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8 Things to Know Before Moving to Novato, CA

Written by Adam Berns

Located in the heart of Marin County, California, Novato is a beautiful city surrounded by the beauty of Northern California. This city is home to a population of 52,117 people.

Novato seamlessly blends the tranquility of its natural surroundings with the charm of a close-knit community, creating an idyllic haven away from the daily hustle and bustle.

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Novato takes pride in cultivating a sense of togetherness. From engaging local events to community celebrations, Novato is always brimming with activities that reflect its vibrant and welcoming spirit.

Let’s consider 8 things to know before moving to Novato, CA!

1. Bask in Novato’s community feel

Novato boasts a vibrant community vibe where residents share genuine camaraderie and a strong sense of connection.

From friendly encounters downtown to active community engagement, Novato fosters a welcoming atmosphere. The city takes pride in its well-maintained public spaces and its collective commitment to making Novato an exceptional place to live.

In Novato, it’s not just about finding a home; it’s about becoming part of a dynamic and supportive community that values each member’s contribution. You’ll enjoy living here.

2. Enjoy recreational activities at Stafford Lake Park

Stafford Lake Park offers a diverse range of recreational activities. From lakeside picnics with designated areas for grilling to an extensive network of scenic trails for hiking enthusiasts, the park caters to various outdoor interests.

Water activities such as fishing and boating on Stafford Lake provide a serene experience, while well-maintained playgrounds and open fields make it a family-friendly destination.

Whether you seek a tranquil retreat or an active day outdoors, Stafford Lake Park stands as a versatile community space for you to enjoy outdoor activities and create lasting memories.

3. The cost of living is 51% higher than the national average

Be prepared for a relatively higher cost of living compared to the national average. The cost of living here is 51% higher than the national average.

Utilities, transportation, healthcare, and grocery costs are higher than the national average. A loaf of bread costs $5.09, a gallon of milk goes for $3.19, and a carton of eggs costs $2.95.

Housing costs are also higher than the national average. The median home price in Novato is $1,055,522. This is way higher than the national average of $416,000.

Living in Novato is quite expensive. Make sure you plan your budget before making the move to this city.

4. Immerse yourself in Novato’s natural beauty

Immerse yourself in Novato’s natural beauty, where open spaces and waterways attract nature enthusiasts.

You can visit Stafford Lake Park or Indian Tree Open Space Preserve to immerse yourself in Novato’s natural beauty.

Embracing Novato’s ever-changing natural beauty becomes an invitation to an outdoor lifestyle filled with adventure and appreciation for the breathtaking landscapes that define this charming city.

5. Traffic is an issue

Traffic congestion in Novato is influenced by its proximity to major routes like Highway 101, leading to increased traffic during peak commuting hours. 

While the city itself maintains a relatively calm pace, strategic planning and awareness of peak times are important to avoid being held up in traffic.

You can also consider alternative routes or public transportation options that are crucial for residents to navigate congestion efficiently. Novato’s traffic challenges require proactive measures for a smoother daily commute. And you must be aware of this before making the move to this city.

6. Novato has 22 schools

Novato prioritizes quality education and is home to 22 schools. These include 17 public schools and 5 private schools.

Rancho Elementary School, Our Lady of Loretto School, and North Bay Christian Academy are some of the schools in this city.

Novato’s educational landscape offers diverse choices to cater to various learning preferences. With active community support, including parent involvement and partnerships with local businesses, Novato fosters a collaborative approach to education. This prepares your kids for success in the higher institution and beyond.

7. Novato experiences wet winters and dry summers

Novato experiences a Mediterranean climate with distinct wet winters and warm, dry summers.

The winter months, spanning from November to March, bring moderate to heavy rainfall, with temperatures averaging between 40°F and 60°F. In contrast, the summer season from June to September is characterised by warm and dry weather, with temperatures ranging from around 50°F to highs of approximately 80°F or higher.

This climate variation creates a diverse and appealing atmosphere, offering residents a mix of cosy rainy days and sun-filled summer experiences.

While the weather is generally pleasant, it’s advisable to keep a jacket handy, as temperatures can drop in the evenings.

8. BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. is a top employer

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. plays a vital role in Novato’s employment sector, particularly within the biotechnology industry.

Renowned for its innovative therapies for rare genetic diseases, BioMarin is a significant contributor to the local economy, serving as a top employer in the area.

You can also get a position in this company as a scientist, researcher, clinical specialist, manufacturing associate, and professional in finance, human resources, and marketing.

If you have experience in any of these areas, you can secure a good job in this company while living here.


Novato is a picturesque city with a lot to offer. Quality education, natural beauty, recreational activities, and employment opportunities are the perks of living in this city. However, you should consider the high cost of living and the traffic issues here before making the move to Novato, CA!

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