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Celebrate Independence Day the Marin County way! Communities across the Marin observe the 4th of July in their own unique ways. Here’s what’s going on in your community on Monday, July 4.

San Rafael — 2022 Marin County Fair

The 2022 Marin County Fair in San Rafael offers what is pretty much Marin County’s official fireworks display. Fair admission is $20–$25 and includes free carnival rides, exhibits, music, and more. This year’s fair theme is “So Happy Together!” Fireworks begin at 9:30 pm every night from June 30–July 4. Fair hours are 11 am–11 pm; last entry at 10 pm. Location: Marin County Fairgrounds, Civic Center Drive, San Rafael.

Corte Madera and Larkspur 4th of July Parade & Festival

Don’t miss this year’s Corte Madera-Larkspur 4th of July Parade and Festival, one of the biggest 4th of July events in Marin. The parade starts at 10:30 am and features the Famous Corte Madera Town Band, McIntosh Pipe Band, the Freedom Band, and more. Accompanying festivities take place at Corte Madera’s Town Park from 9 am–5 pm.

Inverness 4th of July Festivities

4th of July festivities in Inverness take place from 9 am–1 pm and features its annual foot races for the whole family, from toddlers to adults. Festivities happen on Inverness Way near the fire station.

Novato 4th of July Parade

Novato’s 4th of July Parade is one of the largest in the Bay Area and takes place from 10 am to noon in downtown Novato at Grant and Railroad Avenues. Pre-parade entertainment from 9 to 9:45 am. Every year Novato hosts 15,000 to 20,000 spectators and over 100 parade entries ranging from classic cars and vintage military vehicles to Irish bagpipers and a Chinese drum and bell corps.

Sausalito 4th of July Parade & Fireworks Extravaganza

Sausalito’s 4th of July parade will commence at 10 am down Bridgeway and Caledonia Street. Everyone is invited to gather for an afternoon picnic at Dunphy Park where Marin locals, The Humdinger Band will cover rock favorites from 12:30-4:30 pm from the gazebo. Come and enjoy a good old-fashioned 4th of July celebration!
Sausalito’s Fireworks Extravaganza takes place at Gabrielson Park. Neon Velvet is sure to keep you dancing from 6:30-9 pm. Fireworks will begin around 9:15 pm and last for half an hour.

Corte Madera
Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera
Wednesday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Open All Year
Contact: Lynn Bagley (415) 382-7846
Website: https://www.marincommunityfarmersmarkets.org/

Fairfax
Bolinas Park, 142 Bolinas Rd., Fairfax
Wednesday: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Open May – October
Contact: Kelly Smith (415) 999-5635
Website:  http://ilovefarmersmarkets.org/index.html

It is a busy market with lots of activity.  Customers can expect lines at the most popular vendors and sometimes early sell-outs of popular items.

Larkspur
Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur
Saturday: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Open All Year
Contact: Diana Rogers (415) 461-5715
Website: https://www.marincountrymart.com/farmers-market

Marin Country Mart offers a wide array of locally sourced eateries like Rustic Bakery, Hog Island Oyster Co., and Farmshop, as well as a weekly Farmers’ Market, year-round.

Mill Valley
CVS Parking Lot 759 E. Blithedale Ave. @ Alto Shopping Center, Mill Valley
Friday: 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Open All Year
Contact: Lynn Bagley (415) 382-7846
Website: https://www.marincommunityfarmersmarkets.org/

A live synergy takes place between neighbors, friends, families and our region’s food producers who display their colorful agricultural bounty and culinary creations at our farmers’ markets. A send of community and well-being is created.

Novato 1707 Grant Ave. @ 7th St., Novato
Tuesday: 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Open May – October
Contact: Kelly Smith (415) 999-5635
Website: http://ilovefarmersmarkets.org/index.html

Enjoy an abundance of fresh produce from local farms, fresh prepared foods, locally produced cheese and honey, sweet kettle corn, and much more. If you stay for dinner, there’s something for everyone including Thai food, rotisserie chicken, Himalayan and Yucatan foods, BBQ, and more.

San Rafael
Fourth St., San Rafael
Thursday: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Open May – September
Contact: Agricultural Institute of Marin[External] (415) 472-6100
Website: http://www.sanrafaelmarket.org/

The market features an exciting mix of new and returning farmers and purveyors. You’ll discover and connect with farmers selling a bounty of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Savor the Summer Farmers Market with farm-fresh produce, honey, wine, baked goods, flowers, cured meats, jams, pastas, handmade crafts, and community.

Thursday Marin Farmers Market
Veterans Memorial Auditorium Parking Lot, San Rafael 
Thursday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Open All Year
Contact: Agricultural Institute of Marin[External] (415) 472-6100

The Thursday Marin Farmers Market is known as the local chef’s market welcoming premier chefs from around the Bay Area seeking out the freshest ingredients of the season. Centrally located at the Civic Center in San Rafael, the Thursday farmers market offers a mid-week shopping opportunity. The Thursday market is also one of the most anticipated lunch destinations of the week.

Thursday Sunday Marin Farmers Market
Civic Center Parking Lot on Peter Behr Drive, San Rafael 
Sunday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Open All Year
Contact: Agricultural Institute of Marin[External] (415) 472-6100
Website: https://www.agriculturalinstitute.org/

The Sunday Marin Farmers Market first opened in 1987, and has grown to become the third largest farmers market in California. Local eaters and visitors alike, convene every Sunday to enjoy the fresh, seasonal harvests of California’s world renowned farms and ranches, as well as discover some of the most sought after prepared foods in the region. The New York Times listed the Sunday Market as one of the top places to visit in Marin.

Pt. Reyes Station
Toby’s Feed Barn
11250 Hwy 1, Pt. Reyes Station
Saturday: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Open June – November
Contact: Agricultural Institute of Marin[External] (415) 472-6100
Website: https://www.pointreyesfarmersmarket.org/

Filled with home-grown produce and community fun, the Point Reyes Farmers Market is the only all local, all certified organic produce market in the wider Bay Area.

Tomales
CA-1 & 1st St., Tomales 
Third Saturday of the Month: noon – 4:00 pm
Open June – October
Contact: Tomales Farmers’ Market
Website: https://tomalesfarmersmarket.org/

Originally called the Tomales Swap Meet, it quickly brought together residents and tourists in a day of selling, shopping and happy camaraderie.

Now that the world is starting to get back to normal, who isn’t excited to visit some of their favorite restaurants and try new ones! Here are some restaurants in Marin County that were handpicked by our agents here at Attain Real Estate, check them out!

View from the rooftop at Kientz Hall

Kientz Hall
All Green Salad, Fries, Grilled Broccolini & Roasted Eggplant

Kientz Hall – New San Anselmo rooftop restaurant (https://www.kientzhall.com/)

Come as you are—for every occasion…or no occasion at all. Keintz Hall is a local favorite. They draw inspiration from the Mediterranean to Classic Americana cuisine and promise to serve fun and familiar food that the whole family will enjoy!

Lamb Lettuce wraps, Albacore and Bean Salad, Roasted Chicken, and soft-serve ice cream are some of the customers’ favorites. Perfect for date night and casual gatherings. 

Bungalow Kitchen – New Tiburon rooftop (https://bungalowkitchen.com/tiburon/)

The Bungalow Kitchen by Michael Mina is located on the waterfront in Tiburon. They cater celebrations, corporate gatherings, filming and more. They have available rooms (Listening Room, The Salon, The Sun Room) to host a private event.

This waterfront restaurant is impressive with its fantastic food, excellent service, and beautiful atmosphere. This one indeed creates a vibe! Enjoy food and the beautiful venue with family and friends. 

Ayawaska – New Hilltop restaurant in Novato (https://ayawaskasf.com/)

Ayawaska is a great place to meet friends and experience authentic Peruvian cuisine with a unique modern twist. Its satisfying hilltop, panoramic view, and delicious food make customers want to go back to this restaurant over and over. Try their Cerbiche classic pork and Lomo Saltado Clasico when you visit!

Revel & Roost Brick Oven – San Rafael restaurant (https://revelroostkitchen.com/)

Revel: to enjoy oneself in a lively way, especially with eating, drinking, and dancing

Roost: to come home or rest

Whether you want to enjoy yourself eating, drinking and dancing or want to come home or rest, this restaurant has got what you want! They promise to give customers the hospitality they deserve! This Spanish and French-inspired restaurant uses local ingredients from Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Farms.

Watershed – Mill Valley lumberyard restaurant (https://www.watershedmv.com/)

Stop by after a hike or celebrate occasions – just as you want it, they promise to give you a little bit of a good time. Enjoy rustic flavors and great beverages in this outdoor dining restaurant- Watershed. Customers are raving about their unique pizzas, ribs, and lox toast. And of course, the lovely and relaxing place.  

Burmatown – Larkspur restaurant (http://www.burmatown.com/)

Burmatown is now open for outdoor and limited indoor dining from 3:30-8:30 pm. They offer Burmese and Asian fusion, and because their food sells out fast, they request that all orders be placed online, so they have time to prepare. Garlic noodles and tea leaf salad are the best; make sure to try them when you visit.

Menya Shono – Japanese restaurant in San Rafael (https://menya-shono.square.site/)

This Japanese restaurant in San Rafael is a gem for ramen lovers out there! Aside from ramen, their lamb noodles are unforgettable, according to their customers. They have an easy QR code ordering system that is convenient and fast.

Aside from fresh air and the natural beauty of hiking in the bay area, it improves blood pressure, lowers the risk of heart disease, improves balance, and sheds COVID lbs.  It is also a mood lifter.  Some experts say it is an effective antidote to stress and anxiety.

Marin, one of the healthiest counties in America, offers the best hiking trails in California.  Whether you’re catching a few minutes to yourself, meeting friends, or exercising with your 4 legged family members, you get to appreciate the beauty of nature during a cardio workout. 

10 Hikes In Marin County to Explore this Spring

  1. Palomarin to Alamere Falls – looking for a long and rewarding hike that ends in a waterfall?  This 8.2-mile hike is a great workout with stunning views of Point Reyes National Seashore. Proper footwear with traction recommended.

Pets are not allowed at Alamere Falls, and some parts are only accessible by one hiker at a time.  Pack in everything you need, and leave enough time for single-file on this popular trail.  

https://www.wellplannedjourney.com/hiking-to-alamere-falls/

  1. Kirby Cove Hike – looking for a private beach and a beautiful view of the Golden Gate? This 3-mile hike is the one for you. The trail is relatively smooth.  Going back up will get your heart beating, but the views are worth it! 

Head over to Sausalito afterward for a delicious lunch at :

Salito’s (https:/salitoscrabhouse.com/

Bar Bocce (https://www.barbocce.com/

or The Joinery (https://www.joineryca.com/

https://www.inkedwithwanderlust.com/california/kirbycove

  1. Ring Mountain – Dog and kid-friendly hike with 360 degree views overlooking the bay.  How many bridges and popular landmarks can you identify?  Start from Paradise Drive in Corte Madera and peak at the summit of the Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve. From there you can loop, explore either ridge, or boulder on Turtle Rock.  Combination of fire roads (open to bikes) and single track.  Rangers don’t hesitate to fine owners of off-leash dogs, so leash up and save your $ for a post hike meal.
  1. Bon Tempe Lake Loop – This 4.1 mile loop is a kid-friendly trail, is suitable for most skill levels. Dogs on a leash can use the trail too.  Spot animals like deer, ducks, birds and more on this delightful walk!

https://www.outdoorproject.com/united-states/california/bon-tempe-lake-lake-lagunitas-loop

  1. Cataract Falls Trail – Bring your camera!  This is the site where photos for postcards, calendars, and now selfies are shot.  Take the stairs through the fog, ferns and under the tree canopy and you’ll feel transported to an enchanted forest. This 2.8 mile hike is open year-round and ideal for visiting anytime. Active kids and dogs are welcome, if they’re up for natural stairs.

https://bahiker.com/northbayhikes/cataractfalls.html

  1. Tennessee Valley Trail – This trail is popular for all ages. Enjoy hiking through this 2.5-mile loop that ends at a beautiful beach. There are many trails to explore off the main trail, in case you want a more vigorous hike!  Parking is limited, so early starts recommended.

https://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/tennessee-valley-trail.htm

  1. China Camp State Park Loop – This 8.9-mile loop with plenty of shade is a great way to slip in a before or after work escape.  Great for trail running, hiking, biking, camping, as well as several drive-in picnic areas overlooking the bay, with facilities.  Trail use comes with a $3/pp fee, or spring for the $35 annual pass. https://friendsofchinacamp.org/ 

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7023044/china-camp-state-park-loop

  1. Big Trees TrailThis 3.6-mile loop is a bit narrow and considered a moderately challenging route.  Plenty of shade from the tree canopy, and some towering trees that might take your entire group to hug!

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/deer-camp-big-trees-trails

  1. Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Trail  – Enjoy this ridge hike with your dog (on leash). Incredible views from both sides of the fire road.   This 4.1-mile trail is kid-friendly and fun to do with your family and friends.  It connects with the popular 680 trail and other more challenging single track hikes.  The divide trail is well utilized by neighbors in San Anselmo and Terra Linda (both sides of the trail) and carries a fun social element.  Some times of the year you may see herds of goats aiding fire prevention efforts.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/terra-linda-divide-trail

  1. Hoo Koo E Koo Trail  – If you are looking for a dog and kid-friendly hike with beautiful views, don’t miss Hoo Koo E Koo Trail. This 2.7-mile loop is an easy to moderate route.

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/hoo-koo-e-koo-trail

Pick a buyer’s agent you trust and stick with them.  When I earned my license in 2002 I set out to prove that a great agent doesn’t cost you money.  They SAVE you $.   They also save time and scary stories by helping you dodge pitfalls for years to come.  In California, most agents are compensated by home sellers, not buyers. That’s right, your representation is generally fully paid by the seller.  That commitment happens when the owner lists the house for sale, so you likely aren’t saving any money by showing up without representation.  There aren’t many places you get a price break in Ca, but this is a little known (Fun!) fact.  Why not take advantage of your real estate tour guide?  They speak the language, know the nuances even Google doesn’t know, and it doesn’t even cost you a thing!  

**New construction representation works differently.  Ask and we’ll fill you in.

Dual Representation is frowned upon in multiple offer presentations in the North Bay market.   We aren’t lawyers and we don’t practice law, but for comparison…would the defendant ever hire the plaintiff’s attorney to represent them??  In a competitive market, homebuyers are looking for any leg up.  Some approach us asking if we would represent them on a purchase of our own listings.  While we would LOVE to help you with a successful purchase and want nothing more than to see you prevail, it’s not in your best interest.   If we represent the seller, we’re happy to align you with an agent who is unusually knowledgeable about the property and neighborhood, and more qualified to represent your best interests in the particular transaction.  

Stand out.  With fewer homes to meet the high level of demand, does it make sense that every qualified buyer’s agent has several clients stacked up for popular price ranges?  Aim to be the 1st one they call. The 1st who declares they want to submit an offer.  This ensures you’ll be the first call if they hear of an off market opportunity that you’d be interested in.  It’s ok if it takes a while to find the right home or narrow down your wish list.  This is a critical step and we’re happy to be patient.  The market, on the other hand, is not.  Putting your best foot forward on the right home helps us best represent you.  If it’s not the right home, you won’t offend us with productive feedback.  We’ll be happiest when you secure the right one!

Where to start?  AttainREGroup.com.  We’ll get you up to speed quickly so you can navigate the process at your own pace, with our resources every step along the way.   Homebuying is personal.  We’d love to help!

If only! If you want to be successful in 2022, you can’t shop using last year’s shopping list.  The market has only tightened further with fewer properties available + more eager buyers. 

Do

Get a reality check on your criteria and price range.  Consider supplementing your down payment with additional sources (+ lender’s blessing).  Review CLOSED prices for homes that sold.  Ask your agent to find out the offer terms of those sales.  You don’t get a reality check by looking at list prices for other homes on the market. They may be underpriced or overpriced.  Recent closed sales prices are the strongest indicator.  If you base your decision off list prices instead of closed prices, it’s like assuming everyone who enters Harvard will graduate Harvard, with the same GPA.

Do: Specify a communication strategy with your agent.  Call, text or email?  When they reach you through that method, be responsive every time they contact you.  Time is of the essence in this fast paced market.  

Do: Tour every property in your price range. If it’s not worth your time to tour the properties, don’t expect your agent to read all 300 pages of the disclosures in order to answer detailed questions on the ones you wish to pursue.  Learn what repairs are typical for the price and which stand out and should be factored into the price.  The best way to find the right property is to know which are NOT the right fit for you.  If you hesitate on the right one, you may pay more for a property that isn’t as good of a fit several months later. 

Do: Prioritize the home search.  It can feel like a part time job.  “On call” 7 days a week.  If you don’t put your home search on the front burner, your lender, inspectors, and agent may not either.  

Do educate yourself on how Homeowners associations operate, if your budget includes planned unit developments (PUD’s, condos, townhomes).  Ask your agent about realistic repair costs.  Look for “informational” vs “urgent” items in the inspection reports.  Buyers who don’t want to buy in a community with annual fee increases or special assessments typically are naive as to how maintenance is funded in common interest developments. 3% to 6% annual increase in homeowners association dues has been typical in recent years.  Sharing costs amongst many units can often mean bulk savings for capital improvements, ie roofs, siding, painting, and landscaping.  We’re in a skilled labor shortage, complicated by supply chain delays.  HOAs face that as well as homeowners, and may be in a better position to address hurdles than you as an individual.  Before you give up on an HOA, look at repair costs for nearby houses in a similar price point and ask yourself if you want to be on the hook for the whole cost vs a share in the cost.  Seriously think about whether you’ll have time to drop everything to interview and meet service providers when maintenance is due.  Is it more feasible to take a turn on the board than “be your own board” at all times?  If rules and community decision making is too much to stomach, be prepared to pony up for the houses that fall into your price range.  Understand the tradeoffs.

DO: Get preapproved with a reputable, local mortgage broker or lender. Please!  When you submit an offer, the listing agent will likely call lenders of top offers with additional questions.  If your lender is in a different time zone or doesn’t pick up it may cost you the property.  In fast paced markets like California “I’m out of the office” does not create confidence with the listing agent. Also, out of area and internet based lenders often use language and practices common in their market.  If I ran a mile every time an out of state lender assumed “closing” and ”signing documents” were the same thing in California, I’d be an ultramarathoner.  Your finances are too critical to trust an app, or a lender with an 888 or 800 number.  Think about it…there’s a reason the teaser interest rates look too good to be true.  

Do: make sure your letter says preapproval, not prequalification.  NOT the same thing.  Preapproval means the lender has already done a thorough examination of your financial qualifications.  It also means you have done your part in providing documents to the lender & allowed a credit check, so you’re further along in the process.  Online lenders use a narrow list of questions for their initial diagnosis that often miss critical information, ESPECIALLY if you are self employed.  This can mean the difference between a stressful cancellation (months wasted), and keys to your new house.  
Do: Be clear about your intentions.  If you find the right property but you’re not ready to make an offer with the price/terms needed to secure the property, revisit your criteria and price range.  Buyer’s who were “not in a rush” the last ten years generally paid more for the home later.  Even worse, they often settled for a less desirable home.  If you’re optimizing for budget, make sure to consider the long term.  The bay area is severely underbuilt, and “no growth” is the philosophy.  Your choices are based on what already exists.  Space and locations don’t change much over time.  But the prices do.  Attain agents are skilled at seeing potential in any property, and providing resources to help you make the right space into the right home.  We’ve had to face the market conditions ourselves, and improve our properties over time.  But we think Marin is sooooooo worth it!

Novato is the hidden gem of northern Marin County.   You may have driven through it on your way to the Point Reyes seashore or the farms of west Marin.  Wedged between Sonoma County and San Francisco, Novato is bustling with things to do and places to visit. 

Here’s just a few:

Take a stroll around Old Town Novato

Grant Avenue is the heart of downtown, which combines history with modern conveniences.  Tree lined streets create ambiance for outdoor dining.   You can shop for jewelry or curated fashions (new or upcycled) at eclectic boutiques.  Enjoy a beer at Bike Brustop while your ride is getting repaired, or grab a baked goodie at Flour Chylde.  (You’ll never know it’s gluten free).  Kids and kids at heart love Celines,’ a retro sweet shop.  There truly is something for everyone downtown. 

Climb to new heights at Indian Valley open space reserve

Indian Valley’s Colleges new swimming and diving complex hosts top notch events.  A unique location for higher level education, the college happens to be surrounded by a trail system utilized by equestrians, hikers, & dog walkers.  Choose from a shady and gentle fire road, the popular waterfall loop, or steep single track with peek a boo views.

Birdwatch, bike, golf, and so much more at Stafford Lake Park

Aside from a serene lake teeming with wildlife, the newly added bike park, a frisbee golf course, and picnic areas make this a destination.  If you’re lucky, you might catch a concert, performance, or outdoor festival being held here, depending on the time of year.  

Giddy up at Morning Star Farm

Located between Novato Creek and the scenic riding trails of O’Hair Park, Morning Star Farm offers horseback riding sessions to families, groups, and whoever wants to saddle up!

San Anselmo is at the intersection of small town charm, historic roots & tech meets natural beauty.  Always prioritizing local business, with a friendly and low key vibe, San Anselmo, California, is an outdoor destination for hikers, cyclists, artists, and healthy living.  The area offers beautiful Mediterranean weather, long summers, and short winters.  Trails are always within reach.  It’s possible to enjoy a car free lifestyle in this bicycle mecca.

The town offers neighborhoods with charming names such as Sleepy Hollow, Seminary, Calumet Park, and Morningside.  Homes span a mix starting with late 1800’s era craftsman and mediterranean bungalows, to private hillside properties, sleek modern view residences, and also  suburban farms.  It’s this eclectic blend that sets the tone for a vibrant downtown that hosts several annual events.  From well-curated thrift shops to cafes, breweries, and restaurants, San Anselmo is home to artists, programmers, entrepreneurs, and bankers. 

Families are drawn to San Anselmo for top rated schools, but cultural and physical activities for all ages are abundant in this extremely active community.  From Millennium Park where families gather to picnic, play baseball, soccer and basketball to Juan’s Gym, that trains children, beginner to advanced, in all aspects of tumbling and gymnastics. 

A Day in the life…

Whether your day starts at a youth soccer game or meeting friends for a cycle (or artisan tea?), there’s a strong sense of community ready to welcome you.  Miles of open space trails and marked bike routes mean you can clear your head on your own schedule, while still tapping into the culture of top notch restaurants, a wine bar, and live music after sunset.  San Anselmo is a destination few are lucky to call home, but many wish to visit.

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