As the northernmost city of Marin County, 29 miles away from San Franciso, I hear that quite often about Novato. A bit removed from the rest of Marin, Novato has a pretty different personality from the towns (e.g. Mill Valley, Fairfax, etc.) that we all think of when we think Marin.
For us Marinites, we all know Novato well, as it’s home to our only Costco and Target. In addition to the box shopping centers, Novato has a lovely historic, old downtown with nice stores and good restaurants. Novato is the largest city in Marin and its ~ 50,000 residents live in various communities within its 28 square miles.
San Marin is the northernmost area of Novato and dotted with new home developments, which is rarer than rare in Marin. In the south eastern part is Bel Marin Keys, an affluent waterfront community started in the 50s. The ~700 homes rest on a waterway, with access to San Francisco or San Pablo Bay…kayaks, anyone? Off Ignaico Blvd, is the residential area surrounding Marin Country Club and a fairly young neighborhood of new homes that replaced what was former surplus military housing. And the newest enclave in Novato is Hamilton. This master planned community is reinventing the former Hamilton Air Force Base with a mix of residential and commercial projects – ala a Presidio type of transformation, but with a lot more homes and lacking the views and national park status.
From a development perspective, there’s much more happening in Novato than any other Marin city – which may present a great opportunity to get in before it’s the next new thing.
A sampler of homes in the Novato neighborhoods:
San Marin: 67 Dorothy Way – 5 bedroom, 3 bath, new custom estate home – $1,225,000
Bel Marin Keys: 1085 Bel Marin Keys Blvd – 5 bedroom, 4 bath waterfront home – $1,499,000
Ignacio: 7 W Barberry Pl - 4 bedroom, 5 bath home in the Breakers development – $1,499,000
Hamilton: 22 Moore Rd - 4 bedroom, 2 bath in Hamilton’s Southgate neighborhood – $879,000