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Americans are Choosing to Rent Instead of Buy – Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Friday, September 12, 2014

Despite the fact that home price gains have relatively slowed and mortgage rates are at record lows, a large number of Americans continue to rent homes rather than buy one, even if renting is more expensive than paying off a mortgage. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York explains why the trend of renting is so hot right now.

A recent report by Zillow, 30% of a tenant's income goes towards a lease when compared to the 15 percent a homeowner contributes towards a mortgage payment. But Americans, especially the younger generation, is yet choosing to rent.

To understand this trend, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York surveyed 344 young renters to find that though these people would love to own a place of their own, there are several hurdles that are keeping them from achieving their property goals.

Below are some reasons for their preference towards renting:

  • 55.7% said they don't have enough money or have too much debt
  • 52.7% said they don't have the right income to support a mortgage.
  • 41.4% said they don't have good credit scores.
  • 28.6% said they want a simpler lifestyle and want to avoid the "upkeep" of homeownership.
  • 24.1% do not like the idea of being restricted to an area.
  • 23.6% think it is cheaper to rent than to buy.
  • 18.7% do not want to invest in a home at all.

One of the major reasons was availability of mortgages. Almost two thirds of the people surveyed said that they would find it difficult to qualify for or obtain a home loan.

The survey also found many people saying they don't want to own because they expect home prices to fall further.

Previously, experts had pointed out that buyers are waiting for home prices to fall further before making a purchase decision. Also, the economy and jobs report are going to play a major role on buying activity.

And though interest rates are low, access to credit is tight because lenders aren't ready to risk another dent in their finances while the economy recovers.

The surveyors noted that there are "many potential buyers with relatively low credit scores" and that they "might now be discouraged, meaning that they are convinced that they would not be granted credit and thus may fail to apply for a mortgage even after an easing in standards."

But, they acknowledge that if lending standards were loosened too much, another financial windfall could come up and that could prove dangerous for the economy.

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

realtytoday.com

Columbia, SC Food Trucks Are Hitting TV

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 10, 2014

If you live in an apartment in West Columbia, SC you should know that our food trucks are becoming famous! Columbia’s food truck stars have snagged an eight-episode season with the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Operators 2 Fat 2 Fly wing truck, were featured during a one-hour special last month. The show ended up as the No. 1 in its time slot on ad-supported cable for African-American women 25-54, the network said.

Originally airing as Wingmen, the name of the show will be changed to the name of the food truck for eight one-hour episodes.

The “docu-series” will follow Dickerson and Simmons, the owners of the truck, as they operate their food truck business around Columbia, selling stuffed chicken wings. The series will be aired on Saturday nights in early 2015.

“This series will be a great addition to our Saturday primetime lineup,” Erik Logan, president of OWN, said in a statement. “The escapades of these two best friends are fun to watch and there seems to be no limit to what they might do in their quest to make their business a huge success.”

The show will document “the triumphs and challenges Ramone and Corey will encounter as they plot their path towards the American dream wing by wing”.

The State

Adopt a Pet in Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Friday, September 05, 2014

Pets are always fun to live with in apartments in West Columbia, SC. When you own a dog you always have a friend, always have someone to come home to, and often have someone to take a walk with.

Are you interested in adopting a pet? The Columbia Animal Shelter and Petsense on Garners Ferry Road are partnering for pet adoption events on Saturday and Sunday, September 13 &14.

Hotdogs and drinks will be served to people adopting a new pet for their home. Drawings for gift certificates and special adoption discounts will be held and pet-related games are planned along with other activities.

The 2014 Forever Home Adopt-A-Thon will be conducted on Saturday, September 13, from 9am-4pm and Sunday, September 14, from 10am-4pm at the Petsense located at 7402 Garners Ferry Rd.. Pets may also be adopted Saturday September 13 at the Columbia Animal Shelter located at 127 Humane Ln., Columbia, SC, 29201, from 9am - 4pm.

thestate.com

What Every Renter Should Know – Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, September 03, 2014

After the housing market crashed, the number of single-family renting households has grown by leaps and bounds. And it doesn’t appear like that increase is going to slow down any time soon. Those can afford to buy homes are choosing to rent. If you are interested in renting an apartment in West Columbia, SC, here are some things you should know.

1. Be prepared: Do your research and make sure you have all of your paperwork in order when applying for a rental property. Educating yourself about the rental process and the property itself can prove invaluable in your search.

2. Budget wisely: Financial experts suggest that renters shouldn’t spend more than 25%-30% of their monthly income on rent. There are other costs associated with renting, like daily commuting costs or lifestyle amenities, to consider as well.

3. Choose which amenities are important to you: Most people want a beautiful view, but that usually comes with a price. Is having a fitness center more important to you than an infinity pool? Choose the things that are most important to you and don’t worry about the rest.

4. Decide on your ideal location: As the old saying goes, location, location, location. Is the rental in a good school district? Is the surrounding neighborhood conducive to your lifestyle? Do you want an urban environment or something a little more laid back? Narrowing down your search to specific areas will make your search much easier.

5. Looking to cut costs? Consider a roommate.

6. Never sign a lease without visiting the property first: It’s critical to see the actual unit you’d be renting, not just the model unit. Check the fixtures, faucets and other features of the unit to make sure everything works. Perk your ears up and listen to your neighbors. You don’t want to be surprised by neighbors who enjoy playing loud music every night at 2 a.m.

7. Review the lease agreement thoroughly: Read all the fine print and make sure that there aren’t any provisions in the lease agreement that would inhibit your lifestyle. Pay attention to the effective date of commencement and duration, security deposit amount paid, and the circumstances that make the deposit refundable. Additionally, consider rent escalation, grounds for termination, and the notice period required for termination of the lease. All of these may be important during your lease term.

8. Purchase renters insurance: What happens if there’s a fire or other catastrophic damage in your home? The landlord’s insurance policy will take care of the building itself but not your stuff. Make sure you get a renter's insurance policy to protect your stuff in case of any catastrophic event, theft or anything else that may happen.

9. Take the steps necessary to get your security deposit back: Make sure you take pictures of the space before you move in and after you move out. Having that protection will help to ensure that you get your deposit back. When your lease term has ended, insist on completing a final walk-through with the property owner. That way, both parties can compare the space before and after your occupancy.

10. Be efficient with space: It’s your home for the life of your lease term, so make the space your own. Embrace your interior decorator and learn about Feng Shui. Reduce your clutter and live a clean, peaceful life.

housingwire.com

Farmer's Markets for Fresh Cooking Anytime - West Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 29, 2014

If you live in an apartment in West Columbia, SC and are a big fan of farmer’s markets, sometimes it is challenging to make it to your favorite one on their limited days open. Cooking with fresh, local fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients is a healthy, and green way to eat. But, if you can’t always get to your favorite farmer’s market, here is a list of those in the area so you can get to one any time.

Everyday
South Carolina State Farmers Market
3483 Charleston Highway (US 321)
6am - 9pm Monday - Saturday | Sunday 12pm - 6pm

Tuesdays
Sandhill Farmers Market
Clemson Road across from Village at Sandhill
2pm - 7pm

Forest Acres Farmers Market
Under the big tent at Richland Mall
3-7 pm through October 29

Thursdays
Northeast Farmers Market
Lake Carolina Town Center
3pm - 7pm

Saturdays
Lexington Farmers Market
Lexington Square Park at 205 E. Main St.
9am - 12pm

Soda City Market
1400 &1500 Main Street (2 blocks) Downtown Columbia
9am - 1pm

Newberry Farmers Market
Downtown Newberry
9am - 11:30am

Kershaw County Farmers Market
631 DeKalb St. Camden
8am - 12pm

Irmo Farmers Market
1st & 3rd Saturdays only
Carlisle Street in Irmo
9am - 12pm

Ridge Spring Farmers Market
Highway 23/Main Street on Town Square
8-12

What to Do Over Labor Day Weekend Around Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If you live in an apartment in Columbia, SC, head to Chapin during Labor Day weekend where the town is rolling out the red carpet for the 35th year in a row. The town’s biggest event draws an average of 30,000 people and will have free music, a parade and much more.

The theme of this year’s Labor Day Festival is “Hooked on Chapin”.

“This year’s Labor Day Festival and Parade promises to be another great opportunity to showcase the town of Chapin and its caring and committed citizens,” said Chapin Mayor Skip Wilson.  “Hopefully, we’ll be able to ‘hook’ even more people on Chapin as a result.”

Festivities begin Aug. 30 with the Walk or Run Crooked 5k race. Proceeds will benefit the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission’s Meals on Wheels program. The race will begin at 8 a.m. at Crooked Creek Park and will be held rain or shine.

K. Lee Graham, the newly crowned Miss Teen USA 2014 and a Chapin High School student, is serving as grand marshal for the annual Labor Day Parade, which has about 100 car, person and float entries. The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 1.

Town officials said the vendors slots are sold out, and people will have the chance to peruse 97 booths along Clark and Beaufort streets throughout the day.

The Newberry Car Buffs are bringing back their classic car show, and the sixth annual showcase will be set up in the Mt. Horeb lot on Beaufort Street.

Local singers, dancers and other performers can get a moment in the spotlight with the Chapin Champions Talent Contest. The event will be held under the tent behind the American Legion Building immediately after the parade.

For those who aren’t in the mood to sing, head indoors to shop the Chapin Branch Library’s book sale fundraiser in the Chapin Town Hall Community Room or stop in by the Model Railroad Association’s train display in the Legion Post 193.

Carnival rides for kids will be set up on Clark Street, while Chapin Christian Counseling will hold an old fashion gospel concert on East Boundary Street at Grace Chapel.

Off the Chain Band and Show is providing the festival’s featured entertainment. The group includes some of the area’s best-known musicians and singers and plays a variety of musical genres including beach, blues, disco and rock. Off the Chain and Show will take the stage after the Chapin Champions Talent Contest, approximately at 1 p.m.

coladaily.com

Labor Day Festival & Parade – Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 22, 2014

If you live in apartments in Columbia, SC then you know the countdown is on for Chapin's 2014 Labor Day Festival.

2014 Labor Day Festival Schedule of Events.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30

  • Run or Walk A Crooked 5K for Meals on Wheels at Crooked creek Park. Race begins at 8 AM.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 31

  • Celebrate with Bluegrass
  • The Hinson Girls at Chapin Presbyterian Church, 600 Lexington Ave. Open Jam Session and Meal at 5 PM; Concert at 6 PM. Free Food! Free Concert, Childcare provided!

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

  • Labor Day program kicks off with the big parade, one of the finest in South Carolina.
  • Parade starts at 9:30 AM. Parade makes a one-mile loop around town’s historic district.
  • Chapin Champion talent contest will be on stage in the old Chapin Fire Station following the parade.. Food Court will be in parking lot behind the fire station.
  • AMROC Model Train exhibit will be in the fire house building on Lexington Avenue, next to Lake Murray Florist.
  • Following the parade, Arts and Crafts and other vendors will line Beaufort and Clark Streets. An old fashioned Gospel Concert will take place at the Chapin Christian Counseling & Grace Chapel on Boundary Street with food, fun and fellowship from 10 a.m. until 2 PM.
  • The 5th Annual Classic Car Cruise-in will take place in the parking lot behind Mt. Horeb Lutheran Church from 9 AM until 1 PM. Lots of prizes to be given away.
  • The Friends of the Chapin Branch Library Book Sale will be in the District 5 Alternative Academy Gym following the parade until 2:30 p.m.
  • Also enjoy children’s carnival rides on Clark Street.

More information - lakemurraycountry.com/ chapinsc.com

FolkFabulous – Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 21, 2014

If you live in an apartment in West Columbia, SC and are looking for something different to do, we have something fun for you on Saturday, August 23 from 10:00am to 4:00pm; FolkFabulous.

To celebrate the opening of McKissick Museum's new exhibition Traditions, Change, and Celebration: Native Artists of the Southeast, the Museum will host its second FOLKFabulous celebration. A day filled with festivities, the event will include live music, food, and demonstrations.

FOLKFabulous 2014 schedule:

10:00 - 10:30 - Festival Introduction/Cherokee Storytelling with Freeman Owle, outdoor stage
10:35 - 10:55 - Gallery Talk on Traditions, Change, and Celebration, 2nd floor gallery
11:00 - 11:30 - Edisto River Singers / ECSIUT - Cultural Arts Ensemble (drumming and dancing), outdoor stage
11:35 - 11:55 - Conversation with Ralph Oxendine, Cheraw Indians and Lynette Allston, Nottoway Indians of Virginia, 2nd floor gallery
12:00 - 12:30 - Interview with Choctaw bead artist Roger Amerman, outdoor stage
12:30 - 12:50 - Cherokee Storytelling with Freeman Owle, outdoor stage
12:55 - 1:55 - Conversation with Lisa Collins (Wassamasaw of Varnertown Indians) and Peggy Scott, (Santee Indians), 2nd floor gallery
1:20 - 2:00 – Tuscarora Indian music with the Deer Clan Singers, outdoor stage
2:05 - 2:25 - Gallery Talk on Traditions, Change, and Celebration, 2nd floor gallery
2:30 - 3:10 - Cherokee Gospel Music with the Welch Family Singers, outdoor stage
3:30 - 4:00 - Edisto River Singers / ECSIUT - Cultural Arts Ensemble (drumming and dancing) / Closing of Festival, outdoor stage

artsandsciences.sc.edu

Main Street Latin Festival in Columbia, SC Next Weekend

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 15, 2014

If you live in apartments in Columbia, SC you can enjoy live music, great food and lots of fun at the Main Street Latin Festival.

Bringing Latin Culture, Live Music, Authentic Food, & More to Columbia SC's Main Street since 2004! Coming August 23, 2014!

The purpose of the Main Street Latin Festival is to showcase the culture and vitality of Columbia’s Latin community. This is done by bringing together diverse groups of people to celebrate and share the Latin culture through its foods, arts, dances and music in a fun, family-oriented environment.

Year after year, thousands of people fill Main Street in beautiful downtown Columbia, SC. The streets are filled with the sounds of salsa, meringue, reggaeton and grupero music, folkloric dancers and Latin foods.

Main Street Latin Festival is once again looking forward to serving its community at our upcoming annual festival on Saturday, August 23, 2014 (with Kickoff Party on Friday, August 22, 2014). This is an event you won’t want to miss! Want to see just how much fun it is? Watch the video below.

Cheap Places to Rent Textbooks – Columbia, SC

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 14, 2014

After two months of toil, the fruits of a summer job can shrivel in a single trip to the campus bookstore. The average outlay for books and supplies at a four-year public university is about $1,200 annually. One way to curb the cost is to shop online, where textbook websites promise discounts of up to 90%. Students in our apartments in West Columbia, SC can buy or rent new, used and electronic textbooks for less. Many sites also buy back books and host marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers directly.

Here are four top textbook websites from Cheapism.com.

TextbookRush, formerly known as TextbooksRus, lives up to its current name with speedy delivery, customers say. Orders over $35 ship for free and students have 30 days to return a book for a refund if they drop a class. TextbookRush features international editions, which it promotes as providing the same content at a lower price, although some online reviews warn of discrepancies. The site also offers new and used U.S. editions, rentals, book buyback — even movies, video games and electronics — but no etextbooks.

Skyo specializes in rentals of physical and digital textbooks, with free shipping both ways for the former. Students have a choice of rental periods up to 125 days, with options to extend or buy the book outright (less the cost of renting). Reviews posted online show a pattern of responsive customer service and cheer the low prices and good condition of the books. New and used books and ebooks are also for sale.

ECampus.com peddles new, used and digital textbooks and facilitates renting, buying and selling. Customers earn points toward gift cards and free shipping. The usual threshold for free shipping is $59. Hundreds of reviews describe painless transactions. Students can receive buyback offers 20 percent higher by opting for credit instead of a check or direct deposit.

Chegg built its business on textbook rentals and now bills itself as a “student hub,” offering services such as homework help along with textbook sales and buybacks. Shipping is free with a coupon for orders of $85 or more. Students appreciate having a week of free access to the ebook version to tide them over until a physical textbook arrives.

No site is a guaranteed source for the required text or the lowest price, so take some time to shop around before classes begin. Price comparison engines such as Bigwords can help you zero in on the cheapest vendor. Used and rental textbooks cost less than new ones, but notes and highlighting often mar their pages, and supplemental materials and online access codes may be missing. Ebooks also may be cheaper, with no charge or wait for shipping.

Selling a book back at the end of the semester can help allay the cost. Each site determines its tolerance for dinged corners and scribbling in the margins and sets buyback prices accordingly. Again, it pays to shop around for the best offer.

Today.com


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