Relatively large for a mid-sized city, Sparks, Nevada, is a thriving community located just next door to the city of Reno. The local real estate market contains a mixture of single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes set mainly in attractive suburban neighborhoods. Many of the available homes in the city were built in the last 15 years. Buyers can also choose from of a variety of homes constructed between 1970 and 1999, as well as well-maintained, older homes from the mid-20th century.
Sparks started out as a railroad switchyard and home for rail workers in the early 1900s. It remained quite small until a housing boom hit the Reno area in the 1950s. Today, the city has a population of approximately 93,000 residing in its 23.9 square miles, and it currently ranks as the fifth largest community in the state of Nevada. The number of residents has risen by fully 40 percent since the year 2000. Major factors in this growth include a robust housing market, an unemployment rate below the state average, a relatively low crime rate and a cost of living that's well below the U.S. average. Sparks has 24 neighborhoods, including City Center, Vista, Spanish Springs, and Sparks Blvd./Springland Dr.
Sparks has a diversified economy that features a good mix of white- and blue-collar occupations. Local industries include construction, manufacturing, retail sales and hotel/food services. Much of the workforce commutes a short distance to jobs in Reno. Residents of Sparks can take advantage of a wide variety of dining and shopping opportunities, both within the city itself and in neighboring Reno. The city is also home to Sparks Marina Park, which features a 77-acre lake situated on a natural aquifer. Like its bigger neighbor, Sparks has a climate that features wide-ranging temperatures, relatively low rainfall totals and modest snowfall in wintertime. Available recreational activities in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area include skiing at 18 regional resorts, swimming, golfing at more than 50 area courses, sailing, fishing, hiking and mountain biking. In downtown Sparks, Victorian Square plays host to highly popular attractions and annual events that include the Hometown Farmers Market, Hot August Nights and Hometown Christmas. The city is home to one casino, the Nugget Casino Resort. Colleges in the area include the University of Nevada-Reno, Western Nevada College and Truckee Meadows Community College. Sparks holds plenty of appeal for families and singles seeking a balance between city life and a more suburban environment.