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Old 07-03-2011, 07:25 AM
 
7 posts, read 27,387 times
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It has been a few years since this question was posed and sometimes things change...We are moving from Chicago suburb for a position in Napa and my hubby will work in down town SF. We have a 10 yr old, so schools will be important. My hubby will need to take public transportation, he can't do traffic by car. I am happy to drive to Napa for up to 50 minutes each way. Suggestions for towns to live in? Would love a Santa Rosa down town feel, but not a requirement. Walnut Creek seems nice but prob too far to Napa. Suggestions?
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:53 AM
 
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I don't think you'd have much of a rush hour going from WC to Napa, and it should take just about 45 or 50 minutes if you're just going to the City of Napa, not farther north into the main winery areas. There really aren't any other cute cities with downtowns except for Napa itself (not a public transportation option), until you get much closer into the Bay Area. I do think you could look into Hercules, which is just a suburb, but there are tons of nice home communities that are quite new, and the prices are really cheap at the moment. Your husband could drive across the bridge to Vallejo and take the ferry to SF (in fact, you could carpool, pay no bridge tool, and drop him off). Hercules has a very small-town community vibe, with nice parks, a great weekend farmer's market, lots of family things (though not sure how the schools are), and kind of in between. Victoria by the Bay is a development that I really love -- the neighborhood actually looks like it was built 100 years ago, but the homes are all new. And, you're right on the bay.
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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Thanks so much. I will look into that! I really appreciate all the pointers I can get. Have a great weekend.
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Austin Area
110 posts, read 163,916 times
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Also check out San Rafael (Terra Linda area - I think the Dixie School District is "quite desired" according to what I have heard) and Novato (not sure about the school district, but definitely more of a family oriented town). Both are in Marin County which is between SF and Napa.
I used to live in San Rafael, but am living in Santa Rosa now. I love Santa Rosa, but had to double check with friends here as it is typical in "good" and "bad" pockets.
There are many realtors here that deal with Marin, Sonoma and Napa and they could give you some great suggestions.
Good luck and we look forward to welcoming you to California!
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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Thanks, is there a BART access or other public transportation to downtown SF from San Rafael or Novato? My husband won't drive in a lot of traffic... he is used to taking trains or ferries.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Austin Area
110 posts, read 163,916 times
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Well, Larkspur is not far away and he can catch the ferry from there. Actually, Larkspur, Corte Madera and Mill Valley are all great towns too; however, you will pay a lot more per sq ft for a house. The further north you go from San Francisco, the more bang you will get for your buck.

If you enjoy walking, biking or a very laid back vibe (town of Fairfax) then Marin is a great place.
You are coming to a great part of California because if you feel like trolling around a big city, San Francisco is just a bridge away; less than an south of Napa Valley and just a couple of hours away from water and/or snow skiing (depending upon the time of year).
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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We love all those outdoor activities and gave up on Chicago winters. Larkspur ferry sounds like a great option. Thanks so much.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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He would need to drive to Larkspur to get on the ferry though, and that area is really expensive.

There are various places with long-range commuter buses, like Hercules and Santa Rosa...it can't be a fun commute but it's there. Or if he had a car he could drive from Hercules to one of the El Cerrito BART stations and ride into SF. Vallejo has a ferry but it takes about 60 minutes.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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He has a car, it is more that he knows himself well, and after 20 minutes of driving in traffic, he gets a little road ragey. So he could drive to Larkspur and take that ferry. Right now in Chicago he drives 15 min to train station, rides an hour train, and has a 10 minute walk to work from the station. Are you saying Larkspur is expensive to live in or to park at in order to take the ferry?
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 13,078,817 times
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Wait, for some reason I thought Larkspur was more down around Tiburon which is definitely one of the most expensive places to live in the US, I don't know about Larkspur. The areas around Sausalito, Mill Valley and Tiburon are very pricey--million dollar homes are the norm. San Rafael and Novato are cheaper, like you can get a decent home for around $400-500K supposedly, but again I don't know about Larkspur.

It's good he has a car though, I think driving from Hercules to El Cerrito BART would work, from there it's about a 35 minute ride to downtown SF. But you'd have to pay a bridge toll to drive up to Napa.
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