Situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Columbia is not your average tourist town. Founded in 1850 and coined the "Gem of the Southern Mines," Columbia State Historic Park was created in 1945 by the State Legislature in order to preserve the antiquity and memoir of a classic American Gold Rush town. Visitors flock to Columbia every year to live, work and feel like a true miner from the peak 1860 era. Blacksmith shops, stagecoaches and boutiques filled to the brim with souvenirs ranging from jewelry to leather goods sustain the nostalgia within Columbia's borders. Nelson's Columbia Candy Kitchen, a confections store upheld by one family over five generations, maintains their original recipes cooked in century-old copper kettles and marble tables.
True history buffs and wistful homebuyers continue to call Columbia home each year. Nonetheless, home prices declined 26 percent last year, allowing buyers to enter the market at a lower average price. In 2015, the average list price dropped to $212,663 from a previous $287,377. Concurrently, share of homes on the market grew by a large 62.5 percent to reach 13 for-sale listings. Although Columbia's real estate market is small, declining prices and a mounting number of for-sale listings gives buyers additional options should they decide to start their search in the near future.