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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mel Coker Knows the NEW 2009-2010 Tax Credit

FEDERAL TAX CREDIT Has Been Extended & Expanded!
Mel Coker knows the Federal Tax Credit.  I have created a resource page with further information.
CLICK HERE for Mel Coker's Homebuyer's Tax Credit Website

Mel Coker
(803) 223-6214

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Show of the South

Best Christmas Show in the South!

Barbara and I are in Myrtle Beach taking my parents down to stay at Kingston Plantation for their 62nd wedding anniversary.  Last night, we went to the Carolina Opry Christmas Show.  It was outstanding!   We went to the Carolina Opry two years ago to attend the the Good Vibrations show.  That show was fantastic also and we will attend the Good Vibrations show again when we visit Myrtle Beach in May 2010.

Everything at the Carolina Opry Christmas Special was great: music, performers, comedy, lighting and set decorations. Most performers have a long history at the Carolina Opry (now in Myrtle Beach for about 23 years). Want to get in the Christmas spirit? Visit the Carolina Opry for their Christmas show!
Show picture from Carolina Opry website:

Myrtle Beach was is easy drive from the Columbia area.  Buy your tickets online at The Carolina Opry website really soon and make the drive to Myrtle Beach for a fantastic Christmas Show.

Out on the beach...
Kelly, David, Mel, Barbara, Mom, Dad

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ready to Shop?

Ready to Shop?  Columbia stores opened really early today.  But, if you go online to shop, go to Amazon!  I often shop online for great selections, excellent information and consumer ratings and excellent prices.  Many items offer free shipping.

Amazon has been consistently highly rated by Consumer Reports for it's great reputation for service, selection and low prices.

Click Here to Shop at Amazon

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the Coker family in Columbia, South Carolina!

I did some reading this morning on the orgins of Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Thanksgiving Day began as a tradition at the end of the harvest season to express thanks for one's material possessions and spiritual blessings.

The first recorded Thanksgiving ceremony took place on September 8, 1565, when 600 Spanish settlers, under the leadership of explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed at St. Augustine, Florida, and immediately held a Mass of Thanksgiving (with a feast and celebration) for safe delivery to the New World. Of course, the Pilgrims had Thanksgiving observances in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the early 1600s. As President, on October 3, 1789, George Washington made a proclamation and created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government of the United States of America.

The History of Thanksgiving: The History Channel

Mel Coker

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas in Columbia

Upcoming Christmas Events in the Columbia area:
Lights Before Christmas.  On Saturday, November 21, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will open its gates for the 22nd annual Lights Before Christmas, an event that has become a holiday tradition for many Midlands families.  Features: Nearly one million twinkling lights, Countless animated images, Dazzling Music in Motion Lights Spectacular, Larger-than-life holiday cards created by local students, Nightly visits with Santa-through Christmas Eve, Jingle Bell Bonfire.
November 21 - January 3 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. (closed Nov. 26, Dec. 24,25,31) 
Cost: $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 3 – 12
More Information: Riverbanks Lights Before Christmas

Holiday Lights on the River is the largest drive-through lights show in the Columbia area.  Holiday Lights on the River features over 300 themed, animated light displays (more than a million sparkling lights) on a two-mile loop of the Park!
November 25-December 31, 2009, 6:00-10:00 p.m. Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Road
Cost: Cars: $10 15-Passenger Vans: $20 Buses: $35
More information: Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission

This Man Called Jesus.  An annual Christmas Drama presented by Lake Murray Baptist Church.  NO TICKETS NO RESERVATIONS, 2,700 SEATING CAPACITY, FIRST COME-FIRST SERVE SEATING.
More information: (dates and times): This Man Called Jesus

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mel Coker's Mobile Widgets

Get the Mel Coker Mobile Widget for your Smartphone
It's NEW.  It's COOL.  It's FREE!
Plusmo is a FREE service that lets you run cool mobile widgets on your phone. Get one-click access to exactly the information you need, when you need it.  Plusmo launched in June 2006 and currently averages about a 100 million mobile page views monthly. Plusmo is so hot and cool that AT&T recently acquired the company.  Coverage for Plusmo includes iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Java-enabled phones. 

Once you download the app and access the widget in your smartphone web browser, you may save the page as an icon.

Mel's Columbia Blog Mobile Widget:
Add to Plusmo

Mel's Lake Murray Blog Mobile Widget:
Add to Plusmo

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Charleston, SC - A Great Day Visit from Columbia

Charleston has been named again as a top travel destination.
Charleston is only 114 miles from Columbia, so it really makes for a great day or weekend visit.

Lonely Planet, a popular Internet travel website, has recently named Charleston as one of its "Top Cities to Visit in 2010."  There have been many other travel awards for Charleston, including: For the sixteenth consecutive year, readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine honored Charleston as a Top 10 travel destination in the United States. For 2008, Charleston was honored with a No. 2 slot - topped only by San Francisco. Also, awarded Charleston a Travelers' Choice Award for 2008 (top 25 United States Destination).

Charleston is one of the most historical and well-preserved cities in the United States. Charleston has had a starring role in South Carolina & American history since its founding more than 300 years ago.The English established the first permanent European settlement on the Ashley River in 1670. War, fires, earthquakes and hurricanes have threatened this resilient city over the years but it still stands strong and beautiful. The city's historic district today has barely changed, boasting 73 pre-Revoluntionary buildings, 136 late 18th century structures and over 600 others built in the 1840s. Visitors can tour the city by foot or horse-drawn carriage.

TripAdvisor Travel Guide for Charleston
Order a FREE Official Charleston Visitor Guide
Charleston Visitor's Bureau

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mel's ISSUU eBooks

eBooks by Mel Coker
I've published several eBooks at  Take a look at some of my books!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Community Spotlight - Park West near Chapin

Park West - Chapin, SC
NEW Homes by DR Horton

Just a couple of minutes from Lake Murray and just outside the town limits of Chapin, you’ll find Park West.  Homes in Park West are now being built by D.R. Horton, one of America's largest homebuilders.

Single family home prices are in the range of approximately $130,000 and $180,000.  Homes have unmatched floor plans, stylish elevations and will have 3-4 bedrooms.  It's one of the area's best new home communities.  Curently, there is great choice of existing new homes for sale with an inventory of 6 homes for sale.

Residents of Park West will be within walking distance of Crooked Creek Park.  Award winning Chapin schools are within just a few minutes.  Of course, the community is just minutes away from beautiful Lake Murray and nearby marinas and public boat launch sites. The community is served by the highly-rated Lexington School District 5 schools: Chapin Elementary, Chapin Middle and Chapin High.

I live near Chapin myself... it's a great place to call home!  Park West is located off Old Lexington Highway just outside the town of Chapin.

NEW HOME Stimulus Plan by Mel Coker - Ready to learn more, visit the community or buy in Park West? Be sure to contact Mel Coker, your Irmo/Chapin area Realtor. Call Mel at (803) 318-2007 or email: When you use Mel Coker as your Buyer's Agent in Park West to buy a home, Mel will provide you with a $500 Lowe's gift certificate at closing. You may also call the on-site Realtor, Liz Reid, and mention Mel Coker as your Realtor of choice. Call Liz at (803) 360-8494.
(803) 223-6214

Monday, November 9, 2009

Quail Hollow Open House Extravaganza

EIGHT Open Houses in Quail Hollow this Sunday!
Sunday, November 15th 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Quail Hollow is a popular neighborhood conveniently located between Lexington and West Columbia.  It's near everything in Greater Columbia.  Just minutes away: Lexington Medical Center, Interstates 26, 20 and 77, downtown Columbia, Columbia Metropolitan Airport, Lake Murray, and much more.

As an added benefit to living in this friendly community, homeowners may elect to join the Quail Hollow Swim & Racquet Club for a very reasonable membership fee.  Set in a wooded area on the banks of the beautiful Saluda River, Quail Hollow Swim and Racquet Club offers a unique experience for those who love to swim and play tennis. It's a place to meet new friends and one of the few places with easy access to the Saluda River.

The homes in the Open House tour offer a wide variety of amenities, size and offering price.  All are market priced to sell!  NOW is a great time to buy with really low mortgage rates and the NEW Federal Home Buyer Tax Credit Program  (applies to first-time homebuyer AND existing homeowners meeting certain rules).   Nathan Ballentine of Wells Fargo Mortgage will be on-site at 206 Holly Ridge Lane to answer mortgage questions.  Also, be sure to register for one of several Five Guys/Coldstone Creamery gift cards to be given away at 206 Holly Ridge Lane.

Click to View and Print the OPEN HOUSE BROCHURE

Open Houses on the Tour:
Sunday, November 15th 1:30 - 3:00
2209 Raven Trail  $214,900
3 BR; 2 baths; app. 2300 square feet
2007 Bob White Lane  $259,900
5 BR; 3 baths; app. 2900 square feet
2124 Chipmunk Lane  $269,900
4 BR; 2 1/2 baths; app. 2893 square feet
224 Blackhawk Terrace  $279,900
3 BR; 2 1/2 baths; app. 2450 square feet
108 Woodcock Trail  $299,900  (2:00 - 4:00)
4 BR; 2 baths; app. 2741 square feet
1813 Ephrata Drive  $319,900
4 BR; 3 baths; app. 2900 square feet
206 Holly Ridge Lane  $359,900
4 BR; 3 1/2 baths; app. 4109 square feet
2503 Feather Run Court  $399,000
5 BR; 3 1/2 baths; app. 4265 square feet

Directions: U.S. 378 West from West Columbia or I-26 to U.S. 378 West; right on Fairlane (just past Lexington Medical Center); at 4-way stop sign, continue straight and follow Open House Signs.

Questions?  Call Mel Coker (803) 318-2007

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Veterans Day is Wednesday, November 11th

Veterans Day is Wednesday, November 11th!

UPDATE: The Columbia Veterans Day Parade is cancelled due to Tropical Storm Ida.

The City of Columbia Veterans Day Parade will be November 11th in downtown Columbia. This parade is one of the largest Veterans Day parades in the United States.  The parade route starts at the Laurel & Sumter Street intersection and runs south on Sumter Street to Gervais Street.  The parade starts around 10:45 a.m.

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.

History of Veterans Day website

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!

I've created a webpage with information for the Columbia, SC 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!).
Click Here for: Military in South Carolina

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."
– George Washington
General and Commander-in-Chief & First President of the United States of America

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mast General Store Coming to Columbia, SC!

This week, officials of Mast General Store announced that the company will open a new location at the former location of Lourie's Clothing store in downtown Columbia.  No opening date has been set, but, it will probably be 2011 or 2012.  The historic Lourie's building will have to undergo extensive renovation.

Mast General Store is a combination outdoor outfitter and old-fashioned country store.  I visited the original Mast General Store many years ago in the mountains of Valle Crucis, North Carolina.  It is indeed a wonderful store that carries a little bit of everything.  The original Mast General Store opened in Valle Crucis in 1883 and is still operating at that location.  This location was named to the National Register of Historic Places as one of the finest remaining examples of an old country general store.

Mast General Store has other locations in Boone, Asheville, Waynesville, Hendersonville (all in NC); Greenville (SC); and Knoxville (TN).   Welcome to Columbia, SC!

Mast General Store website

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended and Expanded!

Congress has just passed legislation to extend the Home Buyer Tax Credit for first-time home buyers.  This amount will continue to be 10% of the purchase price with a limit of $8000. 

Also, an existing home owner can claim a NEW $6,500 tax credit if they have been residing in their principal residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight. Additionally, the income eligibility limits to claim the full credit amount for both groups of home buyers have been raised to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for married couples.

I will be providing more details in another blog very soon.  CLICK HERE for a press release from the National Association of Home Builders.