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Blog Category - Buying a New Home

Our Latest Move-In Ready Homes

Categories: Buying a New Home, Uncategorized | Posted: May 8, 2018


McGuinn move-in ready homes

We’re in a season that sparks a flurry of activity. Spring cleaning has us purging closets and the garage, scrubbing spaces that have been ignored, and throwing windows open to welcome the fresh South Carolina air. While you’re in the “out with the old” mindset, why not think about moving to a new home? McGuinn Homes currently has new construction homes in communities throughout the Columbia area. Check out our latest move-in ready homes to see if you can move out with the old and in with the new—and get ready to close in just 30 to 60 days!

Centennial at Lake Carolina is located in Columbia Northeast, ideal for people who want to enjoy the good life of lakefront activities, local golf courses and country clubs, and a wonderful sense of community.

  • 935 Layton Way can be your new address in just 30 days. This single-story Woodland design features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, gourmet kitchen, and open concept in 1,700 square feet. $249,900.
  • 932 Layton Way provides 1,506 square feet of smartly designed interior living space, with our 3-bedroom Calhoun floor plan, which includes an open floor plan, spacious owner’s suite, and 2-car garage. $224,900.

Crystal Cove in Irmo is within walking distance of Lake Murray, 15 minutes from Downtown Columbia, and close to the award-winning Lexington Richland 5 School District—the ideal location for a McGuinn Homes community.

  • 100 Crystal Manor Drive presents a stunning Cleveland floor plan with 3,547 square feet that includes 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, a gourmet center kitchen with butler’s pantry, loft, and a first-floor owner’s suite. $389,900.
  • 106 Crystal Manor Drive offers our distinctive 3,060-square-foot Wilshire design, with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The kitchen features granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, and the first-floor owner’s suite includes soaking tub, walk-in shower, and a closet that’s large enough to be another room! Ready to go now, for $328,900.

Forty Love in Chapin is one of the most prestigious communities in this highly desirable suburb. From country clubs and championship golf courses to outstanding schools, the Lake Murray/Chapin area offers significant lifestyle benefits.

  • 334 Forty Love Point is a two-story, 3,618 square-foot home that reflects our Cleveland floor plan. This estate home is designed with an exciting combination of open spaces in your main living area with 5 bedrooms (and 4 baths) designed for privacy and solitude. You could be living here by summer, just in time for all of the lakefront fun. $389,900.
  • 342 Forty Love Point is designed for comfortable living in style. With 3,343 square feet, this Aiken floor plan features 4 bedrooms—including a first-floor owner’s suite— and 3.5 baths, along with a grand open concept that beautifully combines your chef’s kitchen, family room, and dining nook. $368,590.

Hampton Forest is our townhome community near Downtown Columbia, close to all the urban activities you enjoy. We currently have two townhomes in our popular Maybank floor plan: 855 Forest Park Road and 857 Forest Park Road. Each beautiful new townhome is 1,200 square feet, with 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, and priced at $125,900—for as little as $657 per month!

McGuinn Homes currently has new construction homes—both single-family homes and townhomes—available at our other communities: High Knoll Point and Panorama Point in Gilbert; Cumberland Place, Pleasant Springs, and Summerlake in Lexington; and Burnside Farms and Woodlake in Columbia.  

Turn your spring cleaning into a bigger purpose—preparing to move to a new home. Contact McGuinn Homes to learn about the many choices we offer.

Grab a First Look at Our New Floor Plans

Categories: Buying a New Home | Posted: April 18, 2018

new floor plans south carolina

Anyone who lives in the Columbia, South Carolina, area knows the many benefits of making your home here. McGuinn Homes has been building energy-efficient homes and communities around Columbia for more than 30 years. We’ve seen the growth—and been part of it by providing quality homes and neighborhoods to people relocating to Columbia. Our communities offer a variety of choices, like lakeside living, cozy villas or executive homes, and resort-style amenities so you can feel like you’re on vacation all year ‘round. We’ve recently expanded our portfolio of new home designs, so grab a first look at our new floor plans now available in various McGuinn Homes communities.

We created the Maybank townhome to provide homeowners with the spaciousness of a single-family home and the low maintenance of a condo. This affordable, 1,200 square-foot floor plan combines the ease of an open floor plan on the main floor, with two, comfortably sized bedrooms on the second. The architecture reflects the popular Craftsman style, with eye-catching details that boost the curb appeal.

maybank floor plan south carolina

We’ve also added the Aiken to other McGuinn Homes’ communities, Forty Love (in Chapin) and Harbour Watch (Leesville). The Aiken presents 2,917 square feet of living space and eye-catching curb appeal. The flexible floor plan can incorporate three to five bedrooms and 2.5 to 3.5 baths. No matter which option you choose, the interior layout features an open concept, ample storage space, and a flex room.

The Cleveland floor plan is now available in Panorama Point (Lexington), Forty Love, and Spence Plantation (Lexington). This spacious luxury home boasts more than 3,100 square feet, with options for four or five bedrooms. The design offers a first-floor owner’s suite, flex room, and formal dining room, in addition to the expansive open floor plan.

cleveland floor plan columbia sc

The portfolio of floor plans for Harbour Watch has expanded, too. In addition to the Aiken, Harbour Watch homebuyers can now choose the Sharpton, Windstone, and Wilshire.

The Sharpton reflects the “right-size” lifestyle, blending style and luxury with the smart use of space. The 2,342 square-foot ranch is designed with three or four bedrooms, up to 3.5 baths, and a large kitchen in the open living area.

We added the Windstone to Harbour Watch because it’s the perfect complement to this community. The three-bedroom ranch offers a variety of options to personalize it for your needs and style preferences, like adding a second-floor bonus suite, enlarging the first-floor owner’s suite, or expanding the two-car garage.

windstone floor plan sc

The two-story Wilshire at Harbour Watch makes a distinctive first impression that carries on from the façade through the interior. McGuinn Homes has included either 4 or 5 bedrooms (your choice) and 3.5 baths in 2,835 square feet, as well as a first-floor office and second-floor loft.

When you’re looking for an energy-efficient, thoughtfully designed, and meticulously built new home in and around Columbia, South Carolina, talk to us at McGuinn Homes. In addition to these communities, we’re a custom home builder and will build on your lot. As you can see, we continue to expand the opportunities for quality living in a beautiful region. 

What You Need to Know About Financing a New Home

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying | Posted: April 10, 2018

It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Buying a new home is exciting, but at McGuinn Homes, we find that homebuyers have as many questions about the mortgage process as they do about home building. To make it easier on you, here’s what you need to know about financing a new home.

The first step is to secure pre-approval from a mortgage lender. Once you know how much of a mortgage you are pre-qualified to obtain, you can shop for a new home with confidence. A pre-approval can be done easily over the phone with a qualified lender. You’ll need to provide some basic information, including your annual income, proof of employment, bank statements, and your two most recent tax returns. The lender will check your credit report as well. Your credit score will not only make the difference in your loan approval but also the interest rate. A higher credit rating often earns a lower mortgage rate.

While you’re talking with the lender, discuss the different mortgage programs available. McGuinn Homes rely on the mortgage experts at Southern First. The Southern First team will give you in-depth insight into the mortgage process and programs, so you can choose the one that best suits your financial situation. Finding the right loan can actually save you thousands of dollars, so it’s essential to invest some time in understanding your options.

One of the benefits of working with a builder’s preferred lender is their familiarity with the construction process and how it impacts the financing. A skilled lender ensures that your closing documents are in order and ready so that your closing happens on time.

Once you’ve chosen your homesite and floor plan, we’ll finalize all the details and determine the purchase price. Then you provide a deposit and apply for the mortgage you’ll need. The pre-approval is a pre-qualifying step, not an actual mortgage application review. You might need to submit additional financial information and documentation for the underwriters. A good mortgage professional will guide you through the process, answer your questions, and keep you updated. That’s another reason McGuinn Homes recommends Southern First. Our customers have been so happy with the assistance and communication they’ve received from these mortgage professionals.

A few weeks before the scheduled closing on your new home, your lender will give you a detailed list of the funds you’ll need to bring to closing. These fees vary, depending on the property you’re buying, where it’s located, and the lender and services. For example, your closing costs might include the fee for home inspection, survey, appraisal, attorney, title search, and transfer taxes.

Closing typically takes an hour or two. You’ll sign the documents, receive the keys to your new home, and start your new life as a homeowner.

If that journey brings you to South Carolina, check out McGuinn Homes’ energy-efficient new home communities throughout the Columbia region. As a custom home builder, we’ll also build on your lot, handling every detail, including permitting and site preparation. For an enjoyable home buying experience, talk to McGuinn Homes.

Forty Love Point and Hampton Forest: McGuinn Homes Communities Offer More Than a Home

Categories: Buying a New Home | Posted: March 19, 2018

Have you started looking for a new home, only to discover that what you really want is a better lifestyle? You hear about the importance of location, but that’s a broad topic. The right location is a combination of convenience to the places that are important to you, as well as feeling at home in your neighborhood. McGuinn Homes develops communities that offer more than a home. We provide our families with an environment that has been thoughtfully planned for every detail. Forty Love Point and Hampton Forest are good examples of how McGuinn Homes sees your future.

Forty Love Point is located on Lake Murray, in Chapin, South Carolina. Living here is like a year ‘round vacation. Lake Murray is appealing for boaters, and our homeowners can purchase boat storage here. Lake life presents you with so many recreational opportunities, too, like fishing, swimming, picnics, and catching the sun setting over the water’s horizon. Forty Point Love features a clubhouse, tennis courts, and playground. The students in your household will receive an exceptional education, as Chapin’s schools have earned high grades from, and the average school test scores are 58% higher than the national average!

The homes at Forty Love Point present stunning curb appeal and McGuinn Homes offers you many ways to customize your new home’s design, inside and out. Our floor plans range from 2,320 to 4,128 square feet of indoor living space. These two-story home plans feature an open concept that adds to the expansive interiors. With up to five bedrooms and 4.5 baths, you’ll have plenty of room to enjoy your lakeside lifestyle. If you want to move now, we have a variety of move-in ready homes in Forty Love Point.


In beautiful Columbia, South Carolina McGuinn Homes is developing Hampton Forest, a townhome community that combines our stylish Maybank design with maintenance-free, luxury living in the heart of the city’s most desirable section. Starting at just $125,900, these 1,200 square-foot home feature two bedrooms and 2.5 baths, plus a two-car garage. The master suite opens to a second-story terrace, where you can enjoy the view of the scenic neighborhood. We currently have homes available in Hampton Forest, so you can move in quickly.

McGuinn Homes enhances the community living experience with a swimming pool and cabana that features an outdoor fireplace, ideal for bringing friends together. The clubhouse includes a 16-seat home theater with surround sound, exclusively for residents and their guests.

From your home at Hampton Forest, you’re just minutes from I-77, Downtown Columbia, and a wealth of dining, shopping, and entertainment venues, from city chic to cozy country.

McGuinn Homes builds custom homes and new home communities throughout the Columbia, South Carolina, region—and we’re still growing, with more communities coming soon! If you have your eye on rewarding yourself with a better and more energy-efficient place to call “home,” please contact us.

Moving Tips: A Checklist For a Smooth Move

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying, Homeowner tips | Posted: March 1, 2018

Moving Tips

Are you just in the planning stages of choosing a new home? If your move might bring you to the Columbia, South Carolina, area, McGuinn Homes would like to show you our new home communities, move-in ready homes, and floor plans. We will also build on your lot. With so many ways to help you find your new home, talk to us first!

You’re getting ready to move to a new home. Whether you’re moving close by or far away, to a larger or smaller home, the process of getting your precious belongings from here to there requires planning and organization. Follow these moving tips and use them as a checklist for a smooth move.

Ruthlessly purge

As soon as you know a move is in your future, start reducing your load. Empty your closets and cabinets to see what is lurking in there—unused, unnecessary, expired, and otherwise ignored. Sort out your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t wear or use. Donate or discard it. Remember, you pay your movers by the weight of the load so having them transport more than you need or want will cost you.

Gather packing supplies

Collect boxes, plastic containers, packing tape, and wrapping material. You can often find used moving boxes on sites like Craigslist and Facebook—a great way to reuse and recycle! Ask friends who work in companies that might have empty cartons. Order rolls of bubble wrap and stock up on packing tape (buy more than you estimate because you’ll use it). As you’re purging your household, pack up anything that isn’t currently an essential part of your daily life, so you’ll have less to do when the moving date gets closer.

Choose a mover and reserve the date

Moving companies are busier at certain times of the year, so if you’re planning to move in spring or summer, book a mover as soon as you know your schedule. Be sure to ask these questions before you choose a moving company:

  • Will you come to my home and do an on-site inspection before giving me an estimate?
    • If the answer is “no”, choose someone else. No one can offer an accurate estimate without looking at your belongings.
  • Do you have a license number from the U.S. Department of Transportation?
    • Another deal-breaker! Check here to confirm it.
  • Will you include in writing a “not-to-exceed” price?
    • Without this threshold, you’re liable for more costs than you anticipate.
  • Can you guarantee pick-up and delivery on the dates I’ve specified?
    • A reputable moving company follows a process that ensures you won’t be left waiting on either end. Be sure to get any guarantees in writing.
  • How much of a deposit do you require?
    • More than 20% is unreasonable.
  • Do you require cash payment or could I pay by credit card or check?
    • Never pay in cash!
  • Are you currently a member in good standing of the state’s moving association?
    • This group holds members to high standards.
  • Will your moving trucks be clearly marked with your company’s identification?
    • You’d be surprised what some companies consider acceptable. Don’t let anyone transport your valuable belongings when in an unidentifiable vehicle.

Reduce your shopping for household items

As your moving day gets closer, your goal is to have less food and supplies to be packed. Use up the perishables and avoid the temptation of sales. Make a list of supplies you’ll need when you arrive at your new home so you don’t need to transport them.

Organize your personal records

Gather your important documents for home, school, medical, insurance, pets, prescriptions, and other valuable records. Carry them with you or have them sent to the appropriate resource (e.g., your new doctor or veterinarian, your child’s school).

Contact the utility companies

Alert your current providers (electric, water, cable, phone companies) that you will terminate service and give them the date. Advise the utility companies for your new home when you will require service to begin.

Plan your travel

If you’re driving, have your car serviced to avoid any problems during the trip. For air travel, make arrangements as soon as you know your travel dates. If you’re also transporting pets, check the airline’s restrictions. Certain breeds (e.g., bulldogs, pugs) cannot be flown on commercial airlines because of the risk to the animal.

Change your address

It’s easy to change your address online. Visit Allow at least a few days for the request to be initiated.

Pack by priority and value

Organize containers with items you’ll need immediately on your arrival, like a change of clothes, prescriptions, medical equipment, and personal care in a suitcase. Bring a box of bedding and towels, and pet supplies (dishes and food). You should also label moving boxes according to priority so that the movers know which ones you want unloaded first. Anything of high value should be carefully packed. Bring smaller items, like jewelry, with you on your trip. Do not identify the contents of a box by its specific contents if you have valuables inside. Instead, mark the box with the room location and add an asterisk or number so you know what’s packed inside.

Confirm with the mover

Call the mover a week in advance of the scheduled moving date to confirm the schedule.

Create pet-friendly space in your home

Categories: Buying a New Home, Homeowner tips | Posted: February 21, 2018

Pet-Friendly Space

We love our pets and want to return their unconditional love with pet-friendly spaces in the home. If you’re looking for a new home in the Columbia, South Carolina, region, talk to us at McGuinn Homes. We have experience in accommodating special features—including pet-friendly ones—in our floor plans. We’ll build on your lot or you can browse our new home communities We currently offer a selection of move-in ready homes ready right now.

Anyone who has ever shared their life and their home with a pet knows that this companion is really a family member—and deserves to be treated like one. While you probably resist setting a place at the dinner table or opening up the pantry for free exploration by a hungry critter, you can create pet-friendly space in your home (assuming they don’t need to be caged).

Pet Cubbies

Dogs and cats like their privacy when it’s time for one of the many naps that fill their days and nights. The family dog might like your company at night, but often looks for other places for daytime breaks. A dog bed placed out of the way of foot traffic is a good solution.If you want something that fits into your décor, encase the pet bed in a wooden frame or box, maybe adding your pet’s name or a design that complements your décor.

Cubbies are great for smaller dogs and cats. Repurpose a drawer or crate by adding a bed, fluffy blanket, or pillow. Convert the bottom shelf of an end table or nightstand to welcome a little snooze from your furry friend.

Cat Shelves

Cats generally fall into one of two categories: bush dweller or percher. The bush dweller likes to hide under things, while the percher prefers to observe from above. If your feline likes the aerial view, consider installing cat shelves that are deep and sturdy enough to support a leaping, sprawling cat. Windows are a preferred spot, so expanding the sill with a shelf will allow your cat to bask in the sun, give the death stare to birds and squirrels in their view, and possibly stay off your good furniture.

Pet Feeding Station

When house-hunting, a true pet lover instantly identifies where the feeding dishes will be placed. It needs to be easily accessible but out of the way of passersby. Pamper your pet with a feeding station that incorporates the dishes with storage. For large dogs, elevate the dishes so they don’t have to bend as low for their food and water. Cut holes in the top of a nightstand or small chest to hold the dishes and use the bottom drawer to store the food. For smaller animals, pull out the bottom drawer for the dishes and stash the food in the upper drawer. If you’re building a new home, talk to your builder about incorporating the pet feeding station into the floor plan.

Dog Grooming Tub or Shower

Homeowners with dogs are more frequently incorporating a designated grooming area in their new homes. The laundry room is an ideal space for installing a tub or shower with a pull-down faucet. Add tile to the enclosure so the area is more attractive. A nearby or overhead shelf, cabinet or cubby allows for storing the pet shampoo, towels, and other products you’ll need.


Every cat lover struggles with finding the ideal location for the litterbox. You don’t want it in an obvious location and the good news is you’re your cat wants a private spot, too. You can tuck a litterbox under the utility sink in the laundry room or a vanity in the bathroom. You can buy a litterbox enclosure that looks like a piece of furniture, or build one yourself. As long as it’s easy to get to and filled with clean litter, your cat has no preference about the décor or design.

Pet Door

If you have a cat or dog that is allowed outdoors unsupervised, a pet door frees you up from monitoring the entry (and potentially cleaning up an “accident”). A doggie door requires cutting a hold in your existing door, and it’s hinged so the pup or cat can enter or exit from either side. Some doors are designed to blend in with your door, for a subtler look.

Pet Gate

Inside your home, keep the family pet out of the forbidden zones with a gate. There are many decorative designs—from plastic and wood to metal, fabric, and wrought iron—so you can incorporate this boundary without interrupting the flow of your interior design.


The safest way to protect your pet and your family outdoors is to fence in your yard. Be sure that the fence you choose is tall enough to keep your pets on your side. Picket fences, while attractive, can be dangerous to small children as well as allowing unwanted animals into your yard. Your dog or cat is curious, so any opening in a fence is an invitation to peek or poke through!

Buying a new home in winter: 5 reasons why buying off-season is a great time!

Categories: Buying a New Home | Posted: December 12, 2017

wintertime homebuying

Spring and summer are the most common times of the year to buy or sell a home. Being the “most common”, however, doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t make a move in the winter. In fact, there are some very good reasons for buying a new home in the winter.

Here are 5 reasons why buying off-season is a great time!

#1. Fewer buyers = Less competition

It’s true that many people dismiss the winter as the less desirable time to buy a new home. That just means there are fewer buyers out there competing with you. While the inventory is not as broad as in the warmer months, you still have a good selection. Once you find the home of your dreams, you’re more likely to have your offer accepted when the competition isn’t as heated.

#2. Less competition = Better buying power

Slower buyer traffic gives you another edge. Sellers may be more likely to bend to your bargaining when the supply is higher than the demand. You might negotiate a better price, closing costs, or other terms of the sale that lean in your favor.

#3. Sellers are motivated.

Given the opportunity, sellers will often wait until the warmer months when buyer traffic is more active. If they have chosen to sell their home during the winter, the reason could push them to act quickly, such as relocation, financial problems, or a divorce. Knowing the seller’s circumstance can help you determine how anxious they are to sell quickly.

#4. Winter is a good test of a home’s structural condition.

When the sun is shining on a warm spring or summer day, you can see how your home could be in beautiful weather, but what about when there’s snow on the roof and the driveway is icy? How can you determine if the house is well-insulated when the temperatures don’t put it to the test? By house-hunting in the winter months, you see your potential new home under the toughest conditions.

#5. Interest rates are low.

Mortgage rates have been inching higher, and this trend is expected to continue, along with appreciation in of home values in the housing market. These market conditions indicate that the longer you wait, the more you will pay for your new home.

McGuinn Homes currently has a good selection of quick move-in homes in our new home communities throughout the Columbia, South Carolina area. Discover why the winter can be the best time of year to buy a new home. Contact us to learn more!

How to thrive in the season of giving

Categories: Buying a New Home, Home Buying, Homeowner tips, Hybrid Home | Posted: November 28, 2017

Thanksgiving is done for this year. I hope you have some good memories and didn’t add too much to your waistline with all the feasting.

Now that we’ve had that day to reflect and give thanks, we launch right into the season of giving. Before you forget all the kindness and good thoughts that were shared at the Thanksgiving table, think about what the weeks ahead really mean. You don’t need to wipe out your bank account to pay for lavish gifts, or even moderate gifts to a lengthy list. Slow down and make this year one where giving comes from the heart, not the wallet. Be kind to yourself, as well as others. Do some things for yourself so you don’t become exhausted before the big day arrives and your home is flooded with guests and all the activity that comes with it.

At this point, you’ve survived Black Friday, perhaps supported Small Business Saturday, and found some online deals on CyberMonday. Here are some tips for not just surviving the holidays, but thriving!

Give in a different way.

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. #GivingTuesday was created to kick off the charitable season at the end of the year. The organization’s website offers a wide variety of ideas for giving back to a charitable cause. Make a contribution or volunteer your time—or both. You can do it on behalf of someone on your list and let them know how you’ve chosen to “give” this year.

Haiti Children’s Project

At McGuinn Homes, we continue to support Haiti Children Project—Next Generation Program. This charitable organization was started by Wade and Janet McGuinn after they traveled to Haiti on a mission trip in 2003. This group actively raises money to pay for Haitian children’s education, as a means to steer them out of poverty.

Learn more about this great cause:

Give yourself the gift of a home makeover.

Another way to enjoy the season of giving is by sprucing up your home. A little makeover, de-cluttering, and repair can do wonders to your spirit! After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time indoors over the coming winter, so make your space a home sweet home for the holidays and beyond.

While you’re adding festive decorations to your home or maybe moving furniture around to make room for a tree or a gathering, take it a step further. Pick a space and do a room makeover. You can shop from your own home to find furnishings that will refresh this space. Change the window treatments and light fixtures. Add a new area rug. Replace the wall art. Consider this a gift that no one else could give you!

Rethink your giving process.

It can be exhausting—physically, emotionally, and financially—to shop for everyone on your list. Make this the year you shop differently. Ask yourself why you’re buying a gift for someone on your list. Is it kindness, a show of love, or an obligation? Each one has a different shopping purpose. When you can categorize the gifting objective, you can shop for one group at a time.

Consider paring down that list and finding different ways to give.

  • Give an experience, like a gift certificate to try a new hobby or activity. Make it a two-for-one deal so you can go along! Check out Groupon for ideas.
  • Donate to a charity that matters to you, in the name of your gift recipient.
  • Give of yourself. Offer to share your talent, skill, or time. You can offer to give busy parents a night to themselves by watching their kids. Bring someone a fully catered meal you have prepared. Teach someone who is interested in learning your craft. You can create your own redeemable vouchers and wrap them up in a box.

Complete a home maintenance checklist.

Plan some time this season to make sure your home is safe and comfortable. You can avoid repairs later by spending some quality time with your home right now.

  1. Start by having your chimney cleaned and inspected before you use it for the season. Creosote can quickly build up inside your chimney and it’s highly flammable.
  2. Check your doors, windows, and any areas that expose your home to the outdoors. Look for cracks and caulk them to prevent drafts.
  3. Inspect your roof and repair or replace any damaged shingles. The dead of winter is a terrible time to suffer through roof repair!
  4. Have your furnace serviced to ensure it’s working efficiently so you can avoid higher fuel bills than necessary.
  5. Check your home’s insulation (e.g., attic, pipes)

If all the prep you’re doing is prompting you to think that a new home is in your future, McGuinn Homes can help. We build throughout the Columbia, South Carolina region. Contact us to learn about our quick move-in homes, new home communities, and floor plans.

Prepare yourself: 7 tips to reduce Thanksgiving stress

Categories: Buying a New Home | Posted: November 21, 2017

By this point in the year, you’re looking at the calendar and counting the days. The holidays are creeping up, which brings all the stress of preparing for this frenzied time. If you’re hosting the annual Thanksgiving feast, you don’t need to exhaust yourself. Get organized so you can keep all the tasks under control. Here are some tips to reduce Thanksgiving stress so you can enjoy the day.

De-clutter your fridge and freezer.

You’re going to need all the room you can spare. Remove the leftovers that have been pushed to the far reaches of your refrigerator or freezer. Check the expiration dates on items and discard anything that is questionable (like salad dressing, which has a very short shelf life). Do you have a jar of grape jelly with just a few dabs left? Don’t let it take up valuable real estate this time of year.

Write out your menu.

Don’t rely on all those ideas dancing around in your head. It’s too easy to forget a dish, which means you won’t have the ingredients when you’re ready to prepare it. Start your holiday menu planning by making a list of every item, including the beverages, and make a shopping list of the ingredients.

Check your holiday tableware.

Before the clock starts ticking loudly, examine your dishes, silverware, stemware, serving pieces, and linens. Clean, polish, and wash everything. Discard anything that’s damaged so you don’t accidentally place a chipped glass in front of your persnickety relative. Add to your shopping list any pieces that need to be replaced.

Do the math on your turkey time.

Remember that you need 24 hours for every four pounds of bird to safely thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator, which is your safest option. If you wait till a day or two before Thanksgiving to pull the bird out of the freezer, you’ll face a very long day of waiting for the main course to be completely roasted.

Prep and cook as much in advance.

If you want to spend more time with your guests on Thanksgiving Day and less time tending to the meal, tackle some of the tasks ahead of time. You can, for example, make your mashed potatoes and stuffing a few days prior to the holiday and then put them in a crockpot to a few hours before serving. Make your casseroles early so you only have to slip them into the oven on Thanksgiving Day. You can even freeze your pies before baking them. Let them bake while you’re sitting down to dinner.


Many guests want to bring something for the holiday feast. Let them! Make a list of who has committed and what they are bringing. Three days before Thanksgiving, contact them to make sure they haven’t forgotten and are still able to bring what they promised.

Get ready for the big takeaway.

You will undoubtedly hand out leftovers as people leave. Stock up on containers for the food so you can aren’t hunting around for boxes and dishes you may never see again while your guests are ready to head out the door.

There will always be stress when you’re preparing for a big event. McGuinn Homes wants to help you enjoy your friends, family, and home during this busy time. And, if you find that your current home is no longer the haven you hoped for, contact us to explore your new home communities in the Columbia area of South Carolina. By this time next year, you could be hosting your holiday gatherings in a brand new home.

A new way to chill: Get outside and enjoy the late fall weather

Categories: Buying a New Home, News & Announcements | Posted: November 16, 2017

When the fall colors start to emerge, people get outside and travel around to enjoy the foliage spectacle. It’s time to pick apples and pumpkins and welcome the brisk air at the end of a long, hot summer. You’re raking leaves (and maybe jumping in the piles) and enjoying your favorite outdoor recreation while the weather permits.

At this point in the year, you’ve probably cleaned up all those leaves, packed away your lawn furniture, and are getting ready for the winter.

Don’t start your winter hibernation yet. There’s still plenty of things to do outdoors in the late fall in the Columbia, South Carolina region.

Fall Activities Available

Head over to the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden any evening to see the “Lights Before Christmas” display, an annual tradition for 25 years. You’ll experience the twinkling of almost a million lights. Warm yourself with hot chocolate and s’mores at the Jingle Bell Bonfire there.

For another light-filled spectacle, take a drive through Saluda Shoals Park to view more than 400 animated light displays during this annual “Holiday Lights on the River”.

Mark your calendar for December 2, 2017, to enjoy the 64th Annual Carolina Carillon Holiday Parade. This year’s theme, “A Superhero’s Holiday” will include floats from all around South Carolina. Of course, the seasonal superhero, Santa Claus, will be part of the parade.

Enjoy the freshest local flavors at the Soda City Main Street market. Every Saturday from 9 1 p.m.—rain or shine—you can browse this farmer’s market for the very best produce, meat, dairy, flowers, and fresh baked items, plus the work of local artisans. Every Thursday, head over to City Roots Farmers Market, for local food, including the organic produce grown right there. You can also pick up their ready-to-cook Market Meals.

Slip on your ice skates at Main Street ICE in Boyd Plaza any day of the week, beginning Thanksgiving Day. Start a holiday tradition with a skating party.

Try a different type of Sunday brunch at the West Columbia Riverwalk’s Brookland Brunch. Vendors and food trucks will be serving up your favorites, including Belgian waffles, mimosas, and gourmet coffee. Then, rent a kayak or canoe to get your exercise after a hearty brunch.

If your appetite leans more toward oysters, barbeque, and beer, then don’t miss the annual River Rat Brewery’s Oyster Roast and BBQ, on Friday, December 8. Feast on fresh, steaming Carolina oysters, smoked pork BBQ, and plenty of side dishes on the patio, plus River Rat’s best brews,

Discover geocaching, a fun type of scavenger hunt that uses GPS coordinates to lead you to hidden caches.

Take a bike ride or hike nature trails. Hit the golf course. Back at home, gather around the fire pit with hot chocolate and all the fixings to make gourmet s’mores.

You’ll have plenty of weeks ahead to stay inside when the temperature drops lower and lower. Right now, enjoy the brisk air, the blue sky, and all the benefits of outdoor fall fun and living in the Columbia area

Now is also a great time to think about a new home!

While you’re out and about, plan a visit to McGuinn Homes to explore our new home communities in the Columbia area of South Carolina. Contact us to include a private tour so you can see how a new home in one of our neighborhoods can make a big difference in your life.