Home Buying in 94965>Question Details

K, Home Buyer in New York, NY

Does anyone have an opinion of Marin City? I would like to buy a 1 or 2 bedroom condo....

Asked by K, New York, NY Sat May 3, 2008

....and I see the asking prices in the Marin City area are way below what a comparable unit would go for not too far away from that location. Is there an issue with that neighborhood?? Im coming out from the NorthEast.

Help the community by answering this question:


I moved to Marin City when I was 8 years old. I'm white and yes, I got a harassed for about a year or so when I first moved in. After that growing up in Marin City was great. I think it is a great place to live. I was not happy with the new buildings they installed and the Best Buy, Longs Drugs, Ross. I thought they should have kept the flee market. The area behind Marin City is very lush and in most cases untouched. Most black people don't like the woods and most white people don't want to park their cars in a black hood to go to the woods. So hence, untouched woods. Perfect playground for kids growing up. If I could change anything in my life growing up it would not be Marin City. I wish I still lived there but my family got kicked out for selling Marijuana
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
Sorry to say, but you can sum it up in one word. G-h-e-t-t-o.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 30, 2009
Everybody on this board is dancing around the real issue and avoiding the 400-pound gorilla in the room. The straight-up answer is: it depends what color you are... Sadly, there is a lot of racism in this area. Whites are looked down upon with resentment by the majority black population in Marin City. I think that pretty much sums it up.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 30, 2008
Marin City is a great little secret in Marin. You are so close to the Bridge and never hit traffic during rush hour. Traffic doesn't start to back up until you hit Mill Valley and Corte Madera. My family and I love the location and love being so close to the city and LOVE the affordable condo we just purchased for $630k.
P.S. My unit is NOT a co-op and my HOAs are much less than $450 a month.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 13, 2008
quoted from Wikipedia "The racial makeup of Marin City was 1,037 (38.9%) White, 1,017 (38.1%) African American, 15 (0.6%) Native American, 287 (10.8%) Asian, 21 (0.8%)". It is a diverse place that liberals will very much appreciate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 16, 2016
Marin City is surrounded by some of the Bay Area's most expensive, sought after communities in Tiburon, Sausalito, Mill Valley, etc. That said, the prices in Marin City are a reflection of the high crime which should be factored in as potential difficulties when it comes time to re-sell in the future.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 29, 2015
Marin City has a variety of homes for sale. Neighborhoods run the gamut. Easy access off 101 and the freeway separates Marin City from Sausalito. Good public transportation to SF and Marin with GG Bus System. It is a solid community with good streets and lights and a few parks. The area has suffered from some slanted opinions tending toward negative arsing from its inception as a community that provided housing for Ship Building workers in Sausalito during WW II.. It has good streets, well lit, a Marin Sheriff office is within a block or two of the center area-schools ok to good. There is a shopping center with a large CVS, and a number of smaller food coffee spots. There is also shopping with big stores like Ross. Best Buy just closed, but my guess is that was long planned and was decided with lease running out. There are nice homes and condos with a lot of condos with SF bay views - some of these use a Sausalito Postal Address, but are essentially part of Marin City.
No doubt there are good values for a certain buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 16, 2014
There are beautiful water views from the condos up the hill and 100's of acres of open space for hiking, all the way out to the ocean. This is a most popular dog walking area of Sausalito. The commute is great. As mentioned before, it is the flatlands below, that has housing projects, and recently there has been more crime reported at the main bus stop in Marin City. You can get actual crime reports for that area and any city you are looking to move to. I can help you find that information if you like. I have lived in Sausalito for over 20 years and know it well. If you need any more help with a knowledgeable agent, I would be happy to help you. Sausalito is a magical place to live!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 9, 2013
Marin City has several distinct neighborhoods. One of rather upscale condos, up the hill, the other much more working class and pretty much flat. The racial perspectives are absolutely personal so figure...

Several condos, currently active, on Donahue St. have excellent views of Richardson Bay, boats and houseboats - very colorful. However they also have loud road noise if you go outside. I recommend that you use the trailing website, mine, to view all current listings. Use maps.google.com to obtain a map of the area, especially the terrain map, so that you can begin to understand the differences between these two areas with Marin City. Consider houseboats, you may find them an interesting alternative.

Prices are lower that nearby areas, both going in and coming out. Appreciation will depend on initial quality and specific location.

RSVP if I can help identify and characterize neighborhood options in South or Central Marin.
Web Reference: http://www.REALTZ.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 16, 2009
I've been a renter here in Marin City for alittle over two years and my suggestion of buying a condo here in this area would probably be, don't do it. There's a sense of real poverty and despair here in Marin City, although there is an atmosphere within some residents and local government to change the infrastructure and help this small community, that would make property values rocket upwards significantly. I would make effort to be on the ground floor of this if I saw it coming to fruition in the near fututre, and there is very good potential here, but the mentality and opposition to growth here is daunting. Sorry for being so lengthy, Mike
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 19, 2008
I live in San Rafael and work in Sausalito. I've know people that have moved away from Marin City because it has higher crime - hence why prices are so cheap. That is where are the public housing is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Hi K,
In order to best answer that question, I have a few questions...Why are you moving to the Bay Area? Where would you be working? Is it just you or do you have kids? What are you looking for in terms of a community? Prices in Marin City, as with any areas of the Bay Area reflect desirability. I live in Marin, and have lived in the Bay area for nearly 40 years. I would be happy to answer your many questions. Please email or call me if you like. Good luck to you...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2008
Marin City is one of the most affordable areas in Marin County and the northern part of Sausalito. Separated by the 101 Freeway some people consider Marin City as a town of its own, however it is Sausalito.

The housing stock is for the most part condos and townhouses. The area is divided into two main areas; the highlands where the prices tend to be higher and the flats located near the local Mall.

As for the basic history of Marin City, it started out as WWll housing for many of the people who came from the south to work in the Sausalito ship building yards. The govt. established work place housing and for decades little had changed until builders started in the 70's constructing apartments in the hills over looking Richardson bay and Mt. Tam. The views from the heights were and are spectacular, however the stigma of the wartime housing area has persisted in keeping prices relatively low compared to the rest of Southern and Central Marin. Value and convenience is the name of the game for Marin City - 5-10 minutes outside of San Francisco. Great for ivestment rentals as well especially as prices keep softening in the market but that will stop pretty soon too.

If you would like some stats on the area including $/sqft I would be happy to provide you with the info you need to make a informed decision. Please follow the links to my website and drop me an email.

All the best in your home search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2008
Hi K;

The couple of lower priced condos that are in Marin City are both Co-Ops wiht high monthly HOA ($450, $495 respectively


Both units are CO-Op which is a bit of different ownership than owning a regular house or town home -

Co-Op in general has pretty strict rules and can be more difficult in obtaining financing and there are just a few lenders that will do co-ops because you don't get a regular mortgage, you get a shar loan to purchase a share (unit) of a co-op), Sometimes Co-Ops are development to provide affordable housing and some of Marin City's Co-Op are no exception.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 3, 2008
quoted from Wikipedia "The racial makeup of Marin City was 1,037 (38.9%) White, 1,017 (38.1%) African American, 15 (0.6%) Native American, 287 (10.8%) Asian, 21 (0.8%)". It is a diverse place that liberals will very much appreciate.
Flag Tue Feb 16, 2016
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
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