By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
'It's the best of all worlds.' Gainesville Realtor turned TV host shares the screen with gems of Lake Lanier
11042022 KNIGHT 1.png
Gainesville realtor Bev Knight is a host of “The American Dream: Selling Atlanta (Lake Lanier).” Her bi-monthly segments showcase area real estate, lifestyle and culture. - Image from Sept. 17 episode of “The American Dream: Selling Atlanta (Lake Lanier)” via YouTube

Gainesville’s Lake Lanier has floated into the limelight yet again, this time tethered to a local realtor.

The lead agent of The Good Life Group, a division of Keller Williams Lanier Partners in Gainesville, Bev Knight is showcasing hometown treasures and lesser-known gems via her newfound role as host of “The American Dream: Selling Atlanta (Lake Lanier).”

“The American Dream” is an Emmy-nominated national television show centered around real estate, lifestyle and culture. Each 30-minute episode of the “Selling Atlanta” program features five-minute segments hosted by “power players” of Atlanta-area real estate.

Knight’s segments air bi-monthly. Her debut episode premiered Sept. 17 on CW69 Atlanta, featuring Pelican Pete’s at Port Royale Marina and local recovery diver Richard Pickering who’s known amongst boaters for his ability to retrieve lost wedding rings, watches, keys and wallets from the depths of Lake Lanier.

“He’s a hero, he really is,” Knight said, noting Pickering has “rescued” nearly 40 rings to date.

11042022 KNIGHT 7.jpg
Gainesville realtor Bev Knight, at right, interviews Lake Lanier Recover Divers owner Richard Pickering for an episode of “The American Dream: Selling Atlanta (Lake Lanier).” Knight hosts a bi-monthly segment of the program showcasing area real estate, lifestyle and culture. - Photo provided by Bev Knight

Knight’s next episode, slated to air in mid-November, will turn the spotlight to Gainesville culture, flaunting the downtown square, Lake Lanier Olympic Park and a bit of the arts with guests Nairika Cornett, executive director of the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, and Gallery on the Square artist Anne Brodie Hill, whose forte is capturing the essence of Lake Lanier with watercolor brushstrokes.

The segment will also include a luxury lake home designed by the late architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Future episodes will feature a home the real estate group has sold or listed for sale on Lake Lanier, as well as current events and trends in the realm of real estate.

In January, viewers will get a glimpse of short-term rentals and things prospective owners should know before diving in on the purchase.

After airing, episodes are available on AppleTV, Roku and FireTV. 

Knight’s segments are also viewable on the Good Life Group’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/c/TheGoodLifeGroupLanier.

“The whole premise behind it is positive media,” said Knight, who was approached by the showrunners as one of the area’s top real estate agents. “I get to brag about my hometown, and I’m not faking. There’s a lot that I love about Gainesville.”

Among Knight’s personal favorite haunts and pastimes are the Jarrard Burch Foundation’s summertime Lake Show at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, theater productions, concerts on the downtown square, event organizers’ frequent blending of entertainment and philanthropy and the catharsis of “just hanging out on the lake” with her children and grandchildren.

11042022 KNIGHT 2.png
Gainesville realtor Bev Knight hosts a segment of “The American Dream: Selling Atlanta (Lake Lanier)” at Pelican Pete’s at Port Royale Marina. Her bi-monthly segments showcase area real estate, lifestyle and culture. - Image from Sept. 17 episode of “The American Dream: Selling Atlanta (Lake Lanier)” via YouTube

In her eyes, Gainesville boasts the pleasures of big-city and small-town lifestyles alike.

“It’s the best of all worlds,” she said. “There’s recreation, there’s culture, there are nice people, there are four seasons. Gainesville people have everything that Atlanta people have, and better things: Less traffic, people are a little bit kinder, a little bit slower pace. It’s a great place to live, and it’s more than what people think it is.”

A native of metro Atlanta, Knight’s love affair with Lake Lanier floats back to its initial formation in the mid-1950s.

As a tyke of about 3, Knight’s family owned a floating cabin on the lake, where she fondly recalls fishing through the floor for bream to cook for breakfast.

She learned to swim in Lake Lanier when its waters were still cloudy from filling in their coves. The lake also marks the site of her first ski trip. Knight recalls her father feeding rope through holes he drilled in a plywood board to pull behind the family boat as a makeshift water ski.

After working their way through school at the University of Georgia, Knight and her then-fiance, now-husband scraped their meager resources together to purchase their first boat: a $600 faded red vessel dubbed “Scrappy Doo.”

“We were dirt poor, not a penny to our name,” Knight said. “It was ancient. It had one chair, and it didn’t happen to be by the steering wheel, so we would put a lawn chair behind the steering wheel and go out on Lake Lanier. It was a $600 boat and it looked like it. We just thought it was magic.”

While the boat did have to be hauled a time or two after breakdowns on the water, for Knight, it remains among a deep trove of cherished memories anchored at Lake Lanier.

“This lake is my sanctuary,” she said. “Has been my whole life.”

In 2005, the Knights left their home in Lilburn and the din of suburbia behind for full-time lakeside living in Gainesville. 

If given the chance to move back to the city, Knight said she’d reject it in a heartbeat.

“I don’t know anybody who does go back once they’ve lived up here,” she said.

Since launching her real estate career in 2008, Knight has helped an estimated 2,000 homeowners put down roots by the lake. 

For Knight, “it’s not even about selling,” but transmitting her love for Lake Lanier to others.

One of her favorite things as a Lake Lanier realtor, she said, is fielding phone calls from prospective homeowners from New England and other far-off states asking, “Do I really want to live in Gainesville?”

“Yes, you do, and let me tell you why: You lose nothing living in Gainesville,” Knight said. “It’s just the right mix of culture and kindness and resources. The Gainesville economy is very, very strong … and we have a lot of people who make that happen. We’re not just lucky. There are a lot of people who try to bring positive business here, who try to create positive growth — and that’s deliberate.”

As a locale often associated with tales of the paranormal, Knight hopes her new venture creates positive dialogue around Lake Lanier, squashing myths and highlighting the natural beauty of the waters.

“You know there’s always some troll out there trying to make it sound like something bad, and it’s just not,” Knight said. “It’s not haunted — I mean, really? I don’t want people to hear those stories and think that’s what the lake is about. … It’s only going to raise people’s (property) values for this city to look good. That’s not why I’m doing (the show), but it’s a win-win.”

11042022 KNIGHT 6.jpg
Gainesville realtor Bev Knight, at right, interviews Quinlan Visual Arts Center Executive Director Nairika Cornett for an episode of “The American Dream: Selling Atlanta (Lake Lanier).” Knight hosts a bi-monthly segment of the program showcasing area real estate, lifestyle and culture. - Photo provided by Bev Knight
11042022 KNIGHT 4.png
Gainesville realtor Bev Knight hosts a segment of “The American Dream: Selling Atlanta (Lake Lanier)” at Pelican Pete’s at Port Royale Marina. Her bi-monthly segments showcase area real estate, lifestyle and culture. - Image from Sept. 17 episode of “The American Dream: Selling Atlanta (Lake Lanier)” via YouTube