The Four Parts of Marin County

Real Estate Agent with Decker Bullock Sothebys Realty #01355045

The Four Areas of Marin County-- South, Central, North and West Marin

  • "Southern Marin" includes Sausalito, Mill Valley, Tiburon and Belvedere
    • Homes in Southern Marin are highly sought after due to its proximity to San Francisco and the home bidding process ranges from competitive to frenzied for homes properly priced
    • Southern Marin is more subject to the maritime influence (the fog and wind) which serves to keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. As you drive north past Mill Valley, you drive over a ridge that separates "Southern Marin" from "Central Marin"
  • "Central Marin" includes Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, Fairfax and parts of southern San Rafael
    • "Central Marin" is slightly more removed from the maritime air and is warmer to much warmer in summer and slightly cooler in the winter-as you move north and west through these towns this effect increases until you approach the coast again and the warming effect reverses
    • Homes in Kentfield and Ross are highly sought after and command some of the highest prices in Marin County due to its warmer climate, larger lots and fantastic schools systems
  • "Northern Marin" the area includes northern parts of San Rafael and areas north, exemplified by the town of Novato
    • Northern Marin is much more removed from the maritime influence and is much warmer in the Summer (it gets quite hot) and a bit colder in the winter.
    • Home prices are much more reasonable in northern Marin County and the Northernmost part of Novato (link) is still only 30 miles from San Francisco-but the commute during normal business hours is slow going
  • "West Marin" West Marin includes the Coastal Towns of Marin and is very sparsely populated. The weather in West Marin varies significantly the farther west one drives. The towns closer to Fairfax have weather similar to Fairfax which is warmer than most of Marin-beautifully warm, long summer days, and much less fog than both Southern and Coastal Marin. As you continue west (along Sir Francis Drake Blvd. or Lucas Valley Road) you reach a point where warming effect reverses amd becomes quite cool again. Once you reach the coast, the towns north of Point Reyes Station have weather very similar to San Francisco proper-- foggy and chilly in the summer, with the exception Stinson Beach which is south of Point Reyes and is sheltered by several points (the largest of which is Point Reyes). Traditional commuting from West Marin for work in San Francisco is possible from the Stinson Beach area as well as from several towns just west of Fairfax. Most professionals that make the commute from more distant Coastal West Marin either work East Coast hours or are Doctors that work non-traditional hours (e.g. 24 hour shifts twice a week).

Marin County real estate prices have ballooned since 1998 and now Marin is truly an exclusive enclave for wealthy families and motivated professionals. Historically, Southern Marin, especially Mill Valley and Sausalito, was more of a laid-back community of artists, hipsters and intellectuals, and those elements of Marin still exists today giving the county some character and depth paradoxical to its recent professional makeover.

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