Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2012 - from Mel Coker at Lake Murray, SC
Barbara and I are bringing in the New Year in Surfside Beach (SC), but, we will be back to Chapin on Monday to watch the Gamecocks play Nebraska in the Capital One bowl on ESPN.

Top New Year's Resolutions
  1. Get Fit - Start working out / work out more
  2. Save Money / More Responsible with Cash
  3. Spend more and better family time
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Volunteer for community service
  6. Eat better - less or no fried food and plenty of fruits/vegetables
  7. Lose weight - Yes, Americans are typically too overweight
  8. Better work/life balance
  9. Get organized
  10. Read more
  11. Have more fun on Lake Murray
Got your resolutions figured out for 2012?  I've set personal, health/exercise and real estate business goals.

Mel Coker

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lake Murray Historical Map

I had the pleasure to see and meet with Mr. Ed Fetner again today.  Mr. Fetner, now retired, produced the Lake Murray Fishunt map for approximately 48 years. During his career, he worked in aeronautics and aviation related fields during World War II, mapping at the South Carolina Highway Department and finally retiring as the chief structural engineer at Wilbur Smith and Associates.

Mr. Ed Fetner as his Lake Murray home - December 2011

After he and a cousin got lost on Lake Marion in the early 1950's, he produced his first map - Lake Marion. Around 1952, he produced his first Lake Murray map and called his maps Fishunt after that. That map was the very first Lake Murray map produced for sale to the public. An interesting thing... I first met Mr. Fetner in the early 1960's when my father went to his Columbia home to buy an early edition Lake Murray map. He moved to Lake Murray in the early 1970's. Then, I met Mr. Fetner again a few years ago when I bought a supply of Lake Murray maps. He sold his Fishunt map business about 11 years ago.

Through the years, Mr. Fetner personally named a number of islands and prominent points on Lake Murray. He has received numerous recognitions and awards as a historian and cartographer, including Citizen of the Year by the Lake Murray Association.   Writing historical articles has also been a favorite hobby as he has written numerous articles for local newspapers and other publications.

The special map I bought today is the Lake Murray Then and Now historical map.  Want one? You can buy the historical Lake Murray Then and Now print or a framed print at Palmetto Fine Arts in Chapin.

Mel Coker
Lake Murray resident and Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 223-6214

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas!

A belated Merry Christmas!  We were in Cancun for a vacation and arrived back in the USA just two days before Christmas, so I got behind a bit with my blogging.  We had a very nice Christmas and I hope you and your family have had a nice Christmas season as well.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Barbara and Mel in Cancun - Dec. 20, 2011

Mel, Barbara and Kelly - Christmas Day 2011

Please keep following my blog in the New Year... 2012!   Good stuff is on the way such as real estate reports, new home communities, Columbia news and events, energy savings ideas, an upcoming Mel Coker client/friend event, Lake Murray news and events, vacation ideas and much more.

Mel Coker
Columbia, SC Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 318-2007

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lake Murray Birthday!

I missed this one a few days ago... the date I believe to be Lake Murray's Birthday: December 1st!   Lake Murray is now 81 years old.

The work of clearing the site for the project was started in April 1927. The Saluda Hydroelectric Project was constructed between 1927 and 1930 by the Lexington Water Power Company, which merged in 1943 with South Carolina Electric and Gas Company (SCE&G).  In July 1930, the reservoir reached an elevation of 298.5 feet. 

Popular Mechanics Magazine - May 1931
(click for larger image size)

At 7:00 a.m. on December 1, 1930, the first electric power - 10,000 kilowatts - was delivered to Duke Power Company. Today, SCANA Corporation (parent company for SCE&G) owns Lake Murray and is responsible for the lake. Lake Murray was named for William S. Murray and The Dreher Shoals Dam is named for the Dreher family that owned land in the immediate area where this dam is built.  So, the reason the lake was built, hydro electric production, was achieved on December 1st with the first hydroelectric output, the official beginning of Lake Murray's awesomeness!

When construction was finished on Lake Murray and the Dreher Shoals Dam, Lake Murray was the largest man-made lake in the world for power production purposes and Dreher Shoals Dam was the largest earthern dam in the world.

This year, Lake Murray was named one of the Top Ten Best Lakes in America for living and boating!  Want to live on or near Lake Murray?  Contact Mel Coker (a Lake Murray resident):
(803) 388-8011

The Dreher Shoals Dam is approximately 1.5 miles long and 213 feet high.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lake Murray Realtor - Mel Coker

Need a Professional Realtor for Lake Murray?
Contact Mel Coker - A resident of Lake Murray and life-long resident of the Greater Columbia area.

CLICK for my brochure

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Start a Virtual 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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lake Murray Scenes - mid-November

Scenes from Lake Murray this past past weekend...
Fishing on Lake Murray - November 2011
Beautiful Leaf Color!

Out on our Pontoon

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lake Murray Access Home For Sale - Chapin, SC

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.  Also, 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

Lake Murray Restaurants

NEW! Lake Murray Restaurants Webpage

I'm a little late for this past summer season, but, I had to do appropriate research and I've just finished a Lake Murray Restaurants web page.  The restaurants open on Lake Murray are always changing, but, I believe I have the most up-to-date information available on the Internet. (private clubs are not included)


NEW!  Lake Murray Restaurants Web Page

PLEASE try to support these restaurants.  The economy is tough anyway and certainly during the slow season at the lake, these restaurants would surely appreciate you stopping by to support them.  Pick one a month during this fall/winter to try.   You can even drive (by car) there!
CLICK HERE for a listing in PDF format (be sure to call the restaurants to verify operating hours)

Mel Coker
Your Lake Murray Realtor!
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 388-8011
Lake Murray website  |  Mel Coker Real Estate

Friday, October 7, 2011

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Coming to South Carolina?

Extreme Makeover Coming to South Carolina
"Move that bus!!!" may be coming to Columbia, SC very soon!
Due to my Internet marketing for Columbia, SC real estate, I've been contacted by the show producers seeking my help in finding someone whose home deserves an Extreme Makeover.   Ty Pennington and his crew have been all across the map and they are ready to drive that famous bus into central South Carolina.

What does it take to be picked for an Extreme Makeover?
We are in search of deserving families and deserving people - people who have amazing strength of character and who put their own needs aside to help others. Whether it’s a mom, a soldier, a teacher, or a fireman, we think deserving families are families who inspire those around them. In addition, the producers are looking for families whose houses need major alterations or repair- homes that present serious problems for the family and affect the family's quality of life.

ACT Quickly! 
The deadline: for nominations is October 14, 2011. BUT Don’t Delay! Please send story submissions as soon as possible!
CLICK HERE for more information

Mel Coker
Columbia SC Real Estate
(803) 223-6214
RE/MAX Metro Associates

Monday, October 3, 2011

Search For Lake Murray Homes Online

Mel Coker's NEW Columbia MLS search site:

This new website has many features and an easy-to-use "Search Properties" feature.  The "Quick Search" and "Search Properties" are both accessible from the front page of my new website.  Use this feature to search for homes in Columbia, Irmo, Chapin, Lexington, Northeast Columbia and at Lake Murray. 

If you want me to customize a homes search for you, please call or email and provide me with your home search criteria.  I am a life-long Columbia resident and can use my experience to provide you with the best listings matching your needs.  Ready to buy or relocate?  Call Mel Coker today!

Mel Coker's new website:

CLICK HERE to visit my new Columbia real estate website:

Mel Coker
Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, e-PRO
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 388-8011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lake Murray Pictures

Recent pictures out on Lake Murray:

Mel's RE/MAX Balloon - September 18th

Cruisin' on the lake - September 18th

Sunset view from our deck - September 25th

Richland and Lexington County Sheriff's Helicopters at Lake Murray Association Meeting - Sep. 27th

Monday, September 19, 2011

RE/MAX balloon at Lake Murray

I was out yesterday on my dock at Lake Murray with my personal RE/MAX balloon!  I was unable to achieve a lift-off.

Mel Coker on Lake Murray with RE/MAX Balloon

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor
RE/MAX Metro
(803) 388-8011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mel Coker's Lake Murray and Columbia Real Estate Facebook Business Page

I've opened a FACEBOOK Business Page for Columbia & Lake Murray Real Estate. 

Please take a quick peek when you have a chance.  CLICK HERE to visit my Facebook business page.

I would appreciate it very much if you will click the button on the page to "LIKE" my page.  If you "LIKE" my page up until October 31st (and live in Lexington or Richland county), you will be eligible for my Longhorn Steakhouse gift card drawing. I will select two names at random to win a $25 Longhorn Steakhouse dining card. Winner will be posted on my new Facebook business page on or around November 1st.

Thank you.

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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Coming Soon: Lake Murray Association Meeting

Tuesday, September 27th at 6:30 p.m.
is the date for the next Lake Murray Association Public Meeting

Boat on Lake Murray?  Fish on Lake Murray? Like  Murray?  YOU need to attend the next Lake Murray Association public meeting (the public is invited to attend for FREE).  You also should consider joining the LMA while attending the meeting.  Membership is only $15 per year.  Join and you will be supporting the BEST Lake Murray organization supporting issues important to safety, recreation, lake levels, and water quality at Lake Murray.  I've been a member since 1998!

The next meeting is: Tuesday, September 27th.  The meeting will be held at Lighthouse Marina, located at 1925 Johnson Marina Road (located just past Ballentine).   The meeting will feature Richland County Sheriff Leon Lotts and Lexington County Sheriff James Metts as speakers. FREE hot dogs and drinks will be provided and doorprizes will be given away.  PLEASE make an effort to attend.  Get there early to see law enforcement helicopters and boats.  CLICK for Meeting Brochure

LEARN MORE about the Lake Murray Assocation: CLICK HERE!

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Resident and Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 388-8011

Lake Murray is South Carolina's Beautiful Lake!

Ready to BUY or SELL on Lake Murray?
Contact Mel Coker - RE/MAX Metro Associates:
(803) 388-8011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coker's Return from Mexican Vacation!

We're back home this week from our 19th Mexico vacation last week.  This time, it was our 3rd stay in Playa del Carmen.   We had a great vacation... fun and safe.   Our Chapin next-door neighbors even accompanied us for this trip.  Playa del Carmen is a rapidly growing resort destination about 45 minutes South of Cancun.

On the beach between The Royal Haciendas Resort and Playa del Carmen

Ready to snorkel at Akumal beach
On this trip, we were really busy with fun side excursions, including: a cave snorkeling trip; a snorkeling trip to Akumal to see tortugas (turtles) and stingrays; day trip to Cancun; trip to see the Mayan ruins at Coba; a trip into Tulum pueblo to eat and shop; and fun shopping in Playa del Carmen and Cancun.   After getting a car rental at the Cancun airport, I drove approximately 480 miles in the Mayan Riviera.

We really like our Cancun/Playa del Carmen/Tulum vacations.  If you have questions, or wish to get my suggestions, please feel free to contact me.   We're looking at a return trip in February 2012.  Join us!

CLICK HERE for my Animoto Video Slideshow

Coba's Main Pyramid: Nohoch Mul is 138 feet tall (a very steep climb!)

Watch the video:

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

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lake Murray Real Estate

When you are ready to BUY or SELL at Lake Murray, contact Mel Coker.

Mel is a life-long Columbia area resident and currently lives on Lake Murray in the Chapin area.  Mel knows Lake Murray real estate.  CLICK HERE to view Mel's Lake Murray website

RE/MAX is #1 in real estate sales in the USA and internationally.
Mel Coker strives to provide the BEST real estate service in the Greater Columbia area.
Mel is the ONLY professional Realtor in Greater Columbia that holds all of these important real estate designations: CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES, e-PRO.

Call Mel Coker (803) 388-8011
Lake Murray & Columbia Real Estate website


Monday, August 8, 2011

Lake Murray Maps

Need a Lake Murray map?

CLICK HERE for the Kingfisher Lake Murray Map

Kingfisher Lake Murray Map


Mel Coker
Lake Murray Resident and Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Two Killed in Lake Murray Boat Crash Were Legally Drunk

The Batesburg-Leesville couple that died in a boat crash on Lake Murray last Friday night were legally drunk according to initial test results.  The blood-alcohol level of driver Timothy Jones was 0.357 and that of rider Kimberly Bailey was 0.187, chief deputy Lexington County coroner Randy Martin said.  Anyone with a blood-alcohol level above 0.08 is considered legally impaired in operating a boat in South Carolina.   The driver was over the limit by over 300%!

This driver hit a dock extending 60 feet into the water at the point of only 12 feet from the shoreline.  The boat was apparently traveling at a high rate of speed and sliced the dock in half upon impact.

Boating Under the Influence is ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS!  Don't do it.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Boating Deaths on Lake Murray

2 More Night-time Boating Deaths on Lake Murray

I don't like to have to report this in my blog, but, I feel it's necessary as a reminder to others that boat on Lake Murray, especially for night-time boating. Certainly, we extend condolences to family and friends, but, this should be another alert related to boating safety on the lake, particularly for boating at night.

NEWS ARTICLE:  July 22nd Boating Accident at Lake Murray Kills Two People

This past Friday night, two people were killed at approximately 10:30 p.m. after their boat hit a dock extending 60 feet into the water at a residential home near Billy Dreher Island.  This is a typical boat dock length as most docks on Lake Murray are in the 50 to 75 feet length range. If the information in the news article is correct, the boat driver hit the dock 12 feet from the shoreline.   The causes may well be at least inattention and excessive speed.   The investigation is still ongoing.

Last year (May 1st), two separate boating accidents within one mile and 30 minutes of each other killed four people.   Alcohol was involved in both of these accidents.   At this point, there have now been 6 boating deaths at Lake Murray within a 14 month period.

The legal minimum distance for boaters to have NO WAKE from docks, the shoreline, other boats and swimmers is 50 feet.  Boaters should know that they should actually have more distance than this -- many states have much higher minimum distances and this state should also increase this distance to at least 75 feet or 100 feet. I see this 50 feet no wake minimum distance violated all the time at my lakeside home dock (even with a posted sign).

Boating Safety Reminders:
  • No BUI  (Boating Under the Influence)
  • SLOWER speeds at night
  • Night-time boating requires even more attention than normal
  • Maintain very safe distances from shoreline and docks

NEXT Blog Article:  Mel's NEW Boating Safety Page

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Buying a Boat

Looking to buy your first boat or upgrade a boat?  You may need to persuade your spouse!

I found a cool resource at -- the Spousal Conversion Kit.   The website has several persuasion videos, tips, scripts and a "7 Days to Boat Ownership Guide."  it's all cool stuff.   It may be a resource you need.  Check it out at:

Discover Boating is a public awareness effort managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) on behalf of the North American recreational boating industry.

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor and Resident
RE/MAX Metro Associates  (803) 388-8011
"Lake Murray - A Best Place in America to Live and Boat"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lake Murray: A Best Lake for Living and Boating

Lake Murray - Recognized as a BEST LAKE Again.
I know it and many other people know it... Lake Murray is a great place to live.  Now, BOATING Magazine has placed Lake Murray in their recent list of 10 Best Places To Live and Boat.

Barbara and I have lived on Lake Murray for 8 years and we love Lake Murray living.

BOATING Magazine considered livability, public access, convenience and also relaxing getaways that should please anyone looking for a primary or secondary boating home.  

Lake Murray - A Best Place to Live!

Lake Murray Quick Facts: app. 620 miles of shoreline; approximately 48,000 acres; 41 miles long; 14 miles wide at widest point; developed for hyrdro-electric power (now used only for peaking purposes); primarily a recreation/fishing lake; reasonable cost of living; shoreline is approximately 70% developed.
Average single family home price (closed 2010): $487,764  -  2997 s.f. avg. (min: 100 ft. waterfront; 1000 s.f; single family)
Average waterfront lot price (closed 2010): $218,973  -  .73 acre avg. (min: 100 ft. waterfront; max 2 acres)

Check out this featured Lake Murray home listed for sale - Heavenly address in the Chapin area.

Lake Murray Home For Sale

Click for Lake Murray website  |   Lake Murray Blog
Mel Coker's Lake Murray YouTube Video

Ready to live on Lake Murray, near Lake Murray, or in a community with Lake Murray access?
Call Mel Coker, Lake Murray Resident & Realtor.
(803) 223-6214
Columbia area Real Estate
RE/MAX Metro Associates
Columbia, SC

Lake Murray Living

Friday, July 15, 2011

100 Deadly Days of Summer

Watch this video produced by the S.C. Department of Safety and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources!   The aim is to step up the South Carolina's BUI/DUI patrol and traffic law enforcement over the summer to make roadways and waterways safer for boaters and motorists.

Don't DRINK and boat or drive!

CLICK HERE for Video

Please drive and boat SAFELY in South Carolina!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Fishing is Great at Lake Murray

Tournaments are hosted frequently on the lake, including the Forest Wood Cup at Lake Murray in August 2008.  Lake Murray is known as one of the most productive lakes in the Southeast for largemouth bass and striped bass.  Lake Murray state record fish include: white bass, white perch, white crappie, and white catfish. 

View Mel Coker's "Fishing at Lake Murray" web page for the following information:  fishing reports, fish attractor location, Lake Murray map purchase link, freshwater fish guide, South Carolina fishing regulations, South Carolina fishing license purchase information, Lake Murray area weather info and more.

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

Safety Reminder: Fueling Boats on Lake Murray

A boat exploded after refueling at the Tega Cay Marina (near Rock Hill) on Wednesday afternoon (July 13th), sending four people to the hospital with serious injuries.  A preliminary investigation determined the boaters refueled about 1:30 p.m. and had pulled away from the dock when it exploded, said Mike Channell, York County Emergency Management coordinator.

Read more:

While the cause of Wednesday’s accident has not been determined, boaters should properly vent after fueling by using the blower to sift gas away from the engine compartment.  Then make sure no gas fumes are present before starting the engine.  Skipping this step can lead to a fire.

The S.C. DNR and York County Emergency Management officials are continuing the investigation.

CLICK HERE - Boating Basics: Fueling a Vessel

Thursday, July 7, 2011

HouseLogic - A FREE Resource for Homeowners

HouseLogic is the homeowners’ single source for information and tools to help you make smart decisions on how to protect, maintain, and increase the value of your home.  And, it's FREE!    This great resource covers: appliances, energy efficiency, maintenance, remodeling, mortgages, insurance, tax credits and much more.  Also, your FREE HouseLogic account gives you access to your own electronic binder.  Use it to save money, increase home value, save relevant articles and more.

HouseLogic is brought to you by Mel Coker, Columbia Realtor and the National Association of Realtors.


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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lake Murray Purple Martins

They're Back!   Purple Martings 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

Friday, June 24, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dreher Shoals Dam at Lake Murray

When construction was finished on Lake Murray and the Dreher Shoals Dam im 1930, Lake Murray was the largest man-made lake in the world for power production purposes and Dreher Shoals Dam was the largest earthern dam in the world. The Dreher Shoals Dam is approximately 1.5 miles long and 213 feet high.  Lake Murray was named for William S. Murray (the orginal project engineer) and The Dreher Shoals Dam is named for the Dreher family that owned land in the immediate area where this dam is built.

In 2005, a seismic remediation of the Saluda Dam was completed consisting of a new backup dam (also 213 feet high) immediately downstream of and adjacent to the original dam.

 Lake Murray is 41 miles long, 14 miles wide at its widest point and has approximately 640 miles of shoreline. The lake covers a surface area of approximately 48,000 acres.

Dreher Shoals Dam at Lake Murray

I have an informative webpage on my Lake Murray website with more information about the dam at Lake Murray with some really cool pictures.

Dreher Shoals Dam at Lake Murray webpage

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