South Carolina

38 Replies

Hi, I have a friend who is looking to close his first deal in Colombia on a foreclosure in the 29203 area, near USC.  Can anyone offer advice about the pros/cons of that area?  Also, does anyone know any good lenders in that area?  Finally, any solid management companies.  He's a sharp dude that came into a fair amount of money and wants to do real estate.  Right now he's doing his research and due diligence with my companies help but we are out of the area.

If there are any pros in Colombia who would like to meet him for coffee and maybe give him some quick feedback on the deal he's looking at that would be awesome.  It seems like a pretty legitimate deal.  I'm going to help him with a full analysis so he will have better data to provide anyone as well.

Thanks to the BP group for all your help in advance.

advice: RUN!

My husband is from Columbia and I lived there for 8 years.  We have 2 rentals in Columbia.  A house hack in Irmo and a condo in the Rosewood area.  

If I see 29203 area code, I don't even open the listing. Much of the area is a war zone.  The area keeps trying and failing to revitalize.  I would not go there at night if you paid me.   Also Columbia metro area has 2 of the best school districts in the state Richland/ Lexington 5 and Lexington 1.  The 29203- comonly refered to as Eau Claire - is in Richland 1 which is a sub par district.  The high school there is one of the state's worst.

Also yes it is near USC- I am a grad- Go Gamecocks!, but I have never met a student who lives in Eau Claire.  Most students live so downtown, in Rosewood area, or Cayce/west Columbia area.  

If you are marketing to students, look in 29201, 29205, or Cayce- can't remember the zip.

I like Irmo.  It is arguably the best school district in the state. I get 30+ calls and my pick of tenants in Irmo. 

As for Columbia as a whole, 40% of Columbians rent and the city hosts 7 colleges. 

I personally would not invest there and would not recommend it to others. 

Hope that wasn't too strong a negative response, but Eau Claire is a rough area and would hate to see you or your friend fail because you don't know the area.

May I ask what street it is on?

Feel free to ask me anything you want to know about the area.  PM me if you like. 

Avoid Eau Clair.  Some areas in the Northern part of the city can be good, little pockets of good properties, older but good neighborhoods.  I'll PM you my property manager's info, she is really great.

Hey Anna, I appreciate the honesty.  Apparently he's scoped it out both day and night and the neighborhood was pretty quiet.  I'll pass on your reservations though.

It's at 307 Wildwood Ave


I certainly hear Jesse and Anna's reservations, but it's been a great area for me. Maybe because others are scared off... The area immediately next to Eau Claire is Kennan Terrace (still in 29203) and it's got an influx of young middle class couples and families. Historically the neighborhood has been rough, there are certainly bad parts, and the schools are bad- but it's close proximity to downtown and a boom of development happening on North Main street all bodes well. I agree that it doesn't always attract a great deal of USC students, but I've actually recently had a number of USC Law School students inquiring about a rental.

I actually own a home around the corner from 307 Wildwood on Mildred Ave. Feel free to have your friend get in touch if he wants to discuss, I own several in that immediate area. 

@Rob Swan , I may be too late to the party but 29203 has a couple, and I mean only a couple pockets of anything decent. Great for low-income rentals if bought super cheap.Years ago I was repairing sewer lines for the county and a sheriff's deputy pulled up and told me and my crew to be gone before the sun went down, because they probably wouldn't come back. That was in one particular neighborhood.

I personally like 204, 205 and 206 much better. May not mean anything to you but I finally bought one in 29206, 2 blocks from where I live. Great desirable area.

Tell your friend to hit me up and @Paris Burton as well. I'd be happy to meet and talk with anybody about this or any other area.

Undoubtedly, the Lexington/Irmo are premium zips for buy and hold. The lake, schools, and short drive to the city and other marketable venues stabilize the advantages of those areas. PM if you want another Property Manager contact. Certainly one of the best in the business!


I have funded several fix and flips in Columbia, but none in the 29203 zip code. Most of the flips were 3 bed 2 bath easy flips with quick sales. I live in Charleston, SC myself so I always need to take a drive out there and see the area first hand. If you're able to, always drive by and see the property firsthand! 

I live in 29203 having moved here a few months ago.  My Irmo co-workers wanted to know why on earth I would want to live “down there”.  Told them that since we continue to make a lot of money for investors there I feel like I needed to get a feel for it.  Having been here for 6 months I can tell you I will soon buy here.  Actual neighbors and neighborhoods, people who have lived here for generations and the city and county flinging money at streetlights and sidewalks and demolishing junk properties.

It is interesting that the address you mention on Wildwood is almost at the cusp of the good and bad parts of 29203.  Past the curve onto Pineneedle is the poorest part of town and there are houses advertised there for 7500 bucks.  Yet the side of Wildwood from 307 towards Main Street is revitalizing, block by block.  So that area could probably go either way.  That house would have to be stupid cheap but it is probably a good buy.  And in the interest of full disclosure I own the five empty acres down the hill from that corner, 352 Glenn. 

I can honestly say that I hope investors and agents read other’s responses and stay away.  40k properties that rent for 850 after 15k rehab are not everyone’s cup of tea but you won’t find those numbers outside of 29203 and 29204.  I don’t need the competition.

@Layla Sewell how soon do you want to purchase?  I've got a very reasonable duplex available.  Rents $1200 for only $39k.  Apple Valley rd.  

You should certainly come to our next meet up!  12/17 we will host the #1 Wholesale trainer, Tom Krol, to Columbia.  Totally free event with loads of networking and education.  

@Will Gaston Thanks! @Andrew R. Lucas I hope I can make it. If everything goes super duper, then I'll need to be out there at the time to look at properties to purchase. I have not relocated yet. I'm waiting for this rental in CA to sell before going out there to look at properties for the exchange. My relocation won't be until July-August. When I touch down in SC, I will definitely reach out. What mortgage brokers do you guys love out there?