Home Buying in Columbia>Question Details

Mhud, Home Buyer in Columbia, SC

What are the nicest and safest areas to live in Columbia SC? I am moving to the area, and would appreciate any help. Thank you.

Asked by Mhud, Columbia, SC Wed Feb 10, 2010

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14
Mhud,

There are various laws and ethical restrictions regarding what real property agents in South Carolina may tell prospective buyers, which may make the agent responses seem somewhat vague. As an attorney in this area, I can offer my opinion specifically.

In my opinion, the Lexington area is a very safe place for families, as well as the Blythwood area. There are many safe, nice, and pleasant areas to reside throughout the city and surrounding area, though. One agent advised below that you be patient and explore the entire area, to see what best fits your family and lifestyle. I would advise you do this because many of the surrounding community locations are far apart, and offer very different activities. After you move to town, you will get a better feeling for how traffic flows, and what various parts of the city are close to what you like to do.

One other option I would advise regarding the safety and crime rates of the area is to look under the "Stats and Trends" tab on this website, located at the top of each page. Under stats and trends, you can actually review the Columbia and surrounding area for both real property prices and statistics such as crime rates. I think you will be pleased with the Columbia statistics regarding safety.

In any event, welcome to the area, and good luck with your move.

Respectfully,

Jared D. Smith, Esq.
Supervising Attorney
Harvey, Casterline & Vallini, L.L.P.
Web Reference: http://www.hcvlaw.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
I am moving to Columbia this summer. I completed my associates degree in paralegal studies on November, 15. Can you tell me a little about the employment for paralegals there?

Any help or information would be appreciated.

Thanks
Melinda
Flag Mon Jan 14, 2013
Mhud:

I would recommend calling the Richland County Sheriff's Department for any questions about area safety.

http://www.rcsd.net/

I wish you all the best in your move to our area.

Sincerely,

David Patterson, Broker Associate
Keller Williams Realty
brokerdave@davidpatterson.net
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 10, 2010
All of the information you have received is good information, but you might also want to look at the website http://www.icrimewatch.net/southcarolina where you can type in the address of a property you are interested in and get the names, addresses, and pictures of registered sex offenders within a specified radius shown on a map. I believe that Lake Carolina is one of the best areas in town. They have a security patrol driving through the various neighborhoods within Lake Carolina. Prices range from around $130,000 on up to over $1Mil. It is a great community where people seem to enjoy their neighbors and one of the top rated grade schools in town is there. There is a skiiable lake, 2 swimming pools, walking/biking trails, parks, and a small town center. There is also a newly built YMCA in the community. Check it out at http://www.lakecarolina.com. I would be happy to send you listings of properties in the community, along with pictures and complete information. Please feel free to call or e-mail me with additional questions.
Julie Smith
RE/MAX Real Estate Services
http://www.scpropertyshop.com
jsmithrealtor@gmail.com
803-454-1613
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
Mhud,

All the answers below are good ones. If you have never stayed in Columbia for any period of time, I would suggest taking your time before you buy. You can find the same style home in many different areas of town, the trick is finding the area that works for your lifestyle. Make a list of what things are important to you. An example would be schools, shopping, dining, recreational activities and work. Let whoever you decide to work with know those interest and you will get to your final destination much quicker.

It is a GREAT time to buyer. Rates are low and sellers are willing to work with a qualified buyer. Get pre-qualified before you start looking. Many thing's have changed on the mortgage side over the last 12 months. Once you know the terms you are comfortable with, have fun with the process and don't get too stressed out!

Meade Coleman
Coleman & Associates, Inc.
803.787.5434
Web Reference: http://www.Flexsell.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 10, 2010
Mhud,

I would agree with David, calling the Richland County Sherrifs Dept at 803-576-3000 and ask them about safety in Columbia, SC.

For access to available homes in Columbia, SC and its surrounding areas... go to http://www.buyandsellinthemidlands.com and click on the city and price range your are looking for and enjoy.

Thanks

Howard Rose III, Army (Retired) Realtor
Agent Leader Council Member

hrose@kw.com
803-800-4448
803-767-7219

Welcome to Columbia.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 10, 2010
Mhud,
I have found the Columbia area to be a wonderful place to live. There is so much to enjoy and the people are really the best.
Everyone has different needs and wants that make "nice and safe" very subjective. I think that Gray had some good points to consider in narrowing your search to an area that works with your interests and needs. An experienced Realtor will consult with you about your needs and concerns. Your Realtor will be able to show you neighborhoods and homes based on your stated expectations.

I am happy to talk with you further.

Tina Ormerod, ABR
Keller Williams Realty
buyahouseincolumbia.com
803-446-7782
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 10, 2010
My wife and I are planning to Move to South Carolina sometime next year... From Connecticut. We have 2 kids we are looking for a Great school district any ideas... our budget are about 260,000... Will be working in Columbia, 15 to 30 minutes commuting to work will be ideal
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 21, 2013
I am answering you, again. I have no dog in this race nor sending you to me to get you to buy. The best advice is to get the apartment rental books at the grocery stores mentioned. I would NOT send you out Northeast area up towards Lake Carolina, though a very beautiful place, as I have a millionaire friend who first bought in there when new. The traffic up Northeast Columbia is a NIGHTMARE! First they build schools and add subdivisions and apartment complexes and what do you get? ONE BIG TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE MESS NOT close to town on 2 lane roads for the most part or 4 lanes (2 incoming, 2 outgoing) with traffic lights and businesses for congestion. They should HAVE and did NOT build the roads FIRST. This happened to Lexington (a small town for business and other professionals) where people were being sent to who had a dog in that race. Though it';s another great place, but not as bad with traffic, but 5-6 ,iles heading into downtown Columbia to work has 3 times set to leave work still has traffic problems. People will send you to areas who have a dog in this race. Remember that. Also, check out "sex offender" in each area interested that the sherrif'fs offices list in Lexington and Richland Counties. They e-mail me every time one moves in, splits town not saying or reporting to authorites, and who is coming into the communities. ALSO REMEMBER, there is NO total safe place anywhere in this country or any state. There are safer neighborhoods than others. At the same time if you move to a really great expensive community be aware that the drug dealers and crooks will want what's yours and NOT theirs they can steal. You can also go online or subscribe to newspapers for the different towns that will tell you the crimes committed. Once YOU BUY, YOU ARE stuck there! That's why I suggested an apartment. There are corporate leases and leases for 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Find out where you will be working, go in the traffic routes of various areas during the 3 work periods when people leave downtown after work (Interstates 126, 26, 20), head out towards Lexington into the town (10 miles), go up or down or both to interstates 126 and 26 to Irmo/Harbison near Lake Murray (the largest around) taking the Lake Murray trip to Lexington and back to Irmo/Harbison at Columbiana Place Mall on Harbison Blvd. (usually mispelled for business addresses as HARBISEN), try any major interstate, such as 77, going near FT. Jackson to Garner's Ferry Road; my personal preference is not there as I do not like any of the schools in Richland #1, except the ones closer to town in the Shandon community: Rosewood Elementary, A.C. Moore, Hand Middle School, and Dreher High School. An area known as St. Andrews needs restructured and not a place preferable to me, either. When people made the EXODUS out of town a number of years ago, they went to St. Andrews area of Broad River and Bush River Roads, again, needing updateed headed out to Irmo/Harbison. A few years ago, people wanted to be downtown for cultural events, Riverwalks (go to: riveralliance.com or maybe : riveralliance.org) here are very popular for families, singles, college students, and everyone that's free during the weekday or evening, so relaxing, enjoyable on a weekend day or any day for less people that has about 6-7 routes to walk, bike, roller blade, picnic, take their dogs on leashes, has bathrooms, puicnic pavillion, a nice dam for fishing called "Diversion Dam" part of Riverfront Park (look it up on sciway.com that tells you so much about us). Though we are a capital city of this state, we can run into people we know after being here a few months. A real test of an area is when people come back here and NOT Florida to retire most of whom were members of the Army at Ft. Jackson.

Check us out as I said above and rent an apartment or house to DISCOVER FOR YOURSELF..."IS THIS THE PLACE I WANT TO BE THE NEXT 5 OR 10 OR years to come? Check out the schools in each district: Richland County Public School District #1, Richland County Public School District #2, Lexington County Public School District #1, Lexington County Public School District #2, and Richland-Lexington Public School District #5.

Yes, the tax credit of $6500-8000 sounds real good to buy, but you need to be careful and have YOUR own inspector that's worth it to know is this house in need of huge repairs or anything hiding a seller may know or not know.I am also leary of "short sales" after I read an article last week about families that had clearance from their lender to sell it cheaper than they knew it was worth before they go into foreclosure. The sellers thought they were okay. A few years later they received from their lender they owed the difference!!! That's NOT fair to them. They were lied to.

Look everything up and check things out yourself. Then when you are ready to buy, find a "BUYER'S AGENT" who will represent YOU and NOT the seller.

Best Wishes for You and Yours,
H.E.Z.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010
H.E.Z. - Are you Howard Rose? It's unclear by the comments, but it really does not matter.

I want to buy in the Forest Acres area within the next 30-60 days. Your comments struck a chord with me because I am retired army, I live in Florida and I want to move back to Columbia. Long story, but I need a buyer's agent fast.

Karl
Karl75s@aol.com
703-975-1875
Flag Mon Jun 17, 2013
There are many nice and safe areas to live in Columbia. Then, like any city, there are areas that are not as desirable. If you could send me an email- peggyspann@aol.com with some criteria as to location, schools, where you will be working,price range, etc. I can guide you. I'll be happy to send you listings for you to get an idea of the market here.

Peggy Spann
Realtor, Coldwell Banker United
Multi-Million Dollar Producer
803-758-1658
email: peggyspann@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 5, 2010
Hello Mhud,

I am an individual (not a broker/agent) with a somewhat similar situation. I am out of state but have a home for sale that is very nice in Lexington (just outside of Columbia) that you might want to take a look at. I would really love to sell it and will make you a great deal on it just in time to get the home tax credit if you qualify for that. It is 1750 square feet, 3br, 2.5 baths, liv rm, din rm, den, front porch, back patio, wooded lot, fireplace 1 car garage and very nice lot.... I would make you a great deal on it if you are interested in it.

Lexington is a great area to live in and has very good quality of life statistics!

You can contact me here:

jeff_leecpa@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 1, 2010
Dear Sir:
No one could say they are safe as this is a different world today with a different generation that is not as caring and looking after each other as if the neighborhood's children were their own family. We have been here in Columbia 20 years starting out in a motel suite as a young family looking at homes with a realtor without knowing what our needs would be. We were shown the up and coming areas of professionals and mid professionals with a new mall and shopping centers later coming in by beautiful breathtaking Lake Murray we enjoy going to. Another side of town had began to grow as well, but the housing and schools later on overcrowded the roads that's a nightmare as well. We almost bought 1 of 2 houses where a lawyer and business owner lived which I am glad we didn't. Traffic was a nightmare at both places, it didn't fit our needs for church, shopping traffic, schools (though considered the best), commute to and from jobs too long and congested with wrecks, and activites to travel further to for after school activiites.

Our area is called the "Midlands." We are 1/2 way between the mountains and 1/2 way to the shore areas. Greenville and Spartanburg, the "Upstate" area are colder and get more colder days/nights with snow than we do. The beach areas have higher humidity. Everyone has air conditioning in their homes, apartments, and cars besides the malls and shopping. We can swim in most of our lakes whereas our moving to Florida after here, brought us back with so many houses in foreclosure, too many hurricanes, and alligators and water mocassins in most lakes was a huge disappointment after staying in an motel suite deciding to come back here in 2004. Many of our military families and others choose to come back to retire instead. We seem to get new industries and businesses that move here chosing us over other states.

Our way to find our apartment was we decided to go to grocery stores, "BI LO," to pick up free Apartment books (2 different ones) or "Publix" Grocery Stores finding the booklets in the front vestible; of course the managers showing their apartment complexes to us would tell all the good points, but I wanted to KNOW just what they WERE like on my own. I visited on weekend evenings to see what kind of noise and level of traffic and parties noise level was like, walked up and down open stair wells, saw what the dumpster area looked like on Friday or Saturday nights or holiday weekends, if cars music or their tail pipes were too loud at certain hours, what parking was like so we wouldn't have to fight for a close parking spot close to the apartment at night or after getting groceries considering rain and cold, if they were taking care of the roads in and out, condition of the the tennis court and pool area, if the lighting was bright or dim in the parking lots and stairs or walkways into the apartments to see and deter being a crime victim, and trees and shrubs were trimmed low enough and thinned out for my family's safety. This place was close to town and all 3 interstates and recreational areas plus the riverwalks being built then with reasonable rent met our needs. It has screened in porches (coming out of the French doors from the livingroom with a fireplace) to put chairs and a table or chairs and a picnic table to eat out side in the nice weather with company if we want. There's a laundry building, but our own apartment laundry room is big enough to sleep in! Prices ARE good! I love having 2 master suites with master bathrooms at the end of each side of the apartment for privacy. One is so great, you can lock the bedroom door and the bathroom door for nobody to come in! There is a walk-through closet joining them! The other master bedroom with master bath has a huge walk in closet plus another long closet on the other side of the room. Pets are accepted within reason of size and not considered dangerous. Having that fireplace in the winter is a nice touch. The livingroom and dining room are a really nice size. We have a large pantry in the kitchen. There is a deep closet by the laundry room for sheets, towels, and other things to store. Maintenance cares about your needs, and tree/lawn/bushes/ landscapers come once a week to keep them cut and for safety. If a person doesn't want cable tv, they have satellite they can get from somewhere. There are apartment meetings to learn about things, get togethers, know your neighbors, and play games having a snack time with prizes given out.

All apartment complexes in Columbia have "specials" to assist with a first year move in. What you see in a book doesn't show the specials. Our rents rarely went up. Once you buy a home without knowing the area, you are stuck there. Living in an apartment 6-12 months gives you ample time to see what meets your and your family needs. It doesn't hurt to look. Prices in homes keep falling, so you don't have nothing to lose.

Welcome to Columbia!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 21, 2010
Where in the midlands did you end up moving to? Your explanation of the apartment you found sounds perfect! Just the type of area my family would love to move to. Unfortunately, I live in alaska now and cant drive through the columbia areas myself to check them out, but it sounds like you found a secret treasure. Can you share with me the apartment complex you chose and the area please?
Flag Wed Dec 25, 2013
Columbia & SC in general are great! You will find there are so many housing options. Call me to discuss.
Have a wonderful day!
Bobby Curtis
Russell and Jeffcoat Realtors, Inc.
(803)513-1095
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 10, 2010
Mhud,
There are nice and safe areas in all parts of Columbia. If you narrowed your seach down to an area of town based on schools, driving distance to work, neighborhood association needs and home requirements, I'm sure we could fine areas that are not only nice but safe too.
Let me know if I can help you!

Gray Farnsworth
Broker, GRI,CRS, ABR,
Russell & Jeffcoat REALTORS
grayfarnsworth@bellsouth.net
803-331-7007
http://www.grayfarnsworth.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 10, 2010
Hello!!! I am a local realtor, and have lived in Columbia my whole life! I know Columbia very well and would be glad to show you around!

Please feel free to give me a call and I can help you!!

Thanks,
Melinda Ray
W Realty
803-319-8911
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 10, 2010
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