Lake House Living in Rhode Island


    Lake House Living

    By Michelle Jordan

    9 min read

    Have you ever thought about living on a lake?

    Looking out your window and seeing the peaceful serenity that nature brings, swimming, fishing, boating; a place that family gathers to create memories?

    This is something that I personally thought was a far-fetched fantasy.

    My husband and I would take the kids and rent houses every summer and enjoy the tranquility of someone else’s property. Finally, four years ago after packing up the car and driving for hours to spend thousands of dollars (once again) for one week of enjoyment,  I said to my husband “let’s just look and see, maybe this dream could become a reality”.  I will tell you that we thought this was impossible but the fishing enthusiast that he is, he entertained my idea. We came home and sure enough on his favorite lake there it was our soon to be lake house and two months later that dream was a reality.” After a busy day we now get to look out the window and see the beautiful view and let all the stress of the day fade away.

    Does this sound good? Is it for you?

    Here are some important tips when searching for your Lake Front Property: 

    1. It is highly recommended to have a Buyers Agent, a Buyers Agent is always working for you. The Listing Agent is working for the seller. You want someone looking out for your best interests. The best part there is no cost to you to hire The Goss Team, we are here to share our experience and negotiate on your behalf.
    2. When the real estate market drops lakefront homes tend to hold more of their value.
    3. Are you looking for a quiet location that only allows trolling motors with no public access or are you looking for a more populated lake that has lots of activity? If there is a public boat launch that generally means more boat traffic, fishing tournaments and more congestion. Be sure to think this through and always share this information with your agent so he or she can find the property that suits your preferences.
    4. Always check the aquatic vegetation certain times of the year primarily the summer months certain areas can become full of vegetation and create obstacles for swimmers and boaters. Having an agent that is familiar with the lakes in the area is very beneficial as they know what to look for. It is also helpful to inquire with the neighbors or have your agent ask the seller, perhaps the seller has photos of the shoreline throughout the seasons that they would be willing to share.
    5. It is beneficial to check to see if the property is in a flood zone which will require flood insurance, this will affect your monthly expenses.
    6. Does the town drain the lake in the winter to help prevent ice damage to docks and watercraft. If they do not, the ability to remove the dock and watercraft is always recommended.
    7. … location…. location! Are you in the desired distance to local amenities? ie. grocery store, work, entertainment, etc.
    8. Some lakefront properties are seasonal, while others allow for year round occupancy.
    9. How close to the water do you want to be? Are you looking for Waterfront, Water view or water access?
    10. Consider the property; is it difficult to get down to the water? is the water clear or are you going to be knee deep in muck when you jump in for your first swim? Is there privacy? What does the view look like? Can you do what you want to do to the property or are there restrictions? Is there an association that governs when and how you can use the water, paying association fees and maintaining the shoreline to the associations specifications?

    Featured Lakes

    There are many beautiful lakes throughout Northern Rhode Island. Below you will find information on a few of my top picks.

    Bowdish Reservoir is a 226 acre reservoir partly encompassed by George Washington Management Area located in Glocester, RI. The shoreline is often rocky with floating bog mats in the center of the pond which make for an interesting ecosystem to explore from a small boat.

    Georgiaville Pond is a medium size pond located in Smithfield, RI on the Woonasquatucket River. The town beach is at the south end of the pond. There are lots of houses around the pond, but there are also a couple of pretty islands in the pond with tall pine trees on them.

    Lake Washington is a 41 acre pond located in Chepachet, RI largely surrounded by houses. Only non-motorized boats and boats powered with an electric motor are permitted.

    Pascoag Reservoir also known as Echo Lake, 350 acres located in the towns of Burriville and Glocester Rhode Island . Pascoag Reservoir offers a public boat launch, this is a very popular location in the summer for all types of water sports. The shoreline is heavily populated, there is a lot of activity so if you are looking for a quiet location with out too much activity you may want to keep reading and find one of the lakes that  have what you are looking for.

    Ponaganset Reservoir is a pristine lake located in Glocester, RI this lake is the back up for the Scituate Reservoir. This lake is very peaceful (not overly populated) and does not allow public access (if you are looking for a lot of activity such as; jet skiing, speedboats and water skiing, this is not the lake for you (trolling motors only). There are many beautiful homes on this 230 acre lake.

    Slacks Reservoir covers 150 acres in Smithfield, RI with an average depth of 10 feet. You will find waterfront properties and homes with access. Residents enjoy fishing, swimming and boating.

    Slatersville Reservoir is located in the towns of Smitihfield and Burriville. The upper part of Slatersville Reservoir, is 144 a acre reservoir, has a number of coves to explore. The east side of the reservoir is largely wooded, while the west side has more houses. Lower Slatersville Reservoir is 72 acres with minimal development of the shoreline. There is low boat traffic due to the fact that there are under 20 homes. it is a peaceful and clean lake with an average depth of 8-10 feet.

    Smith and Sayles Reservoir  (Sand Dam Reservoir) spans over 73 acres. The shoreline is largely wooded, but there are some houses. There is a 10hp limit on all motors used on the reservoir. At the south end, a low dam separates the Reservoir from Keech Pondwhich is 49 acres located in Glocester, RI.

    Spring Lake is good size lake at 95 acres. Much of the shoreline is developed with houses. Only non-motorized boats and boats powered by an electric motor are permitted. There is a town beach, according to the town website, “a full time lifeguard staff, along with a penny arcade, restaurant, ice cream building, pavilion, recreation hall for rentals, canoe rentals, paddleboat rentals, restrooms and hot/cold outdoor showers.” There is a fee to use the beach facilities. For more details see the town website.

    Wakefield Pond is located in Burriville, which sits in northwestern Rhode Island, right against the border of Connecticut.  The small northern end of the pond has houses along the shore but most of the rest of the shoreline is wooded and undeveloped, but privately owned.

    Wallum Lake is located in Burriville, RI and crosses the border into Douglas, MA.  covering a total of 208 acres. There are two public boat launches one in Douglas, MA and one in Burriville, RI. Enjoy swimming, kayaking and boating and fishing.

    Waterman Reservoir is 270 acres with an average depth of 12 feet. This is a private lake with no public boat launch. This lake allows for fishing, swimming and boating.

    Wilson Reservoir is a large, 109 acre reservoir located in Burriville, RI. There is a 10hp limit on motors, there is a boat ramp. The shoreline of the reservoir is a mix of developed and undeveloped land, but almost all of the shoreline is privately owned.

    Woonasquatucket Reservoir 300-acre reservoir it is sometimes called Stillwater Reservoir or Stump Pond. There are some houses near the shore, but overall the shoreline is  natural. It is a large body of water so waves large enough to cause problems for canoes and kayaks can form on a windy day.

    For a complete list of lakes located in Rhode Island click here.