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Why Columbia is the Place to Live, Work and Play!

Did you know that Columbia was recently named in the Top 8 Cities You Should Visit Before They’re Too Popular?

If you have spent more than 5+ years in Columbia, SC, you know that the city is booming. We have a new minor league baseball team, Fort Jackson celebrated 100 years old of service and Main Street is seeing an influx of new breweries, coffee shops and restaurants.

If you haven’t checked out some of Columbia’s “real southern hotspots” here are a few that you don’t want to miss out on.

  1. Riverbank Zoo and Garden: This spring the zoo opened up a brand new Sea Lion exhibit that you don’t want to miss! The zoo offers activities for all ages including zip line tours, children’s waterfall junction, and of course, lots and lots of animals.
  2. Columbia Fireflies: The brand new Spirit Communications Park has drawn more than 155,000 people to watch the Columbia Fireflies take on other South Atlantic minor league teams. The Park is located in the new Bull Street Development which has a 20-year plan in place that will draw in retail shops, apartments, restaurants and much more.
  3. Main Street: If you haven’t made your way to Main St. in the past year, you are missing out! Main St. offers everything you could imagine for the perfect date night. Cocktails at Bourbon, dinner at Public House, a movie at The Nickelodeon and finishing with ice cream at Sweet Cream, you can’t go wrong. Look out for a boutique grocery (Local Yocal), boutique hotel (Hotel Trundel) and a high-end bowling alley.

Need more of a reason to love Columbia, check out the video >> >

Water Damage – Now What?

14,000 people experience water damage at home or work each day. Yes, you read that right, EACH DAY! Whether a leaky water heater turns into a geyser or a toilet overflows, water damage can cost you in more ways than one.

Water Damage Tips: 

Stop the Flow: If you’ve identified the appliance that’s leaking, shut off water to that appliance. If you’re not sure where the leak is coming from, shut off water to the whole house. Before removing any water, document the damage for your insurance company.

Minimize Damage: As soon as you are cleared to remove the water, get it out of there. You can rent a sump pump, a wet vac, and industrial fans from most hardware stores. It might be worth it to hire a professional disaster cleanup or flood-restoration company.

Talk to Your Property Manager (if you rent): It is crucial that you let your property manager know the of the water damage. Some landlords state specifically that they will keep all electrical and plumbing systems in good, working condition, but others only claim responsibility for the exterior upkeep of the complex. Moral of the story? Read your lease and talk to your manager before a problem occurs.

Summer Electric Savings

Electric bill + Columbia weather = one hefty price tag.

Living in Columbia, SC we all prepare for the summer months by lowering our thermostats, constantly drinking ice-cold water and spending the least amount of time possible outside. When we get that June electric bill, we know it will be higher than that of our “winter” months. So how can we save our bank accounts while making sure we don’t melt in the process? Here are a few tricks and tips to help you stay cool this summer.

  • Keep your freezer full. Experts note that the food acts as insulation, and items packed together stay cooler and lighten the load on the refrigerator.
  • Make use of ceiling fans to cool rooms, decreasing the demand on the air conditioner.
  • Turn off heat dry on the dishwasher. Lots of energy goes to heating the dishes to get them dry. If you have the time, letting them air dry can save energy.
  • Turn down the heat on the hot water system (or ask your property manager to assist you). About 13 percent of a home’s electric use goes to heating water in the hot water tank. A lower temperature setting uses less energy.
  • Close doors and vents. If you are spending time in the family room, why waste energy trying to cool the basement or guest room?
  • Turn off your lights. I know, sounds silly, but it really can save you money in the long run.
  • Inspect your AC unit. This is a great time to reach out to your landlord or property manager to make sure that everything in the unit is running properly and efficiently.
Information was gathered from:


Why Let Someone Else Manage Your Property?

When you invest in a property, with the intention to rent it out, there are many tasks that have to be performed on a regular basis in order for you to succeed as a property owner.

Owners must advertise their property, show their property and be able to manage the property 24/7. These are just a few of the tasks that need to be performed in order to gain a full, long-term profit of a property. APM Realty is here to let you in on a little secret -all this work doesn’t have to be perfected by you! 

Professional management groups, such as APM Realty, can take care of pretty much all the tasks on that long to-do list and more.

If you aren’t willing to take the time to learn how to become the best landlord, property management groups are here for you. So you may be asking yourself, what do property management groups do? Here are just a few examples of the types of services that groups such as APM Realty can help you do:

  1. Market your rental property
  2. Fill vacancies with great tenants
  3. Maintain and keep the properties in good condition
  4. Collect rent and track tenant deposits
  5. Deal with problems that tenants may have

If you are ready to have a property management group manager your rentals, call APM Realty!

When Eviction Is Your Only Option

The challenging piece of property management is knowing when eviction is your best option. Most people who rent their home will suffer a minor set back in life, whether it’s employment or medically related. Flexibility is key when working with tenants who are positioned to catch-up on owed rent.

In the Midlands of South Carolina, specifically Lexington and Richland County, we have similar procedures related to the ejectment of a tenant. Most judges will grant the tenant an opportunity to establish a six to eight week payment plan. This plan is thereby approved by the Magistrate, and allows for an ejectment, should the tenant fail to satisfy each scheduled payment.

Your property, and your revenue is important. You shouldn’t be negatively impacted by a tenant who is suffering from a case of laziness. But you should be open minded to one who has the desire to catch-up and willingly satisfy the terms of their lease after an unexpected set back.

When choosing a property manager to maximize your assets, be sure to discuss their in-house protocol for handling evictions. If you don’t get a sense that they will operate in timely fashion, or if they don’t understand the laws, make a call to APM Realty Group. We’ve been there.

Richland County Magistrate

Lexington County Magistrate


The Income Property Potential in Columbia

The opportunities for income properties are all around you, you just need to take a closer look. Here are three areas around Columbia that make it such a lucrative market.

College Towns

With the city of Columbia having more than ten colleges bringing in student renters, the surrounding area of Columbia, SC has plenty of potential to real estate gurus. The advantage to student renters is their network to passing down properties. This chain of connections allows your renters to advertise your property for you, without having to go through any outside resource, costing you more money. However, when it comes to managing these properties, a third-party management group would be the most efficient route to take as juggling multiple lots can become overwhelming.

Military Advantage

The advantages to military bases, like Fort Jackson in South Carolina, are the constant inflow of military families moving from base to base, making rentals great income properties. Just like the connections in a college town, military families have close knit connections across different regions. This network allows property owners to obtain referrals from trustworthy renters and knowing that their homes are in respectable hands. Not to mention, it’s nice to think you’re providing a home for heroes that are protecting your homeland.

Surrounding the Capital

Investing outside of a capital city opens many doors to property owners. The attraction that the city of Columbia holds brings a higher advantage amongst other locations. With a better likelihood of always having a tenant to rent too, property owners won’t have to worry about constantly seeking out potential renters. Being close to growing city also brings potential to different walks of life. For example, flipping a classic victorian property into modern day rustic home brings the southern feel renters may look for, with a clean taste they are comfortable with.

The Future of Investing

With the city of Columbia growing, so is its surrounding real estate market. The key is to look for what is going to be “up and coming” in the next five years. However, with a busy and demanding lifestyle, investors tend to resort to online investing where they can conveniently find ease to an open and lucrative market. Here are 5 avenues where you should be focusing on to invest!
Business Insider – 5 Top Online Real Estate Investments