When life is this good, it’s meant to be shared.

When Bob and Lisa Van Beber discovered that Reynolds Lake Oconee was a place they could build the lake life they craved, they decided to share that lifestyle with others.

Bob and Lisa Van Beber are self-described “lake people.”

Having both grown up around lakes and boating in Alabama, they always knew they wanted to raise their three boys around a lake. So, it comes as no surprise that when Bob's co-workers Jim and Betty Roper, who had just bought a home at Reynolds Lake Oconee, encouraged them to check out Lake Oconee, Bob's ears perked up.

Bob and Lisa made a visit or two to Reynolds, absolutely fell in love with the potential that existed and were sold on the idea. Not long after, they had a contract on the table.

That was 1994 — a time when options outside the property were a tad bit limited compared to now. “You have to remember that when we bought there was no Publix or Ritz-Carlton or The Creek Club,” Bob explains. “We actually loved the quiet nature of the lake and the structured nature of the community brought by the combination of Georgia Power and Reynolds.”

And although several amenities and storefronts have been added since then, there is still plenty of area for Bob and his boys to explore. All avid outdoor sportsmen, Bob and his boys (ages 22, 19 and 16) enjoy hunting and fishing in the Lake Oconee area as often as time allows them. The family even co-owns a hunting property with a family at Reynolds that is within 15 minutes of their lake house, giving them the chance to hunt and do shooting sports during both fall and winter.

Another draw for the Van Bebers is the community’s proximity to their Atlanta-based home, where Bob leads global client delivery with a digital marketing agency in Atlanta and his wife, Lisa, is in graphic design. Their boys are all enrolled in school — two in college at Auburn and one a junior at Greater Atlanta Christian. “We loved the fact that it was an easy commute from Atlanta and afforded us the ability to use the property year-round while still having active lives with our jobs and kids’ activities being Atlanta-centric,” Lisa says.

“Our favorite weekends involve having one or two other families over to the lake,” she says. “And usually we have a house full of our kids’ friends! We do a lot of board sports and tubing with the kids, but we also enjoy a lot of float time off the dock and at the sandbar. Bob also plays a lot of golf.”

After building their rustic home on the lake, the Van Bebers found themselves entertaining friends so often that they decided on a remodel for their kitchen and basement to reflect their expanded needs.

We feel very strongly that our house in Reynolds has been an important part of our family experience for the last 14 years. It’s been the source of so many of our best memories.

But with so much to do, the home is typically just the place for family and friends to crash — it’s common to find the Van Bebers enjoying shopping at the local merchants due to the fact that, in their words, “People are a little friendlier around Lake Oconee.” On the Fourth of July, you will always find the Van Bebers floating in their boat watching the fireworks over The Ritz-Carlton and Great Waters (their favorite holiday event at the lake). And Bob mixes a lot of business and company meetings at the Club and The Ritz-Carlton.

The Van Bebers are always willing to share their love of the “lake life” with others, so much so that the 20-year lake veterans have become quite the property ambassadors as of late. Just this past year, the couple referred three friends through the Reynolds Referral Program who would all end up purchasing in the months to follow.

“We feel very strongly that our house in Reynolds has been an important part of our family experience for the last 14 years,” Bob says. “It’s been the source of so many of our best memories. When you experience that much joy from something, it is hard not to pass it on to your friends. I had three friends buy properties in Reynolds last year and even had one brave enough to move in the house next door to me.”

The “brave” next-door neighbors Bob refers to are “lake people” as well — Michael and Kerry McLaughlin.

“We have known Bob and Lisa for around 15 years,” Michael says. “We live only a mile apart in Peachtree Corners and have been visiting them at the lake for many, many years.”

The McLaughlins were first impressed by how extremely well-kept the community is and the beauty of the homes — especially when viewed from the lake, where they spend hours jet skiing, boating and fishing. “Now, we live right next to each other at Reynolds and love our own lake house!”

It's funny to think how many families discovered this place just as Bob and Lisa did when they heard about it from Jim and Betty nearly 20 years ago. As it turns out, word of mouth is a pretty powerful thing among these lake people. And for this couple in particular, life this good just has to be shared.

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