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Old 05-22-2012, 04:36 PM
 
12 posts, read 25,599 times
Reputation: 29

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Great forum....lots of good info... yes I used the search tool...

Have a job opportunity in Sausalito. I'm 41, male, single, 1 french bulldog and a car. Salary will be in the 60-70k range. I like to mountain bike and get outdoors, but also like the culture a city provides...live music, food, shows, shopping etc. Im at the stage of life where I do love those things and always have but also tend to get my city fill fairly quick. I would rather drive into the city for what it offers....than have to drive out of the city to enjoy quiet, outdoors and sight seeing etc (CA looks beautiful!!)

I have a stupid paranoia about burglarly if I move(always lived where you could just about leave your doors unlocked)..I own a lot of nice guitars and musical gear so a smaller (hopefully safer) place with decent food, dr, dentist, basic shopping (wal mart target etc) and I could be happy til the weekend comes and I can hit the city if need be. (currently 4+ hours from the nearest city...an hour or so would be heaven).

Given all that....just curious to get some opinions on living along the 101 corridor, towns mentioned to me so far are San Rafael, Novato and Petaluma. I would even consider Sonoma or Napa. (keep reading about the brutal commute though)

Ive read a lot of posts here...getting the feel that the closer to Sausalito = higher $ and a smaller place. So simple economics + reasonable commute probably preclude anywhere but the direction im looking(?)

I have assumed I will have to rent....but I see affordable homes(<200K)in Napa that dont look like shacks..(granted most are modulars and mobiles)..and affordable townhome/condos in San Rafael and Novato, yet I keep reading about the super high prices.....am I missing something?

One positive of this job is I would only have to commute 3 days a week (make the "brutal" commute more bearable?) Also i'm told most of my co workers that live up the 101 come in at 5-5:30 and try to be out by 3:30-4 to beat the rush.

Just hoping to get my logic checked by some locals and enlightened to what I may be missing or not thinking of. (gas, taxes, car registration, insurance, tolls etc) I kind of get spun up in my own thoughts and miss the obvious.

Thanks for any input, much appreciated.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 5,143,423 times
Reputation: 3145
Forget Walmart. I don't know where you would find such a place.

Renting in San Rafael or Novato would probably work. Sonoma too. It's pretty safe from burglary and other crime in the North Bay. Overall, I think you'll like it and it sounds like you need a change of pace. So, go for it.
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Pacifica, CA
297 posts, read 767,709 times
Reputation: 247
Default Marin

You will love Marin as a mountain biker, there are hundreds of miles of trails to explore, and you're still close to the city.

I would recommend renting first, for no other reason then you don't know the area, or what you'll like until you've lived there awhile. I would recommend Corte Madera, Larkspur, San Rafael or Novato for renting at first. You'll be close to work and will have more time to explore.

As far as buying prices, you could probably buy, but it will be tight with your budget. Yes, most people are under the impression that all of Marin is super expensive, which is not true, that's true of southern Marin only. I have a friend who bought a townhouse in Novato for $245k and she had to get a roommate after getting laid off and having to take a job with a 40% pay cut. Overall I think she's mostly happy with her place, she lives close to downtown Novato and there's an Irish pub she hangs out at there. On a good day, she can get to SF in 35 minutes. She commutes to Mill Valley and says there's usually not too much traffic. The worst traffic jam in Marin is usually around Novato where the freeway goes from 3 lanes down to 2, called the novato narrows. Commuting from north of there will be a pain unless you work off hours like you mentioned. There's also a lot of traffic on Sir Francis Drake blvd, as everyone in the towns of San Anselmo and Fairfax have to take it to get to hwy 101.

As far as areas to avoid, I would just stay away from Marin City and the Canal district in San Rafael, parts of Novato are kind of dumpy but safe, and most of Marin county is exactly the kind of place you can leave your door unlocked (though I wouldn't recommend it).
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:55 PM
 
86 posts, read 247,489 times
Reputation: 91
Mill Valley has some small older apartment buildings - 4-6 units or so scattered about town and the rents aren't too bad. You could ride your bike to work along the bay front multi-use path from MV to Sausalito and save on the commute costs, which include gas currently over $4/gallon. Check out craigslist northbay. Mill Valley is very safe and was just selected by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the best small towns in the US, came in 4th nationwide for whatever that is worth.

No Walmart in Marin, different demographics than the typical Walmart shopper and no space for a giant store and parking lot.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:53 AM
 
12 posts, read 25,599 times
Reputation: 29
Thanks everyone for your input, it sounds doable and like a nice area to live. Good advice on renting until I get to know the area. I hadnt considered mill valley, being close enough to bike to work would be great....never imagined that would be possible when considering this move. As far as not being "walmart demographics"...that is a huge plus actually.......unfortunately ive adopted the common mentality of the wal mart experience based on where ive lived most of my life....but have never really cared for it. Marin sounds like a lifestyle change in all the right ways ...I really appreciate your comments....its a big help.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:02 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
506 posts, read 1,155,782 times
Reputation: 317
A friend keeps trying to persuade me that where he lives in Fairfax is nice, reasonably priced, and conveniently located. Have not actually been there, though.

Marin is indeed quite lovely.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
9,197 posts, read 16,863,330 times
Reputation: 6373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isebiel View Post
A friend keeps trying to persuade me that where he lives in Fairfax is nice, reasonably priced, and conveniently located. Have not actually been there, though.

Marin is indeed quite lovely.
Fairfax is a bit like a Santa Cruz North (or maybe Aptos or Soquel). Very Eco-friendly, cool festivals, great food, 19 Broadway for music, nice little downtown. If you can afford it and dig the vibe, it would be an awfully nice place to live.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1 posts, read 4,456 times
Reputation: 10
Hi, I'm Shelley and I'm thinking about moving to the same area. I'm wondering how it is going for you and where you ended up moving to etc?
I currently live in Chicago and want to start fresh in California. I appreciate any information you can offer. Thank you!
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:12 AM
 
12 posts, read 25,599 times
Reputation: 29
Sorry for never responding. Unfortunately I didn't end up making the move. Its a long story but a year later and I am regretting that it didnt work out. Sorry I cant be of help. I say go for it, if I could rewind the clock I would have made it happen one way or the other.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:50 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,251 posts, read 108,166,150 times
Reputation: 116241
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zamdrang View Post
Sorry for never responding. Unfortunately I didn't end up making the move. Its a long story but a year later and I am regretting that it didnt work out. Sorry I cant be of help. I say go for it, if I could rewind the clock I would have made it happen one way or the other.
Too bad. Where are you living now? Maybe another opportunity will come up.

What's your nationality, btw? Interesting username.
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