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

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

Memorial Day...

a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our country.

Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave. Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Memorial Day was originally observed on May 30th of each year (starting after the Civil War). In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday of May.

Thank you to the families of our brave military members that have given their lives in the service of the United States of America.

In honor of Memorial Day, I have today sent an online contribution to Operation Mend.

View the Operation Mend website - Please consider a financial contribution!

Memorial Day in 2009 is May 25th.

More information:

PBS Memorial Day Concert
U.S. Memorial Day History
White House Commission on Remembrance

Mel Coker

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lightning - Time to Pay Attention

Safety Reminder from Mel Coker...
It's Time for Spring & Summer Lightning Storms

While working at my home office this afternoon and watching some lightning over Lake Murray and then seeing a Lightning Special on The Weather Channel, a BOLT struck me for a blog! Lightning is one of the top causes of weather related deaths each year in the USA.

Lightning IS the underrated storm-related weather hazard! Lightning strikes the ground approximately 25 million times each year in the United States. I'm amazed sometimes when I see lightning or hear thunder at the level of boating activity continuing on the lake. I know last year there was one boater killed by lightning on Lake Murray.

Photo Used with permission by Douglas Berry / NOAA website

Lightning Casualties In The U.S. By Location Or Activity - Top 4:
1.) Open areas (including sports fields); 2.) Under trees; 3.) Water related activities (swimming, boating, fishing); 4.) Golfing

Most Dangerous: Month: July; Time of Day: 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.; Day of week: Sundays (more people outdoors); Sex: Male (higher rates of outdoor exposure)

Top 5 Most Dangerous States (NOAA Storm Data 1995-2004)
Absolute (based on deaths): Florida, Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Georgia. South Carolina is #9.

Per Capita (based on deaths): Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Florida. South Carolina is #12.

Of the victims who were killed by lightning in 2007:
  • 98% were outside
  • 89% were male
  • 30% were males between the ages of 20-25
  • 25% were standing under a tree
  • 25% occurred on or near the water

Florida is the lightning capital of the United States. South Carolina is high on the list... BE CAREFUL when lightning is around! Remember, When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Safe(r) Places: home, permanent building, automobile

Unsafe places: near metal or water, under trees; on hills, near electrical/electronics equipment

NEW: Mel's South Carolina Lightning Awareness & Safety eBook

COOL Lightning Links:
National Weather Service - Lightning Safety & Awareness
Lightning Safety for You and Your Family
Personal Lightning Safety
StrikeStar - U.S. Lightning Activity Last 60 minutes
Michael Bath's Lightning Photography website
Lightning Strike Densities by State (SC is #5)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Retirement Move?

Consider friendly Columbia, South Carolina for your retirement!
The Greater Columbia area is a great place to live for retirement. You will find friendly people, a reasonable cost of living, reasonable property taxes and favorable state tax structure and tax breaks, nice weather and an abundance of things to do.

More information:
FIVE Things to Consider for Where to Live
Columbia, SC "A to Z"
Columbia Blog
Lake Murray
Lake Murray Blog

Contact Mel Coker when you're ready to move to Columbia, SC:
Telephone: (803) 749-5800
Internet: Mel Coker's Columbia Real Estate website

Monday, May 11, 2009

Community Spotlight - Hampton Forest

Community Spotlight - Hampton Forest in Columbia, SC!

Discover what In-town living really means at Hampton Forest, an Inspired Communities new homes neighborhood. I visited this community recently and was really impressed! The community features bungalow style 2 and 3 bedroom townhomes priced from the $120s.

Deluxe standard home features are numerous and include: upgraded molding and cabinetry, Energy Star appliances, smooth ceilings, architectural shingles, covered front porches, backyard privacy fence, and much more. Additionally, the community features Green Building with NAHB Green Building Certification.

The community features include: sidewalks and lush tree lined streets, commuity pool with outdoor fireplace and cabana, and a 16 seat surround sound wide-screen theater room.

Residents living in this new home community enjoy convenient access to: USC School of Medicine, VA Hospital, University of South Carolina campus, downtown Columbia, Five Points, and Interstates 77 and 26.

The community is located near Interstate 77 and Garners Ferry Road (U.S. Highway 378). Go East on Garners Ferry Road and turn right on Greenlawn Road. Hampton Forest is just 1/4 mile on the right. If you visit, be sure to tell Frances Limehouse that Realtor Mel Coker sent you out.

NOW is the time to buy your new Columbia home. Interest rates are near historical lows and you may be eligible for the $8000 first-time home buyer tax credit. Call Mel Coker, your Columbia Realtor, to see any home at Hampton Forest. With Mel Coker as your buyer's representative, I will offer a $300 Lowes shopping gift card at closing for any home bought in this wonderful community.

Call Mel Coker for more information, or to schedule a showing appointment: (803) 318-2007 or email:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lake Murray eBook by Mel Coker

Mel Coker's Lake Murray eBook

Please check out my new Lake Murray Guide in e-Book format. You will find interesting Lake Murray information along with some great pictures. CLICK on the eBook below to open in full screen mode and then "turn" the pages to read.
"Issuu Lake Murray e-Book" link:
PDF format:

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Blog
Search Columbia Real Estate

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Walk Across the Dam!

Lake Murray Pedestrian Walkway

The Columbia area’s newest walking pathway is directly across the top of the Dreher Shoals Dam along S.C. Highway 6 at Lake Murray. It's a popular place for walking and jogging. The distance is 1.7 miles each way for a total walk of 3.4 miles. The walkway offers spectacular views of Lake Murray and even the downtown Columbia skyline 11 miles away. This pathway was completed after the construction of the new backup dam at Dreher Shoals Dam on Lake Murray (in 2005) and with the widening of S.C. Highway 6 across the top of the dam (in 2007).

I've walked the pathway twice in the past week. It's a great walk. Try it soon!

CLICK HERE to visit my Walk Across The Dam webpage with more information and pictures

Walk Across the Dam at Lake Murray website