A google search of "Novato property management" will return a slug of rental folk. A significant percentage of rentals are posted on the BAREIS MLS. You can search those on the link below. Note that you can search in Marin & Sonoma counties, actually you can also search Medocino, Napa and Solano counties as well.
FWIW... You might want to increase your geographic search beyond Novato in order to make sure you don't let any golden opportunity slide by. Your personal aesthetic and pocket book will narrow the selection so you may want to look just a bit further afield as well. I recommend using http://maps.google.com if you want to check out commutes to your work location.
If I can help be in touch. There are enchanting neighborhoods north and south on the Hwy 101 corridor so you have options.
http://www.zilpy.com/ ...... http://www.rentometer.com/
You can use this site to get some community info, schools info, crime statistics, housing trends ect..all from county records....http://www.bhgrealestate.com/Views/Look/Default.aspx
Hope this helps, Dunes
The further north you go from San Francisco, the more reasonable rental prices become. Since you will be working in Novato, you will most likely find the best "value" in a Novato rental. You will also find it more convenient. Your other choice is going to Sonoma County, which would mean a commute.
I would say that a townhouse that is about 1500 sq. ft. or more would be in the $2000-2300/mo. range. A single family house would be more in the $2250-2500/mo. range. In San Rafael, it would cost an additional $200-300/mo. more.
There are other considerations as well!! Since you have children, schools and access to activities should also be checked out. Novato has many elementary schools and various school programs.
If you're going to be in the area for 2-4 years, it's important to make good choices in the beginning. I lived in Novato for 7 1/2 years, and Kathy lives in Novato. We both know Novato quite well and would be happy to assist you in finding a rental or answering any questions that you might have.
Mary Kay and Kathy
Now that all are giving you great advise on where to live..... .In your situation, I will vote for Novato. In that case, you will probably hardly commute at all.
As Leslie said, the price is around $2,000 for a house and less for town home that's 3/2. The town is surrounded by hills. open spaces, bay, greenery, etc, and unlike other areas, it's not congested. Coming from Seattle, I think you will appreciate that.
It's sunny and warm, in a Marin sort of way (not hot, hot), breeze in the evening.
Tons of open spaces, hiking, biking, horseback riding. public / private pools, tennis courts, golf courses, nice parks, great recreational programs for kids and don't forget wonderful schools and some of the most friendly, down to earth people - I have the fortune to know them :-)
So,that's my short version of introduction to Novato. To know specifics about the area, feel free to contact me.
There are limited rentals on multiple listing. Craigslist has quite a few, and property management companies also have a few. The one specialize in North Marin is Dalmon properties http://www.dalmonprop.com/ If you do contact them, please let them know that I sent you.
Novato is also centrally located in the sense that it's pretty much in the middle of north bay, easy access to NAPA, Sonoma county, West Marin, East Bay, and the city. Since you are only going to be here 2 to 4 years, it will allow you the opportunity to explore the Bay Area.
Either way, give me a call, and I can tell you more about Novato - I just want to be able to help and help you find the right location to settle down!
Take a look at Mill Valley. It's a beautiful town with great schools, very close to San Francisco, easy commute to Novato, lots of great hiking, biking, etc. and there are some surprisingly affordable rentals there. You can easily search for them on craigslist to see what is out there and what the prices are. Hope that helps!
I was just looking at 3 bedrooms for another client in Novato. Fortunately, Novato has the some of the most reasonably priced rentals in Marin County, however, rents are still high here. You'll probably be looking at a minimum of $2,000 a month on the low side. Petaluma is just 15 minutes north and that is a little more affordable. If you look on Craigslists in both towns that should give you a pretty good idea. If you'd like me to email you some current listings, please contact me directly.
Warm Regards, Leslie
I can definitely help you find a Rental property in Novato in a location / neighborhood that's best for your family with two young kids.
Since Education is one of my biggest passions, I can fill you in on all sorts of options here.
However, I am a Real Estate agent who also works with rental properties, but I am not an agent who only does rentals - I just want to clarify that.
So, please check out my profile and email me or give me a call (415) 717-0293 if you are interested in having me help you.