• Erin McGinnis

Tour of Lafayette and Orinda Homes -- and How Novato Homes Compare

Updated: Apr 6, 2018

Today Kevin and I, and our mortgage partner Blayney White, got out of Marin for a few hours and headed east to the beautiful towns of Lafayette and Orinda in Contra Costa County.

It was broker's tour day over there. We thought it would be beneficial to see how some top agents in other markets promote their listings. You can usually get an idea or two when you venture outside of your typical beat.

It's also interesting to compare Novato home prices to those in Lafayette and Orinda. All three areas are suburbs of San Francisco and they attract people who work in San Francisco. They are both family-friendly places to live.

Novato is just as scenic and lovely in my opinion (and I grew up in Lafayette), and home prices in Novato are much more affordable. We saw a starter home in Lafayette today -- it was 1,164 square feet on a small lot near downtown -- newly listed for $1,150,000. In Novato, that home would cost around $700,000.

$1,150,000 in Novato buys you roughly a 2,500 square foot home in Hamilton, for example. Big difference! For people priced out of Lafayette and Orinda, I believe Novato is a great option.

We certainly saw some gorgeous luxury homes today! I would like to share a few photos we took. I'd classify these as "the best things we saw today."

#1 Gorgeous estate property in the hills of Orinda -- $4.75 million

This was a spectacular setting for this 5-acre Santa Barbara-inspired estate. The view from the back yard is toward Briones Reservoir. The home is almost 5,000 square feet.

#2 Lakefront in Orinda

This is Lake Cascade near Orinda Country Club. What an unexpected setting for this 3,300+ sq foot home, which was priced at $2.32 million. The listing agent pointed to a Mediterranean home across the lake and said Warriors' basketball star Steph Curry sold it a few years ago.

#3 Breathtaking views from modern new-build in Lafayette

Photos do not do it justice. The 180-degree views toward the Diablo Valley from practically every room were breathtaking. The home is listed for $3.885 million.

It is a steep lot but it has a big pool.

Modern kitchen. Not a single white cabinet in the house, but the white quartz counter tops and back splash keep it light.

Loved the master closet!

How do you think Novato compares to other cities in the Bay Area? We'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

If you're thinking of selling, please call Team McGinnis at 415-725-1911