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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

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

I did some reading today 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.  In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.

 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.  Thanksgiving Day has been a holiday in the United States since 1863.

The History of Thanksgiving: The History Channel

Mel Coker

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Start a NEW Neighborhood!

I started a new neighborhood this past week and you can too!   I started an online virtual neighborhood for the area where we live.  It's a new internet technology available at .   Unfortunately, you can't visit my neighborhood because it's private and only available by invitation to those that acutally live in the neighborhood that I defined by property boundaries.

Want to be civic minded and a "good neighbor"?  Start your own neighborhood for your subdivision or neighborhood area.  It's easy.  I did it this week and got the word out by distributing flyers (available through the website), sending emails to folks I already knew and mailing a few postcards.  The whole thing is FREE and there are free resources to help you get started.  It will take time to build up the neighborhood, but, the first step is to just get started.

Here is an aerial view of my new neighborhood and color representations of those that have registered:

My "" Virtual Neighborhood near Chapin, SC

Watch the video that explains

There are 105 homes in our neighborhood and already I've seen at least two examples of people communicating and discovering new friends just down the street or across a lake cove as neighbors.  At a minimum, this is a great neighborhood directory, but it can be much more: post service/business recommendations, post news/events and post items for sale or give-away, etc.

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

Best Mortgage Calculator

My wife and I have a 15-year mortgage.  As of this month, we have made 103 payments.   Now, we're wanting to make a few periodic payments to pay off our mortgage early (not a higher monthly payment from here on out, but probably 2 fairly large pre-payments over the next year.  How will this impact our mortgage amortization schedule?

Using the following link, this is easy to calculate with the great extra payment mortgage calculator at .  The calculator lets you determine monthly mortgage payments (basic amortization schedule), find out how your monthly, yearly, or one-time pre-payments influence the loan term and the interest paid over the life of the loan, and see complete amortization schedules.  This is really cool!

Use it and mark it as a "Favorite".  You will likely want to come back to this great amortization calculator!

Over the past 8 1/2 years we have not made any pre-payments.  But, by making my anticipated 2 large prepayments over the next year, I will save $15,499 in interest charges and pay off my loan 4 years and 2 months earlier!   Use this calculator in helping make smart financial decisions!

Mel Coker
Columbia, SC real estate
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 223-6214

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CHAPIN, SC HOME FOR SALE - Lake Murray Access

All Brick Home with Lake Murray Access (Chapin, SC)

CLICK HERE for more information

I've just listed for sale a beautiful home in Magnolia Key subdivision with easy Lake Murray access.   This wonderfully maintained all brick home has 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms.  Other features include: gleaming hardwood floors in the foyer, great room, formal dining room and kitchen; kitchen has granite counters and gas stove cooktop and a breakfast area; central vac and much more.  This home is priced right at $325,000.  Call Mel Coker today for an appointment to see this home.

Enjoy the beautiful backyard oasis from the large (11'x15') screened porch or deck.   The focal point of the backyard is the 16' x 32' in-ground pool.  It's a wonderful home retreat for family fun.

Lake Murray - South Carolina's Beautiful Lake!
Easily enjoy LAKE MURRAY while living in this home - the community has a private boat ramp for homeowners only and there is boat storage in the community.  Just 3 minutes away is the Timberlake Marina with reasonably price boat slip availability.   Also, at this same location is Lake Murray's only golf course, Timberlake Country Club.

Lake Murray was named to the list of "Ten Best Places to Live and Boat" by Boating Magazine earlier this year.  I personally can endorse this as I live on Lake Murray myself in the Chapin area.  Lake Murray living is great!   Visit my Lake Murray website for more information.

Need more information or wish to schedule an appointment?  Call Mel Coker at (803) 388-8011 or visit my virtual tour for this home.

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 388-8011
Columbia / Lake Murray Real Estate

Saturday, November 5, 2011

October 2011 National Housing Report

National Housing Report
A New Blog Series from Mel Coker - Columbia, SC Realtor

The September 2011 RE/MAX National Housing Report, a survey of housing data from 53 metropolitan areas, shows that the number of home sales were 7.6% higher than September 2010.  However,
home prices continued a slight downward trend, falling 3.3% from last year.


Click on link above to read this two page summary report

Back from a Cruise to The Bahamas

I've gotten behind on my blogging with a recent flurry of real estate activity and just getting back from a fun cruise to The Bahamas!   First a quick cruise report...

Barbara - Nassau, The Bahamas
We left Friday, October 28th for a 5 night cruise to The Bahamas on the Carnival Fantasy.  Although the weather was not great, we still had a fun time.   We have two future cruises scheduled: one in late January and another for October 2012 (also during Halloween).   Interested in going?  If so, please email and I will provide the details.   I've gotten excited recently about cruising with two future booked cruises, I've added my own cruising blog.  Check it out here:  .  I have some really cool cruise links too.

Here is a link to my cool Animoto Cruise Video:

Mel and Barbara in Nassau, The Bahamas
Breakfast at Sea!