General Area in Mill Valley>Question Details

Halley S., Home Buyer in New York, NY

Can you describe how Mill Valley looks and feels for a person that has never lived here?

Asked by Halley S., New York, NY Mon Apr 23, 2007

Do residents maintain their homes and lawns? Are there dramatic differences between different neighborhoods or zip codes? Is there a dominant architecture throughout the city?

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the people in mill valley are very rude, like most people in marin county, it feels like high school.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 12, 2009
Notice the disparity in the answers given by agents vs. non-agents. I live in Mill Valley and have mixed feelings that are in general agreement with either position. I can point out additionally that while the area is highly desirable and there are many who would like to be here, I would consider carefully your own personal agenda with regard to what you are actually looking for particularly if you have kids. Many will tell you it is the ideal place for kids, great schools etc. This is technically true, however the focus is heavily on being competitive, scoring high on test scores, over-scheduling the kids, lots of homework, little or no free time with an agenda of achiving the optimal prep to compete for the most prestigious colleges etc. Works great for "Type A" people, leaves a lot to be desired for those whose path might take them in different directions. It's way competitive here. Just try getting your kids into a pre-school or community activity and notice the behaviour of your contemporaries. No "laid back" CA living going here unless you are post children....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2009
wow, I'm amazed by the non-agent answers here. We lived for years in Mill Valley with little kids. I loved it. There are lots of parks and beautiful walking and bike paths in the area, and the town square is wonderful. My kids were preschool age, and there were lots of nice preschools, playgroups, storytimes (library) etc. The community was eclectic and creative. It was an idyllic time of our lives. I can't wait to move back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 31, 2009
Hi Halley,

The link below returns a terrain map of South Marin. As you can see Mill Valley includes a valley bottom and slopes up to ridge tops to north, west and east. Consquently understand that Mill Valley is a composite of neighborhoods with micro-settings that vary within short distances and result in different landscapes and micro-climates. Generalizations have so many exceptions...
There are different neighborhoods and, to try to put it in perspective, values range from a bit under $1M to, well..., off the board. Most "neighborhoods" vary in value/quality and small homes, large and estates intermingle.
The character of the community is probably best exemplified by the downtown village and park at the square that is casual, upscale and sophisticated. Decades ago Mill Valley was more of an artsy, hip community and still retains much of that flavor and continues many cultural events such as music and theatre.
The map below can be changed to air photos and zoomed in to. Then one can obtain street views. There is a bit of a learning curve but you've in hand an excellent tool to help learn more.
I'm happy to discuss neighborhoods/communities of Marin, their characters and nuances of difference - actually I love to. Hopefully you'll find useful tools on my website, Be in touch if I can help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009
Depending on where you are originally from will impact the answer to your question. I am from an area where pride of ownership and maintenance of property and yard is the norm. Mill Valley does not fall into this category IMHO....especially for the pricing the area commands. I was very disappointed in the quality of many of the homes when I first visited the area. I was expecting this beautiful area w/ really nice homes based on what I had heard, plus the cost of these places, and I would say homes like I pictured in my mind were the exception rather than the norm. Some people maintain their homes, but many dont, and there is no way to regulate how people take care of their homes in Mill Valley.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 15, 2009
Describing Mill Valley... close you eyes, imagine a place that has mountains rising all around you and fringed by the green waters of the San Francisco Bay; where a sea breeze keeps the weather cool year around and where the air always smells fresh. Ok, now open your eyes, stretch your fingers and overlay the beauty with a very high cost of living and your practically here there.

Residents do maintain their properties very well and almnost anything grows here so you often see very well landscaped yards.

There are dramtic differences between neighborhoods. Many ore on steep hills with great views and others ore in the valleys in between which is great for kids and their bikes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2007
Mill Valley is a very desirable community, and as such generally a pricier community. From the first impression you get the feeling that you're entering a small town with a special feel, dominated by the towering presence of Mt. Tamalpais. There are a number of distinct areas apart from the more well known downtown, such as Tamalpais Valley, Strawberry and Scott's Valley, to name a few. There are areas with fabulous homes, both on the hilltops or in the valleys. There are different income neighborhoods, and areas in transition, typically upward, and you can find a range of architecture from turn of the last century Victorians to craftsman, ranch, one-of-a-kind architectural to ultra modern. People take very good care of their homes. I can't think you will find that until you get into the really high price range, most neighborhoods will be really well kept with great curb appeal, but there will always be a few exceptions. Typically you will find more of the rougher homes in the less expensive areas of the center, south and northeast.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
Mill Valley has an eclectic feel with turn of the century summer cottages to 1920's Tudors to traditional craftsman homes to contemporary structures. There is something for everyone... flat yards with walk to town, hillside living with breathtaking views, sophisticated townhome living. Much of the town is nestled close to Mt. Tam and the state park with easy access to numerous trailheads for spectacular hiking.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
Mill Valley is a great place to live if you cherish the outdoors. There is a lot of homeownership pride in this town, but there is also a lot of ecclecticism. Mill Valley is an old hippie town, and there are a lot of 'old hippies' left over, who don't like a lot of change, but that is balanced with young, athletic families with professionals/executives.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
Many of the neighborhoods in Mill Valley are perched atop rolling hills with beautiful views of San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpias (Mt. Tam). House and yards are generally kept very clean with lush vegetation. The community is progressive and is 25 minutes driving time to the downtown areas of San Francisco. The town itself is quaint and clean and is spreads out from the 'Depot' where younger children congregate and play.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
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