When former University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier tries to sell his home in an upscale Columbia suburb, he’ll find a tough market for the $1.25 million house.
When the Head Ball Coach quit as a USC ambassador on July 29, he said he would eventually put his 8,964-square-foot Woodcreek Farms home up for sale.
But he might have to wait awhile for a sale once that decision is made. The time it takes to sell a house costing more than $1 million in Columbia is running more than a year, according to listing reports.
“It’s not an easy sale by any means,” said Karen Yip of Yip Premier Real Estate. “You are looking at a very small fraction of the market.”
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Spurrier purchased his $1.2-million home on two lakefront lots in Woodcreek Farms off Spears Creek Church Road in 2005.
Prior to Spurrier, former USC coach Lou Holtz lived in a university-owned, four-bedroom, 6,908-square-foot house in WildeWood that, at the time, cost $489,000. Holtz was USC’s coach from 1999-2004.
$1.85 million Cost of Coach Will Muschamp’s house
Current coach Will Muschamp earlier this year purchased a 9,417-square-foot, five-bedroom house on a 1.74-acre private island at Lake Murray for $1.85 million. It also has a 2,644-square-foot guest house.
Spurrier’s four-bedroom, five-bathroom house today is assessed at $1,245,100. When he left his ambassador role at USC for a similar job at his alma mater, the University of Florida, he told The State he will retain the Columbia home for the time being. Spurrier, hired by USC after the 2004 season, stepped down as coach on Oct. 12 last year.
“Eventually,” he responded when asked by The State’s David Cloninger if he would sell the house. “Eventually. We’ll be back and forth for a little bit.”
Spurrier’s youngest son, Scott, is an analyst for USC’s football team. His second child was born in September, so Spurrier and his wife, Jerri, will be making frequent visits back and forth from the Sunshine State.
The former coach couldn’t be reached for comment for this story.
A thin market
Unlike Charlotte or Charleston, Columbia isn’t a city that harbors a wealth of homes that list for more than $1 million, according to Jennifer Harding, vice president of relocation for Coldwell Banker in Columbia.
“It’s a thin market,” she said.
The median price of a home in Columbia is $165,000, according to Consolidated Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, statistics provided by the S.C. Realtors Association. In Greenville, it’s $185,000.
$165,000 Median price of a home in the Columbia area
The median price in Charleston is $241,000. And on Hilton Head Island – the state’s pinnacle of high priced homes – the median price is $302,000.
Homes in general take longer to sell in Columbia. The average days on the market for a home in the Capital City is 74, compared with 55 in Charleston and 54 in Greenville.
In the past 12 months, 32 homes costing more than $1 million have sold in the Columbia area, according to the MLS. Presently, there are 37 homes over $1 million listed, and five more that are in the process of closing.
“That’s a lot of inventory for this market,” Harding said.
‘It has all the amenities’
Spurrier’s house is on a cul-de-sac in a securely gated Woodcreek Farms enclave. It sits along a ridge overlooking a lake, just a short nine iron from The Members Club golf course.
Despite the $1.25-million price tag and the nearly 9,000 square feet, Spurrier’s home is modest compared to others on the street.
The home of his next door neighbors, Robert and Michele Barlow, has been listed for sale since November of last year, with the price reduced to $2.45 million from $2.875 million. It’s 10,351 square feet and boasts five bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms.
It’s a great neighborhood
Jennifer Harding, vice president of relocation for Coldwell Banker in Columbia
Two doors down, the home of neighbors Shanna and Eddie Yandal, owners of Executive Construction Homes, comes in at 14,768 square feet.
Spurrier’s street is also shared by the homes of auto dealer Bill McDaniels (12,947 square feet), Any Labs founder Peter Zvejnieks (11,861 square feet) and Terminix executive Scott Fortsen (15,037 square feet).
“It’s a great neighborhood,” said Harding, who knows some of the residents. “It’s close to the interstate so it’s good for business people who need to get downtown or to the airport quickly. It’s a golf course community. It has all the amenities people are looking for in a million-dollar neighborhood.”
Get what you want
Buyers for $1 million homes are typically doctors – particularly specialists – upper echelon educators and health care executives, among others, Harding and Yip said.
The heaviest concentration of $1 million homes in suburban Columbia, they said, are Lake Murray, Woodcreek Farms and Wildewood in northeast Richland and Timberlake in Chapin. Closer to downtown, the most popular neighborhoods are Heathwood, Shandon, Forest Lake and Tanglewood, they said.
But many people who can afford a million dollar home choose to build rather than buy in a existing community because of cheap, available land in the Midlands and low construction costs.
“When they have more than a million to buy a house, they want to build a house that suits their tastes rather than renovate,” Harding said.
Yip said the rule of thumb is that the lot should represent 25 percent of the house’s price. That means $250,000 for a million dollar home.
“If you’re going to spend a million bucks you might as well get what you want,” she said. “And $250,000 will get you a doggone good lot on Lake Murray.”
WILL MUSCHAMP’S HOUSE
Location: Lake Murray
Price: $1.85 million
Square feet: 9,417
Acres: 1.74 island
Guest House: 2,644 square feet
Baths: 5 full, 2 half
Year built: 2004, renovated 2012
STEVE SPURRIER’S HOUSE
Location: Woodcreek Farms
Price: $1.12 million
Square feet: 8,964
Guest House: None
Year built: 2002
LOU HOLTZ’ HOUSE
Square feet: 6,908
Guest House: None
Baths: 3 full, 1 half
Year built: 1977
SOURCES: Richland and Lexington tax maps