These are the Columbia neighborhoods that make my phone ring and email ding….

10. Gregg Park – This may be because it is relatively small, or maybe the price point. Great Columbia neighborhood, though.

9. Lake Katherine – Folks that want to be here, REALLY want to be here.

8. Forest Lake – I can’t tell why my clients don’t ask me about Forest Lake. Maybe they get lost on the winding roads in here.

7. Melrose Heights – This section of Columbia is on the move. It seems to be for the Buyer who likes the bungalow look, but doesn’t want to pay the Shandon prices.

6. The “Hamptons” – This includes all 4 or 5 areas at the end of Old Woodlands Road. Buyers get a newer home here, and a lot of bang for their buck too.

5. Forest Acres – I lived here for about 10 years. I loved it. This area is full of trees and very popular schools. Forest Acres is also populated by the incredibly popular Trenholm Plaza. Try to find a parking spot here on a Saturday. The police system here is pretty strong too!

4. Rosewood – This area is SO popular. Ever since the gov’t housing has vacated and the new Publix has moved in, this has been boomtown for investors, et al.

3. Kings Grant – Whoa….Demand! Golf Carts buzzing from house to house. Pool and tennis courts packed. Grand new homes galore. Security gate and so close to I-77 and downtown. Owners in KG are in their own little world out there. I love it. Tidbit: When you enter the gate, the streets of KG are in alphabetical order.

2. Heathwood – Probably crem de la crem of Columbia, South Carolina. This is the finest of the fine if you can find an updated Heathwood home. If Buyers can scout one that needs some “updating,” many times it is wise to do it here.

1. Shandon/Wales Garden – Unreal. Wide, treelined (huge) streets. Sidewalks on both sides. Walk to Devine St. and 5 Pts in minutes. All streets are parallel and perpendicluar. The poorest of the poor (college students) and some of Columbia’s wealthiest share Shandon famously. This is the neighborhood that makes my phone ring and email ding most of all. Wales Garden (across Harden St. is probably as prestigous, and demands as much $/ft as Heathwood).

Honorable Mention: Druid Hills. Man o’ man, have I sold the homes in here. This is the area behind the Lizard’s Thicket and Morganelli’s on Forest Dr. Cute two and three bedroom bungalows in here. Again, this neighborhood seems to be for the person who does not want to pay the Shandon prices, or can’t find (or don’t want to live) in Rosewood. Very Hot Area. For the 3rd time in 3 years, I’ve broken the record for price per foot. We are now over $130/ft in Druid Hills, thanks to a little listing on Bagnal Dr.


  1. Anonymous says

    WHAT !!! No Eau Claire……….Ridiculous.

  2. anonymous,

    For whatever reason, I do not have many clients that ask me to send Eau Claire properties to their Inbox. I may have shown houses in Eau Claire 5 times in 3 years, mostly to long term investors.

  3. I’m a fan of the good old F.A…my parents have lived here for 18 years and I moved a mile down the road in my own Forest Acres abode. I don’t have any beef with the other neighborhoods- I know buyers have certain reasons for choosing to live in a certain area. I have friends that live in each of these areas.
    Where do you live blogmaster?!

  4. Anonymous says

    I love living in Shandon … minutes away from everything! Kings Grant would be great too … nature trail, pool, great family atmosphere.

  5. Anonymous says

    Remind your readers that this is what makes YOUR phone ring! There are infact a few you are missing and neighborhoods that once people have lived there they never want to move out…but maybe its good that it isn’t considered one of your top ten. Maybe a nice little secret!

  6. Anonymous says

    Make sure your readers know that this is what makes YOUR phone ring. You may have missed a couple and infact they are the best kept secrets and once people move in they never what to move out. And maybe that’s the reason your phone doesn’t ring or maybe these neighborhoods aren’t your bread and butter.

  7. I lived in Shandon for 5 years and absolutely loved it. You are close to everything! With a lot of the homes being renovated/updated, I cant see this area ever not being the place to live. With the redevelopment of Rosewood, and the addition of places like GranDevine, Shandon will continue to lead the area in home prices.

  8. I’ve lived in alot of cities in the southeast, and Columbia is definately my favorite so far. The most impressive part of living here to me is the southern way we give and receive that make people want to move to these neighborhoods. My closest friends live in most of the neighborhoods that you’ve mentioned, and all of them love where they live for the same reason, hospitality.

  9. Having grown up in Irmo, I loved living intown after college (FAcres, Rosewood, Shandon, & Olympia) and swore I would never go back to the ‘burbs! Now here I am (married into it) and desperately trying to get us back downtown – I miss it!!! This time I’d like to give a fixer-upper in Elmwood Park or Cottontown a try! I think these areas would be part of my top 10 list, and others would agree!

  10. curly,

    I live on Wilmot in Shandon. For the first “post college years,” I lived in Forest Acres on Atascadero. Love them both for different reasons. Example: I love being so close to downtown, but don’t really enjoy feeding a meter to get a coffee.

  11. bherbert,

    I agree. Shandon was a great pocket surrounded by some scary “junk” some years ago. Now, all of the surrounding areas are really on the move. GranDevine is helping to lead the way in Old Shandon, to be sure.

    Folks have made small fortunes in Shandon and Rosewood rehabbing old houses

  12. wes,

    Good for you! I’m glad you found “home.”

    I never thought in a million years that I would be living in Columbia, SC. I think the arena of friends that USC creates, “sucks you in” to Columbia. I know you’re a Tiger fan, Buddy! I still think my theory holds true.

  13. malynn,

    No doubt. I omitted Elmwood Park, Earlwood and Cottontown. People do love this area. Perhaps I should bump some of my candidates for this area.

    There is some money to be made in these areas. Many Realtors buy and flip themselves over there. Earlwood and Cottontown are filled with Shandon bungalows and Elmwood is getting better and better. Elmwood Park looks like a mini re-done Charleston.

    Come on back downtown!!!

    P.S. The REAL|TEAM just SHATTERED the record for price/foot in Cottontown. 2222 Wallace St.

  14. Could I mention the word “area” enough in the last comment?????? Sorry !!! Apparently, I’m not a synonym machine tonight!

  15. Franklin,

    Do you do much in the Lake Carolina area – specifically Harborside? Seems slow out here lately… of course it seems slow everywhere lately.

  16. Paul,

    It’s ironic that you ask me about Lake Carolina right now. I am about to close (July 23rd’ish) on a house on Lake Vista, in Laurel Chase. My clients are very, VEEEERY excited!

    Things do probalby seem a little slow in Lake Carolina. There is SO much product out there. Any existing home is constantly competing against new construction, which makes it tough.

    Another thought is that I think local buyers recognize the “bottleneck” of traffic at the entrances of the development, and at the schools.

    It seems to me that most Lake Carolina buyers are folks from outside of Columbia.

    Is your house on the market out there? if you would like to discuss….

    I won’t be surprised if I get a few listings off of my Laurel Chase sale. I think there are some sellers that are VERY curious as to why our house sold and their’s have not. We’ll see!!!

  17. Anonymous says

    well, this all sounds great but why weren’t there any sales in 29205 zip code in the property transfers. An experienced agent told me months ago he’d noticed lack of sales in the Shandon area. That Buchanan listing you’ve got in Heathwood isn’t moving either for some time. If those are the creme de la creme, what gives? Could the prices be tooo outrageous and first time home buyers completely forced out? I loved living in Cottontown, Shandon, Forest Acres. Forest Acres is my favorite. Like your comment about Druid Hills. Agree but hard to get good rental $$$ over there.

  18. anonymous,

    You are correct. In my experience, sales are down from two years ago. However, we have to remember what we are comparing our stats to. Two and three years ago, we were going through the biggest real estate boom in the history of earth.

    Buyers are out there. There is simply so much on the market, that it takes them longer to “weed” through it all.

    One of the reasons there is so much on the market is because during the “boom,” owners were taking out all sorts of equity out on their homes. Money was cheap. It was fun for them to take 10 or 100K or whatever, and go buy something. This has created some of the “glut” in the market. Sellers want what their neighbors got 2 years ago. However, the market shift has many sellers stuck. They owe too much on their homes and are “under water” or “upside down.” Therefore, the sign is there forever.

    If a Realtor and seller have the house priced correctly in the beginning, it should sell. All of this “well, lets just put a high price on it and see what happens..,” very often backfires. It “stigmatizes” the house, and it sits.

    Heathwood and Wales Garden are crem de la crem because they are the finest, most majestic homes in Columbia. Some of the homes may have a sign in their yard, but it’s not because they aren’t the grandest. The price tags are a good indicator of this.

    The house on Buchanan has an appraisal for $290,00 on file. It is now listed for $249,000. There is equity all over it. It just needs some lipstick.

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