A critical part of any community is its neighborhoods.

What a delight it is to travel the streets of a town and see lovely, well-built homes, beautifully manicured lawns, old-growth trees, people strolling on sidewalks, or children playing in a neighborhood park.

Sturgis takes pride in being that kind of community. Sturgis residents are “property proud,” with a deep-rooted belief that they have a stake in the community. That philosophy ensures pride of community, home and self. Those who have a stake in the community want what is best for the town.

The City of Sturgis works to support this attitude in a variety of ways. Sturgis has long held the designation of “ Tree City USA” with trees adorning the highways and byways. Several neighborhood parks provide children with a chance to play and adults with a chance to sit and enjoy the outdoors. The City also is dedicated to improving walking and biking in town; a recently-passed non-motorized trailways plan is being implemented over time and sidewalk repair and maintenance is continually being undertaken.

Because Sturgis’ citizens care, they have adopted ordinances concerning the upkeep of the community and have city staff to ensure these rules are enforced so that property values and the atmosphere of the city are maintained. Zoning and rental codes, along with housing and building codes, ensure that the quality of life and the appearance of the community are sustained. Laws concerning littering, trespassing, noise, vandalism and destruction of private property are taken seriously by the Sturgis police. City of Sturgis code enforcement officers work tirelessly to ensure Sturgis neighborhoods are a pleasant place to live. City inspectors enforce laws dealing with parking, junk cars, trash, unattended pets, lawn maintenance, painting, and many others. These laws were established to protect homeowners and renters alike, giving all residents a safe, beautiful and anxiety-free town in which to live. These are some of the reasons people move to Sturgis. A fine mixture of traditional family homes and upscale new developments are offered in Sturgis. Basic starter homes can be found in the $40,000 to $60,000 price range, and family homes are available in the $70,000 to $120,000 category.

Larger or more upscale abodes — both new and longestablished — are offered with price tags of $135,000 and up.

Historic homes can still be purchased, including homes built in the 1800s with beautiful Victorian flare, carved woodwork, staircases with gorgeous banisters, and tongue-and-groove wood floors. These historic homes were built and occupied by the founders and leaders of Sturgis, people who left their mark not only on Sturgis, but also on the world. Envision yourself living in one of these majestic homes.

Perhaps your taste is for a more modern, up-to-date home. Sturgis offers many more recently built houses of all sizes, to fit all budgets, needs and tastes. If you are looking to build a home to meet your exact needs, property is available in the City Subdivision or in other areas around town as well.

A wonderful Sturgis organization was created in 1990 to help people purchase and fix up their homes. Dubbed the "Sturgis Neighborhood Program (SNP)," this worthy nonprofit is funded through state and local foundation grants as well as private donations. The SNP offers both rental and home owner-ship opportunities to applicants, making sure that each house is a safe, secure and affordable place for those who are going to live there. The Sturgis Neighborhood Program’s grant funding provides home buyers with the down payment on their home and closing cost assistance. Prospective homeowners are qualified according to their income.

The Sturgis Neighborhood Program works with other agencies throughout the county, allowing SNP to assist more people with their housing needs. Agencies such as theMichigan State Housing Development Authority ( MSHDA), Domestic Assault Shelter Coalition, Hope Network South-ARCH Inc., Michigan Addiction and Prevention Services, and Sturgis’ own Community Development Department have been successful partners with SNP in helping to increase our neighborhoods’ stability by creating pride in the ownership of property.

If you prefer a rental alternative, Sturgis is home to several apartment buildings and single-family rental homes, some offering subsidized units. More than 1,600 rental units are available, with a variety of sizes, arrangements, and price ranges. Some are specifically designed for seniors, while subsidized units are also available. Village Manor is an attractive complex with a variety of pleasant living arrangements, from apartment buildings to rental homes.

Thurston Woods Village is a multilevel retirement and health care community. It offers a wide variety of services to those who live there, and there are several living options available to people who wish to become part of the ThurstonWoods Village family. Facilities and services available at ThurstonWoods Village include independent apartments, adult day/respite care, assisted living and nursing care. Thurston Woods Village is a lovely, well-maintained, not-for-profit facility that is affiliated with the Mennonite Health Services.

If the desire of your heart is to own your own home, Sturgis is a prime place to settle. The variety of homes available make shopping an enjoyable task. To help you choose your prime location, Sturgis has a number of real estate agencies. These companies offer a variety of services to the homeshopping public. Opportunities to purchase homes from the owners and through land contracts can also be found in the Sturgis area, as can all of the agencies needed to complete the purchase of a new home, from realtors, to professional abstract and title services, to surveying needs.

If sprucing up your yard or house is your desire, Sturgis offers help and advice from companies ranging from lumber yards to landscaping services and everything in between.

A home in Sturgis — what could be better!