Many residents at Reynolds Lake Oconee were first attracted to the visual splendor of the community – its beautiful golf courses, architecture and waterfront views. But as bestselling author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. once wrote, “sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eyes.”

Such was the case for Bob and Lisa Thomaier. “Sometimes in life you just know,” she recalls from her first visit to Reynolds Lake Oconee in 2004. “The charm and appeal of everything about this place just spoke to me, and I knew right away that this was home.” Lisa was so captivated that she nearly purchased a homesite that very day, phoning her then-fiancé Bob back home in New Jersey, and telling him conclusively “this is the place.”

As it turned out, Reynolds Lake Oconee was not a tough sell for him either. A passionate golfer, Bob was already familiar with the community’s award-winning golf. “We were casually looking for a place to eventually retire. Myrtle Beach had too much traffic and too many crowds and we didn’t feel Arizona was a good fit, so when Lisa was in the area, I suggested that she swing by Reynolds Lake Oconee. A friend of mine actually was a resident at the time, and had always raved about the place he called home.” The rest, as they say is history.

When the time came for the couple to select their ideal location to wed, they easily agreed on The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee where they exchanged vows in April 2006. They also purchased their first Reynolds Lake Oconee homesite during the same visit. “It was wonderful to start our new life together and our ‘Reynolds life’ at the same time,” says Lisa. Their real estate agent, Micki Tanner, was even on hand for the wedding. “Micki had become a dear friend by that point, so of course we wanted her at the ceremony to celebrate with us.”

Though their professional lives kept them in New Jersey – Bob a financial advisor and Lisa a private banker – the newlyweds spent as much time in Georgia as possible in the years that followed, and wasted no time integrating into the community they would one day call home. Bob met dozens of members on the golf course, requesting to be paired with various groups as a single player, and playing in club tournaments.

The couple also became regulars at the clubhouse restaurants, Gaby’s by the Lake, Linger Longer Steakhouse and the Lake Club. Lisa still marvels at how easy it was to make friends. “The people here are above and beyond special, like no other place. You meet one individual, they instantly welcome you, invite you over to dinner, and it just snowballs from there. Now we have more friends here than back home.”

Two homesites and nine years later, today Bob and Lisa are putting the final touches on their newly-built home and preparing for their eventual full time move to Reynolds Lake Oconee. Overseeing construction of a home from several states away may seem daunting at first, but is an everyday occurrence in a community that attracts half its new residents from outside of Georgia. “Everyone with Reynolds has been great, and Ryan and Bryan are like family to us now,” says Lisa, referring to their builders Ryan Miller and Bryan Combs. “We owe a great deal of thanks to Artisan Built and Binion & Grant for making our dream home a reality.”

When Reynolds Lake Oconee eventually becomes their primary home, Bob and Lisa are both looking forward to more time on the golf course. Pressed to pick a favorite, he loves them all, but particularly enjoys The National, while The Creek Club gets her vote. In addition, both enjoy the outdoors and recreational activities. Lisa is also planning to become involved in some of the community’s 30+ social clubs and organizations, and also foster her passion for animals through volunteering at the humane society.

The humorist of the pair, Bob sums-up Reynolds Lake Oconee in practical terms: “I tell people that compared to the Northeast, life is so easy here, you feel like you’re cheating! There are no potholes, no traffic, no snow piled-up, and you hardly have to leave the gates — it’s just perfect.”

Amused by her witty soulmate, Lisa summarizes in more poignant terms: “Reynolds Lake Oconee is Heaven on Earth to us – just a really, really special place.”

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