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Old 11-16-2010, 08:52 PM
2 posts, read 8,990 times
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My husband & I will be relocating to the Columbia area. We originally thought he was being transferred to Lexington and his employer changed things and his office will now be in Northeast Columbia. Based on my research of the areas, I was still thinking that I would want to live in Lexington and he can commute to Columbia. Can anybody help enlighten me as to the two different cities/areas? Any thoughts/opinions as to which is better? Better schools?? Better neighborhoods?? Etc. We have a 15-month-old son so schools won't matter for a few years but they will be a big deal in the long run. Also, if we do choose to live in Lexington and commute to Columbia, how bad is that?? It shows online to only be a 25 minute drive, but how is rush hour traffic?? Would that make it better to live in Columbia??

I could really use some help & really appreciate any input!!

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Old 11-16-2010, 09:22 PM
Location: Columbia, SC
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Both are good school districts. The commute will depend on how close you are to interstates at home and work, but all he'll have to do is hop on I-20. Probably be a 20-25 minute commute.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:30 AM
Location: Columbia, SC
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Lexington is a part of the Columbia area, a suburb; they aren't really separate entities. The schools in Northeast Columbia are excellent as are the schools in the town of Lexington. Why commute a half hour when you don't have to?
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:57 AM
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
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I'd live in Columbia where it's zoned for Dreher High School or A.C. Flora High School. I live in the city and unfortunately have to drive to Lexington County for my job. My commute is a snap. When I see the traffic backed up coming into Columbia from Lexington County I always say "see ya; wouldn't wanna be ya." I do the same on my way home. Columbia has some beautiful neighborhoods for every income level. Suburbia is out. Cities are in.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:17 AM
Location: Lexington, SC
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Commutes in Columbia are no big deal at all. We moved here 8 years ago and rented until we found the right area for us. In my opinion Lexington is the best place in the area to raise a family. Good schools, plenty of shopping and amenities, and a conservative, family oriented atmosphere. I have never heard someone with kids complain about their decision to move to Lexington.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:38 AM
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With all due respect to Lexington, taking Lexington on one hand and Northeast Columbia on the other, I'd be hard pressed to distinguish between the two in any meaningful way, especially if I was moving here from somewhere else. Despite what ColumbiaData says, if you're interested in Lexington, downtown Columbia might not be your best fit, but Northeast Columbia has similar housing stock, similar schools, and a similar overall environment to that which Lexington offers. Despite the relative ease of commute, I'd give NE Cola a hard look before I decided to commit to a total of almost an hour a day in a car (vs a total of 10 minutes).
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:15 AM
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In the simplest terms possible: Both Northeast Columbia (really Northeast Richland County, north of I-20 and mostly east of I-77) and Lexington are similar enough suburban environments that to me, at least, it is not worth commuting in from Lexington to Northeast Columbia. You are basically trading a 10-20 minute commute for a 35-50 minute one with no real gain in neighborhood environment or value.

My more detailed take:

As a Northeast Columbia resident who also considered Lexington when we moved in from out of state, and who's job was in Northeast Columbia at the time, I would basically do your due diligence and find an elementary school in the Northeast you would be happy sending your child to - and honestly that means you are going to have to look deeper than raw test scores, because many if not most schools in both Lexington District 1 (which covers the Town of Lexington, the south-central fringe of Lake Murray, and surrounding suburban areas like White Knoll) and Richland District 2 (which covers the Northeast Richland County area) are highly-regarded. Off the top of my head Lexington 1's most desirable elementary schools are probably Lexington, Midway, and Lake Murray, which are very comparable to Richland 2's most desirable elementary schools like Lake Carolina, Round Top, and Bookman Road. Richland 2 also is renowned for innovative and sough-after magnet programs such as the Center for Knowledge and Center for Inquiry elementary schools. Again, I don't think there is any real value in gained by living in Lexington over Northeast Columbia regarding schools, particularly if you find one you are happy with and feel provides the best possible environment for your child.

The newer suburban subdivisions in both areas are very similar with nice middle-to-upper-middle-class. Retail/shopping is similar enough as well, with Lexington having proximity to the Harbison Boulevard area up I-26 and it's own burgeoning retail strip along US 378, whereas Northeast Columbia has the Village of Sandhill outdoor mall/lifestyle center and Two Notch Road/US 1 thoroughfare as it's commercial/retail strip.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:31 PM
Location: Columbia, SC
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I disagree with the above posters that Lex and NE are essentially the same. To me, Lexington has much more of a small town feel to it than NE Columbia which is very busy in my opinion. You also have a lot of relocations in NE Cola, which isn't a bad thing, where as Lexington is more local, which also isn't a bad thing. NE Cola has more shopping and establishments and is a bit faster paced. Lex is a little more laid back and has more outdoor and lake opportunities. Of course, Lugoff-Elgin is just outside of NE Columbia now, so you may want to check there as well.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:17 AM
Location: Maine!
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i live in lexington. i love lexington compared to NE. we moved here 3 years ago from out of state and DHs family lives in NE, but that truly wasn't enough for us to stay in NE. lexington definitely has a charm to it. but i have to say, i would probably stick to NE just on the commute (which really isn't bad, but still why drive farther than you have to?)
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:09 AM
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I guess to us the traveling doesn't matter because we both do it now ... he travels 20-30 minutes to work and I travel 45 minutes to an hour to work depending on traffic. It's pretty customary around here (Cleveland, Ohio) for people to drive into work from all over the place. We just want to be in the best area to raise our family as I will be staying home. It's no big deal to us to have to travel 25 minutes to work. Thanks for all the input!! I really appreciate it!! Still thinking we are leaning towards living in Lexington ... seems more my speed.
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