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Old 07-04-2014, 06:33 PM
3 posts, read 3,795 times
Reputation: 10


Hello everybody,
We are a foreign family of four. I am 49, my wife 39 and two kids 13 and 10. Because our kids go to Waldorf School, we do not have much options in the Bay area region.We looked to many places near the Waldorf Schools in the region, like St Francis Wood in San Francisco, or Santa Rosa. However we believe Mill Valley is the place which fulfill all our necessities as a family and the lifestyle is what we are looking for.
I have some doubts that I would like to discuss:
1- San Francisco Waldorf School is closer than Summerfield Waldorf School in Santa Rosa. My question is how dangerous is commuting in a Seismic event to San Francisco? Is Santa Rosa more safe?
2-We have around UDS 2.5MM cash in order to buy a house. We are looking something not so far from town and we do not need to be close to the sea. However, a good area (0,25 -1 acre), 4beds is mandatory . Also, if we can get good views for the mountains or sea would be great
I work from my place and my wife too.
Does someone from the region could help me in order to save some time researching?
I would like to thanks everyone in advance for reading this post.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:40 PM
Location: TOVCCA
7,933 posts, read 9,138,306 times
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Originally Posted by lpfm View Post
My question is how dangerous is commuting in a Seismic event to San Francisco?
Depends on how strong the quake is, and on which fault line it occurs, which are completely unpredictable.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:47 PM
3 posts, read 3,795 times
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thanks for your prompt answer. This is exactly my doubt. Since seismic events are unpredictable, I am asking the people in the area which they considering more safe. Cross the GG or drive north to Santa Rosa?
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:04 PM
Location: TOVCCA
7,933 posts, read 9,138,306 times
Reputation: 11031
You probably know that the 1989 quake collapsed the upper deck on the Bay Bridge. And part of SF is landfill and quake damage in those areas was considerable. Bridges sound scary. Santa Rosa sounds safer, but it has a big fault line on the east AND on the west, so who knows.

And even if you live away from a fault line, you could be visiting any CA city on the day a quake hits.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:27 PM
Location: Someplace Wonderful
5,170 posts, read 3,387,973 times
Reputation: 2519
You would probably get more for your money in the Santa Rosa area. Two of my boys went to the Summerfield Waldorf School for a year. Seemed like a great place to me, but you probably know that sometimes the continuity of the operations can be dicey. My youngest son went to a Waldorf school here in my little town, and it disappeared off the face of the earth when the kids of the wealthy patrons graduated and the funding dried up.

Like others have said, it's pure dumb luck as to when and where an earthquake strikes, and even more so where you are when it happens. I was climbing onto my bus after work in San Francisco precisely at the moment the Loma Prieta quake struck. I was bounced around a lot, and originally thought the driver had somehow engaged the engine and rolled up over the curb. Although there was a great deal of damage in the Marina, and elsewhere in town, the Golden Gate Bridge was open the whole time and commuters could safely cross. Bay Bridge commuters and many on the old Cypress freeway were not so lucky.

That said, I'll take an earthquake any day over hurricanes and tornadoes.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:27 PM
82 posts, read 184,316 times
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I was on a Golden Gate Transit bus heading to Marin when the 1989 earthquake struck. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge just a few minutes after and had no problems. Since that earthquake the bridge district has spent a lot of money doing seismic upgrades, so you should feel safe about crossing the bridge. See the GGB website at * for several reports about the work that has been done.

Your budget should get you the type of house you are looking for in Mill Valley, although in general lots are not very large, so something on a acre would be a rarity. Peruse one of the real estate web site and put in your search parameters to see what is available. The market is very hot right now so properties sell quickly.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:30 AM
Location: CA
413 posts, read 229,372 times
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Default Personally...

I think chuckmann's got the right idea. I'd've said basically the same thing as chuckmann, only not as succinctly.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:18 AM
3 posts, read 3,795 times
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Thanks again for your help. I agree with you that bridges are scary. However, I am not afraid to be at the bridge when it occurs. I am afraid to have my kids at school at the moment an not be capable to pick them up. So, my understanding is Santa Rosa is better considering this point of view. I had this opinion, I was only trying to double check with the Locals.

Thanks a lot for so precise hints. I just could get this kind of knowledge after some years, living on a place! Summerfield was established in 1974, so I believe the shutdown risk is very low. This was one of the points I considered when I chose this school.
About Santa Rosa, don"t you think it will be boring for kids? For my wife and myself it is paradise, gated communities, huge lots, etc.. for half of Mill Valley's price! But, for them, I not sure. We are not Americans, the language is an issue for them.
I know kids are fast learners, maybe i am over cautions on this subject. Do you have any opinion on this subject?
Also, I heard to avoid some areas in Santa Rosa, due to the violence, drugs and gangs. I did not find anything similar in Mill Valley. Do you know if this info is correct?
Agree 100% about tornados and hurricanes, we had experience with both!!

Also, thanks for so valuable hint, I will research the web for these info. I saw how hot is the market in the region. The houses I chose to buy, I am using Zillow, Trulia, Marin Modern and Pacific Union as a research sources, are selling so quickly. From my point of view, it is good because I have a liquid asset in my hand. And if we decided to move, it won"t be difficult. Also, I believe house prices will go up in North America in the next few years, in spite of the interest rates, also, go up.

I agree with you 100%.

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Old 10-06-2014, 12:08 PM
3 posts, read 2,182 times
Reputation: 12
In case you still need the information:
Yes, Santa Rosa is a lot more dull than Mill Valley. MV has more culture, though it's small; it's very close to San Francisco, close enough that it's easy to hop over there to shop or see a movie or have dinner.
Yes, there's more crime by far in Santa Rosa.
Also, though no one mentioned it, SR is quite a bit hotter in the summer, if that matters to you.
MV is a great place for kids. I don't have any and may be the only person in the town who doesn't! It's got bike lanes everywhere; kids events; a nice downtown area; lots of parks. If you like hiking or bicycling, it's the best place in the Bay Area for that.

Best of luck.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:56 PM
Location: Sonoma County
841 posts, read 1,568,595 times
Reputation: 1115
If the OP is spending $2.5m for a house in SR, they will never know about crime unless they go looking for it. We spent about half that on a house in northeast SR and didn't know there was a gang problem here until I read about it in the newspaper. That being said, I agree that SR is pretty dull but we love it as a safe/boringish place to raise our daughter.

If OP needs to live in MV and commute to SR for school, I'd recommend against that. The 101 during rush hour between MV and SR can suck.
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