Marin County, a magnificent place to call home…
Having moved here 14 years ago, I count my blessings every day for having landed here! I never tire of Marin’s breathtaking, ever changing beauty: you will understand what I mean when you visit my Photo Gallery with over 1,500 photos of Marin and each of its gorgeous neighborhoods. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, I am dedicated to your real estate success in Marin County.
Marin County is renowned throughout California and the nation for its scenic splendor, pristine and rugged beauty, and year-round mild weather. Its small town charm coupled with big city style and sophistication contributes to make Marin anything but your average suburb. As a result, Marin is one of the most sought after residential areas in the country, each of its communities offering a special and unique kind of appeal, charm and lifestyle. Cool and occasionally foggy, sophisticated and elegant in its Southern shores, warm and sunny and more rustic further North, trendy, funky, home to aging hippies, artists, rock musicians, actors, directors, art, wine and jazz festivals, historic places, world class dining, outdoor cafes and restaurants, daily farmers’ markets, towering redwoods, first class shopping, art galleries, hiking and biking trails gallore - Marin is all this and much more… A picture is worth a thousand words, so before you read on, watch a video of Marin here.
Marin led the state with the highest household median income for the 2009 tax year at $108,465. Marin County sectoral employment strengths are trade, transportation and utilities, State and local government, leisure and hospitality, professional, scientific and technical services, and educational and health services.
Some of Marin’s estate ranks among the most expensive in the country: Belvedere consistently ranks in the top ten Forbes’ most expensive zip code list in the country, coming in 8th in 2010.
One of nine Bay Area counties, Marin County is linked to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge and to the East Bay by the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. It is bordered on the north and northeast by Sonoma County and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The 520 square miles of Marin offer a wide variety of topography, climate, and vegetation, from the tidal flats of the coastline to the slopes of Mount Tamalpais rising 2,600 feet above sea level; from the dense stands of towering redwood and pine to the inland grasslands and exposed rocky areas, and the coastal fogs that temper the warm inland temperatures in summer.
Marin is the most conveniently located suburban County in the Bay Area, offering a short (15 minutes -30 minutes) commute to San Francisco plus three different ferry terminals (Sausalito, Tiburon and Larkspur Landing) serving the downtown San Francisco business district (and even AT&T Ballpark during baseball season). A short distance to the North is California’s world famous Wine Country and its beautiful Napa and Sonoma Valleys, and to the west are a rugged, scenic coast and white sand beaches. Overlooked by Mount Tamalpais, the ”Sleeping Indian Maiden,” with redwoods on her flanks, San Francisco Bay to the east and south and the Pacific Ocean to the west, it offers unspoiled and breathtaking vistas from most areas.
Thanks to its no-growth plan dating back to 1979, 84 percent of Marin County’s 332800 acres has been either reserved as permanent open space or shielded from development by strict zoning laws.
The combination of mountains, sea, and climate in Marin County, with 141,400 acres (Marin County Assessor-Recorders Office, July 1996) of federal, state, and county parkland, county open space, and two water districts’ lands devoted to recreation, has made the county a recreation spot for the entire BayArea. Accentuating this beauty is the fact that billboards are illegal in Marin County so you can actually see these beautiful surroundings without the clutter of the typical commercial visual pollution so commonplace in other areas.
Southern Marin tends to be more affluent with its bayside communities of Sausalito, Tiburon, and Belvedere with luxurious waterfront properties with spectacular views and the fastest commute to the city. Mill Valley is a charming, yet trendy and hip, little town surrounded by redwoods and rolling hills.
Central Marin is different from its neighbors to the south with its more rustic and suburban feel. Corte Madera and Greenbrae are known for their shopping centers, while Larkspur, Kentfield and especially Ross are more exclusive communities with some of the most expensive estates in the County. San Anselmo is a quiet residential town famous for its plethora of antique stores and Fairfax‘s claim to fame is its aging hippie population and vibrant night life. San Rafael has a mild mediterranean climate and is the largest city in Marin. It is home to Mission San Rafael Arcángel around which the city developped, and at the other end of the spectrum George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch.
Northern Marin is Novato, the fastest growing city in Marin County with a rapidly developping economic landscape and a very active real estate market. Voted one of the best places to live in the US in 2008, Novato has a much more rural feel with its seven open space preserves and 27 parks and horse ranches. Home to Fireman’s Fund, the largest private employer in Marin County, Novato is also corporate headquarters to several nationally recognized businesses, including Birkenstock, The Buck Institute for Age Research, TravelSmith, and The Republic of Tea – one of the largest tea distributors in the country.
Here are a few links to assist you in discovering more about Marin. Check my Marin County Directory for more links.
Marin Map 2010: high resolution PDF, great for printing
Are you thinking of moving to Marin or San Francisco?
Contact me for a relocation guide
or to schedule a tour of Marin Communities
(I love showing off Marin County and San Francisco too!)