We really enjoyed our stay. It was nice to be so close to the water, and the water was so warm! Even on days in the high 60s we could go swimming. Great views and so idyllic. Every day we watched a white swan swim back and forth across the lake. The lily pads and flowers are beautiful. Convenient location for visiting central Mass. House was very spacious and well stocked with toilet paper, towels, etc.
We had a long list of maintenance problems--some cosmetic while others impacted our convenience or safety. For example, there were *** zero working smoke detectors *** in the entire house. I contacted the property owner as soon as I realized this; one was installed that day and another four the next day.
As for the other issues (e.g., no batteries in remote, broken ladder on dock, unsafe swing set, stairs to beach not stable, bedroom blinds wont open, musty basement, etc.), we didn’t request a fix since the person who handles them is just an unpaid neighbor; had there been a property manager we might have raised some of them.
There was also a weird experience with an unfriendly lady who showed up with her grandsons, one of which was hired to mow the property's lawn. The lady (and one of the kids) hung out around the property for an hour while the lawn was being mowed, talking on her cellphone and hanging out at the property's private beach. It was a little weird. When I asked the property owner about it, she offered to ask them to leave, but I felt bad kicking an old lady out. But it was still weird.
Again, we did enjoy our stay and would want to return in the future. But I do think steps need to be taken to proactively keep the property SAFE (smoke alarms are part of fire code!) and well-maintained. A paid property manager would be able to do that. We did send the owner a long list of about 25 maintenance/safety recommendations, so hopefully future renters don't have any trouble.