Columbia hasn’t always felt like home for Jill Moylan, owner and broker in charge of Home Advantage Realty.
“I grew up in an old ramshackle farm house an hour up the road,” she says. “The nearest grocery store was 10 miles away, and my closest friends were 100 cows in a field.”
After graduating from Presbyterian College, Jill moved to Columbia to attend graduate school at USC and lived with her sister and brother-in-law in their Shandon cottage. Together, they often took runs through Shandon, taking time to wave at the elderly ladies spending time on their porches.
Jill completed her graduate degree in English while John, soon to be her husband, completed his law degree at Harvard. After a brief stint in Washington, D.C., they returned to Columbia and purchased their first home, a 1939 Cape Cod with a white picket fence in Forest Hills. Not long after, the first of several Chesapeake Bay Retrievers joined them, and when they had mastered remembering to feed the dog, they welcomed their son.
“Over the past 30 years, our two bedroom Cape Cod has expanded to embrace not only our son but our baby girl, now 21, several cats, a host of bunnies and their endless babies, a happy crew of hens, and more rescue dogs than I care to admit,” says Jill.
She adds, “A funny thing happens when you raise children in a home, when you enjoy the benefits of wonderful schools, when you laugh and shed tears over the life of a pet, and when you live next to wonderful neighbors. I’m not sure precisely when it happened, but Columbia feels like home.”