Single professional woman, 30s. Rent vs buy? City/upscale living, access to restaurants/arts/shopping/gym or running. What neighborhoods might fit?

Asked by Bec, Columbia, SC Wed Apr 11, 2012

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Elena Corbin, Other Pro, Columbia, SC
Sun May 5, 2013
I am advertising a house for rent and for sale in Forest Acres. 6608 Vanwood Drive Columbia, SC 29206. You can see it listed on Trulia, Zillow, Craig's List, and Facebook.

Great brick ranch-style home in Forest Acres! 3-4 bedrooms, 2 baths, LR, DR, breakfast with french doors to back yard. Updated kitchen with granite counter and ceramic tile flooring. Hardwoods in LR/DR, hall and bedrooms. Ceramic tile in kitchen and breakfast/den. Large carpeted bonus room could be 4th bedroom or office/den/playroom. Laundry room. New roof in 2010. HVAC (GasPac) in 2006..Large fenced back yard and large front yard. Excellent schools in Richland Co. District One: Satchelford or Brockman Elementary, Crayton Middle, AC Flora High. Buyers' agents are welcome! Sale Price $170,000.

Elena Corbin
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Ene Swagart, Agent, columbia, SC
Thu Apr 12, 2012
The best neighborhood that fits that description in Columbia is Forest Acres are the Townhomes at FOREST LAKE PLACE for young professionals. Just block from Italian, French, Japanese upscale restaurants, Bistros, Delis, Spa, Gourmet Fresh Market, Cinemas, Book stores, Health Food, and Starbucks,Clothing Stores, Talbots, and soon to be Trader Joes. name it...... just a walk away with no car needed. This small private community is secluded with Nature Paths, a Lake, and Pool.
I would love to show you around this wonderful community.
Ene Swagart
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
voices member, Home Buyer, Alabama
Thu Apr 12, 2012
I'm not from Columbia, however, I would have to say that buying is always a better option than renting. Buying a home gives you the freedom to design your lifestyle the way you want it without interference. For example, there are plenty of great suburbs found on the outskirts of cities that would still keep you close enough to the "upscale living" you mentioned. You could put weight training equipment in your home and enjoy working out in privacy and on your own time, and you are likely to find a great neighborhood with a great community of neighbors with similar interests to your own.

Plus, lets not forget the sense of security that comes from owning a home vs. renting. Renting an apartment means that your life and belongings are always in the hands of someone else. If someone two stories down happens to go to bed leaving their stove on, and a fire catches, your life/belongings are at risk as well. Owning a home gives you the advantage of being in complete control of everything.

Of course, this is just my opinion. Hope it helps and good luck!

Isiah Youngblood, Realtor®
RealtySouth - Trussville, AL
0 votes
Pam Petro-ott, , Columbia, SC
Thu Apr 12, 2012
I'm sorry to have to disagree with the other replies, but having lived in many other cities and states, in my opinion it's always better to buy than to rent in Columbia/Midlands. Homeownership is often more affordable than renting, not only saving you money in the moment, but also helping you build equity. Saving money and building equity are always better than not having anything to show for the monthly rent at the end of the day. And let's not forget the tax savings! Giving less to Uncle Sam is always nice. The key is finding the right location not only to enjoy, but for re-sale! There are several neighborhoods meeting your criteria and at several different price points. The bottom line is what kind of mortgage payment do you want? and can you get qualified? It's hard to get a loan if your credit score is below 600. Go to to get a free report from each of the three national agencies before you do anything. You'll know where you stand right away!

Just remember:
If you buy something and sell it for exactly what you paid, that's "break even"; you've essentially lived in that abode "rent free". Location is everything, especially when it comes to not knowing how long you'll be in an area.
........What's next is up to you! You might also want to explore! ....
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If you buy something and sell it for exactly what you paid, that is not break even, because you will be paying a brokerage fee, plus your own closing costs, and often paying closing costs for the buyer.
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Page Latham, Agent, Columbia, SC
Thu Apr 12, 2012

The first thing to think about is how long you will be living in Columbia. If you stay 4 to 5 years and the market picks up, you may be able to sell and break even, (not make a profit). If you stay less than 5 years, you may need to bring money to closing when you sell to pay off your mortage.

When it comes to what you can get for the money, there is no doubt you can purchase a nicer home for a monthly payment of $1,500/ mo than you can rent for $1,500 /mo. It is a great time to be a home buyer, as long as you plan to stay where you are for at least 4-5 years!

There are many condominium options down town. If you want to be in a neighborhood, you can go a little further out and have several options: Shandond, Heathwood, Lake Katherine, Forest Acres, and more. It really depends on what your price range is.

I recommend you find a good real estate agent to walk you through the prequalification process and to talk with you to see what is on your wish list so they can find the right neighborhood for you.

Feel free to contact me. I would be glad to assist you!

Page Latham
Real Estate Professional
Russell and Jeffcoat Real Estate, Inc.
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Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Apr 11, 2012

It's very simple - you buy because you want to; you rent because you don't want to buy.

Universally, if you have doubts about buying, don't buy. It's as simple as that. What is it about not buying that you'd regret in three years?
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Matt Carroll, , Columbia, SC
Wed Apr 11, 2012
These questions are really better answered in person or over the phone. This is a long answer and I would need more info from you to answer it properly for you. If you would like, you can contact me at 803-765-1111 or on my website you can access the chat feature and chat with me directly.
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