Information for Medical Residents

Hear from past medical residents as they help prepare you for this next stage of life…


Quick Links

  1. How Soon Do I Need to Start Looking and How Fast Can We Close?

  2. Should I Buy or Rent?

  3. About Columbia

  4. Homes For Sale by Current Medical Residents

  5. Testimonials From Past Residents

How Soon Do I Need to Start Looking and How Fast Can We Close?

The best time to contact the Mather Company is right now! The sooner you call or email us, the easier the process will be for you. With busy schedules,and the fact that so many residents come from out of state, most residents are limited in their availability for when they can come look at houses. Because of this, it is very common for multiple residents to want to come preview homes on the same days, and therefore, can interfere with when you can look at houses. We work on a first come first served bases. So in order to ensure you receive the amount of time you need to preview homes, make sure you let us know when you can come as soon as you can. But don’t fear! With all that said we have other agents here at The Mather Company who can help you, so that does help make scheduling a little easier on you.

The sooner you call us, the sooner we can start researching the areas, and the faster we will find a home that meets all your needs. Most residents only have a couple of days to house hunt. That’s plenty of time as long as we have had adequate time to do all the necessary homework before you come down. We pride ourselves in making the buying process easy for our buyers. Therefore, we will take care of all the busy work.

Once you have found a house and have it under contract, a typical closing takes about 30 days. Sometimes you may be able to close as soon as 2 weeks if the bank can get your loan approved quickly. If you are paying in cash you can close as soon as 7-10 days!

Please call or email us today! We look forward to helping you!


Should I Buy or Rent?

This is a good question and often depends on a person’s situation. Renting can be a good option for someone with bad credit and cannot get a loan, or does not want the responsibility of owning their own home. Renting can also be a good idea for someone who may only live somewhere for 6 months to a year.

However, from our personal experience, buying a house in today’s market could be the best decision one has made in a long time. Buying a house now far out ways the benefits of renting. First, the money that goes towards your monthly rent is money you will never see again. If you buy a house, live there for 4 years and then sell it, even if you you only break even, you still saved all that money that would have gone into rent. But I truly believe you can do better than breaking even. I am predicting that people who buy houses now are going to see their houses appreciate over the next 3-5 years and will walk away with a profit.

Today’s buying experience is much different than what it has been the last 15 years. Buyers are not only getting better prices on houses, but they are also getting catered to throughout the whole process. Most sellers in today’s market are much more willing to keep the buyers happy in order to close the deal. This includes paying closing cost, making more repairs to the house, and more flexibility on closing dates.

Another reason why now is the time to buy is because interest rates are at record lows! (We haven’t seen rates as low as this since the ’70’s!) As a Doctor you qualify for several special loans. There are doctor’s loans that forgive any medical school debt that you may have, require little down (if any), give you a low interest rate, and require no private mortgage insurance (PMI). Most of you also will be approved for an FHA loan which allows you to buy a house with only 5 percent down and a very good interest rate. If needed, we can recommend several great loan officers and lenders to you.

Buying in Columbia is also a great idea because unlike some high priced cities, Columbia’s average sales price is 40 percent lower than the national average sales price. This makes Columbia a very affordable place to live. In fact, in 2009, Columbia was among the top 10 cities in America voted by MSN Real Estate as the “Most-Livable Bargain Markets.”

The decision to rent or buy can be a difficult one to make. While renting is definitely the right choice for some, in our opinion, if you plan to be here for more than a year, buying would be the best choice.

Feel free to ask us any questions. We are not here to pressure you into buying a house. We are here to help you make a wise investment. We have a long term business plan and want you to have such a great experience that you go and tell all your friends about us.


About Columbia

Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina, and is located roughly in the center of the state. Columbia is a city that has much to offer.

Educational Opportunities
Columbia offers several educational opportunities through the South Carolina State Museum, EdVenture Children’s Museum, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Riverbanks Zoo, and the Botanical Gardens.

As for entertainment, one can enjoy the sounds of the South Carolina Philharmonic or take in a ballet at the Koger Center for the Arts, or watch their favorite band perform a concert at the Colonial Life Arena.

Shopping, Restaurants and Nightlife
Downtown Columbia features many store front shops located along Devine Street, 5 Points and the Vista, as well as large shopping malls such as Columbiana Center and Village At Sandhills. And thanks to the Vista and 5 Points, downtown Columbia has excellent restaurant choices, as well as a vibrant downtown and nightlife.

Sporting Events
Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina’s Fighting Gamecocks (which includes football, basketball and baseball), the Columbia Blowfish (minor league baseball), and the Columbia Inferno (minor league hockey).

Recreational Opportunities
Columbia is home to the Congaree National Park, Sesquicentennial State Park, and Harbison State Forest. Columbia is actually one of the few places in the world that has three rivers cross through the city. The Saluda and Broad Rivers meet in a rush of rapids and merge together forming the tranquil Congaree River. These three rivers can be enjoyed on land, courtesy of the Riverfront Park. But they also provide great opportunities for kayaking, canoeing and tubing. Also, less than 15 minutes from the heart of the city is Lake Murray, a 50,000 acre lake. Finally, because Columbia is at the heart of the state, one is only a short day trip away from cities like Asheville, which is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, or the city of Charleston along with it’s rich history, southern charm and sandy beaches, as well as other cities such as Charlotte and Atlanta.


Testimonials From Past Residents

“We cannot say enough good things about our experience with Charlie Mather. This was our first time buying a home, and we could not have asked for a better realtor to guide us through the process. From beginning to end Charlie has gone out of his way to be helpful and very patient in walking us through the whole home-buying experience.

The service Charlie provided was outstanding. We were moving to Columbia from Mississippi, and so had limited time to be in Columbia. He spent a full week looking at houses with us, including Easter Weekend, despite having a new baby at home. After negotiating a contract on our home, Charlie would go to the house whenever inspections occurred and went himself to inspect the progress of various improvements we negotiated as part of our contract. He was in contact almost daily to give us updates on the house, the closing process, and any developments we needed to be aware of. When my parents went to Columbia to sign the closing papers for us (I was on my honeymoon), Charlie met them at the house despite a violent thunderstorm a few hours earlier. He inspected the house with them to make sure everything was as agreed in the contract, and demanded the seller fix a window that had broken in the storm as well as re-repair some of the brickwork that was not done to his satisfaction.

Charlie’s service did not end at closing. Charlie has been more than willing and available since we moved in to answer questions and help us with some of the new challenges of homeownership. I know I can still call him if I have any problems with the house and he will help me find a solution.

Charlie genuinely wants his customers to have a good home-buying experience. We had met with one other Realtor before meeting Charlie, and found him to be pushy and did not feel like he listened to us. With Charlie, on the other hand, we never felt pressured to buy a house in a certain price-range or neighborhood. After learning our preferences, he was able to find a home that we really love (and he was very excited about showing the house to us). He was very patient with our thousands of questions about the home-buying process, and never made us feel stupid or pushed our questions aside as not important. We felt like we understood the process, and were never uncomfortable with any of the papers we had to sign.

We whole-heartedly recommend Charlie Mather as a Realtor. We feel very lucky to have found him.”
– Megan and Christopher Stodard
Psychologist and Emergency Medicine

“Working with Charlie Mather and The Mather Company has made our home buying experience as easy as it possibly could be. We moved to Columbia from Chicago, and had only previously been in the city for the residency interview. After we found out we had matched in Columbia, we received a packet of information from the residency program that included a flyer for The Mather Company. We liked that they are a real estate agency that works specifically with residents and understands the unique challenges and circumstances that come with it. At first we were looking at renting because that is what we had always done in the past, but decided that the market in Columbia gave us a great opportunity to buy a place. We contacted Charlie and setup a day in April to look at houses. Charlie helped us narrow down our search to areas that matched what we were looking for before we even arrived in town. When we came down to look at the houses in person, he was very helpful in informing us about Columbia and making sure that the house we ended up in was right for us and met our needs. Charlie went above and beyond what I had expected. He was there on our behalf at the home inspections and any other pre-closing issues that had to be resolved. Even after purchasing the house, Charlie was there to answer questions for us and help us in any way that we needed. We had nothing but good experiences with Charlie, Elizabeth, and anyone else on the staff at The Mather Company that we interacted with. We would highly recommend that anyone looking for a house in the Columbia area, especially incoming medical residents, use The Mather Company.”
– Elizabeth and Ken Cutrell
Pediatric Doctor | Computer Programmer

“We had a wonderful experience with Charlie Mather as our Realtor – we drove down to Columbia from Ohio and had less than 3 full days to search & find a house to buy, and without a doubt we were somewhat nervous & intimidated. But thanks to Charlie’s professionalism, honesty, and knowledge of the market in and around Columbia, our experience was relaxed & without much stress at all. Charlie asked all the right questions and quickly realized what characteristics we wanted in a home, and he went the extra mile for us and found the home we ended up buying – we certainly never would have found it on our own. We recommend Charlie Mather & The Mather Company if you are in the market for a new home, and especially if you are new to Columbia! Thanks!”
– Kyle & Kristen
Sales and Orthopedic Surgeon

“We can’t say enough about Charlie Mather. Relocating from another state is difficult and somewhat scary. Charlie made the process so easy for us. It is rare that you find a realtor as genuine and professional as Charlie Mather. Charlie was patient and helpful…we wouldn’t think of using anyone else! That’s why we recommend Charlie Mather, our favorite realtor and our friend!”
– Justin and Brianne Hoover
Orthopedics Department | Department of Emergency Medicine

“Charlie was a great realtor to work with. He strived to make sure all our needs were met while looking for our first home. We ended up with a house that exceeds our expectations and couldn’t be happier thanks to Charlie’s hard work.”
– Erin
O.B.G.Y.N. Department

“Charlie was a pleasure to work for a first time home buyer. He is a hard worker who puts the client’s interests first and always has a cheerful attitude. As a Columbia native he is very familiar with the different neighborhoods and which would be the best fit for his customers. Even after he found us a great house he has kept in contact to make sure we are happy. We would highly recommend his services to friends, family or anyone looking for a new home in Columbia.”
– Brett and Kerri
Department of Emergency Medicine | Pediatrics Department

“Charlie was a huge help in finding the right house for us. He spent lots of time and effort before we even looked at houses and kept looking until he found one that was perfect. He was always available and willing to work with our tight schedule. Charlie was a huge help in finding the right house for us. He spent lots of time and effort before we even looked at houses and kept looking until he found one that was perfect. He was always available and willing to work with our tight schedule.”
– Ted and Mehgan
Cyclist | Pediatrics Department

“Exceptional is the word I would use to describe my home buying experience with Charlie Mather. In the chaos of graduating from medical school, trying to sell my home in TN, and relocating to South Carolina, Charlie was diligent in researching the market to narrow down the selection to match our desired criteria. He went the extra mile by going to see each house we were interested in and emailing detailed commentary to further narrow our house hunt. My husband, my 15 month old son, and myself came to Columbia two months before our desired move date with a list of the final 10-15 houses we were interested in. The first house we visited ended up being the one we fell-in-love with and eventually purchased, though Charlie did take us to see 8-10 more just to solidify our decision. He was extremely accommodating even waiting in the car with our sleeping toddler while we looked at houses. Once we decided to make an offer, Charlie walked us through the negotiations with ease and professionalism making sure we were satisfied with the final offer. Charlie is a great person and wonderful realtor who I definitely recommend and plan to work with again in the future.”
– Rachel
Pediatrics Department

“After Match Day, my wife and I were very skeptical about being able to find a great place to live over 500 miles away from where we went to medical school. Working with Charlie turned out to the solution to our problem. Before even setting foot in South Carolina, Charlie had provided us the listings for over 50 houses that met the strict criteria we had sent him. Not only did that help us refine our search, it saved us a lot of time when we were finally able to come down and spend time looking at houses. Charlie was also fabulous to work with in person. He has a very calm demeanor and a profound knowledge of not only real estate in general, but the Columbia area as well. This proved invaluable as we spent hours looking at different houses all over the area. He provided new insight and a different perspective on our house search and ended up helping us find the perfect house for us and our situation. He also had the patience to sit hours a day in the car with an unhappy and cranky 18 month old, follow her around each house, and watch her go up and down the stairs so we could fully dedicate ourselves to the task at hand. I would recommend Charlie to friends or family without reservation.”
– Kenny and Tara
Orthopedics Department

“Charlie is an ideal realtor. Over the past couple months of searching for a house he has made a daunting task seem very manageable. He has an expert eye for details, and has been able to cull through hundreds of houses to find a select few worth visiting. He is patient and knowledgeable when answering questions. Charlie has made the experience of being a first-time house buyer easy and fun. He will go the extra mile, doing whatever it takes to ensure your satisfaction.”
– Greg and Katie
Orthopedics Department | Pediatrics Department

“Charlie worked with us to find the house we wanted in the price range we were looking for. Charlie did a great job of representing us throughout the process of moving and went out of his way to make the move as easy as possible.”
– Wiley
Department of Emergency Medicine

“Buying a house with Charlie was great. Everything was fast, easy, and turned out excellent. His knowledge of the area is exceptional and he knew all the in’s and out’s of the resident situation. He is a great Realtor.”
– Brian
Department of Emergency Medicine

“Charlie Mather is an honest, hardworking agent with his clients’ best interests in mind. Charlie worked with us to prepare and sell our house, helping us to achieve our goal in a timely manner for top dollar. Charlie was creative in marketing and negotiating, and was frequently in contact with us. I would recommend Charlie Mather as an agent to anyone who is buying or selling a home in Columbia.”
– Jen and Chris
Mother | Orthopedics Department

“Charlie went WAY above and beyond our expectations for a realtor. Buying a home from out of state is challenging, but Charlie handled many of the hassles that come with closing without us even having to ask. He works very well with banks, inspectors, and other realtors, and he has many contacts in the Columbia area, including contractors if you’re looking to make renovations or upgrades. Our home buying process went very smoothly thanks to Charlie.”
– Richard
Department of Emergency Medicine