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Old 05-26-2009, 11:13 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
18,507 posts, read 30,451,245 times
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Contra Costa offers more overall diversity and just more of everything imo; it's not as homogeneous as Marin County. I like Marin County, its a VERY SCENIC county and more green and lush it seems than CoCo County but it is just too white, limousine liberal, and snooty to me. Not that Central CoCo County doesn't have its fair share of those types I just don't think its as bad. I think with BART and more freeways CoCo County has better access to the rest of the Bay Area and state too.

Downtown Walnut Creek beats out anything in Marin County imo. For a suburb its size it has a large and very nice downtown with tons of restuarants, shops, cultural activities, etc..

Having grown up in Walnut Creek I am biased of course but I really do feel lucky to have been able to grow up in a such a nice place.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA
35,989 posts, read 63,770,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
Contra Costa offers more overall diversity and just more of everything imo; it's not as homogeneous as Marin County. I like Marin County, its a VERY SCENIC county and more green and lush it seems than CoCo County but it is just too white, limousine liberal, and snooty to me. Not that Central CoCo County doesn't have its fair share of those types I just don't think its as bad. I think with BART and more freeways CoCo County has better access to the rest of the Bay Area and state too.

Downtown Walnut Creek beats out anything in Marin County imo. For a suburb its size it has a large and very nice downtown with tons of restuarants, shops, cultural activities, etc..

Having grown up in Walnut Creek I am biased of course but I really do feel lucky to have been able to grow up in a such a nice place.
Walnut Creek is definitely better than San Rafael and Novato as far as amenities. WC even feels more upscale.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:23 AM
 
Location: California
36,034 posts, read 39,730,664 times
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Walnut Creek, Danville, even San Ramon...you really can't go wrong there.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:38 AM
 
12,823 posts, read 23,132,200 times
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Marin in terms of overall look and feel.

However, for getting to SFO / the City, Marin is more or less car dependent. Contra Costa has BART.

However, time wise, the GG Bridge is usually not all that bad.

So, still, if money were no object, I'd go for Marin.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:45 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,809 times
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First of all, THANKS for writing back. Great information! If your responses are any indicator of how friendly the people are in CoCo (love that name btw) I think we are going to like it there. Would you mind if I asked you a few more questions? We have been getting most of our info from a couple of realtors. Both of them obviously have a financial stake in the outcome of where we buy. So we are seeking more unbiased opinions, such as yours.

I definitely got the impression that CoCo was more 'balanced' politically. We took a trip out to Marin recently to look at homes. Hmmmmmmm....how can I say this delicately?.........It seemed as though the Moms I saw were about as far from the "O.C." as one could possibly imagine. Heck, I'm no SoCal Barbie, but I do like to dress up once in a while, wear makeup and get my nails done! Not saying they don't. Guess I am looking for a place that is good for our kids, but will still hold some hope of finding like-minded FUN people for us as well. We are not snobs, and that aspect does cause me some concern.

We are definitely interested in Walnut Creek. I've heard Danville and LaFayette are nice. What is Blackhawk? Is that a suburb or a subdivision? Do all these areas attend the same school districts? My hubby won't have to commute to San Fran very often, only once in a while. So that is not an issue. I guess what I am asking is, if you were heading out there to look at homes, which towns would you consider first?

As for the costs, you might be surprised to hear that there are some places in the Midwest (especially north shore area outside Chicago) that are at or near the cost of living in Marin or CoCo. Seriously. At least in California there is a cap on the real estate tax. Not so, where we live. For example, a home priced at 1.5 million would have a tax bill of almost $30,000 per year. And for what? At least you get an ocean nearby.

Sorry for so many questions. This is an exciting move for us. But SCARY as well.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Piedmont, CA
35,989 posts, read 63,770,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post

However, time wise, the GG Bridge is usually not all that bad.
101 through Marin is one of the worst bottlenecks in the whole Bay Area. Much more bogged down than 24.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,786 posts, read 98,908,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SayonaraMidwest View Post
First of all, THANKS for writing back. Great information! If your responses are any indicator of how friendly the people are in CoCo (love that name btw) I think we are going to like it there. Would you mind if I asked you a few more questions? We have been getting most of our info from a couple of realtors. Both of them obviously have a financial stake in the outcome of where we buy. So we are seeking more unbiased opinions, such as yours.

I definitely got the impression that CoCo was more 'balanced' politically. We took a trip out to Marin recently to look at homes. Hmmmmmmm....how can I say this delicately?.........It seemed as though the Moms I saw were about as far from the "O.C." as one could possibly imagine. Heck, I'm no SoCal Barbie, but I do like to dress up once in a while, wear makeup and get my nails done! Not saying they don't. Guess I am looking for a place that is good for our kids, but will still hold some hope of finding like-minded FUN people for us as well. We are not snobs, and that aspect does cause me some concern.

We are definitely interested in Walnut Creek. I've heard Danville and LaFayette are nice. What is Blackhawk? Is that a suburb or a subdivision? Do all these areas attend the same school districts? My hubby won't have to commute to San Fran very often, only once in a while. So that is not an issue. I guess what I am asking is, if you were heading out there to look at homes, which towns would you consider first?

As for the costs, you might be surprised to hear that there are some places in the Midwest (especially north shore area outside Chicago) that are at or near the cost of living in Marin or CoCo. Seriously. At least in California there is a cap on the real estate tax. Not so, where we live. For example, a home priced at 1.5 million would have a tax bill of almost $30,000 per year. And for what? At least you get an ocean nearby.

Sorry for so many questions. This is an exciting move for us. But SCARY as well.
If you will not feel comfortable in a really liberal, earthy area, Marin County certainly isn't for you and as someone mentioned, it is a reall ***** to get to the city. Marin county is beautiful, much prettier than the East Bay area and there are a few more conservative areas, like Loma Verde and parts of Novato, but overall liberal is what the county is.

Coco, I have never heard that before is going to give you a better balance and a little more diversity, just not the same charm. We loved living in Marin county way back when, even then, though it was really left wing. I also like the home prices better in the WAlnut Creek area, add BART and it would be my choice if I were moving there with a family right now.

Good luck and enjoy your near adventure.

Nita
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:54 PM
 
99 posts, read 551,970 times
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Marin is a little more liberal and has cooler temperatures. You have beach access. Marin is more prestigious. Marin has an older housing stock. Marin housing is more expensive on average.

Contra Costa, though farther from SF, has Bart running through it. So it's easier to get around w/in the county and convenient to get to SF or Oakland. CC is still pretty liberal, but has some very conservative spots, particularly in the newer areas. Most of Eastern & Southern CC county is full of newer, cookie-cutter tract homes. Whereas Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, Alamo look somewhat similar to leafy Marin. Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton have lots of newer, cookie-cutter tract homes. These areas are probably better for kids who wish to play outside (if kids still do that), as opposed to the windy, hilly, rural streets of Orinda.

Overall, CC is more affordable (don't get defensive Contra Costa folks - see below), more convenient for transportation, has newer housing stock on average, is warmer & not as aggressively liberal as Marin. Lexus & BMWs

Marin is more affluent & expensive, more prestigious, has older homes, is a bit greener year round. It has beaches as well. Range Rovers & Prius.

If you search: contra costa vs marin zillow, you will find that, the average price of a MC home is about twice that of Contra Costa. That would have to be the biggest difference.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:33 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
98,533 posts, read 96,995,185 times
Reputation: 109850
Marin, no contest! It has the natural beauty, proximity to beaches, good schools, good entertainment venues, I don't see a downside. Some parts are more expensive than others. Home prices in Walnut Creek are pretty steep now, too. Check out Fairfax. Real-estate-wise it's about on a par with Walnut Creek.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:06 PM
 
3,951 posts, read 3,880,761 times
Reputation: 1792
I don't get why people find Marin more scenic. It can get very gloomy and in the sumer does not have the intense golden grassland you find in Contra Costa. Parts of Marin might feel more like the Pacific Northwest than the inland bay area. The Ocean is way to cold to swim in. There's more mountains in Contra Costa.
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