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Old 05-16-2017, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Shoreline, WA
388 posts, read 317,038 times
Reputation: 335

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Hi all!


I've been reading and posting on here for quite some time but need some advice. Currently, my wife and I live in Alameda and love it. Unfortunately, we are going to have to leave our island sanctuary soon.


My wife accepted a job in Santa Rosa with Sutter Health which doesn't start until August 1. We are now in the process of trying to find a place between her work in Santa Rosa and my work in the Civic Center area of San Francisco.


I plan on taking the ferry at Larkspur and then transferring to BART/MUNI once in the city. She is planning on driving to her work. I only have to go into the office 3 days (possibly 2) a week. She has to go in for all 5.


So here's the thing. We're looking for a place between San Rafael/San Anselmo/Fairfax north to Petaluma. Our budget sans utilities is $3,000/mo. We have a 55 lb. non-restricted breed older dog but no kids (yet). So schools are not important. Looking for at least a 2 bedroom with some outdoor space for the dog (a must), a W/D, and hopefully A/C.


We enjoy hiking, going to restaurants, breweries, movies, hiking, biking, and sailing sometimes. Maybe be around folks near our age (I'm 33 & she's 28).


Does anyone have suggestions on towns/areas/housing that might be good? We really like Petaluma but it may be too far of a commute as traffic on 101 backs up between Petaluma & Novato (When are they going to finally widen the road?) and the SMART train doesn't get to the Larkspur Ferry terminal yet.


Any suggestions are welcome as always! Thanks everyone in advance.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:13 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,528 posts, read 81,138,063 times
Reputation: 91107
Well, OP, I can't help but wonder if she consulted you when she applied for that job. It's a challenge to accommodate both your commutes, being that they're opposites. But you mention Novato. That could work. People do commute from Novato to the City. (GG Transit to Civic Ctr.) And the drive to Santa Rosa is quite reasonable, depending. She's in health care? Would she have normal commute hours? Novato rents are more reasonable than some of the locations in the area... If you like sailing, though, the temptation would be to live closer to the Bay. This seems like one you're going to have to work out between the two of you, as to your priorities.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 05-16-2017 at 01:24 PM..
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Shoreline, WA
388 posts, read 317,038 times
Reputation: 335
LOL yes I was consulted. Like I said, I only have to go into the office 3 days a week so the 1-1.25 hour commute each way that I anticipate won't be that bad. I already have a 1 hour commute each way now and it's not bad. Especially since it's on the ferry instead of the infamous BART. I can only go in as early as 6 or as late as 10 to avoid a lot of the traffic.


She will have a 8-5 M-F but will be going the opposite direction of traffic on 101.


Novato is the cheapest we've seen so far. Both of us prefer more fog, rain, and colder temperatures over hot and sunny if that makes any difference. I'm not familiar with the microclimates of the north bay.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:27 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,528 posts, read 81,138,063 times
Reputation: 91107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion3510 View Post
LOL yes I was consulted. Like I said, I only have to go into the office 3 days a week so the 1-1.25 hour commute each way that I anticipate won't be that bad. I already have a 1 hour commute each way now and it's not bad. Especially since it's on the ferry instead of the infamous BART. I can only go in as early as 6 or as late as 10 to avoid a lot of the traffic.


She will have a 8-5 M-F but will be going the opposite direction of traffic on 101.


Novato is the cheapest we've seen so far. Both of us prefer more fog, rain, and colder temperatures over hot and sunny if that makes any difference. I'm not familiar with the microclimates of the north bay.
There's GG Transit to Civic Ctr. I wouldn't drive it, if I were you. I can relate to your weather preferences. But getting closer to fog/rain would extend her commute significantly, while shortening yours. Is she OK with that?
Oh, and also, the closer you get to the Bay, the more the rents increase. But you have a good budget. You can afford a 2-br. place, or 1 br.+ den in Mill Valley. The challenge will be to find a place that would accept your dog.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Shoreline, WA
388 posts, read 317,038 times
Reputation: 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
There's GG Transit to Civic Ctr. I wouldn't drive it, if I were you. I can relate to your weather preferences. But getting closer to fog/rain would extend her commute significantly, while shortening yours. Is she OK with that?
Oh, and also, the closer you get to the Bay, the more the rents increase.

No I didn't meant to imply I was driving. No way! Driving to the Larkspur ferry and taking that, yes. Driving to the city absolutely not. I've read mixed things about GG Transit and know it is still subject to traffic whereas the ferry is not.


I think our southern terminus is the Larkspur area and northern is Petaluma. Like I said earlier, San Anselmo & parts of Fairfax would also be ok.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:39 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,528 posts, read 81,138,063 times
Reputation: 91107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion3510 View Post
No I didn't meant to imply I was driving. No way! Driving to the Larkspur ferry and taking that, yes. Driving to the city absolutely not. I've read mixed things about GG Transit and know it is still subject to traffic whereas the ferry is not.


I think our southern terminus is the Larkspur area and northern is Petaluma. Like I said earlier, San Anselmo & parts of Fairfax would also be ok.
Mill Valley gets rain, fwiw. Fairfax is a little more affordable, but you can afford Mill Valley, which is within a good bike ride distance of Sausalito and sailing. GG Transit could work for you, traffic or not, if you catch a bus that puts you into the city early, so that if it's a half=hour late, it wouldn't matter. Since they have service to Civic Ctr., that seems preferable to taking the ferry, then taking transit inside the City, but it's your call. Just for gen'l reference, here are a couple of listings in MV. First one takes small dogs. If you're ok w/a 1-br., those run at around $2000/mo. Fairfax should be a little cheaper, and is very nice.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/apa/6130894363.html
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/apa/6114715896.html
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Shoreline, WA
388 posts, read 317,038 times
Reputation: 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Mill Valley gets rain, fwiw. Fairfax is a little more affordable, but you can afford Mill Valley, which is within a good bike ride distance of Sausalito and sailing. GG Transit could work for you, traffic or not, if you catch a bus that puts you into the city early, so that if it's a half=hour late, it wouldn't matter. Since they have service to Civic Ctr., that seems preferable to taking the ferry, then taking transit inside the City, but it's your call. Just for gen'l reference, here's a listing in MV. If you're ok w/a 1-br., those run at around $2000/mo. Fairfax should be a little cheaper, and is very nice.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/apa/6130894363.html

Unfortunately we have to get the 2 bedroom. Otherwise we would have some great options! That listing looks really good and checks most our boxes. Mill Valley is probably too far south for her to get to Santa Rosa 5 days a week though which is a shame because it would lend to more options.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:51 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,528 posts, read 81,138,063 times
Reputation: 91107
Drive time to SR from MV is 50 minutes. Same from Fairfax.
So you need a 2-br. There's not much availability in Fairfax for 2-br's at the moment. Here's one: (accepts pets)
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/apa/6134351109.html


Drive time is about the same from Tiburon, which is on the Bay, and has a yacht club. You can afford a 2-br. there, too. Harder to find one that'll take pets, though.

So, to get the weather you want, it will require a longer commute for her, but still do-able, IDK what her threshold is for drive time. You have a good budget to work with, though.

A 2-br. in San Rafael is harder to find in your price range, but here's one:
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/apa/6124250520.html
Drive time to SR: about 40 mins. Wiki says San Rafael tends to be warmer than Novato, which seems surprising, given that it's closer to the Bay. But it gets more rainfall per: Wiki:
San Rafael is generally several degrees warmer than Novato and has an average of about 10 inches (25 cm) more rainfall.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 05-16-2017 at 02:22 PM..
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Shoreline, WA
388 posts, read 317,038 times
Reputation: 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Drive time to SR from MV is 50 minutes. Same from Fairfax.
So you need a 2-br. There's not much availability in Fairfax for 2-br's at the moment. Here's one: (accepts pets)
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/apa/6134351109.html


Drive time is about the same from Tiburon, which is on the Bay, and has a yacht club. You can afford a 2-br. there, too. Harder to find one that'll take pets, though.

So, to get the weather you want, it will require a longer commute for her, but still do-able, IDK what her threshold is for drive time. You have a good budget to work with, though.

A 2-br. in San Rafael is harder to find in your price range, but here's one:
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/apa/6124250520.html
Drive time to SR: about 40 mins. Wiki says San Rafael tends to be warmer than Novato, which seems surprising, given that it's closer to the Bay. But it gets more rainfall per: Wiki:
San Rafael is generally several degrees warmer than Novato and has an average of about 10 inches (25 cm) more rainfall.

Well I don't want to make the wife unhappy so I'm trying to cap her drive time to 45 minutes one way. MV might be 50 from DT MV but any of the surrounding areas will certainly add to that.


WHOA! San Rafael gets an extra 10 inches of rain over Novato? That's crazy and quite a large difference. I guess it makes sense since it's greener there. I'm not even sure how it could be hotter given its bay proximity though.


Like I said, she doesn't start until August 1 so we have some time. I'm hoping there will be more rentals that pop up during May, June, and part of July.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:52 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,528 posts, read 81,138,063 times
Reputation: 91107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion3510 View Post
Well I don't want to make the wife unhappy so I'm trying to cap her drive time to 45 minutes one way. MV might be 50 from DT MV but any of the surrounding areas will certainly add to that.


WHOA! San Rafael gets an extra 10 inches of rain over Novato? That's crazy and quite a large difference. I guess it makes sense since it's greener there. I'm not even sure how it could be hotter given its bay proximity though.


Like I said, she doesn't start until August 1 so we have some time. I'm hoping there will be more rentals that pop up during May, June, and part of July.
Yeah, I find it hard to believe that it's hotter than Novato. And yes, I'm sure more rentals will pop up. Those links were just to give you an idea of what prices are like in what locations, and what you get for the price. A general orientation. And yes, the rainfall may seem surprising, but that corner between San Rafael and Mill Valley gets more rain than surrounding areas. Pacific storms seem to dump their moisture there, without proceeding further inland, for some reason. The water district's reservoirs are located strategically to catch that rainfall.

You have plenty of time to discuss priorities with your wife re: weather vs. commute time, and all that. Let us know how it works out! BTW, you'll love Marin!
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