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What to Know about Living in Lake St. Louis, Missouri (2024)

Living in Lake St. Louis, MO, is as close to vacation-style living as you can get without driving to Lake of the Ozarks.

In this article, we’ll cover the most significant things about this lake community 40 minutes from St. Louis.

Live Like You’re on Vacation Every Day

Lake St. Louis is a gorgeous, master-planned community in central St. Charles County. It’s comprised of two private lakes:

  • Lake Sainte Louise (small lake)
  • Lake Saint Louis (big lake)

The area was developed as a resort community in the 70’s to offer waterfront living 45 minutes from Downtown St. Louis.

How Big is Lake St. Louis?

Lake St. Louis is 600 acres, and Lake Sainte Louise is 85 acres.

Lake St. Louis is the big lake with fewer restrictions on what kinds of boats are allowed on the lake and higher speed limits. Lake Sainte Louise is the quieter lake of the two, but it has more restrictions.

Boat docks in Lake St. Louis MO

Lake St. Louis has plenty of docks, marinas, swim areas, and boat ramps for those who want to access the lake.

Take a look at this map below for locations of marinas, boat ramps, and docks in Lake St. Louis:

Lake St. Louis map of docks, boat ramps, and parks

If you live in Lake St. Louis, keep in mind the boundaries of the Community Association (CA for short). The CA determines who has “lake rights” in Lake St. Louis.

The Lake St. Louis Community Association

The Lake St. Louis Community Association (LSLCA, or just CA) is one of the biggest reasons people want to live here. It’s a private homeowners’ association.

Living in Lake St. Louis, the city does not automatically mean you are within CA boundaries (and have lake rights).

Lake St. Louis City vs. Community Association

The city and the community association are separate entities that cover different geographic areas. When Lake St. Louis was developed, the community association was the sole governing body.

It wasn’t until 12 years later that the community became a city offering full municipal services:

  • Police
  • Municipal court
  • Public works
  • Snow removal
  • Community development
  • Building codes & enforcement

The city of Lake St. Louis oversees all properties within its limits, enforces building codes, and provides city services. The CA offers amenities and some additional restrictions that are not city mandates.

You can only be a member if you have lake rights, usually by owning property within CA boundaries.

If you’re fortunate enough to have lake rights, you gain access to all the amenities of Lake St. Louis:

  • The 20,000-square-foot clubhouse
  • Pools
  • Tennis courts
  • Marinas
  • Beaches
  • 9-hole golf course
  • Social clubs
Lake St. Louis community association clubhouse front
The LSLCA Clubhouse

The clubhouse is the social center of LSL, and it has the following:

  • 3 pools
  • Dining hall
  • Full-service bar
  • Lounge areas
  • Event space you can rent out

There are over 50 social organizations you can join through the CA. These clubs do all sorts of activities like golf, dancing, boating, arts & crafts, and gardening.

The CA is one of Lake St. Louis’s biggest highlights. You can even join one of the clubs if you’re not a CA member, as long as overall club membership has a 2/3 membership ratio.

Lake Rights and Amenities in Lake St. Louis

Lake rights give you access to all the fun stuff in Lake St. Louis. It’s a huge social scene with all the fun stuff to do with friends and family.

The CA is like a really big HOA that has a better version of block parties and a huge central hangout spot (aka the clubhouse).

Lake St. Louis clubhouse

Both lakes in Lake St. Louis are private. They are owned by the community association and its members, which is why you need lake rights to access either lake.

Lake St. Louis Boundary Map

There are about 4,000 properties that have lake rights.

The CA boundaries are outlined in orange on the map below to show which neighborhoods have lake rights:

Lake St Louis

You can also find this map on the LSLCA website. As you can see, the cutoffs are wonky, and some neighborhoods are excluded.

If you own property in the orange region, you have lake rights.

Living in Lake St. Louis Does NOT Guarantee Lake Rights

It’s essential to know that the City of Lake St. Louis is different from the community association. The CA boundaries were established before the city was formed.

If you live in Lake St. Louis but don’t have lake rights, it’s the same as living in O’Fallon or Wentzville.

For example, there’s a ton of new construction in Lake St. Louis, but none of these new homes are in the CA.

Lake St. Louis Home Prices

Home prices within CA limits range from $250,000 to over $2 million for single-family homes.

Condos in the CA are typically cheaper, starting as low as $150,000. Harbor Town is the biggest condo association, located on the north of the big lake next to I-70.

How to tell if a house has lake rights

Here’s the thing about looking for houses in the CA: Zillow doesn’t always tell you when a house has lake rights.

You should check if the listing description mentions the CA or lake rights.

If the description doesn’t state whether it’s within CA boundaries, you can call the LSLCA office, and they will tell you if it has lake rights.

You can also download this Excel sheet, which lists all addresses in the CA.

Unfortunately, the city doesn’t have an easier way to search for addresses… you have to filter the Excel sheet…

Looking for the Right Home in Lake St. Louis?

We can help with that.
We are St. Louis realtors who love helping our clients find the perfect home, and we especially love doing business in Lake St Louis!

Neighborhoods and Waterfronts in LSL

The style of neighborhoods you’ll see is very similar to O’Fallon, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie… But Lake St. Louis is known for the amenities and social scene that come from having access to the lakes.

Homes within the CA sell for a premium compared to similar houses without lake rights. 

Homes here range from small ranches and split-levels all the way to executive estates.

There are dozens of subdivisions, and many of the best neighborhoods in Lake St. Louis have plenty of options for waterfront homes.

Waterfront home Holloway Dr Lake St. Louis

Waterfront homes in Lake St. Louis are especially sought-after. They can be challenging to find on the open market. Most of the waterfront transactions we’ve guided were done privately, off-market.

It can be challenging and quite competitive if you’re in the market to buy a waterfront in Lake St. Louis.

Waterfront homes in Lake St. Louis, Missouri (2)

The waterfront estates were built to appreciate the lake. Many have big windows, and some are atriums so you can see the lake perfectly from every room.

Many homes sell off-market in Lake St. Louis.

Homes with lake rights are highly sought-after. Waterfront homes are even more competitive.

Moorings neighborhood in Lake St. Louis

So many people are interested in living in Lake St. Louis, and it can be challenging to get into the market.

Many waterfront homes in LSL sell off-market. You won’t see them listed on Zillow.

Why does that happen? Because Lake St. Louis is very close-knit. Everyone knows everyone, and word quickly spreads at the clubhouse anytime someone mentions plans to sell.

All the off-market sales we’ve made in LSL were through our network of friends, clients, and other real estate agents.

The social scene is a big deal in LSL, so word travels quickly when a home is sold privately or when another might become available.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re in the market for a home in the CA; we have options! It’s always good to see what else is available besides what’s on Zillow.

Restrictions in Lake St. Louis

The tricky thing about living in the CA is the more stringent covenants and restrictions.

One of the big ones is that you can’t have a fenced or walled yard. There’s a slight exception for pet runs and pools.

You can have a fence for a pet run covering up to 200 square feet. Pool fencing can only be around the immediate pool area.

You’re also only allowed two dogs or cats per household.

Additional Restrictions Based on Your Subdivision

The CA has more restrictions than the city of Lake St. Louis. And some individual subdivisions within the CA have even more rules of their own.

Some of these restrictions will limit what type of house you can build, setback requirements, and any renovations you might have planned.

Rental restrictions

If you’re looking to rent in Lake St. Louis, you can have lake rights if your landlord gives them to you.

Another thing to know about renting here is that short-term rentals are not allowed, unfortunately.

Moving to Lake St. Louis

If you’re curious to learn more about Lake St. Louis or you’re moving to the area, get in touch with us!

Living in Lake St. Louis is one of the best ways to add a little bit of vacation to your daily life. We’d love to share our knowledge of LSL with you and help with the buying or selling process. Meeting new clients moving to the area is our favorite part of working in real estate! 🙂

Photo of author

Kellie Lasater

Kellie Lasater has over 20 years of experience in the St. Louis real estate market. She began her career in 2003 in new construction, working for a local builder. In 2012, she switched to residential real estate and has helped hundreds of families buy and sell homes. Raised in St. Louis, Kellie has watched the exciting growth of the metro area her whole life. From growing up in North County to currently residing in Wentzville, she has developed deep connections throughout the community and gained an intimate knowledge of the St. Louis market. Kellie's enthusiasm and passion for helping her clients buy, sell, and invest in real estate is unrivaled.