Marin County’s Corte Madera: Excellent Schools, Weather, Location

Corte Madera Ridge
A view of San Francisco from Corte Madera Ridge.

With its excellent schools, central location, and great weather, Corte Madera has become one of Marin County’s most sought-after towns, particularly for families with young children.

“Corte Madera’s got a good variety of housing options, from rentals to townhouses to small single-family homes to larger, almost estate-like properties,” according to one of Pacific Union’s top Marin County real estate professionals. “The town is very family-oriented, and the weather gets much nicer when you go over the hill from Mill Valley to Corte Madera. It’s much warmer with less fog.”

While Corte Madera lacks a classic downtown with “main street,” the town of 9,400 is home to two major upscale malls: the Village at Corte Madera and the Town Center Corte Madera. The town shares various services, including police and schools, with Larkspur, and locals refer to the two municipalities as the Twin Cities.

Corte Madera residents in search of a traditional downtown head to Larkspur’s historic Magnolia Avenue for dining and shopping at small local businesses.

The Larkspur-Corte Madera School District enjoys an excellent reputation and in 2012 earned a state Academic Performance Index score of 919 out of 1,000. Due to swelling enrollment, the district is building a new school in east Corte Madera, scheduled to welcome 325 students in fall 2014.

A small number of east Corte Madera children attend the highly ranked Reed Union School District in Tiburon. The Tamalpais Union High School District serves Corte Madera’s high school students.

Town Park, a large park with tennis courts, a recreation center, sport fields, lagoon, and skating area, serves as a gathering place for the community.

“It’s very much a focal point for Corte Madera,” our real estate professional said. “You will find youth soccer games and basketball and baseball and kids’ parties — half the little-league teams have practice there.”

Corte Madera homes for sale range in price from $650,000 to $3 million for single-family residences, with the majority in the $1 million zone, he added.

Homes on the west side of town tend to be a bit costlier than those on the east side, where popular neighborhoods include Madera del Presidio and Mariner Cove. Chapman Park, Lakeside Drive, and Christmas Tree Hill, with its winding streets and sweeping views, are among the most popular west side neighborhoods.

Like much of the Bay Area, Corte Madera has experienced a shortage of homes for sale amid increasing demand from buyers in recent months. In March the number of single-family homes for sale were down 62 percent from a year earlier, while homes sold shot up 100 percent, according to MLS data.

“The moment a reasonably priced listing goes on the market in Corte Madera, it goes into contract,” our real estate professional said.

(Photo of Corte Madera Ridge by Miwok, via Flickr.)

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