Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Lake Murray!

Mel & Barbara - Christmas Room at Brookgreen Gardens
Merry Christmas from the Coker family on Lake Murray!   Recently, we have had some beautiful sunsets on Lake Murray and I have a picture of one below.   Today is a nice day with the temperature around 50 degrees on Lake Murray.

I have created a new webpage:
Christmas in the Columbia area

I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

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

December 3, 2010 Sunset at Lake Murray

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lake Murray Video

Coming Soon:  More real estate video related to Lake Murray and Lake Murray real estate

Featured videos soon to be in production:  Buying tips, Selling Tips, Community information, Home tours, mortgage information and  local service providers

It will all appear on my WellcomeMat webpage. IS the place for real estate video (the real estate version of YouTube).
CLICK:  Mel Coker's WellcomeMat Profile Page

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Metro Associates
Columbia, SC
Lake Murray website

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Join Us at Nutty Back Door for Dinner

Join Mel & Barbara at Nutty Back Door
Thursday, October 14 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Located in Hilton area at Wessinger Road
 I've recently met the really nice owner, Ron Robbs,  of the Nutty Back Door and the Get-N-Go in Hilton.     Barbara and I have been there for dinner several times now.  It's very good and reasonably priced.  I want to help Ron get some more business by introducing you to this really good "locals" place to eat.  I've had the wings several times and they are great!  He also has a very nice salad bar.

The Nutty Back Door and Get-N-Go convenience store is located at the same location as the old PDQ.  It's between White Rock and Chapin at the intersection of U.S. Highway 76 and Wessinger Road in the Hilton area.

Join us this Thursday night as we stop in for dinner again at the Nutty Back Door.   Ron is offering a special: buy one dinner and get the 2nd of equal or greater value at 1/2 price.   All of the meals are very reasonably priced.   I will be giving away a few door prizes.  Join us this coming Thursday night.  If you know you are coming, please send me an email so I can give Ron an idea of a potential crowd.  Email:    Barbara and I will be there about 6:30 p.m.   Please join us!

Barbara with Nutty Back Door Owner, Ron Robbs

 Nutty Back Door
2101 Wessinger Road; Chapin
(803) 945-9250

CLICK HERE: Read my restaurant review at UrbanSpoon

Lake Murray Merchandise

I've Got My Lake Murray License Plate!

I stopped by the Lake Murray Visitor Center last week and bought my new Lake Murray license plate.  It looks great!  If you want a Lake Murray license plate, t-shirt, Lake Murray map or other cool Lake Murray merchandise, stop by the visitor center or visit there web site.

Lake Murray Visitor Center
2183 North Lake Drive (S.C. Highway 6)
Columbia, SC 29212
(just past the Dreher Shoals Dam on S.C. 6 going towards Ballentine)
Website:  Official Merchandise of Capital City Lake Murray Country

Mel's Lake Murray License Plate

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

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nutty Back Door - Good Eats in Hilton area (near Chapin)

Located on U.S. Hwy 76 at Wessinger Road
 We ate at the Nutty Back Door on September 17th.  I had chicken wings and a salad.  The wings and salad were great!   My wife had popcorn shrimp and the deep fried potato.    We also had the pleasure to meet the owner, Ron Robbs.    Next door is the Get-N-Go Gasoline Station and Covenience Store.   Ron has owned this location for many years (formerly the PDQ).    Just recently, he opened the Nutty Back Door Restaurant.

The Nutty Back Door is located in Hilton (between Ballentine and Chapin), on U.S. Highway 76 at Wessinger Road.  When in Chapin, or on the way to Lake Murray, be sure to stop in at the Nutty Back Door for good food at very reasonable prices.
CLICK HERE for the menu

Barbara with Ron Robbs

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 318-2007

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Boating Safety on Lake Murray

3 Charged in Lake Murray Boating Deaths
Just over a week ago, three men were charged with criminal acts that contributed to a pair of May 1st boat collisions in which four people died on Lake Murray.   All were boating while intoxicted.
Click Here to Read More
Don't Drink and Drive  |  Don't Drink and Operate a Boat!

Read the Handbook!
I live on the lake in the Chapin area and I have seen countless occasions just in my cove where boaters zoom within 50 feet of docks with large wakes.  Also, in my cove, I've seen a boater numerous times go across the cove in a small boat with no lights.    Both of these kinds of irresponsible acts are illegal.

South Carolina Boating Laws and Responsibilities
Boating Safety in South Carolina

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Join The Lake Murray Association

Lake Murray Association
Live on Lake Murray?  Boat on Lake Murray?  Love Lake Murray?
YOU need to be a member of the Lake Murray Association (LMA).  Click for LMA website.

Membership dues are very reasonable - only $15 per year.   Or, do like I did on my last renewal and join for 3 years, pay only $45 and get 6 free months added to your membership.   JOIN TODAY before you forget - you will be proud to be a member.

The Lake Murray Association through its active membership and board of directors works to maintain and preserve Lake Murray as one of the most beautiful recreational lakes in the South.  The Association’s key issues for the future include:
Lake level
Weed control
Pollution monitoring and
Shoreline management

The Lake Murray Association was very instrumental (after many years of hard work) in getting South  Carolina Electric and Gas Company to agree to higher winter water levels at Lake Murray.  Remember just a few years ago when water levels sank to 350-351 feet elevation during the winter and early spring?  Now, water levels during the winter are typically in the 354-355 feet elevation range.  This is a success story for the LMA and the number of members in the organization.  The LMA NEEDS YOU!

The Lake Murray Association does more:
Spring and Fall Membership Meeting
Sponsors Ladies Day at the Lake
Sponsors Pontoon Tour of Homes
Conducts a Water Quality Monitoring Program
Publishes a Quarterly Newsletter - Spring 2010 edition


Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor
Lake Murray website  Lake Murray/Columbia Real Estate

Kids Having Fun: Barefooting on Lake Murray

A few weeks ago, I caught Cole and Trent Hodges doing some barefooting on Lake Murray:



More Lake Murray information:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Boiled P-Nuts at Lake Murray's Dreher Shoals Dam

Buy Some P-Nuts Today over at Lake Murray's Dam
Want some excellent BOILED PEANUTS in the Greater Columbia area?

Want to get some of the best boiled peanuts in all of South Carolina? Stop in to see the P-Nut Man at Lake Murray's Dreher Shoals Dam. Wade Baughman has been selling boiled peanuts around the Dreher Shoals Dam at Lake Murray for over 20 years.

The Dam P-Nut Man is typcially at the Irmo side of Lake Murray's dam on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.
P-Nut Man Boiled Peanuts Location:
Kwik Way Store (Exxon Mobil Gas Station)
6230 Bush River Road
Columbia, SC 29212

CLICK HERE: Dam P-Nut Man Website

Be sure to tell Wade that you saw his Boiled Peanut Stand on the World Wide Web!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from Mel & Barbara Coker
at Lake Murray, SC!

We wish you a happy and safe July 4th Celebration today.  We also want to thank all military personnel serving around the world in service to the United States of America.   The United States of America is 234 years old today!

(from Wikipedia):
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.[4][5] After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Adams's prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4th, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence.

July 4th Links:
Independence Day -
Declaration of Independence
Patriotic Melodies
4th of July Facts - National Geographic

July 4, 2010
at Lake Murray

Mel Coker
Columbia, SC Real Estate

Thursday, June 24, 2010

July 4th at Lake Murray

July 4th Celebrations on Lake Murray

Most of the organized celebrations take place this year on Saturday, July 3rd.  The following are annual Lake Murray Independence Day events:

Boat Parade: Saturday, July 3rd app. Noon
Enjoy the patriotic display as locals & visitors decorate their boats in ways that will leave you amazed! Viewable from the park sites at the Lake Murray Dam or by boat!

Patriotic Concert: Saturday, July 3rd at 8:00 p.m.
Dreher Island State Park (between Chapin & Prosperity)
Patriotic music featuring the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra. Bring a chair or blanket! Picnics are welcome--No Alcohol Permitted! Admission: $2/adults; $1.25/SC Seniors; ages 15 and younger/Free!


Fireworks Display: Saturday, July 3rd at 9:15 p.m.
South Carolina's Largest Fireworks Display from TWO locations on Lake Murray - Spence Island and Dreher Island.  The show is choreographed to a patriotic concert that will air simultaneously on the Citadel Broadcasting Stations: B106.7FM & 98.5FM. Both Park Sites at the Dam will be open until they reach capacity. The walking path on the Dam will also be open. PARKING IS LIMITED, EXPECT TRAFFIC DELAYS! (Park Admission: $3/car or truck; $2/motorcycles).  Best Viewing For the Fireworks: Either Park Site at the Lake Murray Dam, the walking path on the Dam, from Dreher Island State Park and from the water.  Please exercise caution while boating on this busiest day of the year on Lake Murray!

Frequently Asked Questions - 4th of July Celebration

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lake Murray Images: Mel's Animoto Music Video

Mel's Lake Murray Video:

I have put some of my Lake Murray pictures in an Animoto Music Video.  CLICK HERE or view the video below:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Watch Out for Lightning at Lake Murray

Safety Reminder from Mel Coker...
Watch out for Spring and Summer Lightning Storms

Summer is the peak season for one of the nation's deadliest weather phenomena - lightning.  Lightning is a serious danger.  In a ranking study of cloud-to-ground flash densities by state for 1996-2004, South Carolina ranks #5.

CLICK HERE: Mel Coker's Lightning Safety eBook

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 1999-2008)
Absolute (based on deaths): Florida, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina. South Carolina is #8.

Per Capita (based on deaths): Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Florida. South Carolina is #9.

Of the victims who were killed by lightning in 2009:
  • 100% were outside
  • 82% were male
  • 71% were males between the ages of 10-50
  • 21% were doing yard work
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 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)

Used with permission by Michael Bath

Monday, May 17, 2010

Purple Martins at Lake Murray

Coming Soon: Purple Martins at Lake Murray!
North America's first officially designated Purple Martin sanctuary is at Lake Murray! It's also one of the largest roosting sites in America.

Late each afternoon from June through late August or early September, hundreds of thousands of purple martins make their way to Doolittle Island (also called either Lunch Island or Bomb Island) to nest for the night. The number has been placed in the range of 750,000 purple martins returning to roost each late afternoon. Is is believed that the Lake Murray purple martin roost is the largest in North America (and possibly the world).

CLICK HERE to visit the Lake Murray Purple Martins Website

Mel Coker

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Boating on Lake Murray

Boating Season has started on Lake Murray!

Warm weather brings an increased level of boating traffic on Lake Murray. Are you ready for fun? Is your boat equipped for safety? Do you know boating basics and laws for operating a boat safely?

Unfortunately, the boating season on Lake Murray has started tragically.  Last weekend, in TWO separate accidents on Lake Murray, FOUR boaters were killed.  These two accidents happened happened within 30 minutes and one mile of each other.  The accident investigation results have not been released as of this date.
Boating accident news report (#1)  |  Boating accident news report (#2)

Nationally, 72% of all fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those who drowned, 90% of the victims were not wearing a life jacket. Over 80% of the boaters who drowned were using boats less than 26 feet in length. Consistent with previous years, 75% of reported fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had not received boating safety instruction.

In 2008, South Carolina has one of the highest boater registration rates in the USA.  In fact, South Carolina is #3 in the South (behind only Florida and Texas).   In 2008, South Carolina had 3.4% of all boat registations in the United States.  Unfortunately, South Carolina also had 4.1% of boating accident deaths (#6 in the USA).   Nationally, the #1 contributing factor to boating accident deaths is excessive alcohol consumption.
Links for more South Carolina Boating information:
The Handbook of South Carolina Boating Laws and Responsibilities
South Carolina Online Boating Safety Course and Exam
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Boating in South Carolina
Check a Watercraft/Motor Status

Check the weather:
Lake Murray Weather Station
Mel Coker's Columbia Weather Page

Boating Safety:
Lake Murray Power Squadron Boat Smart Course
National Safe Boating Council
Safe Boating Campaign
Boating Safety - U.S. Coast Guard
FloatPlan Central
Boating Accident Statistics

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Breakfast on the Lake

Enjoy Breakfast On The Lake At Buffalo Creek Marina!
We headed out this morning for breakfast on Lake Murray.  We had a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast at Buffalo Creek Grill.  The food was great: grits, bacon, eggs, sausage, hash browns, biscuits and more.

The breakfast buffet is available on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.  The Grill is open everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Check the website for operating hours.

Click for BUFFALO CREEK MARINA website

Buffalo Creek Grill on Urbanspoon

Mel Coker
Lake Murray's Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates
Mel's Lake Murray Website
Call (803) 388-8011

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mel's Lake Murray eBook

Check out my Lake Murray eBook:

Mel Coker
Lake Murray's Realtor

Monday, April 26, 2010

Real Estate Credentials Matter!

Credentials Really Matter in a Tough Real Estate Market!

Mel Coker is the ONLY Realtor to hold all of the following important real estate designations in the Columbia area:  CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-Pro
Mel is also the exclusive CyberStars Realtor for Columbia, SC.  

Call Mel Coker when you are ready to BUY or SELL in Greater Columbia, SC (includes: Irmo, Chapin, Lake Murray, Lexington, Northeast Columbia).  Call (803) 388-8011.
CLICK HERE to visit my website

Saturday, April 24, 2010

P-Nut Man at Lake Murray's Dreher Shoals Dam

Want some excellent BOILED PEANUTS in the Greater Columbia area?

Want to get some of the best boiled peanuts in all of South Carolina? Stop in to see the P-Nut Man at Lake Murray's Dreher Shoals Dam. Wade Baughman has been selling boiled peanuts around the Dreher Shoals Dam at Lake Murray for over 20 years.

The Dam P-Nut Man is typcially at the Irmo side of Lake Murray's dam on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.
P-Nut Man Boiled Peanuts Location:
Kwik Way Store (Exxon Mobil Gas Station)
6230 Bush River Road
Columbia, SC 29212

CLICK HERE: Dam P-Nut Man Website

Be sure to tell Wade that you saw his Boiled Peanut Stand on the World Wide Web!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Time is Time to Walk Lake Murray's Dam

Warm Weather Brings out Dam Walkers!

One of the Columbia area’s most popular walking/jogging pathways is directly across the top of the Dreher Shoals Dam along S.C. Highway 6 at Lake Murray.  The distance is 1.7 miles each way for a total walk of 3.4 miles. The pathway 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).  Parking is available at either side of the Dreher Shoals Dam.  A small free parking lot is on the Lexington (South) side of the dam.

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

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lake Murray Water Level and Temperature on the Rise!

Just in time for spring... Lake Murray's water level and water temperature are on the rise!

After a cold and wet winter, the (top) water temperature is now at 49.5 degrees Fahrenheit.  The temp was just 46.0 one week ago.  The March historical average is 53.4 degrees.  Water temperatures should be into the low 60s in April.

The lake level is up too!  Today, the Lake Murray elevation is 358.17.   The March historical average is 357.4 feet above sea level.   Full pool at Lake Murray is 360.0 feet above sea level.  The normal summertime high level is in the range of 358.0 - 359.25 range.  The usual "high-water" months are March - July.

For Lake Murray stats on Average Temperatures, Rainfall, Lake Level, Water Temperatures, be sure to visit my NEW webpage:
Lake Murray Environmentals

Mel Coker
Lake Murray & Columbia Realtor
Mel's Real Estate Website
Lake Murray Website

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

HOT Deal on Lake Murray

Buy a Nice Lake Murray Home Under $320,000? YES!
I recently showed a home on Lake Murray that I was really impressed with for the current asking price and value.  It is not my listing, but, with the permission of the listing agent, I am presenting information in this blog post about the home.

Ready to live waterfront on Lake Murray at a reasonable price?  You should call me quickly to set an appointment to view this home!

Some of the details:
128 feet on Lake Murray
Cove location looks out to "big" water view
Year-round water
Price: $319,000
3 Bedrooms downstairs
Bedroom/office and loft area upstairs
Nice dock (older pontoon boat will be left at dock!)
Kitchen has hardwood floors and granite counters
Large sun room
Large deck
Chapin area

Call Mel Coker for more information or a showing appointment.
(803) 318-2007

QR codes - Welcome to Columbia & Lake Murray by Mel Coker

The FIRST use of a QR code on a Lake Murray website?  YES!
I recently learned about QR codes during my annual attendance at a CyberStars real estate conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I am already using QR codes in my marketing of homes in the Columbia area.

QR is short for "Quick Response."   These high-powered bar codes can store URLs, geo coordinates, text and more.  Download a QR code scanner on your smartphone and your smartphone's camera reads the code and then links to a website, displays text, or calls a number! They have been used extensively in Japan and parts of Europe.  They are coming to America and Mel Coker is already using them for Columbia, SC real estate!  Search for a QR code scanner on  your smartphone apps library, load it and scan QR codes.

Suggested QR code app: QuickMark

Click Here to see my use of a QR code on a real estate brochure

Mel Coker's QR Code:

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

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Taste of Lake Murray

March 18, 2010: A Taste of Lake Murray
The Taste of Lake Murray is the sole fundraiser for the 4th of July Celebration on Lake Murray. Ticketholders are treated to great music, delicious food from area restaurants and the chance to bid on a wide variety of auction items during Live & Silent Auctions. 

Tickets are now on sale!  Your ticket price includes: entry to the event, food, beer, wine and drinks at "Lake Murrayville."  One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the 4th of July event.  The Taste of Lake Murray starts at 6:30 p.m. on March 18, 2010 at the Radisson Hotel Columbia.

Click Here for More Information or to BUY TICKETS
or, call (803) 781-5940 ext. 3

Mel Coker
Your Lake Murray Real Estate Connection
(803) 388-8011

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lake Murray Map

Need a Quality Lake Murray Map?
Order your Kingfisher Map of Lake Murray online from the link below. Kingfisher maps are waterproof and tear resistant and feature information such as access areas, facilities, water hazards, and more. Kingfisher also has a great Lake Murray aerial poster. This image is a composite of twelve individual aerial photographs acquired by the National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) in March 1999 at a flying height of 20,000 feet. I framed this poster and have it mounted in my home. It looks great!

CLICK HERE: Lake Murray maps and posters

More Lake Murray information:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2010 from Cancun, Mexico!
We're in Cancun again to enjoy some sun, great Palace Resorts hospitality and to watch the Gamecocks win a bowl game (on TV).  This is our 13th trip to Cancun and/or the Riviera Maya area. 

We had a wonderful Cancun New Year's Eve Party hosted by the Cancun Palace last night.  We had lobster and steak and watched the Michael Jackson show (yes, he is alive and well in Cancun).

When you're ready to vacation a fantastic all-inclusive resort, visit my Cancun website for further details and contact me to book your vacation at a great price.

Mel's Cancun website