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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Your Home: March 2011

A NEW monthly newsletter from Mel Coker!

CLICK HERE for YOUR HOME - March 2011
Smart Security, The Numbers Game (Home Values), Curb Appeal

Mel Coker
Columbia, SC Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 388-8011

Friday, March 25, 2011

RE/MAX - #1 in Real Estate

The results are in and, once again, U.S. RE/MAX agents outsold all competitors by a considerable margin in 2010.  It wasn't even close.

RE/MAX led all national franchises in total transaction sides (754,333) and transaction sides per agent (13.1). That per-agent productivity easily surpassed Coldwell Banker (7.1 sides per agent) and ERA (6.3), Prudential (6.2), and more than doubled Century 21 (5.4), Keller Williams (5.1), Sotheby's (3.9) and Better Homes and Gardens (3.5).

CLICK HERE: Press Release

This is the 13th straight year that RE/MAX has led the real estate industry in real estate production.  On a personal note, I had 31 transaction sides in 2010.  The average transactions per agent in Columbia, SC was only 4!  

Your Columbia, SC RE/MAX Realtor:
Mel Coker
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 223-6214 | Internet

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Columbia, SC Mortgage Rates

Where are Mortgage Rates today?
How about 4.75% (no origination, no discount points) for 30 year FHA!
That is today's rate quoted by Nathan Ballentine at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.  Please keep in mind that rates change daily.  But, mortgage rates remain low.  So, NOW is the time to buy a home.  Also, with appropriate credit, Wells Fargo can go to a 600 credit score for an FHA loan (and possibly lower with strong compensating factors).

Nathan Ballentine - Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
 When you're ready for a mortgage in Columbia, contact:
Nathan Ballentine
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Call: (803) 251-1276 or (803) 206-4199
Tell Nathan that Mel Coker referred you.

For great buyer representation in Columbia, contact:
Mel Coker
Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, e-PRO
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 223-6214

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Save Money on Your Energy Bill

Get Serious About Saving on Your Energy Bills!
Cut Your Utility Bills!
I did after receiving my January electric bill of $244.  We have a home of approximately 3,000 square feet served by Mid Carolina Electric Cooperative.  We do have a "Good Cents" rate that provides a monthly discount.  We were able to get this when we built our home about 8 years ago with certain energy efficiency upgrades.  First, I retrieved my past electric bills since January 2007 to build a spreadsheet to track past costs and future bills.  If you don't have these, your electric provider may be able to provide this information. 

Average Utility Bill Breakdown
For 2010, my average electric bill was $205.17.  This has increased about 7.9% per year over the previous 3 years.  The KWH usage increased only 1.6% per year over 3 years.   As consumers, we can't control the rates for electric KWH and/or gas rates, BUT, we can control how much energy we use and this impacts our energy bills!

Since receiving the January bill, I made some changes:  changing out more (almost all now) incandescent bulbs to CFLs; insulating interior outside wall electrical outlet and switch plate covers, and limiting or not using our basement heat pump system by using a space heater.   I also turn off my computer monitor at night and in the morning when leaving for work.  I even bought a Kill-A-Watt monitor to do some energy usage testing.

Since these changes, my two last electric bills have shown significant improvements:
Average February bill 2007- 2010: $183.75
February bill 2011: $175.00 (savings of 4.8%)

Average March bill 2007 - 2010: $150.00
March bill 2011: $87.00 (savings of 42.0%)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Columbia, SC Realtor - Mel Coker

Real Estate Professionalism is Important!
Mel Coker IS a Realtor!
Believe it or not, some real estate agents selling real estate are NOT Realtors!  When a person gets a real estate license in South Carolina, they are only a real estate sales agent.  An agent then MUST join (i.e. pay dues) the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to legally be called a Realtor as this is a federally trademarked name.  Some agents are just too "cheap" to join the one organization for professional real estate agents.  Of course, a Realtor must agree to abide by a professional Code of Ethics too.   The NAR looks after the interests of Professional Realtors AND home buyers and home sellers.  I view membership in NAR as an essential business requirement of selling real estate.

I would suggest all persons buying or selling real estate fully understand the professional background of anyone considered for real estate representation.  Unfortunately, there are scrupulous people in Greater Columbia portraying and marketing themselves as Realtors and they are not!  Anyone can verify this at  (click on "Find Realtors")

Ongoing real estate education is often evidenced by Realtor professional designations.
Generally, in residential real estate, the top professional real estate designations are: CRS, ABR, GRI, e-PRO and SRES.

Click on Above Image to enlarge & read
 Interesting Stats... (as of 3/22/11)
Over 1,000 real estate sales agents in Columbia area
793 Realtors
67 have ABR designation
66 have GRI designation
52 have CRS designation
30 have e-PRO designation
14 have SRES designation
1 has all of the above designations:
Mel Coker

Mel Coker is also a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame and the high technology group of Realtors, Cyberstars.

Mel Coker - A Professional Columbia SC Realtor

When you're ready to BUY or SELL in Greater Columbia, contact Mel Coker
(803) 223-6214
CLICK: Columbia Real Estate

Sunday, March 20, 2011

1st Day of Spring: Lake Murray Boating Season Begins

Lake Murray from Irmo Side of Dam
Lake Murray:
South Carolina's Beautiful Lake

Warmer weather is bringing out the boaters at Lake Murray!   For complete Lake Murray information, please be sure to visit Mel Coker's Lake Murray information websites:
Lake Murray
Lake Murray Blog
YouTube Lake Murray Video

My website and blog cover topics such as: fishing, events, boating safety, Lake Murray history, lake levels, the purple martins of Lake Murray and much more.

Mel Coker
Columbia & Lake Murray Realtor
(803) 388-8011
Columbia, SC Real Estate

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Disaster in Japan

Disaster in Japan
The earthquake/tsunami of last week in Japan is a disaster of epic proportions.  The Japanese people need help.  I've made my donations tonight to TWO of the best charitable organizations that I know of that are appropriate for this kind of disaster

Over 3,000 listed as dead as of March 15th (will increase significantly)
Over 15,000 unaccounted for
Over 550,000 displaced from homes

I would recommend the following if you choose to assist with a cash donation:

Samaritan's Purse
Samaritan's Purse Report - Catastrophe in Japan

American Red Cross

Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami

Thank you!

Mel Coker
Columbia, SC Realtor