San Francisco Bay Area Treasure: West Marin's Secret is Out

March 15, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2018 -- Celebrities, tech tycoons and entrepreneurs have discovered the scenic and progressive enclaves of West Marin. The largest rural region in Marin County, West Marin offers a bounty of treasures just 20 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, yet worlds away. The area incorporates Point Reyes National Seashore, originally home to the Miwok coastal tribe, with miles of coastline, hiking trails, as well as pristine Tomales Bay, an ocean inlet dotted with quaint seafood restaurants, private boat-in campsites, kayaking companies and oyster farms. It's no wonder Rachel Levin of the New York Times called it the "West Coast Martha's Vineyard."

West Marin is becoming a second home market for affluent residents of the San Francisco Bay Area.
West Marin is becoming a second home market for affluent residents of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Extending west from Fairfax, the region that includes Nicasio Valley and San Geronimo Valley has become a second home market for affluent residents from the San Francisco Bay Area. "Savvy buyers have discovered this easily reachable escape and are purchasing grand-scale custom homes and ranches as weekend or summer getaways," states Sherry Ramzi of Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty, who closed a Nicasio horse property listed just under $5 million this week, "Nicasio's $3,000,000 plus range is trending towards second home buyers," states Rick Trono, her co-listing agent, who has experience selling large parcels and ranches in the valley.

West Marin is one of the few places where sensitive ecology and farming have embraced shared values using dedicated Open Space and farmland easements to retain the rural scenery. The sustainable organic farm movement drew international attention when the Pt. Reyes Farmers Market became a destination for Prince Charles and Camilla in 2005. West Marin is home to such icons as Strauss Family Creamery, Cowgirl Creamery, Hog Island Oysters, Heidrun Meadery, and the many others that make up the Farm Trail and tour destinations.

"We built our custom home in San Geronimo because it offered the best of both worlds – idyllic and private, yet just five miles from the lively town of Fairfax," says seller Heidi Pay, COO of Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty. "We felt it was a wholesome place to raise our children surrounded by amazing scenery, unique school offerings and unlimited outdoor recreation." Fairfax, selected as the top 'California Places to Live' by Men's Journal Magazine, is the birthplace of mountain biking with a museum dedicated to the sport. It also offers a movie theater, high-end organic grocery store, wine bar, live music and beer-fests all in a charming bohemian small town.

Pay is downsizing and relocating for work; her home, coming on the market this week, is a sprawling sunny approximately 4,000 square foot, single-level contemporary craftsman retreat, complete with four bedrooms, located on a private, nearly two-acre lot. Perfect for entertaining, it features an open floor plan with expansive kitchen connecting to great room, bar, nook, and entertainment center.  It includes a billiard room, home office, a second master/au pair suite, screened porch and extensive private decks with an eight-person hot tub. The home is listed at $2,350,000 with Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty.  Similar properties in Southern Marin would easily fetch over $4 million, $5+ million in Silicon Valley, creating a new demand in this micro market that only offers a handful of these listings each year.

"West Marin, Nicasio Valley and the San Geronimo Valley are attracting a new generation and set of knowledgeable buyers – some for primary residences and some for second homes and retreats and are especially popular because of their comparative value and proximity between Marin's more urban area and its fabulous agricultural acreage, coastal hamlets and world-class parkland," says B.G. Bates of Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty, a prolific West Marin agent. "I have lived here for over 40 years and don't believe there is a better location in the world to offer the range of outdoor activities, so close to a coveted metropolitan with a temperate climate."

The area, where 16th Century explorer Sir Francis Drake is believed to have landed, is known for its scenic rolling hills, redwood valleys, grazing cattle, horse ranches, and babbling streams with carefully tended salmon. The notable Spirit Rock Meditation Center calls the valley home, as do a handful of custom farmhouses and modern style homes that are hidden from sight and perched at the edge of open space.

To learn more about this exclusive listing, visit or contact Heidi Pay at 415.866.6796.

About Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty:

Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty has approximately 425 agents in 20 offices throughout the San Francisco Bay Area serving the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and San Francisco. For more information, please visit

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SOURCE Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

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