Welcome to Fairfax
The last suburban holdout before the houses start to spread out and the rolling hills of rural West Marin take over, Fairfax clings defiantly to its origins as a rock and roll outpost for the likes of Neil Young and Jerry Garcia, both of whom at one time jammed in local bars. Perhaps because of this cultural legacy, Fairfax has a more down-to-earth and happening bar scene; if you want a "mixologist" head to Mill Valley. Many an old-school Fairfax resident rolled their eyes at the 2010 Men's Journal "Best Places to Live" article that listed it near the top - dreading an influx of more uptight commuters - but there's not much sign that Fairfax will give in to mainstream Bay Area frenzy anytime soon.
when in Fairfax...
- Bike just about anywhere, road or mountain.
- Grab a coffee at Roasters and fight for a seat on the bench outside.
- Listen to NPR on the loooooong slow drive to the 101.
- Grow your own organic hemp seeds (ahem).
- Feel morally superior to your uptight San Anselmo neighbors.
Local Fairfax elementary, Manor School, shares a school district and middle school with nearby San Anselmo, which together comprise the Ross Valley School District (RVSD). A 2016 dispute over a Multi-Age Program (MAP), during which MAP sued the district in an attempt to create a separate charter school, has created a rift in the community and is a sore subject for many. Manor scores are somewhat lower than the San Anselmo elementaries, but still high by state comparison. Fluctuating enrollment and District cost-cutting mean that class sizes are tightly monitored and students will be overflowed to another RVSD elementary if there is not space at grade level. Check with Ross Valley School District about enrollment for a particular grade level. Fundraising can be a challenge in Ross Valley, with a district that spans two somewhat different communities (San Anselmo and Fairfax), a tightly regulated fundraising entity (the YES Foundation), and the recent controversy over the Ross Valley Charter School. Enrichment is especially concentrated toward music and the arts, with an outstanding music an arts program integrated through elementary and middle school.
WHITE HILL MIDDLE SCHOOL
White Hill Middle School is an increasingly popular choice for San Anselmo and Fairfax families, with a nicely upgraded campus and strong administrative leadership improving its formerly mediocre reputation. In 2010, a Bond Measure was passed, granting $41 million dollars for improvements throughout Ross Valley School District. A large portion of this money was directed toward building many upgrades and new buildings on the White Hill campus, to reflect the increasing enrollment numbers in the District. White Hill makes up for the shortage in State funding with the YES foundation, and a moderately effective parent club which supplements YES. An outstanding Jazz and Concert Band program, plus a plethora of lunchtime clubs, add to the enrichment on campus.
At the high school level the district changes to Tamalpais Union High School District, serving most of Southern Marin with three large high schools (Redwood, Sir Francis Drake, and Tamalpais) and two smaller "alternative" high school options. Although it is generally easy for students to attend any of the three high schools, most students in Fairfax choose nearby Sir Francis Drake ("Drake"). The district is better funded than RVSD, and all three schools perform well in state and national rankings, with Redwood considered the most academic.
Most students in the Fairfax neighborhood attend the local elementary, with a trickle of kids going private that increases somewhat for middle/high school. Popular choices are nearby Cascade Canyon (Fairfax) St. Anselm's (San Anselmo) and San Domenico (San Anselmo), Mark Day School (San Rafael), Marin Country Day (Corte Madera) and the Branson School (Ross).
Living in Fairfax tacks on extra time if you plan to commute to the City. The channel through San Anselmo and San Rafael to the 101 can feel arduous during commute times. But you'll be rewarded with the chilled Fairfax vibe while at home, and house prices are significantly more affordable.
Hand-Picked Fairfax Realtors
Arun Burrell, co-founder of Holmes-Burrell Real Estate, is a lifelong resident of Marin County and a former Marin public school elementary school teacher turned rockstar realtor. With over 100 million dollars of property listed and sold, Arun has worked with clients on every kind of property from fixers to turnkey, condos to luxury estates. He and his wife are raising their daughter in Marin, and he loves to work with families. Arun attended Marin Catholic high school, and he has an insightful perspective on public and private school options. He is a top Marin realtor, and is a fantastic resource for homebuyers and sellers in Marin.
"From the first meeting with Arun until the day our home closed escrow, I could not have asked for more in a real estate agent. He made excellent suggestions to help in the sale of our property, and at the same time, was very respectful of our feelings about our home. Arun was kind, cheerful, courteous, and went above and beyond the call of duty to make the entire process easy for all involved. If I had another home to sell in the Marin area, there is not doubt that I would hire Arun to help me do so."
The Tam team, founded by husband and wife David and Kira Swaim, came from larger firms and drew upon their experience there to build a unique real estate boutique located in downtown San Anselmo. They wanted to bring a realness to the world of real estate. They wanted to cut through a lot of the red tape and the old school way of real estate thinking and get to the basics; connecting, serving and looking out for their clients. Their backgrounds in marketing, sales, construction and real estate easily melded together to create one of the top teams in Marin. Raising children in local San Anselmo schools, Kira and David are super knowledgable about local schools. They are deeply involved in the community and work tirelessly for their clients.
"David and Kira are an excellent team to work with. They're hard working, easy to get along with, and are very knowledgeable about the area, the real estate market, and house construction and maintenance."
As the #1 agent for buyers and sellers in San Anselmo 2010-2014, Eric Gelman brings impeccable knowledge and experience to the table for his clients. He thinks of himself as a business strategist as much as a real estate agent, and he and his team at Bradley Real Estate pride themselves on getting to know their clients' goals and aspirations, then implementing a buying and/or selling strategy that fits them perfectly and delivers what they want. Whether it's positioning his clients to get the house of their dreams in the highly competitive Fairfax market, or developing a marketing strategy to get top price for a seller, Eric Gelman is a great choice.
"I have to admit that I was reluctant at first to hire an agent who is so popular. I wondered if I would get the level of time and attention I wanted to sell my home. But after meeting with Eric, I was so impressed with his strategic approach and knowledge that I decided to go with him. And what agreat decision it was! Eric was extremely helpful in getting my home ready for sale, from sprucing it up to staging. Throughout the whole process he was very responsive to all of my questions, requests, and inquiries--I always felt like I was a priority for him. He got multiple offers for my home at a level that exceeded my expectations. Eric helped make this one of the most satisfying business transactions I've ever been a part of."