General Area in Marin County>Question Details

Jg, Home Buyer in Marin County, CA

we are moving to Marin and one of us will work in San Fran and the other in Santa Rosa what city would you recommend for our commutes w/ good schools

Asked by Jg, Marin County, CA Wed Nov 3, 2010

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I would say make the leap to Sonoma County and a great half way point is Petaluma. Quite a good number of people from San Francisco and the South Bay look to Petaluma as a great choice, especially because your dollar goes a little farther there. Look at just across the County line in Novato, which is in Marin County and the difference in prices, between Petaluma and Novato. Schools, shopping and recreation are very desirable in that portion of Sonoma County.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 7, 2010
Some good advise by my assocites in the busines.
In general, the person going South to S F wil be going with traffic and the Person going N to Santa Rosa, generally going against the traffic flow.
Where are you coming from what price range and size of house are you looking for as wel as a decent school district, there is good diversity here w public schools but also Private school options. Without more specific information which i would be happy to discuss, maybe N San Rafael / Terra Linda & Dixie School District may be the best combination of decent school, property value & commute. If you go West to San Anselmo & Fairfax your add quite a bit of commute time for both of you to get to H 101.
Further South Greenbrae & Corte Madera would be good options with easy freeway access, good schools, easier access to SF, but house prices are higher and will get less space and yard for the kids!
Novato, Pleasant Valley is a decent School district but a bit more of a commute to the highway and the SF commute is longer. I had client buy in Novato, Hamilton last year as he works in SF and she works in Napa, good location for their commutes,don't have kids, so schools not essential as they are for you.
I live in San Rafael and work in Greenbrae, Marin Is a great palce to live with easy access to many other wonderful areas for the family to enjoy, the key is to figure out what combination with the school district coming first, works best for the whole family.
Link to Public schools below.
Best Wishes. Nigel Faulkner, Coldwell Banker T 415 298 2485 /
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010
H Jg:

You received some good advice below. The quality of Marin county schools are generally good, with some better than others, which we should chat about.

If you look at distance along, Novato will probably be your best choice, being the north most part of Marin, just south of Sonoma county. However, depending on where you might be commuting to in the City and in Santa Rosa, the distance or traffic might vary. If you both work the 'normal' commute hour, going into the city will be with the traffic and going to Santa Rosa will be against traffic. In that case, Dixie schools in San Rafael, might be a consideration.

I will be quite interested in knowing the kind of job and the hours/days you or your spouse commute to the city or Santa Rosa; that might make a difference in your choice of location. Many people telecommute now a days, which makes commute a lesser issue. All these should be considered.

Price, of course, is a huge factor in deciding where you want/can live. Homes closer to the city command higher prices and vice versa.

Perhaps a chat offline is a better way to go in gathering information. Just let me know.

Frank Howard Allen Realtors
(415) 717-0293
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Novato, CA
Mary Kay and Kathy have given you some very good information below based on the information you have provided at this time. As they said price point, age of your children, and numerous other factors would help with guiding you to a specific area. The cities in Marin county vary in look and style of home as well as some neighborhoods are in hills and some in the flats. You may want to check on the link below for school comparisons. I would be happy to assist you as well with your decision making in coming to this very special part of the Bay Area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Good schools are in many areas of Marin. Are you concentrating only on test scores to judge them?? What are the ages of your children??

For the person commuting to San Francisco, central San Rafael and south would be a smoother commute. However, as you go further south, the prices of homes increase. Therefore, you've asked a somewhat complicated question. What is your price range???

The Novato School District is quite diverse when you look at the different schools and programs at the elementary level. There are 3 middle schools and 2 high schools. In northern San Rafael, for elementary and middle school, there is the Dixie School District, which is quite popular. In central San Rafael, there are quite a few choices for elementary with Glenwood and Sun Valley generally having the best test scores. There is only one middle school, which is Davidson. There are 2 high schools run by the San Rafael School District, San Rafael High School and Terra Linda High School. The Ross Valley School District is good and services San Anselmo and Fairfax, which are west of San Rafael. However, that would add time to both commutes since you would be much further from the freeway. Corte Madera, Larkspur, Kentfield and Greenbrae all have good schools and are part of the Redwood High School District.

The bottom line is that it is more about your price range and the size of the house that you need. Once we have that figured out, we can give you better guidance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
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