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Old 08-03-2007, 11:19 AM
 
11 posts, read 48,318 times
Reputation: 16

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I'm considering a job transfer with my company to our office in Novato. Having been to the bay area many times, I know commuting can be hell during peak hours. It looks like trying to commute from up north INTO Novato would take me about as long as I would be at work, so living in Petaluma is probably out, although I'm open to suggestion. What would it be like living further south, say San Rafael or Fairfax, and trying to commute north? I can't seem to find any information about commuting away from the city, only in.

Also, does anyone have recommendations of cities/towns to live in (using Novato as the center, circle your way out ), or areas to stay away from? I've lived in some pretty ghetto places before, but I'm looking to step away from needing lowjack on my car and bug-bombing once a month. I'm not picky about apartment vs. house, and monthly costs are workable since there are two of us.
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:37 AM
 
6 posts, read 146,068 times
Reputation: 25
If you are traveling North into Novato you will be going against traffic and will have a very light commute.

Do you not want to live in Novato? There are some great neighborhoods. I recently had to move from Novato to Georgia but we loved it there. We lived in the Hamilton area. If you are interested, our house is still for sale - 55 Alconbury Way Novato CA 94949 - Gina Drohan.
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Northern California
3,705 posts, read 14,112,849 times
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What's wrong with living in Novato? It's a nice town. Why not keep the commute to a minimum. Are you working for Fireman's Fund or Sutter Hospitals - the two major businesses in Novato?
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:44 PM
 
15 posts, read 92,909 times
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I have friends in Novato and wouldn't knock it - it has great shopping - which is one of it's downfalls for people who live there. A lot of people come from far away just to go to Cosco etc. Compared to San Rafael however there is just no comparison. San Rafael has miles of character throughout that whole area, especially down into Mill Valley. Novato has no charm compared to that, just blocks of concrete with lots of shopping. Sorry Novato! Commute north in the morning as someone else pointed out is a reverse commute, no problem there. From Petaluma to Novato is slow and go all morning every morning. Unless you take a bus, in that case you are in the diamond lane and are zipping right along.
Novato is not holding it's appreication as well as Marin and San Rafael or even Petaluma however. There is a ton of stuff on the market there, so you can pick almost anything out from the rubble and find stuff of value and at the buyer's price and terms.

Novato has one other good thing going for it - my dentist works there and he's great!
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:58 PM
 
11 posts, read 48,318 times
Reputation: 16
Thank you for your replies! It took me a while to find my way back here, and now I have even MORE questions.

Because of corporate rules and regulations, I'm probably shouldn't say where I work, but it's not either of those.

I'm not *NOT* considering Novato, just looking for areas including it which would be places to consider. Since our office is there, Novato is just the central starting point. I definitely cannot afford to buy (thank you though!!!), so areas to rent are what I'm looking at.

It's been years since I've been in California, but if I remember right, being a single person claiming 1 will knock about 35% or so off my net pay because of state/federal taxes, right? My internal monthly-budgeter is shuddering at the thought.

At this point I'm paying $525/month in rent (did you just faint? I'll wait while you recover...), and I know I won't find anything nearly comparable... is trying to find a 1 bedroom in the $900-$1000 range out of line? If so, what is reasonable?

Buying groceries for a week costs me about $50-$75 dollars; would the costs for a single-shopper be about the same? I know gas will cost me considerably more, as the prices are higher than where I live now and I would be driving more.

How about power? I'm the kind of person who sets my inside-temperature between 65 and 75 year round, so my utility bill here runs about $140 in winter and $70 in summer. How is PG&E treating everyone these days?

We have a few options here for cable & phone, but 2 main companies that most people go with. They both offer cable/satellite, unlimited L/D on a phone, and internet for around $130. What companies would I look at, and are prices about the same?

Thank you again!
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:00 PM
 
11 posts, read 48,318 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddierosenthal View Post
Novato has one other good thing going for it - my dentist works there and he's great!
Eddie, if I decide to take a job there, I would love to get his name!
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:12 PM
 
12 posts, read 46,382 times
Reputation: 10
imsomony, did you make the move to northern cali. we are in the sames shoes as you where. we are planning to move to the Novato, Petalum, Rohnert Park area and was wondering what the cost difference would be in gas, utilities, insurance, food, cable. any help would be appreciated.
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Old 03-25-2021, 11:10 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,498 times
Reputation: 39
"I'm considering a job transfer with my company to our office in Novato---What would it be like living further south, say San Rafael or Fairfax, and trying to commute north?"

An old post, but the geography and demographics remain the same.
San Rafael is a thriving small city with great housing stock and is very close to the freeway, ferry to the city, and has amazing diversity, of businesses, and even different microclimates. It's like a small version of San Francisco in the 1960s, without the problems. Lots of funky industrial spaces, old homes and hidden areas, like off San Pedro Road between the Civic Center and China Camp, or around Woodland Avenue, both of which are underappreciated. You can be in the city in 30 minutes.

Forget Fairfax. It's at the end of a commute bottleneck from everywhere. Morning traffic out of a place is full of tradesmen and service workers going toward the freeway backs up for over a quarter mile and vice versa in the evening.

In addition, with the ongoing drying out of California and growing fire danger, Fairfax and San Anselmo next to it, are dangerous fire traps. Most of homes are up steep,twisting, narrow roads, not wide enough for the firetruck to pass a car.

Novato is spread out and has more of a San Fernando Valley vibe, to and including gang problems.
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