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Blythewood "Doko" Rodeo

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 25, 2014

If you live in apartments around Columbia, SC you can enjoy the Blythewood  "Doko"  Rodeo this weekend on both Friday and Saturday at Blythewood Community Center Park on Community Road. The event starts at 6 p.m. with live music featuring Trent Jeffcoat. International Professional Rodeo starts at 8 p.m. with competition in eight rodeo events. You can test your skills by riding a mechanical bull. Food vendors and children’s activities.

Held at the Blythewood Community Center Park , the gates open 6 PM and the rodeo begins at 8 PM.

Live Music starts at 6pm on Friday with Trent Jeffcoat and on Saturday at 6pm with Dallas Reese. Also enjoy food vendors, rides and slides.

thestate.com

5th Annual Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival – Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 11, 2014

If you live in an apartment in West Columbia, SC you can enjoy a week-long celebration of…the Tomato! The Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival is a celebration of locally grown food – the people who grow it, the restaurants who place it on their menus, the markets that sell it, and the people who eat it!

This is a tradition of old-time festival fun, Tasty Tomato Festival includes a free heirloom tomato tasting, live music, local food and drink vendors, tomato bobbing, and the highly anticipated Tasty Tomato Contests!

The Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast is also returning. This is collaboration with local restaurants that will offer special dishes on their menus made with Midlands Grown ingredients the week before the festival, from July 11-18, 2014. Festival food will also feature local food with a tomato theme!

When is the festival?
The festival will be held from 4-9PM on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

Where is the festival being held?
City Roots Urban Farm, 1005 Airport Blvd Columbia, SC 29205. Located in the Rosewood Neighborhood.

Bring friends, family and camp chairs and blankets to sit on.  No coolers, please! You can also bring your dog, but remember that pets feel the heat more than we do, and shade is at a premium.

Who’s Gonna Be at the Festival?

Baked by Rach
Bone-In Artisan BBQ
Bourbon
Bulls Bay Saltworks
Capitol Café and Bakery
Charleston Cooks!
Chill Out Pops
City Roots
Crêpes and Croissants
Department of Agriculture
Dupre at the Market
Gin Juice
Graph-itti
Jake’s on Devine
K&K Gourmet Sweets
Oak Table
Paradise Ice
Rosewood Market Deli
Rosso
Sallie’s Greatest
Spotted Salamander
State Fair
Sustainable Midlands
Villa Tronco
Wil-Moore Farms Lemonade Stand
Fat & Juicy Bloody Mary Bar, with American Harvest Organic Vodka
Beer: Local Conquest Brewery, Swamp Cabbage Brewery, and other Domestic beers

Other Attractions:
Taste a variety of Heirloom Tomatoes
Self-tour the City Roots Urban Sustainable Farm
Art & Craft activities for children
Face Painting
Tomato Bobbing!

A week-long celebration of locally grown food at local Midlands’ restaurants! In the week leading up to the festival, from July 11-18, try delicious dishes from local chefs featuring Midlands Grown ingredients.

More information - tastytomatofestival.com

Events to Celebrate the 4th Around Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 02, 2014

If you live in an apartment in West Columbia, SC and are looking for fun ways to celebrate the 4th of July, here are some fun events that are taking place around the area.

Salute to the Nation: Friday, July 4. The 4th of July 2014 celebration will be held on Hilton Field. The gates will open to the public at 4:00 pm. The 282d Army Rock Band will perform starting at 8:00 pm. The formal portion of the ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Food, drink concessions and activities for the kids will be available at 4:00 pm. Anyone planning to attend the festivities should arrange to arrive early to ensure the best seating and to avoid being turned away at the last minutes.

Freedom Festival 1-10 p.m. Friday at Village at Sandhill, Clemson and Two Notch Roads. Sponsored by Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, the event will feature balloon art, car show by the Wildhorses Mustang Car Club, exhibits by the Richland County Sheriff’s department, 1-4 p.m.; live music by Ronnie McDowell, 6-8:30 p.m. and Johnny Lee and the Urban Cowboy Band, 8-9:30 p.m., followed by a fireworks display.

Star Spangled Symphonic Salute: 6-9 p.m. Friday at Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Road. Children’s activities begin at 6 p.m., a concert by the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra starts at 8 p.m., featuring a range of music from Broadway songs to patriotic tunes to sing-alongs. Check out the food truck rodeo with food and drinks available for purchase.

Blues & BBQ on the River: 6-10 p.m. Friday at Coble Plaza, Riverfront Park, 312 Laurel St. (behind EdVenture Children’s Museum). There will be fun, food, blues featuring Elliott & the Untouchables and a fireworks display at 9 p.m.

Torchlight Tattoo: 8 p.m. Friday at Hilton Field, Fort Jackson. Formal ceremony features a cannon salute to each state and territory in the United States, music by the 282nd Army Nand and a 30-minute fireworks display, as well as games, crafts and rides for families with small children. Arrive early for the best seats and parking. Access to the fort may be through Gate 2 (Forest Drive/Strom Thurmond Boulevard), Gate 4 (Percival and Boyden Arbor roads) or Gate 5 (Leesburg Road). Food and drink concessions will be available beginning 4 p.m. There will be bleachers and lawn chairs and blankets welcome for use in the field.

More information on www.thestate.com and fortjacksonmwr.com

What it Will Cost to Maintain a Home - West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 01, 2014

If you're considering purchasing a home, be sure to take the annual maintenance and repair costs into account. Here's how to calculate them.

If you’re thinking about trading up to a bigger home, or moving from renter to homeowner, you’ve probably done a lot of math.

But one key figure is hard to project and is often overlooked: If you buy a home, how much will you shell out every year for maintenance and repairs? A careful look at these potential costs might discourage you from buying a more expensive property or might make renting look more appealing than it would seem otherwise.

There’s no way to forecast these costs for sure. But mortgage-data firm HSH Associates suggests that homeowners assume they will come to about 1% of the property’s value — every year.

That’s $3,000 on a $300,000 home. To be on the safe side, you should probably use that as a minimum. So let’s say $4,000, and assume you’d also need a healthy cash reserve for any big expense that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover, such as a new furnace or roof.

A $4,000 annual maintenance and repair budget is $333 per month. If you bought a $300,000 home with 20% down and a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 4.75%, your $240,000 mortgage would cost $1,252 a month, according to the BankingMyWay.com's Mortgage Loan Calculator.

A $333 monthly maintenance and repair budget would equal nearly 27% of your principal and interest payment. That stings!

Let’s look at it another way. Assume your home is an investment that will grow in value over time. Historically, home values have gone up about 4% a year, on average. Because of inflation, your maintenance costs will also continue going up, so they will always equal 1% of the home’s value. As a result, your home really gains just 3% a year. That happens to be the long-term inflation rate. So in real, inflation-adjusted terms, your home would not grow in value at all.

For still another way of looking at it, consider what economists call the “opportunity cost” of spending $333 a month on fix-ups. Suppose that instead of incurring these repair costs, you invested $333 a month in a mix of stock and bond mutual funds. You could have $57,282 after 10 years, $169,965 after 20 years and $391,630 after 30 years. That assumes a 7% annual return, about what most experts figure a mixed portfolio will average over long periods.

Granted, maintenance and repair expenses are unavoidable if you own a home, and if you rent they’re built into your rent, and your annual rent increases.

For more information on apartments in West Columbia, SC, contact Abberly Village Apartments.

realestate.msn.com

Hot Temperatures and Your A/C - West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Your air-conditioner like yourself has to work harder in these temperatures to cool you. With temperatures being in the high 90’s or higher, there are a few items you may want to consider when setting the temperature on your thermostat in your apartment in West Columbia, SC. Also remember to notify the office as soon as you notice an issue with your system. Most issues don’t get better the longer the system runs.

A few things to consider while setting your thermostat:

  • Your A/C system can only cool to a certain point. Some systems may not be able to cool your home down to below 74 degrees.
  • Keep your blinds closed during the day to keep the sun and heat out.
  • Keep all of your windows closed and only open the door to enter or exit
  • Keep your A/C running while you are not home. Turning off the system while you are not home will cause the system to run for hours before cooling your home. This also puts added stress on the system and may make it fail prematurely.
  • Only raise the temperature 5-10 degrees while you are out. That way it will be comfortable when you return and won’t take as long to cool to your normal temperature.
  • The A/C systems of those residents on the top floor or on the afternoon sun side of the building will have to run more to cool their home.
  • Your A/C system will run longer in these temperatures. It is more difficult to cool your home in these temperatures.
  • Cooking adds extra heat to your home and will cause the A/C to run longer to remove the extra heat.
  • Take your long steamy showers in the morning or very late at night. It will be easier for the A/C system to remove the steam and extra heat while the outside temperatures are lower.
  • If the A/C is running warm area, go ahead and cut the system off.  The outside unit is probably frozen and will need to thaw before repairs can be made.

Fireworks Celebration on Lake Murray – Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 20, 2014

If you live in an apartment in West Columbia, SC you don’t have to wait until the 4th of July to see the fireworks. Beginning at dusk on June 28th, South Carolina's Largest Fireworks Display can be seen from two great locations: Spence Island and Dreher Island State Park. This is the 25th anniversary of this Fireworks Celebration.

The show is choreographed to a patriotic concert. The best places to view the fireworks are Dreher Island State Park and both parks at the dam- bring a chair or blanket, picnics are welcomed- NO Alcohol Permitted at any of the locations.

Admission is based on the park:

Dreher Island State Park- $2 for adults, $1.25 SC Seniors, FREE for children 15 years and younger (Gates close at 8pm).

Lake Murray Dam park sites- open until they reach capacity- $3 per car.

The walking path on the dam will also be open. (Fireworks DO NOT launch from the park sites at the dam).

Enjoy your July 4th holiday  at Lake Murray Country with Red, White and Boom.

More information - lakemurraycountry.com

Looking for an Apartment? Count on Resident Reviews – West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Are you looking for an apartment in West Columbia, SC ?  There is a great advantage to living in a reputable, well-run and well-maintained apartment community. It is very important that you are not ignored by your landlord, and that you can be certain that your needs and requests will be addressed. At Abberly Village Apartments, we would like to share with you a couple of surveys and comments from some residents upon their recent move into our apartment home community:

Ease of leasing and move-in process
Very Satisfied

Apartment condition and appearance at move-in. 
Very Satisfied

Professionalism and clarity of communication during the leasing process. 
Very Satisfied

Professionalism with which you were treated and communication during the move-in process 
Very Satisfied

Comments

Abberly Village is an awesome place to live! They have great amenities and a wonderful staff! Angel, Ashley, LaCole, & Mary are so pleasant to work with! They go above and beyond to satisfy their tenants!! There is no other apartment community I would live in! If you are looking for a place to call home this is YOUR place!! Call them today!

Buy vs. Rent: Common Myths Busted - West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 05, 2014

When weighing major life decisions, everyone seems to have the answer. You should marry this person, drive that car, and have so many kids—all by a certain age. Never mind if it’s actually the best choice for you!

Home ownership is no different. Deciding whether to buy or rent always comes with a generous helping of opinion. So how do you separate fact from fiction?

Let’s start by breaking down three common myths.

Myth #1: Buying a home is the grown-up thing to do.

Many folks look at home ownership as a rite of passage into adulthood. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical first-time home buyer is 31 years old. So if you’re 25 and feel like you’re behind the curve because you haven’t bought a home yet, stop worrying. There’s no reason to rush into a big purchase just because friends or family tell you it’s what you’re supposed to do. Real grown-ups know it’s not the money-smart choice in every situation.

During times of transition, renting for a year or two gives you time to get your feet on solid ground before making a life-changing decision. Here are a few examples:

  • You just graduated from college and aren’t ready to plant your roots in one place yet.
  • You moved to a new city and aren’t sure which neighborhood is right for you.
  • You’re in the military and don’t want to lose money on a home every time you’re stationed in a new place.

Dave also recommends waiting at least a year after getting married to buy a home. After all, it takes a year of being married to know how close to your mother-in-law to buy. Spend your first year getting to know each other and learning how to manage your money well as a team. You have until “death do you part” to take your next big plunge!

Myth #2: It’s stupid to pass up a good deal when the market is hot.

You found the perfect home, and the sellers are practically giving it away. It just might be the deal of the century. Even though Sallie Mae’s got her clutches on your pocketbook, you’d be dumb to walk away, right?

Wrong!

With real estate, you make money by buying the right thing at the right time—not by taking advantage of the market.Never buy a home based solely on the market. Buy when you’re financially ready. Here’s how you know you can afford it:

  • You’re out of debt.
  • You have 3–6 months of expenses in your emergency fund, plus enough cash for a 10–20% down payment on a 15-year fixed mortgage.
  • You’re paying cash up front, or your mortgage payment is no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay.

Jumping into home ownership with debt and no emergency fund is like diving into a pool with no water. You’re sure to hit rock bottom. First the A/C breaks, then the roof leaks. Next thing you know, you’re turning to credit cards and loans to pay for it all—and the hole you’re in just keeps getting bigger.

There’s nothing wrong with renting while you work to get your finances in order. In fact, Dave encourages it! Take time to lay the right foundation before you take the leap, and your home will be a blessing instead of a curse.

For more information on renting an apartment in West Columbia, SC, contact Abberly Village Apartment Homes.

daveramsey.com

Southern Guitar Festival and Competition in Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Friday, May 30, 2014

If you live in an apartment in West Columbia, SC and you enjoy great live music then you can enjoy The Southern Guitar Festival and Competition. The Guitar Festival is being held June 6 through 8 at 7pm at Columbia College.

The festival will open at 7 p.m. June 6 with a performance by Armenian guitarist Gohar Vardanyan; followed by Southern Guitar Festival faculty — double bass virtuoso Craig Butterfield, Teri Forscher-Milter (flute), Sloan’s Duo (Mandy Sloan on saxophone and Steve Sloan on guitar) and Marina Alexandra.

The 7 p.m. June 7 concert will feature classical, Latino-American and flamenco music by Ivan Resendiz and Siulviu Ciulei.

Currently in its 3rd year, the Southern Guitar Festival and Competition is celebrating this year by showcasing acclaimed local, national, and international musicians. Held at Columbia College’s Wright Spears Center, the festival runs from Friday, June 6 until Sunday, June 8. The Festival’s mission is to inspire and educate guitar professionals and amateurs. The Southern Guitar Festival includes concerts, master classes, lectures, and an international competition.

More information and a complete schedule - southernguitarfestival.com

Memorial Day Bacon Potato Salad – West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, May 22, 2014

Are you having a Memorial Day BBQ in the grill area at your apartments in West Columbia, SC?   Or maybe you are heading to a picnic or party with friends to relax and celebrate. We all know that Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer! Either way, here is a delicious and different potato salad recipe. Enjoy.

Potato salad with bacon is a delicious twist on this traditional summer side.

Bacon Potatoe Salad Recipe - Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 medium potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled 
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons diced pimiento, drained
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • Garnishes: paprika, celery sticks 

Preparation

  1. Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover in a Dutch oven over medium heat 15 to 18 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool slightly.
  2. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add bacon, chopped green onions, and next 4 ingredients. Stir together mayonnaise and sour cream until blended. Pour over potato mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Garnish, if desired.

Note: Round white potatoes work well in this recipe. To lighten, use light mayonnaise and sour cream. To make ahead, peel and cut potatoes the night before, cover with water, and chill.

Recipe and Image - myrecipes.com


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