

Click here for mortgage professionals recommended by Mel Coker.

Want to do a little searching on the Internet yourself? I've got a brand new MLS search feature. My MLS search page allows you to search by selected home features and/or price or by address or by zip code or by MLS. Other "advanced" search features (click on Advanced Search) allow for searches by more search criteria, school area and much more.

Click Here to Search the Columbia MLS.

When you're ready to buy a home in the Columbia area, please contact Mel Coker. I look forward to assisting you.

Click here for Mel Coker's Homebuyer Guide.

Mel Coker
(803) 749-5800

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas in Columbia

Two BIG Christmas Season Traditions in Columbia, SC!

Lights Before Christmas - at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, the gates have opened on the 21st annual Lights Before Christmas. Trees decorated with nearly one million twinkling lights and more than 350 handcrafted images set the scene for what has become a holiday tradition for many Midlands families.

Lights-goers will have the opportunity to sip hot cocoa and roast up a toasty marshmallow treat at the Jingle Bell Bonfire. Santa will be at the zoo each night and photos are free when you use your personal camera. This spectacular event is on-going each night (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) through December 30th from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Admission is: $8 for adults (13 and up); $6 for children 3-12; free for 2 and under. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is located at I-126 and Greystone Boulevard. Parking is available on the zoo side only.

Bypass long lines at the entrance: Buy tickets online

Holiday Lights on the River - Saluda Shoals Park has the largest drive-through lights show in the Columbia area. Holiday Lights on the River features more than a million sparkling lights and over 300 animated light displays on a two-mile loop of Saluda Shoals Park. Admission is $10 per car or $20 for a 15 passenger van. This holiday event is from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. each night through December 31st.

Saluda Shoals Park is located at 5605 Bush River Road in the St. Andrews (Irmo) area. For more informaiton: Call (803) 772-1228 or visit Holiday Lights on the River website.