Marin County’s San Anselmo Has a Thriving Downtown and Great Schools

The San Francisco Theological Seminary

San Anselmo grew up around the San Francisco Theological Seminary, built in 1892.

Great schools? Check. Beautiful weather and a thriving downtown? Absolutely.

The town of San Anselmo has all those things, plus a convenient location in the heart of Marin near trails, parks, shops, and restaurants.

“San Anselmo is beautiful, with many wooded areas, a great sense of community, and a neighborhood feel,” said Brent Thomson, a senior vice president at Pacific Union International and branch executive of our Marin County region. “It has a very vibrant downtown with several blocks of shopping and wonderful local merchants.”

Part of the highly ranked Ross Valley School District, San Anselmo is a great place to raise children and attracts many young families. In 2012 the district earned an overall state Academic Performance Index score of 925 out of 1,000. Older students attend the Tamalpais Union High School District, which received a score of 871.

Once a stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad, the town’s population began growing after the San Francisco Theological Seminary was built in 1892. Today around 12,500 people call San Anselmo home.

The theological seminary remains active, and a lovely neighborhood close to downtown with larger homes and some cottages has sprung up around it. The nearby Seminary Hill area offers stunning views and easy access to trails and outdoor activities.

The Brookside neighborhood to the north of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard enjoys a strong sense of community, and residents tend to stay for many years, even after their children leave home, according to one of our top San Anselmo real estate professionals.

To the north of town, the unincorporated community of Sleepy Hollow features custom-built homes on large lots, with beautiful trees and an East-Coast feel.

A number of beloved shops and restaurants line San Anselmo Boulevard and Sir Francis Drake, including longtime favorite Comforts café, Insalata’s Mediterranean food, Hilda’s Coffee Shop, and many boutiques and antique stores.

San Anselmo homes for sale range in price from about $650,000 to $3 million or higher, our real estate professional said. In November the average sale price of a single-family home increased 21 percent to $975,000, up from $804,300 a year earlier, according to MLS data.

Sales activity in the town tends to taper off in the winter months since many buyers have young children.

“It’s a little bit seasonal because of the family aspect,” our real estate professional said. “It’s very heated up from around February through October, and then it kind of slows down a little bit.”

(Photo of the San Francisco Theological Seminary by Uzvards, via Flickr.)

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