Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy Birthday Lake Murray - 86 in 2016!

Today is Lake Murray's Birthday!
86 Years old today.



Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
Search Lake Murray Homes
(803) 318-2007

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day 2016

Veterans Day is Friday, November 11th!

Veterans from across the state will gather in downtown Columbia on Veterans Day, for the City of Columbia’s annual Veterans Day Parade, one of the Southeast’s largest Veterans Day parades.

On Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, the parade begins at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Sumter and Laurel streets, and travels southbound on Sumter Street, ending at Pendleton Street near the State House.

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!

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

Thank you Veterans!

Mel Coker
Realtor - RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants

Monday, October 31, 2016

What's Happening at Lake Murray - October 2016

October 2016 - This blog article starts a new monthly series - "What's happening at Beautiful Lake Murray".
Future monthly updates will be posted about the middle of each month.  I'll cover lake levels, forthcoming lake events and a brief real estate update.

Lake Murray Water Level, etc. - October 31
Lake level - 354.6  (last month this time 355.5)
** Typical high elevation in summer is app. 358' and typical winter low  elevation is 354-355' **
Water Temp (top) - 70.5 (last month this time 80.4)
Today's Temperatures - High  82; Low  58  (Average for this day:  68 high / 47 low)

Lake Level Chart Since January 1, 2014

For more information regarding "Lake Murray Environmentals", visit my webpage:

Upcoming Lake Murray Events

Timberlake Country Club Holiday Market - November 2nd
Lake Murray Visitor Center Christmas Open House - December 10-11
Columbia Boat Show - February 12-14, 2017
A Taste of Lake Murray - March 30, 2017
4th of July Celebration & Fireworks on Lake Murray - July 1, 2017
FLW Forrest Wood Cup - August 11-13, 2017 (Biggest bass fishing tournament in the USA!)

Quick Real Estate Update

September 2016 Analysis (Single family homes only; 100 ft. minimum water frontage and 1000 square feet minimum)
Lake Murray areas include Irmo & Chapin (MLS area 20); Prosperity/Newberry County (MLS area 21); Lexington (MLS area 23) and Saluda County (MLS area 22).

25 Closings (11 in area 20; 4 in area 21; 1 in area 22; 9 in area 23)  (23 closings in Sep. 2015)
UP 8,70%
Average Closed Price: $506,440  ($489,288 in September 2015)
UP 3.51%
Average "final" List Price: $534,188  ($508,952)
Average Square Footage: 2865
Average Days on Market: 148

More Lake Murray information from Mel Coker:
Lake Murray Search For Homes 
Lake Murray Website

Happy Halloween!

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Resident & Realtor
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
(803) 318-2007

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Search Lake Murray Homes For Sale

Lake Murray - Search Homes for Sale on Columbia MLS

Want to begin your search by cruising along the shores of Lake Murray for homes for sale in the convenience of your current home?   Use my Lake Murray HOMES SEARCH website to get current listings for sale at Lake Murray.

Search Lake Murray Homes For Sale

NEXT STEP:  Contact Mel Coker with any questions and then get to the right listings for your appointment to see homes on Lake Murray.

Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES, MilRES
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants  |  Chapin, SC
(803) 318-2007

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lake Murray Market Analysis

What's Happening At Lake Murray?

The Most Comprehensive Lake Murray Market Analysis Follows: 2005 - 2016

The Golden Year (The Standard)
The Year was 2006...  (maybe to be eclipsed in 2016?)
  • The average closed price in 2006 was $546,099.  This was an all-time high and represented a 19% price increase over 2005.  There were 148 closings.
  • The average days on market (DOM) was "only" 123 days in 2006.
  • There were 11 homes sold for $1 million or more
  • The year 2007 began the economic/real estate downturn with a slightly lower average sales price

The Downturn (The Bad)
2007 - 2012
  • 4 straight years of average closed price decreases (2007 - 2010)
  • Average closed price during this period $486,530 (a 10.9% decrease compared to 2006) with the lowest point being in 2012 at $448,163 (an 18.3% decrease from 2006)
  • Average annual closings decreased to 123 with a low of 89 in 2009
  • Average DOM was up significantly to 193 days with a high in 2011 of 246
  • During this period just 4.8 homes per year (on average) closed at $1 million or more

The (Partial) Recovery (The Not So Bad)
  • Average closed prices still down somewhat during these two years at $478,53
  • Average annual closings up to 186
  • Average days on market in 2014 at 183 - lowest since 2008

Lake Murray is HOT!

  • Average sales price in 2016 (thru August) at $574,032 -- A RECORD!
  • 209 closings in 2015  -- A RECORD!  2016 is on pace to break 2015.
  • Average days on market at 160 - lowest since 2008
  • 10 million dollar closings in 2015 - highest since 2006
  • 14 million dollar closings so far in 2016  -- A RECORD!

Home closings criteria for analysis:  Waterfront on Lake Murray; minimum 75 feet water frontage; single family home with minimum 1200 square feet; minimum price $150,000.

More interesting data:
There are four Multiple Listing Service areas:  Irmo/Chapin, Lexington, Newberry County, Saluda County - the Lexington and Chapin areas accounted for 79% of all closings on the lake.

Lake Murray Living is GREAT!

  • 162 homes for sale waterfront on Lake Murray
  • Average asking price is $641,628 - notice this is significantly higher than the closed average for 2016 ($574,032).
  • In 2016, for the homes closed, the final average asking price was $611,501 (compare to the current overall asking price above).   The average price reduction was 6.13%
  • Conclusion: PRICE your home right to get it sold.  Call Mel Coker for a market analysis.
>>To view or print my detailed Lake Murray market analysis, CLICK HERE FOR PDF REPORT.

CLICK Here to Search MLS

The most important NEWS here is that NOW still is the time to BUY a home on or near Lake Murray.  To BUY or SELL on Lake Murray, Contact Mel Coker.  I know Lake Murray.  I SELL Lake Murray.  I live on Lake Murray.

Call Mel Coker to BUY or SELL at Lake Murray.

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
(803) 318-2007

MLS Internet Search

Mel Coker on the Internet

Monday, August 22, 2016

Investigate Lake Murray?

Ready to INVESTIGATE Lake Murray?
  Ready to NEGOTIATE for a Lake Murray home?
Contact Mel Coker for Lake Murray information and listings.
Mel Coker at Lake Murray

 Allow me to help you find the RIGHT home at Beautiful Lake Murray.

Mel Coker - Lake Murray Resident & Realtor
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
(803) 318-2007
Search the MLS for Lake Murray homes


Mel Coker - Lake Murray Realtor

Friday, July 8, 2016

Lake Murray Hardware & Marine Supply - Lake Murray Headquarters in Ballentine

Need hardware, boating products, outdoors stuff around Lake Murray?

I've shopped a number of times in the past at Lake Murray Hardware & Outdoors.  However,
In Ballentine - Between Irmo and Chapin
recently I met the owner, Mike Cameron, and learned a bit more about his business.  It's a great place to shop.  Mike and his friendly staff are ready to help you with the following products and services:

  • Boating and Outdoor supplies and products
  • Fishing supplies & Bait
  • Guns and ammo
  • Cigars
  • Hardware, including stuff for docks and boats
  • Keys made
  • Batteries
  • Guns consignment service
Lake Murray Hardware & Marine Supply staff are especially proud of their level of service.  Need questions answered?  They have the knowledge to help - you don't get this at Wal-Mart.

Mike shared with me that he makes sure his prices are very competitive and and most items are at or below "Walmart" and/or Internet pricing.  As an example, I priced an item I had recently purchased from Amazon - OrPine Marine Wash & Wax by H&M Products.  This product has a 94% excellent/very good rating at Amazon and was purchased for $22.63.   The price at Lake Murray Hardware and Outdoors:  $18.99 (a savings of 16%).  A great deal!  Go buy some today.

Mike is also competitive on the rest of his inventory and guns and ammo too.  He gets great pricing from his distributor, one of Americas' largest sporting goods wholesalers.

Stop in soon at Lake Murray Hardware & Outdoors and let them know you saw this article at

Lake Murray Hardware & Outdoors
1323 Dutch Fork Road; Irmo, SC
  **  Located in "Ballentine" beside the Food Lion and behind the current location of the Richland County Library  **
Open 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.  Monday - Saturday
(803) 732-5607

Lake Murray Hardware in Ballentine

Boating Supplies & More

Guns, Ammo and Gun Consignment Service

Friendly & Knowledgeable Service

Maintenance supplies, hardware & more

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor & Resident
(803) 318-2007

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July from Lake Murray

Happy 4th of July from Lake Murray in South Carolina!

This is America's 240th birthday. I'm thankful for the early founders of this great country basing the birth of a new nation on Christian principles. Yes, that is true. Interesting reading on this important day in our nation's history:…/did-america-have-a-christian-foun…
We (Barbara, Kelly and Mel) left at 6:45 a.m. for an early morning boat ride from our home to the Dreher Shoals Dam on Lake Murray (a distance of about 9 miles by water).
July 4th boat ride - The spillway at Dreher Shoals Dam on Lake Murray

The 5 towers and early morning fisherman on July 4th - Lake Murray

Lake Murray view on July 4th, 2016.

Declaration of Independence, a painting by John Trumbull depicting the Committee of Five presenting their draft of the Declaration of Independence to the Congress on June 28, 1776. Trumbull's painting appears on the reverse of the United States two-dollar bill.

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor & Resident
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
(803) 318-2007

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lakes in South Carolina Comparison

I have created a chart of lakes in South Carolina with over 5,000 acres of surface area.   Of course, in my opinion, LAKE MURRAY is the gold standard.

Since I am asked this question from time to time...Three lakes are known to have or reported to have alligators:  Marion, Moultrie, Wateree.  Also, on Lake Russell there is no private development or homes permitted around the shores of the lake.

Ready to live on or near Lake Murray?  Contact Mel Coker.

Click here to VIEW/PRINT  Chart in PDF format.

From a South Carolina Government website

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
Chapin, SC
MLS Search:
(803) 318-2007

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lake Murray Fun

We had fun again this past weekend on Lake Murray... 

Kayaking, tubing, water skiing and wakeboarding.

Ready to live on Lake Murray?  Contact Mel Coker at (803) 318-2007
Search Lake Murray homes for sale

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor & Resident
Chapin, SC

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lake Murray's July 4th Celebration

The 2016 July 4th Celebration on Lake Murray is July 2nd!

The 27th annual 4th of July Celebration on Lake Murray will be Saturday, July 2nd this year.  Join the fun activities this year as the 2016 Boat parade theme is "SALUTING OUR TROOPS."

The BOAT PARADE begins promptly at Noon on July 2nd.  You must be registered to participate (it's FREE!).  Registration is open now through June 23rd.  Registration form AND boat parade rules are at or stop by the Lake Murray Country Visitors Center or call 781-5940 or the links below.
Registration forms:
Page 1  *  Page 2
Prizes!  1st - $800, 2nd $500, 3rd $300, 4th $200

The LAKE MURRAY FIREWORKS show is at 9:00 p.m. on July 2nd.   It is viewable from both Dam park sites and from most places on the lake.  Be safe and watch out for other boats on the lake that evening... it will be crowded! Tune in to 98.5 FM or 106.7 FM to hear the show and patriotic music.

More information on all activities at
Please consider supporting the show with a donation:    (I did.)

Have fun, be safe and Happy 240th Birthday America!

Lake Murray's 27th Annual 4th of July Celebration!

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor
(803) 318-2007
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants - Chapin,SC
Lake Murray MLS Search

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Boat To An Outdoor Church Service on Lake Murray?

Is it possible to boat over to a church on Lake Murray for an outdoor Sunday morning service prior to having fun on the lake?  YES!

Established in 1847, Macedonia Evangelical Lutheran Church is located on the shoreline of beautiful Lake Murray near Dreher Island State Park.   Lakeside services are conducted from the third week of May through the third week of September. Services begin at 8:30 AM and dress is casual.

 The outdoor lakeside worship service began during the summer of 1970 under the direction of
Location Map - Click for Larger Image Size
Reverend Clarence L. Richardson.  
Today, over forty years later, these outdoor services have grown in popularity and attendance.  Worshipers come by boat, car, or on foot to sit beneath the shady trees along the beautiful waterfront.

Where to go to church on Lake Murray:

(outdoor service)
Macedonia Evangelical Lutheran Church
49 Macedonia Church Road; Prosperity
May 22 - September 18, 2016  - 8:30 a.m.

Macedonia Evangelical Lutheran Church on Lake Murray

A Peaceful Place on Lake Murray

Lake Murray Worship Pavilion

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
Chapin, SC  
(803) 318-2007
Lake Murray Homes Search:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Buying a Home in Columbia, SC is Cheaper Than Renting!

Why Buying a Home in Columbia, SC. Is Cheaper Than Renting

GUEST ARTICLE: By Hannah Goodman of Trulia

Whether you are looking for an inexpensive place to retire, a quiet place to start a family, or your very first starter home, consider Columbia, South Carolina. This southeastern capital city gets more than 300 days of sunshine a year and offers a variety of activities and attractions for all ages. With an average listing price of just $137,500, there’s an affordable home in Columbia to be found for every budget. In fact, a recent study by Trulia showed that Columbia ranks in the top three metros where buying a home beats renting for retiree’s, just behind New Orleans, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The report assumes a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment and 25 percent tax bracket for households moving every seven years.

Where Buying a Home Beats Renting
U.S. Metro
Median Home Value, Mar 2016
Median Rent, Mar 2016
% Cheaper to Buy a Home Than Rent, Mar 2016

Note: Negative numbers mean that buying costs less than renting, while positive numbers means buying is more expensive than renting.

Not sure where to start on your house hunt?  Young people and students will be happy in Rosewood, with its close proximity to University of South Carolina, Midlands Tech and Fort Jackson.  The older generation will likely find the perfect home to fit their needs in Earlewood, a quiet residential area just a few short minutes from Downtown Columbia’s many amenities. 

Lake Murray - Another Popular Choice For Greater Columbia Living!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Waterfront on Lake Murray - Prosperity, SC

326 Edgewater Drive; Prosperity
UPDATE: Under Contract!

This all brick home has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  The home has a nice kitchen with plenty of custom maple cabinets.  The refrigerator, washer and dryer convey with the home.  The spacious great room has a cathedral ceiling and gas logs fireplace.

The home has a hot tub under a covered gazebo area, deck and two car side load garage.

Your Lake Murray home is on a spacious .43 acre lot with a private dock on Lake Murray.  The water frontage is 105 feet. This home is only 9 miles to Chapin.

Priced to sell NOW: $322,500

Ready to live on Lake Murray?  Call Mel Coker now to schedule a showing appointment for this home.   Call (803) 318-2007.

CLICK HERE for more information and pictures

326 Edgewater Drive; Prosperity

Private Dock on Lake Murray

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
Chapin, SC
(803) 318-2004
Click here to search more Lake Murray homes

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Time to BUY at Lake Murray

The Lake Murray BUYING Season Has Started at Lake Murray

Ready to move or relocate to beautiful Lake Murray?  Now is the time!  Contact Mel Coker for buyer representation to buy your home or property at Lake Murray.  Mel is a life-long Columbia area resident and has lived on Lake Murray for the past 13 years.   Mel knows Lake Murray.

Ready to buy?
Call Mel Coker at (803) 318-2007
Send Mel and email

Live at Lake Murray

Have Fun at Lake Murray

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
Chapin, SC

Monday, January 25, 2016

Lake Murray is the Place to be in Wintertime (and Summer)

To my Northeast friends... Tired of the snow and blizzards? Move to friendly and (relatively) warm Greater Columbia or Lake Murray (SC).

Average temperatures and snowfall in Columbia, SC:
January   High:  56 degrees  Low: 34 degrees  
February  High:  60 degrees  Low: 37 degrees
March  High:  68 degrees  Low: 43 degrees
Average ANNUAL snowfall for Columbia, SC is only 1/2 inch!
Average ANNUAL hours of sunshine: 2825
What are your averages?   View this website to get your numbers

 Ready to move?  Contact Mel Coker at RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants.   Mel sells all over Greater Columbia, including Lake Murray, Chapin, Irmo and Lexington.

Mel Coker

Cell: (803) 318-2007
MLS Search and Register At My Website

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Chapin, SC Update #1

Chapin, SC - NEW Growth

Chapin is a small town approximately 20 miles Northwest of Columbia, South Carolina via I-26
West.  The town is known by many as the "Capital of Lake Murray."   The shores of this beautiful lake are only a few miles from Chapin.  There, homeowners and visitors enjoy a lake of 40 miles in length with approximately 600 miles of shoreline.   Chapin area residents have one of the finest school districts in South Carolina - Lexington Richland School District 5.

An update on what will be new in the Chapin area in 2016:

Chapin Furniture will open a new store at 660 Columbia Avenue.   It's conveniently located at exit 91 on I-26 and will open around mid-year in 2016.

Publix is building a new grocery store at Chapin Crossing at 1150 Chapin Road.  This store is expected to open in the fall of 2016.   It will have about 46,000 square feet of space.   There will be other stores in this development to be announced later.

Sonic is expected to build a new restaurant on Chapin Road and open in 2016.

Chapin Park (possibly to be re-named), a new park developed and operated by the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission is expected to open by the end of 2016.   This 70 acre park situated between  Eptings Camp and Old Bush River Roads was developed in conjunction with community needs and participation.   The park will feature six baseball fields, tennis courts, soccer fields, play area and a state of the art splash pond.   Click here for a site plan.

And, close to Chapin will be the Greater Columbia area's first Costco store.  This store is under development now at Piney Grove Road and I-26 (exit 104).  This is only 13 miles from Chapin exit 91 on I-26.  The store will open in 2016.

 Chapin is a GREAT PLACE TO LIVE!  Ready to move or retire to Chapin and the Lake Murray area?  Contact Mel Coker at RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants.  Call Mel at (803) 318-2007.

Chapin, SC Area Map

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
Chapin, SC
(803) 318-2007  |  email:
Search MLS for Chapin and Lake Murray

Monday, January 11, 2016

Lake Murray and Columbia are in the Bargain Belt of Real Estate Values!

Columbia, SC is in the Bargain Belt!

TRULIA recently posted an article, "Housing in 2016", that identified COLUMBIA, SC as being in Markets to Watch in 2016.  This area is labeled as the
Trulia Reports:  Columbia, SC is in the Bargain Belt!
the "Bargain Belt" of affordable housing.   Columbia, SC was #7 in a national survey of markets that have strong potential for growth.

Key components of the analysis included: strong job growth, high affordability, high number of inbound searches and a large share of millennials.   For the full and informative article, CLICK HERE for 2016 Housing Predictions.

Columbia is a GREAT place to live.   We also have pleasant year-round weather, highly rated school districts, fun recreational opportunities and Lake Murray and a vibrant downtown area.

Ready to move or have questions?  Contact Mel Coker at (803) 318-2007.   I am a life-long Columbia area resident and currently live on Lake Murray.

(Trulia information and graphic used with permission of Trulia).

Mel Coker
Realtor, ABR, CRS, GRI, e-PRO, MilRES
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants - Chapin, SC
(803) 318-2007
Columbia & Lake Murray MLS search:
Lake Murray Blog:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Will 2016 Be The Year For Your Move to Lake Murray?


This may be the  year you decide to move to a beautiful and friendly lake in the South.  If so, you
need to consider Lake Murray near Columbia, South Carolina.   Mel Coker is the Lake Murray expert to assist you with relocation and finding the right home.

Mel is a life-long Columbia area resident and has lived on Lake Murray for over 12 years.  Call Mel for assistance in finding the right Lake Murray home or lot.

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants
Chapin, SC
(803) 318-2007
Internet:  (MLS Search)