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Columbia area Columbia - Lexington - Irmo
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:14 PM
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My family and I are moving to the Columbia area in June. I have 2 young boys. Both my husband and I will be working downtown at Palmetto Baptist. I am wondering which is the best area to live between Lake Carolina, Lexington, and Irmo. We do not want much land other than a yard for the kids to play in. We would love a neighborhood/community feel. Good schools, shopping, resturants, etc are important to us. We want to rent for the first year to make sure we picked the right area:-). We are so confused and dont know much about the area so any help at all will be so appreciative!! Most important is finding a great enviroment for our kids and hopefully not too bad of a drive to work :-). Thank you!!!
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:32 PM
Location: WI
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since you plan on renting, that may dictate which area you'll end up in the 1st year (depending on what you find in your price range). Which may be fine as you'll have that 1st year to truly get a feel for where to buy and plant your roots. Not much of a difference in the areas you mentioned, heading into town and all can get you close to shopping, etc....
Not sure where you are moving in from, to compare what you are comfortable with for daily traffic but you should be able to find something in a good district (if kids are in school) that will work for you all.

It may help to get an idea on what you'd like to spend for rent, to help steer you one direction or the other.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:28 PM
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Lake Carolina's really nice, but find out about the association fees. Those are what sort of shocked us out of living there when we moved up. They were just a bit higher than what we were used to. If you're into hiking/biking/spending time outdoors, Lake Carolina can't be beaten around here.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:09 PM
Location: Columbia SC
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If your nippers are not in school (thus school ratings do not mean much) plus you are both in new jobs in a new area, I agree the best advice is to rent for a year. Become comfortable with the jobs and the area. Learn the area before you make a buying decision. Look to rent in the upper income/newer/safer areas. I am almost afraid to name specifics but here goes. Start with Lexington, Irmo, Blythewood, Lake Carolina.

The traffic/commute in the Columbia area is basically sissy traffic so all of the areas I mentioned would be an easy less then 30 minute commute.

Older in closer areas like West Columbia, Cayce are good areas and could make for a 15-20 minute commute.

Local joke here is: "I heard you spent some time at "Les Hotel Baptiste"....Palmetto Health Whatever, locals will always call it Baptist Hospital.

Last edited by johngolf; 03-12-2014 at 08:04 PM..
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:37 PM
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Honestly, all three of those are great options for what you're looking for. I'd just recommend that you spend a day in each area if you can, exploring. They all have different "feels" to me, but it would all come down to personal preference.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cmruffcrna View Post
Good schools, shopping, resturants, etc are important to us.
If all 3 of these are important to you and you are working downtown I'd try Forest Acres or Shandon. Much easier commute and there is not much good dining (other than chains) or shopping in Lexington or Lake Carolina. Irmo has chain dining and a nice mall. If you choose forest acres or Shandon be sure you're zoned for Rosewood/Hand/Dreher or Brennan/Creighton/Flora.
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:24 AM
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Thank you all so very much!!! I really appreciate everyones help & opinions!!
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:41 AM
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I would also recommend the forest acres area. But I would recommend taking the Brockman elementary(public Montessori school)/Crayton/flora for schooling.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:29 PM
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Lake Carolina is beautiful and very family oriented. The schools are excellent and a huge percentage of kids walk/bike to school, which is a plus. We used to live there and I miss it so much. Annual association fee is $629, which is very little for what you get: paved walking paths, meticulously well maintained Village Green, dog park, neighborhood playgrounds, etc. The neighborhood Y was amazing. We were spoiled there -- nothing like it here in Chattanooga, TN.
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:17 AM
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Really all three are great areas. The only thing I would say about Lake Carolina is that it seems a little further than the other two from downtown and getting to either 77 or 20 in the AM from there can take a little longer. Lexington isnt too much better on that front, but is a bit closer to the freeway so it makes it a bit easier, but once again depending on where you are in Lexington, might be no different than LC. Though 26 between downtown and Irmo is by far the most congested freeway in the metro area especially at rush hour, it is a direct shot and nothing in Irmo is very far from 26 either so IMO though it is a more congested commute usually, it is seems easier to me.

Of course if your moving from somewhere like Atlanta or DC, Columbia traffic is a cake walk and all of this is pretty much irrelevant but if your moving from somewhere of similar size or smaller than Columbia, you may want to take this into consideration but overall, all three areas are great and would recommend any of them.

Welcome to Columbia and Good Luck with everything!
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