From Covington to Here

The beach? The mountains? For years, Danny and Denise Preston wanted to keep their options open for a dream home in a dream destination. That all changed when a certain family relocated to Reynolds. Now they’re all living a dream they never expected

Danny and Denise Preston feel like they’ve reached the mountaintop. The view of Lake Oconee from their living room window sure makes it look that way, too. The best part of what they see? “No more moving boxes,” Danny says. “It feels good.”

The Prestons admit their eight-year journey to settle here has been “a little complicated.” Here’s the abbreviated version: They bought a house near The Lake Club in 2015, built a home on the lake two years later, got an offer they couldn’t refuse and relocated to The Landing in 2020, bought a second home in Florida’s panhandle, and then decided less than a year ago to … stop!

They sold all their properties and went all-in on this home with a lofty view and a new perspective.

“We realized that we have everything we want right here,” Denise says.

A surprise last year simplified the big picture.

[Denise] Some days I have to pinch myself. Danny and I have five grown children between us. They live all over the place. Our daughter, Christy, lives in Texas with her husband, Brent, and our grandchildren, Addy and William. Our three boys live in Atlanta — Gregory, Johnny with his partner, John, and Daniel with his wife, Courtney, and our grandson, James. And then two years ago our daughter Holly and her family moved to Reynolds … eight minutes away from us! I never dreamed we’d be able to see each other spur-of-the-moment. They come use the pool. We bake together. We go boating. And we have karaoke nights downstairs.

[Danny] The karaoke isn’t fair. Denise went to college on a music scholarship. She can play the piano and sing for hours. I’m just a good old country boy. [Denise] You should hear him sing Johnny Cash.

[Denise] The pandemic changed everything. When all the Atlanta schools closed, Holly and the kids moved in with us at our other house. I homeschooled Henry and Hattie upstairs while Holly worked downstairs. Her husband, Charlie, had to work in Buckhead, but he came out every weekend. I remember Holly saying, “I wish we lived here,” but I didn’t think she was serious. [Danny] Once they experienced daily life at Reynolds, they didn’t want to leave it.

[Denise] I had a similar experience. Danny brought me down here in 2013 to look around. At the time, I didn’t think we’d move here. His family has a lot of history in the area and he just wanted to show me around.

[Danny] This has always been my happy place. When Lake Oconee was formed, my dad brought a boat out to store it. My sisters and I were among the first people to go waterskiing and tubing on the lake. A few years later, dad built a house not far from where the Sandy Creek Barn now stands. Then we watched Reynolds being built from scratch. I loved the area so much that I bought a lot at Reynolds 20-some years later. I never built a home on it, but it gave me an excuse to come down two or three times a month to play golf and use the amenities.

Henry and Hattie can ride bikes to grandma and grandpa’s. They can have fun outside. In other words, they can be kids, and we don’t need to constantly look over their shoulders. Holly Beaubien

[Denise] My thinking changed when he showed me around. He told me stories about the old bait shop and the Golden Pantry, and I couldn’t help being drawn to the peace and the beauty. I thought, ‘I can’t imagine asking Danny to give up his dream.’ It became my dream, too. [Danny] We’ve left a lot of footprints around Reynolds since that trip.

[Danny] People wonder about making new friends. It’s easy here. Denise made friends working out at The Lake Club and just walking through the neighborhood. And someone from our family will come out here almost every weekend.

[Denise] He has to remind friends that he still works. It’s because he makes multitasking look easy. I’ll watch him hit a shot on the golf course and then continue a call without missing a beat. [Danny] We set up the company, Acclivity Financial, the same year we moved here. One of our policies is that we allow employees to work wherever they’re comfortable and productive. It’s enabled us to hire the best talent all over the country. And it works well for me, too.

[Danny] Wherever my phone is, that’s where I’m working. And my phone is usually in a spot overlooking the lake. If I’m not addressing a hot topic, the phone might be in a golf cart. [Denise] Like he said, he works where he’s most productive.

[Danny] People are surprised the first time they visit. Once a year, our sales team takes a retreat. They could vote to go to resorts in bigger cities, but they always decide to come here. New employees are skeptical until they spend time on the boat, in the house, or at The Tavern — and they don’t want to leave.

[Denise] That’s the way it’s been for our family, too. I came on that first visit with Danny and didn’t want to leave. Holly and her family came during the pandemic and didn’t want to leave. For me, it’s a dream.

[Danny] I’ve been thinking, we’re four generations deep here. My parents, us, Holly, and her kids. That’s four, right? It’s amazing. [Denise] Our family won’t let us move again. They all want to come to the lake. Everyone. Our kids in Atlanta, our kids, grandkids, parents, and family in Texas, and friends and extended family from all over. And now we have Charlie, Holly, Henry, and Hattie a few minutes away. In fact, they’ll be over later today, or we might go over to their house. I still can’t believe I’m saying that. [Danny] It’s good to not be packing or unpacking. It isn’t just my happy place anymore. It’s our happy place.

View more member stories

Become a Reynolds Insider.

Enjoy access to exclusive offers and be among the first to know about our latest real estate releases and community events.

Contact Us