5 Things You Might Not Know about Columbia, South Carolina

Chris Laskowski2/25/2015  |  Categories: Columbia
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Whether you are new to the area or have been a resident for several years, there might be a few things about the Columbia area that you don’t know. With such an intricate history and rich culture, newcomers and long-time locals alike can always learn something new.

  1. Something’s Fishy: You may have heard a few songs by Hootie and the Blowfish, who got their start in Columbia. And their name is just too good to pass up, because the amatuer baseball team in the area became deemed the Columbia Blowfish, named after the band.

  1. Class Act: Columbia is home to the oldest community theater in continuous use in the United States. Town Theatre was constructed in 1924 and underwent $1.2 million in renovations in 1993. To this day, it attracts over 30,000 patrons each season.

  1. Adventure Awaits: Did you know that Columbia is within 25 minutes of the Saluda, Broad and Congaree Rivers, which are all known for whitewater rafting? Visitors from all over visit these rivers to paddle, raft, kayak and explore their way around the winding waters and trails.

    4. Street Art, Anyone?: Not only does the world’s largest fire hydrant weighs in at 675,000lbs and tower at about 40ft it’s also located in Columbia! It was built to withstand a tornado and is a symbolic celebration of the mural “Tunnelvision” which can be seen in downtown Columbia. Unfortunately, it does not provide any water for the fire department. 

    5. Water You Waiting For?: Columbia was recently chosen as a semi-finalist in a tasting of the nation’s best tap water. Imagine being in a place where the water from the sink is even better than bottled water. You can also buy 1,000 gallons of tap water for the price of one bottle of water. Now that’s something tasty to sip on!

There are dozens of other things that make Columbia such a unique and inviting place. A location that has taken time to develop, Columbia’s exceptional history make it a great place to learn. Imagine living somewhere where there is always something new to explore and fun facts to be uncovered. Looking for master planned communities in Columbia, South Carolina? Lake Carolina is a premier, active community with homes for sale in Columbia, SC.

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Get Pumped Up! Gamecocks Run 6k is Fun For All Ages

Chris Laskowski2/18/2015  |  Categories: Events
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Looking for a healthy and active way to transition from February to March? The Gamecocks Run 6k is a fantastic way to spend time with friends and family, get fit and foster team spirit. Whether you’re a Gamecock fan young or old, the event offers supporters, alumni and residents an opportunity to see the beautiful University of South Carolina campus. In addition to the campus, the famous athletic facilities of USC are a part of the course.

If you aren’t a runner, don’t worry. The race is timed, but many will be walking as well. The route starts at Gamecock Park, next to Wiliams-Brice Stadium (home of Gamecocks Football), followed by the Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field, past the Carolina Tennis Center, alongside The Dodie, Rice Athletics Center & Carolina Soccer’s Stone Stadium. You finish right at the half court line inside the Colonial Life Arena. During the race, participants will pass by landmarks such as the Cooper Library, Moore School of Business and the famous Horseshoe.

Instead of your typical 5k, this race is a 6k, which is about 3.7 miles. Even if you are just participating for leisure, the race will include overall and age division award winners. Besides the opportunity to participate, runners and walkers receive a commemorative race t-shirt, photo opportunities, a ticket to the USC Women’s Basketball game versus Mississippi State on Thursday, February 26th and a ticket to the USC Men’s Basketball game versus Mississippi State on February 28th. Refreshments for post-race refueling will be available, too.

Don’t miss your chance to experience game day at the University of South Carolina. Whether you have seen campus before or are brand new to the area, this spirited event will get you and your family up and active and loving the Gamecocks!

The event will start at 8am ET on Saturday, February 28th. Registration is $40 for adults and $15 for children under 18 years or current USC students. You can register online here. For more information on the Gamecocks Run 6k, visit their event website at http://gamecocksrun.com/

Having access to all of the events that happen in and around Columbia is just one of the benefits of living in Lake Carolina. If you are looking for new homes for sale in Columbia, SC, be sure to explore all of the custom home styles and amenities of Lake Carolina.

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Thinking About Moving Next Year? It's Not Too Early to Start Planning

Chris Laskowski2/11/2015  |  Categories: Columbia
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Overwhelmed at the thought of building a new home? Don’t fret. Lake Carolina has plenty of new homes in South Carolina and can help you with the process that starts with the basics. Here is a month-by-month guide for making sure you are ready to buy your first home.

Month 12: Review, build and enhance your credit

  • Before you even go to the bank or a mortgage broker, pull your credit score and review it for yourself. They will do this when you get there, but it’s better if you have a chance to see it before you go. Be sure to attempt to fix an errors that appear on your score and understand that the lower your credit score the higher your mortgage rate will be. Moving forward, work to enhance your credit by paying all bills on time and eliminating any debt.

Month 11: Figure out what you can afford

  • Know your income, understand your debts and take a deeper look into your savings. By paying debts, your credit score will improve and knowing your savings will help you see what you can do to save more. You may prequalify for a mortgage and you begin to identify what type of mortgage fits your needs.

Month 10: Understanding what you need in a home

  • This is probably one of the most unique parts of the journey, and something that you should take seriously. Understand what you (and your family) need in a home. Know exactly what day-to-day life will bring and be okay with needing certain things. From transportation to quality schools, a basement to a large closet in every bedroom..the details matter. Rank these necessities so that nothing is left out.

Month 9: Educate yourself and do research

  • It’s time to start looking at neighborhoods and seeing which ones fit your needs. You can see what properties are able to meet your needs and that are currently available. The Internet is a great tool, but can also be tricky. Know that pictures you might see online aren’t always what you will get. It’s best to check out places in-person after thorough research about an area.

Month 8: Pick a Realtor that fits your needs

  • Find someone motivated, energetic and trustworthy. For the rest of the process, a Realtor will be a very key part of your search. Confide in them with what you are looking for and don’t play that down. This is your home and it deserves attention and care during every step. Make them aware of your timeline, wants, needs and preferences. Discuss neighborhoods and areas you are interested in and factors that are non-negotiable for you and your family.

Month 7: Recruit other professionals

  • This is a great way to be prepared for the upcoming months. You won’t need other professionals such as lawyers, insurers and home inspectors right now...but you will. The earlier ahead you can be ready to hire these professionals, the more you will thank yourself in the end. Do your research and choose these individuals just as you chose your Realtor.

Month 6: Keep your paperwork in order

  • Even if you aren’t an organized person, you kind of have to be with all of the paperwork that goes into buying a home. Tax forms, asset statements and income statements are all required by a mortgage lender. Be prepared at any time to show these documents so that your timeline and process isn’t slowed down. Keep this paperwork in a safe and secure place as misplacing these creates quite a hassle.

Month 5: Mortgage lender & pre-approval

  • Find a lender that has the same passion as your Realtor to help you along the rest of your journey. Then comes the pre-approval, not to be mistaken for a guarantee for a loan. A pre-approval shows that you are a serious contender and are ready to move forward with your decision.

Month 4: Stay on top of contracts

  • After offers and counteroffers, you will establish a contract. Bring it that lawyer from month 5 to go over the sales contract and a home inspector to make everything checks out. After the contract has been signed, set a closing date for the property.

Month 3: Plan, plan, plan

  • Be ready to move out of your current residence, especially if that means contacting a landlord of some sort. Plan out the logistics of your move from storage to the actual, physical moving of your things. Decide if you will be hiring professionals or renting equipment to assist in your move and make sure utilities for your new home are set up for when you move in.

Month 2: The actual day

  • Know your closing date and do not focus on just packing. You will be excited, but understand that there is still a lot to do before you are settled in your new home. Schedule one final walk through (you don’t have to be with the inspector) to get a final glimpse at your future home. Leave no stone unturned and be prepared for the move you’re about to make.

Month 1: Contingency plan

  • Rental trucks, moving employees, utility issues or just simply delays can all impact your move-in day. Be prepared for the variety of bumps in the road that can occur and be able to handle them accordingly. Have backup plans for any and all situations and know that if something doesn’t go as planned, everything isn’t ruined.

This is a basic timeline, almost an outline, of what you can expect and what will be expected of you. The evolution of buying a home never goes 100% smoothly for anyone. Don’t get discouraged by stressful times during the journey and enjoy it as a process toward an amazing final result.

Thinking about relocating? Think Lake Carolina for your first, second or next home. They are one of the premier new home developers in South Carolina.

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Keep the Change! Family Fun Under $10

Chris Laskowski2/4/2015  |  Categories: Columbia
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It’s no secret that year after year, prices of entertainment and leisure activities continue to rise. What once was a $5 movie ticket can now cost up to $14. Add popcorn, candy and soda and a trip to the movies can end up being quite a fiasco for any sized family. 

But family fun doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are plenty of things to do that entertain and engage the whole family for under $10. These places and activities are right under your nose, so we are bringing them in front of your eyes. Check out these top 3 picks for excitement and adventure that the entire family can enjoy.
  • SC State Farmer’s Market: Go just to browse, enjoy the weather or taste and try some fresh produce. The SC State Farmer’s Market in Columbia is open year long, with most produce peaking in ripeness from April to October. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, seeds, meats and locally baked goods are just some of the things you can find at the market. They even offer free events throughout the year like barbecues, Halloween celebrations and cook-offs. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Carolina Children’s Garden: This is the perfect place to let your kids explore, learn and wonder. Two acres filled with educational spaces and 12 differently themed gardens that allow kids of all ages to learn hands-on and outdoors. Admission is free and they offer different programs throughout the year to help teach children about different types of wildlife, plants and habitats. For more information about the CCG, click here

  • The South Carolina Military Museum: Free admission and free parking are two of the amazing perks that this historical venue offers. For military enthusiasts or just those looking to learn a little bit more, the South Carolina Military Museum is a great option. See authentic firearms, edged weapons, artifacts, uniforms and more all while learning about South Carolina’s past and present militia. To plan a trip to the museum, click here

These are just three of the dozens and dozens of options of inexpensive leisure activities that are fun for kids and adults. Make family time a priority and know that it doesn’t have to break your bank. Lake Carolina is an active, lakefront community that is home to many of these types of activities that are little in cost, but big on fun. Thinking about relocating to Lake Carolina? Check out the new homes in South Carolina for sale in the area at www.lakecarolina.com.

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